5 Tips For Managing Debt More Effectively

by : Williamblake

One of the fastest growing businesses in America right now is debt management. The idea is that millions of Americans struggle every month to pay their bills, and many have mounting debts that they have no idea how to overcome.

There are companies and nonprofit organizations that have dedicated themselves to helping people understand their options and find solutions to their debt problems. There are several ideas that they discuss with people, but some of the key concepts are as follows:

- Stop Spending and start budgeting: The first step to managing a debt problem is to stop adding to your overall balance. There are several methods of budgeting that can be used, but the important thing is to understand your necessary expenses that must be paid monthly. Compare your monthly expenses to your monthly income and ensure that you're prioritizing the way you spend your money. If you have trouble paying more than the minimum on your credit card bill, for instance, you probably shouldn't be buying a new flat-screen TV.

- Get Organized: Create a spreadsheet that lists all of your debt obligations, your monthly payment amounts, when payments are due, and interest rates on the borrowed funds. Next, Sort that list to establish which debts have the highest overall balances and interest rates. Finally, create a plan that will allow you to pay off the most expensive debt first.

- Get a loan that makes more sense: Chances are that debt is a big problem for you; you're paying multiple creditors and very high interest rates. If you have family members in a position to help, they are usually much more understanding lenders than most creditors or collectors. If you don't have family members in a position to help, consider taking a loan from your 401K. Saving for the future is very important, but you'll be in a much better position to save in the long run if you can get yourself out of debt now.

- Enter a Debt Counseling Program: There are good programs and bad programs, so choosing the right one is essential. But talking with a credit counselor who will take the time to understand your situation and recommend the best alternative for you could be very valuable. They will also be able to outline the pros and cons of different ideas you might have for getting yourself out of debt.

- Consolidate your Debt: Putting all your various debts under one umbrella with a lower overall interest rate can help you get out of debt more quickly and efficiently than many other debt management alternatives. A debt counselor can help you determine whether or not this is a good idea. As with other debt reduction strategies, there are drawbacks that need to be clearly understood with this method.

Debt is difficult to deal with, but the above steps can help to make it manageable, helping the borrower to develop a strategy to eliminate serious debt problems.