For anyone with debts to pay off, the bad news is that there’s no easy solution to getting clear of debt. However, that’s not to say it’s not possible. You can work your way clear of debt if you’re prepared to really work hard at it, budget effectively and be disciplined enough not to spend more than you can afford until the debts have been paid off.
There are some debts that will be with you a long time – the mortgage is a classic example. But the kind of debts that you should get rid of as quickly as possible are those unsecured debts like credit card and store card debt.
Debt advice comes in many forms, whether you talk to your partner or friend, or seek professional debt management advice. The simplest way to start tackling debt is to draw up a budget. Look at your monthly income and outgoings and see where you can make any savings. Cut back on the obvious – luxuries like gym memberships, nights out and trips away for the weekend. Change providers for utilities and telecoms and switch to shopping at a cheaper supermarket chain. It’s amazing how shaving little bits of expenditure here and there can make a significant difference to your monthly outgoings. As you build a surplus, use it to pay off existing debts.
Depending on the amount of debt you have to clear, though, frugal living and strict budgeting may not be sufficient. There is always the option of getting professional debt advice and looking at different debt solutions available to you.
There are many debt management companies to choose from, but you’ll also find advice on government websites and from debt management charities. Sometimes there’s a fee attached to the debt solutions offered, but often the debt management companies negotiate their fee from the different creditors they work with instead.
Seeking professional debt advice can lift a lot of the administrative hassle of being in debt from you, but of course, you have to keep up with the payments that you agree to make. Make sure that you seek independent financial advice before entering into a debt management plan or signing up to a debt consolidation loan.