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According to Debt.org, the U.S is drowning in debt. After the recession, America’s economy turned ugly, resulting in people with debt sinking into the depths.
Although the country’s economy is slowly rebuilding itself, many Americans are still struggling to pay off all their debts. Many are tired of the never-ending cycle of debt they fall prey upon. Combine this with continuously rising cost of living, and you’ll get adults who are more likely prone to a decline in their mental health.
If you’re one of these people, you must understand how crucial it is for debt to be settled as soon as possible. With interest piling up each month, it will start to look like you are still far away from ultimately fulfilling your duties.
Managing your finances is stressful enough. Adding debt to it only makes it a much harder challenge. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. There are quite a lot of existing strategies that lessen the burden of managing your debt.
Different Debt Repayment Strategies
Here are some proven debt-management strategies you can use;
Debt Snowball Method
A popular strategy for paying off debt is called the Debt Snowball Method. It is a debt reduction strategy that gives you an order of paying off debts from the smallest to the largest, pushing you into motion. By paying off the smallest debt and getting rid of it first, the money you used to pay for it can go to your next smallest debt.
To do this method, you must first list all of your debts, starting from the smallest to the largest. Pay off as much as you can on your smallest debt while paying the minimum on the others. This is to ensure that while you’re working hard to pay the smallest debt, you still won’t get into trouble with the bank or lenders. Once you’ve finished with the smallest balance, repeat the process once more and let the momentum do the work.
However, it is essential to remember that this strategy might take longer than debt consolidation loans and debt relief options. It’s costlier, too. It’s a strategy that engages you to work eliminate debt, but it will take more time and money compared to other options.
Debt Avalanche Method
Another option is the Debt Avalanche method. Although they use almost the same icy metaphors on their name, the repayment styles are very distinct from each other. A Debt Avalanche is a type of enhanced debt repayment plan that allows borrowers to pay off each balance’s minimum and dedicate the rest of the money to the balance with the highest interest rate. With the seemingly similar elimination process, it is no wonder the two get sometimes mixed up and confused with each other.
It takes real discipline to be able to stick to this method. Because of the uncertainty of life where emergencies happen from time to time, some people revert to paying only the minimum on all balances. Financial experts recommend that before trying out this method, save for an emergency fund for six-months.
If you think this kind of method is too hard, you can consider a debt consolidation strategy. This kind of approach combines all of your debt and allows you to pay it in a single payment.
You take out a new loan to finance all of your debts, and in turn, pay that debt instead. However, you must know that this method extends the lifespans of the loans you’ve taken. Meaning, you might stay in debt longer than before you’ve consolidated all your debts.
Debt settlements are also another way of paying off your loans. This service is usually done by third-party companies that will try to lessen your debt by settling a negotiation with banks or lenders.
This method is prone to risk, unfortunately, as some companies could potentially leave you with higher debt and take your money away. This kind of debt relief scam is very prominent and popular with desperate borrowers.
That doesn’t mean it’s just a scam to entice people. Some debt settlers could lower the amount of debt you have and help you avoid being bankrupt or chased off by collectors. Still, the benefits do not outweigh the risks, and it is a strategy you must be careful about treading.
Spend Less, Save More
The most important strategy, however, is keeping your spending in check. You need as much money as you can get a hold of to pay your debts faster and still answer expenses for your everyday needs. Learn how to budget appropriately, save where you can, and spend less on items you do not need.
Debt is a challenging affair to handle, that much is true. Every day, more and more Americans suffer as their debts keep on piling up. Fortunately, some strategies can help you manage and pay off your debt. What you need most is the discipline to make through the approach you decide to follow and make yourself debt-free faster.