No matter how much you owe, it would be best if you learned how to manage your debts the right way. By doing so, your debts will not get out of control. This means significantly less debt problems in your future. To help you in managing your debts, here are a few steps you can try out:
Know Your Debts
It would help if you started off with knowing what and how much you owe. Make a list of the different types of debt you have, including the lender, total amount of the debt, interest rate, monthly payment, and the due date. Listing your debts will help you see the bigger picture and be fully aware of your debt status.
It would be best to update your list as long as you need to, especially as you pay your bills. If you are having trouble listing down some of your debt factors, you can consider using CreditNinja’s Financial Calculators to help you out.
Make On-Time Payments
Late payments can lower your credit score, and it usually comes with a late fee. If you miss two payments in a row, your finance charges and interest fees will most likely increase. Hence, paying your debt late will only cost you more.
If you have a calendar on your phone or computer, it would be best to enter your payment schedule and set an alert a few days earlier. That way, you will get reminded of your due date. Also, if you missed a payment, it would be better to pay your debt as soon as you remember, not on the next due date.
Make a Bill Payment Calendar
A bill payment calendar can help remind you which bills need to be paid with which paycheck. Start with writing the debt payment amount next to the due date. After that, write down the date of each paycheck you will use to pay off your debts.
Make At Least The Minimum Payment
If you are having financial troubles and can’t afford to pay your monthly payment, try to make at least the minimum payment. Doing so won’t give you real progress in paying your debt. However, it can help keep your account remain in good standing. Paying the minimum payment is better than not having to pay at all.
Figure Out Which Debts to Pay First
Credit cards usually have higher interest rates than other fees. Hence, it would be best to pay them off first. Furthermore, you can use the debt list mentioned earlier to rank or prioritize your debts each month.
Pay Off Collections and Charge-Offs
Pay your debts as long as you can afford to do so. When your money becomes limited, it would be best to give attention to accounts that currently have good standing.
You should never sacrifice your accounts that carry good standing for debts that have already brought a negative impact to your credit score. Instead, pay negative accounts only when you can afford to do so.
Use Emergency Funds To Fall Back On
Without savings, you will most likely turn to take out debt to cover unexpected expenses. Having an emergency fund can help you a lot. You can start off with only a few dollars on your emergency fund account and make it a goal to increase your savings.
Learn How To Budget
Setting a budget can help you get by every month. Once you receive your income, it would be best to budget it for your debt payments and other expenses. Furthermore, if you plan to budget in advance, it can help you check if you have enough money for your next bill payment. This will give you more time to think of ways to solve the problem.
Recognize The Signs That You Need Help
If you are having difficulties in paying your debts each month, you might need extra help. Debt relief can help you out. The options are the following:
- Debt Consolidation: This type of debt relief helps manage multiple debts. It combines all of your debts into one. This means your debts will be merged into a single repayment schedule instead of different ones every month.
- Debt Settlement: This type of debt relief is usually offered by third-party companies, also known as debt relief companies. They will do their best to lessen your debts by negotiating with your debt collectors or creditors.
- Bankruptcy: This type of debt relief is a legal proceeding that involves a person who cannot or is unable to repay his/her debts.
No matter how small or big your debts are, knowing how to manage them can be very useful. Managing your debts can help lower your current debt and eliminate them eventually. However, this does not mean it will stop your bills from coming. Instead, it takes them within your control so that you will be fully aware of your debt situation.