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DIY ways out of debt

Jan - 8 - 2013


Being in debt is a common problem in today’s society. The trouble is that credit is made so freely available that it’s all too easy to have a number of credit cards as well as overdraft facilities at the bank. If you aren’t really strict with yourself about how you budget, debts can easily get out of control.

If you live beyond your means, it stands to reason that your debts will stack up. The easy way to avoid getting into debt is by not buying on credit and only making purchases when you can afford to pay for them straightaway. However, life’s not that simple for most people and the flexibility that credit cards give you make it easier to make large purchases and pay them off later. The trouble comes when you don’t do the paying off part!

If you have managed to avoid getting into difficulty with debt so far, then you don’t need to change what you’re doing. One useful piece of advice is to set up a facility from your bank account so that any credit card payments are made in full and automatically, and then you can continue to use the credit facility without incurring any interest charges.

However, if you are in debt, no matter how bad your debt situation seems, there will be a solution, so you shouldn’t feel too despondent. The important thing is to take some positive action towards better credit management.

Each minimum payment on a credit card bill that is missed means more interest to be paid, and you may receive penalty charges as well. If you can’t cope with the administrative hassle of being in debt, it may be wise to go through a debt management company. Although this will increase your costs, it can take off the pressure of having to deal with creditors directly.

There are some things that you can do to avoid your debts getting any worse:

  • Destroy your credit cards to stop yourself using them. When you are debt-free, you can decide whether to get another credit card.
  • Ask a friend or relative for help with budgeting if you can’t management your household expenses. Sometimes it’s good to have a second pair of eyes looking at your situation – they may see things more clearly than the person who is dealing with the stress of unpaid bills.
  • Get the best deals on utilities, telecoms and other regular household bills like insurance. You may even consider switching your mortgage if you can find a better deal.
  • Go cold turkey on any luxuries like gym memberships, magazine subscriptions, nights out and holidays. This may be tough, but until you are back in credit, you can’t justify spending on things you don’t actually need.

The path away from debt may be a long and hard one, but it’s well worth the effort to get back into credit, no matter how long it takes.

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