5 Things To Do Now If You Find Yourself in Debt
It’s too easy to get into debt in this day and age. It’s now easier than ever to get credit, even with a bad credit score. Buy now pay later is another culprit that lands millions of people in debt every year. The problem is, it’s easier to get yourself further into debt than it is to get yourself out of it if you don’t know what steps to take. However you got yourself into this position, it’s not the end of the world. Don’t panic, let’s take a look at the things you should do right away if you find yourself in debt.
Get some free debt advice
If you feel in over your head, your best bet is to take a moment to take a deep breath and gather your thoughts. There are plenty of free debt advice charities out there like the National Debt Helpline. Give them a call and explain your situation – they’re there to help!
Work out how much you owe
The first thing you should do after getting some free advice is work out exactly how much you owe, and who you owe it to. If you owe money to different creditors, note the amounts down and see which (if any) you can afford to pay off straight away. Remember that there are priority debts that need to be addressed first.
Don’t ignore debt collection
You may have only realised you owe a debt due to receiving a debt collection letter. There will be many forums online telling you to ignore them, but this won’t make them go away. If you know you owe the debt, call them to arrange a payment plan. If you’re not sure about the debt, ask them to prove that you owe the debt. If they can’t prove you owe the debt, don’t pay anything.
Work out your budget
If you have found yourself owing large amounts of money, whether it’s to one or more creditors, it’s important to work out what your budget is. Sit down and work out what comes in and what goes out every month and more importantly, what you’re left with. Once you know what you’re working with you can begin to tackle your debts.
You might find that consolidating your debts is an easier way to tackle them. Consolidation means you only make one payment per month, yet your debt total will slowly decrease. There are of course downsides to debt consolidation, so make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into before agreeing to anything.
Practise healthy money management
Finally, it’s easy to get into a mindset of “well I’m already in debt, a little more won’t hurt”. This is not the case. Once you know you owe money, you should begin practising healthy money management. Things like cooking at home instead of getting a takeaway or putting small amounts away each month for emergencies can prevent going into debt in the future.
Being in debt can be extremely stressful, and while it may feel crushing it’s important to remember that there are plenty of options to explore.