It is really easy to get into debt. Unfortunately, getting out of debt is no easy feat. But don’t despair. Getting out of debt yourself is totally possible. It won’t be as easy as getting into debt, but it can be done. Let’s look at ways to understand your debt and get control of it.
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Organize Your Debts
Your very first task is to understand your debt, how much you owe, the interest rate – all the important details.
Gather all bills, statements, reports or other information
1. Set up a spreadsheet or notebook page with the following information
a. Creditor’s name
c. Minimum monthly payment
d. Interest rate
2. Get all three credit reports (they are free once a year)
3. Your credit score
4. Your take home pay
5. Your expenses
Verify that everything is correct. Look over your credit reports for any incorrect information. If something is wrong, you can contact the credit reporting company to have it corrected.
Contact your lenders to see if they will lower your interest rates. That simple action can help you pay off debts faster.
You may be able to transfer credit card debt to lower rate cards. Just READ the small print to see how long the lowered interest rate will last.
Read this How to stop drowning in debt DIY Guide
Examine Your Expenses
In order to get out of debt, you will have to cut your expenses. Look through all your expenses. What can you do without for a time? Got a gym membership you never use or only use once a month? Do you really need Netflix and HBO and Hulu? Do you buy too many clothes, shoes, or knick-knacks? See what you can cut out or cut down on. Remember this is not forever. Eliminate those extra expenses.
Create a Budget
Budget isn’t always a dirty word! Basically, you need to write down every single expense you have. Be honest. Include those daily cappuccinos. If you like computers, you can find internet-based money management sites, like Mint.com to help.
Now figure out your income. By subtracting expenses from income, you’ll know how much you have leftover to reduce your debt. If you have more expenses than income, you’ll need to either increase your income or decrease your expenses.
By creating a workable budget, you have a much better chance of getting out of debt faster than you will be having no budget. Post your budget somewhere you will see it regularly.
Create a Debt Pay-Off Plan
Now that you have a sum of money to work with, make a debt pay off plan. You need to decide which bills to pay off first. Some experts recommend paying off the highest interest rate debt, others recommend paying the smallest debt first.
Here is a sample action plan
1. Ask for lowered interest rates
2. Eliminate expenses
3. Put your credit cards somewhere inconvenient – so you can’t use them!
4. Look into balance transfer credit cards
5. Look into a consolidation loan
6. Look into refinancing loans
7. Pay off small debts quickly
Once you’ve lowered rates or refinanced or done a balance transfer, if appropriate, make a plan. Clearly state what you will pay, what you will pay off first, and how long it will take for each debt. Post this plan next to your budget. As you achieve each milestone, mark it off. You’ll feel accomplished and that makes everything a bit easier.
As you pay off each bill, roll that amount into the next debt.
Wondering if Bankruptcy is the right choice, Read this article to find out if you get out of all debts if you declare bankruptcy.
Create an Improved Income Plan
Take a look at your income. Is there anything you can do to improve it? A new job might be necessary. Keep your eyes out for opportunities to change jobs for a better opportunity.
Adding a second job can add extra income. Currently, gig-type income like Uber, Lyft, or personal shopping is out there. Before you take on a gig, balance your effort and wear and tear versus your proposed income. A lot of gigs aren’t really worth the time.
Sell items you no longer need. If you can, sell extra stuff. We all have a lot of it, getting rid of it can make you money. Each time you get money, immediately put towards your targeted debt.
How to Get Out of Credit Card Debt
The best way to get out of credit card debt is to stop using it and pay off more than your minimum payment each month. If you are using your credit card to make up differences between income and expenses, you need to increase income and decrease expenses.
StudentLoans.gov is a federal website that can help with student loan consolidation and income-based repayment. These government loans can help you get out of debt.
As you make progress or get a new (higher paying) job, revise your budget and debt pay-off plan. Don’t buy anything not absolutely necessary until your debt is zero. Then make up a reasonable budget and stick to it. The best way to get out of debt is not to get into it in the first place. For the rest of us, the best way is to make a budget and payment plan and stick to it!
Pacific Debt Inc
If you have tried all this and you are still drowning in debt, Pacific Debt Inc may be able to help. Pacific Debt, Inc is one of the leading debt settlement companies in the US. We can help you settle your debt, often for far less than you owe.
Read this article to find out what the tax consequences of debt settlement are.
To be eligible for the Pacific Debt settlement program, you must have more than $10,000 in unsecured debt, and it takes roughly 2 to 4 years to complete. Pacific Debt will custom tailor a plan to fit your current situation.
Pacific Debt, Inc is accredited with the American Fair Credit Counsel and is an A+ member of the Better Business Bureau. We rate very highly in Top Consumer Reviews, Top Ten Reviews, Consumers Advocate, Consumer Affairs, Trust Pilot, and US News and World Report.
For more information, contact one of our debt specialists today. The initial consultation is free and our debt specialists will give you all your options.