Debt is a four letter word that can take many different forms. It can credit card debt, an auto loan, a mortgage, school loan, as well as many others. Debt, sometimes a necessity, can also be a nuisance when it comes to your total financial picture. The sooner you can get a handle on it and get your debt reduced, the better.
Go over your budget
When you decide to tackle your debt, the first thing you should do is go over your budget. Determine where you can trim your spending so you are able to put more towards paying down your debt. If you have to eat at home more than out with friends, do it. Your future self will thank you.
Negotiate a lower rate
Call your credit card companies and attempt to lower your current interest rate. Most companies recalculate their interest rates multiple times per year, so call often.
If you are paying high interest on a credit card or several, look into a balance transfer. Most credit cards will have a 0% interest rate for a certain amount of time. Be careful though, once the introductory rate expires, they will hike the rate up into the high teens or higher!
With mortgages, student loans and auto loans, refinance. Do this when you know interest rates are lower than what you are currently paying. If you have student loans held with multiple agencies, consolidate so you only have to pay one loan. You might get a lower interest rate, and it will create less of a headache knowing you only have one payment to make.
One more thing you could do is to take out a personal loan. This method is used to consolidate debt into one location, usually credit card debt. The interest rates can range anywhere from 5% to 15%. The amount you pay in interest is highly influenced by your credit score and history.
Debt, in most cases, is an unfortunate thing to have. Creating a plan to get that debt paid down will do two things. Help your credit score and free up some money to pay for other items. Hopefully, that money is used to fund a savings account for emergencies or a retirement account to create that nest egg. When creating a financial plan of any kind, consult a financial professional.