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Debt Article | Debt Management


Consumer Debt Management

In recent years, the amount of credit available to most of us has been far greater than ever before. From credit cards to store cards and personal loans, many of us are now finding it difficult to meet the bills each month.

If you’re feeling your debts starting to get on top of you, there is a range of things you can do to ease the pressure and hopefully be able to enjoy life again, without constantly worrying about money, as many of us sadly do.

Assess

The first thing to do is assess all of the debts that you currently have. Many people find the thought of their debts so stressful that they try not to even think about it. But if you’re going to have any hope of getting a handle on your debts you will need to have your eyes wide open to them.

Look at not only the amounts that you’re paying in bills each month, but also how much of these payments are being swallowed up by interest – in the case of credit cards it may well be the lot. The knowledge that you’re struggling to meet minimum payments every month but not actually reducing the overall debt at all may be upsetting, but it can also motivate you to get the debts paid off if you possibly can.

Consumer Debt Management

Once you’ve gathered together the total debts that you owe, you could consider options such as balance transfers and consolidation loans. However before signing up for any of these, make sure you’ve worked out that it will definitely ease your financial burden. Ensure therefore that you’ve calculated the difference that transferring your debts will make to your monthly bills, the total amount you pay back and the length of time it’ll take before the debt is cleared.

Budget

There’s no way around it, you really do need to budget effectively if you want to improve your finances. If you do this you may find that you have additional funds that you can pay towards your debts and get rid of them quicker. If this is the case, target the debts with the highest interest rates first, as these will be draining your funds the most.

No more

It might seem harsh, but you’ll never clear your debts if you keep acquiring more, so it’s best to try and go ‘cold turkey’ and stop using credit. This means avoiding using your credit card if you possibly can. It may be a struggle, but the advantage is that if you manage to change your habits, you’ll be far less likely to end up in this situation again.

Help

If you’re struggling to work out what to do, a range of helpful services are available for free. Your first port of call may be the Citizens Advice Bureau, but organisations like the National Debtline are also able to give great advice. You may also find that local organisations operate in your community that can help you to mediate with your creditors, and can offer you advice and counselling should you need it.