A lot of people on the Internet think they have the ultimate solution for how to deal with debt. Some of these strategies are inherently more effective than other. But then there are also things that just don’t work well at all. Here are some “right” and “wrong” ways to get out of debt.
Good Way: Use a Debt Repayment Strategy
There’s lots of advice out there for what’s the best way to pay down your debt. Two of the most popular methods are the Snowball and Avalanche approaches. These both have consumers pay off one debt at a time. The Snowball has you go after the lowest balance first, while the Avalanche is about eliminating the highest interest rate balances first.
While both can be used effectively, Harvard Business Review found the Snowball actually gets people out of debt faster. This is because the psychological benefit of those early wins can inspire you to keep going.
Bad Way: Approach Your Debt with No Plan
You can get out of debt by using the Snowball, Avalanche, or even another method. But you’re going to struggle with debt if you don’t employ any kind of plan at all. Without any method to your approach, you’ll end up right back at square one.
Good Way: Ask for Help When You Need It
A lot of people try to do everything on their own. They feel ashamed of their debt, and feel they need to figure their own way out of it. There’s nothing wrong with you because you’re in debt. In fact, the average household is estimated to have over $10,000 in credit card debt. Lots of people are in the same boat.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to credit counseling agencies or family members for advice. These resources can potentially steer you in the right direction for beating your debt.
And if you start to fear your only way out is bankruptcy, investigate getting help from a debt relief agency first. Freedom Debt Relief reviews show they’re a highly reliable organization for helping consumers inundated with unsecured debt. The strategy here involves depositing a certain amount of money each month into a special account until you have enough to negotiate with creditors. The goal is to reach a lower settlement than what you currently owe.
Bad Way: Try to Do Everything Alone
Going at it alone might feel like the right thing to do. But it’s ultimately going to be a lot harder to get out of debt if you don’t employ the help of people and organizations around you. Any amount of outside help is better than nothing at all.
Good Way: Budgeting and Making Lifestyle Changes
There’s a lot of advice ot there when it comes to getting out of debt. If you want to dedicate more money toward paying down what you owe, it’s important for you to take a hard look at your lifestyle and decide where you can make changes. Making a budget is one of the first steps to this.
Many approaches work for budgeting. But they all need to include an accurate depiction of your income and expenses. Once you have this, you can see where your money’s going right now and make changes.
You can also look around to see where you might be able to generate a little bit of extra income. This could come in the form of doing a bit more work on the side. Or, you could simply sell some items that you’re not utilizing. Either way, you can take a chunk out of your debt by doing this.
Bad Way: Assuming You’ll Just Figure Things Out
While this can work in some areas of your life, it’s dangerous to just think things are going to figure themselves out when it comes to debt. Major debt requires an answer. There’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for this. But doing nothing isn’t going to get the job done.
No one wants to be in debt forever. Choosing optimal strategies can help you get out of debt sooner.