April 15, 2019
For many people, debt is source of great stress, anxiety and concern. As the economy has improved, consumer debt has also increased at an alarming rate. Recent data shows that the total pool of consumer debt has now surpassed $1.3 trillion. The median student loan debt for a person who has attended college is now more that $49,000. The average household credit card debt is $5,000, while the median has surpassed $16,000. Total average debt, including mortgages and car loans, is $139,500 per household. These numbers continue to increase.
In order to conquer your debt problem, you need to develop a strategy. Here are steps to get you started:
Step 1: Know the Numbers
It is impossible to develop a strategy to solve a problem if you do not know what the problem is. Most people do not know what they owe, the repayment terms, or interest rates. The first step to solve a debt problem is to determine exactly how much debt you have and what the repayment terms are. It is also important to know your household income and basic living expenses.
Step 2: Make a Plan and Set Goals
Once you know the numbers, you can develop a plan to start paying down your debt. You need to set goals. Establish a target date for when you want to be out of debt and move backward from that point. This will enable you to determine how much you will need to pay each month to accomplish your goal.
Step 3: Review Your Budget
It is easy to lose track of where your money is being spent. Take the time to review your budget and cut any unnecessary expenses. Every dollar you find in your budget can be used to pay down your debt faster.
Step 4: Stay Focused
While it is easy to get excited about paying off your debt, it can be difficult to maintain this motivation over an extended period of time. Set a few short term goals and keep progress charts. Include friends in your plan and ask them to hold you accountable. Remind yourself that the process will take time, but the benefits will be worth it.
Debt shouldn’t define you. Excessive debt will impede every aspect of your life. You must deal with your debt problem to regain control of your financial future. Remember that Bishop Law Offices is here is help you. If you are struggling to resolve debt issues on your own, please call our office for a free consultation.