You might be someone who likes to do things on your own. Whether you have an independent spirit, or don’t like asking for assistance, it can be hard to admit you need help. But this is often what’s needed when it comes to unmanageable debt.
Here are some strategies to try when your debt is getting out of control and you could use help.
What Should You Try Before Seeking Help with Your Debt?
There’s nothing wrong with seeking assistance to get over your unmanageable debt. In fact, this can sometimes mean the difference between beating debt or not. But before going there, it’s also smart to try some of these approaches you can do on your own first.
Be Stricter with Budgeting
Creating a budget—and sticking to it—can make all the difference when it comes to getting out of debt. At its most basic level, budgeting is about tracking all your income and expenses. Doing this can provide you with a clear picture of how much you need to cut back in order to dedicate more money to debt repayment. It will also show you where you’re spending more than needed in certain categories.
Utilize a Debt Repayment Strategy
Paying down unmanageable debt is never fun. But it’s going to be more stressful if you do so without a plan. The two most commonly cited repayment plans are the snowball and avalanche methods.
With the snowball method, you start by paying off your lowest balance debts in full, while maintaining just the minimum on larger ones. Then you make your way up the chain. This has been shown to be the most effective strategy overall because having easy, early success inspires people to keep paying off their debt.
The avalanche aims to get people out of debt as soon as possible, while paying the least amount in interest. You can do this by attacking your highest interest rate balance first and paying the minimum on all others. Then work your way down the line.
Generate More Cash Flow
Making more money… easier said than done. However, there are some things you can do to help possibly get more cash on hand. It may be time to ask for a raise, ask for more hours, or interview for a higher-paying position elsewhere. You might benefit from taking on a flexible side job to get a little bit more money coming in each month. Putting that money directly to paying down debt can make a huge difference. Additionally, selling some unused items sitting around your house or garage can give you some money right away.
When It’s Time to Get Help with Your Debt
If you’ve tried all the above ideas and it’s not enough, it’s time to start looking for outside help. These are some of the places you can go to seek aid with your unmanageable debt:
- Credit Counseling: Meeting with a credit counseling service is one of the best places to start if you’re unable to pay off your debt on your own. They can give you some free resources and direct you toward further assistance programs that might be able to help you. They may also be able to get you enrolled in a Debt Management Plan (DMP).
- Debt Relief: Debt relief, also called debt settlement, involves enrolling in a program like Freedom Debt Relief that will require you to make monthly deposits for a certain amount of time. Then negotiators will contact your creditors, aiming to settle your debts for less than the original balance. It’s important you do some research before signing up for any kind of debt relief service to ensure its legitimacy, and read what the online reviews are saying.
It’s hard to deal with debt—especially when it reaches a level where it feels out of your control. Fortunately, there are options out there for people who need to overcome unmanageable debt.