Debt management tips

Excessive debt is a serious dilemma that can lead to other problems such as bad credit, high interest rates, limited disposable income, etc. With careful money management, many people have successfully climbed from under debt, and given the opportunity to start anew. To become debt-free, you must avoid five common debt management mistakes.

1. Not Acknowledging the Problem

Before an individual can establish a “get-out-of-debt agenda,” they must recognize the problem. Debts are categorized differently. Mortgage loans, automobile loans, and student loans are acceptable debts. Credit cards and unnecessary installment loans are considered bad debts. These debts can significantly reduce your FICO score, and limit your ability to qualify for future loans. Persons who fail to acknowledge debt problems spend frivolously or use credit for non-essentials.

2. Failure to Develop a Plan

To reduce debts, you need a sensible plan. There are different ways to attack excessive debt. Some debtors start with the smallest balance because these are easier to eliminate. On the other hand, you may choose to eliminate high-interest debts first. Whatever method chosen, sketch out a realistic strategy and stick to the plan. If you have good credit, ask the creditor for a rate reduction, or use a low-rate card and consolidate balances.

3. Hiring the Wrong Debt Consolidation Agency

Debt consolidation services flood the television and radio with advertisements. Debt consolidation services promise to lower monthly payments by up to 60%, or eliminate debts in two to five years. Unfortunately, these advertisements are sometimes ambiguous. Hiring the wrong company could mean paying a lot of money and getting no results, or worse, the consolidation service may miss a few payments. Several debt consolidation agencies are legitimate. Choose a non-profit organization and never submit an upfront payment.

4. Buying Too Much

A common debt management mistake is “living beyond one’s means.” This might include buying too much house, an automobile you can’t afford, or spending excessive money on vacations, shopping, or dining out. Each person should develop a financial plan, and ascertain where their money goes. If necessary, consult a financial adviser.

5. Repeating Past Mistakes

Some people never learn from their mistakes. Despite having an established plan and successfully lowering their debt load, these person’s find themselves in a similar situation within two or three years. Do not repeat past mistakes. Create a debt elimination plan, and make better decisions in the future.