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Common Types of Debt and What to Do About Them

There are different types of debt and even though you may have one or more of these debts, you are able to get out of them. You need to be able to take control of your debts and pay them off. Here is how you can tackle the different types of debt.

Credit Cards

You need to take stock of all your credit card debt and write down exactly what you owe as well as the interest rate on each card.

You should contact each of your credit card issuers and explain to them why you are not able to repay the amount that you owe and inform them of what you can afford and see if they are willing to agree to a lower amount. You might also be able to negotiate a lower interest rate for each card.

Once, you know what you owe, you need to calculate how long it is going to take you to pay everything.

This will help you to know the amount that you will need to repay each month and you will have a set goal of when your debt will be paid.

You should arrange your credit cards from the highest interest rate to the lowest and pay them like this.

You should aim to pay more than the minimum amount, but if you are on a tight budget then pay the minimum each month and try and make the same payment a couple of weeks later. Making the minimum payment twice a month until your debt has been paid.

As you are paying off your credit card debt, you should avoid creating anymore debt. You need to look at your expenses, create a budget and stick to it.

Medical Bills

Medical bills can be highly expensive and they can add up quickly. Medical debt can be hard to handle and you will usually not be in a position to turn down the care even if you can’t afford it.

The first thing that you should do is check your medical bills for any errors and that you actually did use all the services they are charging you for. You can also negotiate on your medical bills.

Also, see if they are willing to set up a repayment plan with you at a rate that you are able to afford.

Wait…There are a couple more types of debt…

Mortgage

There are ways you can reduce your mortgage and save money. When you put in the effort to pay off your mortgage early, you will own your house, which means no one can take it from you and you will be able to free up some extra money.

When you refinance your mortgage, you can decrease the interest rate that you are paying, which will then help you to save on your mortgage.

It might be a good idea to extend the timeline of your loan, which may sound counterproductive but the amount that you need to pay each month is lowered. You can also still pay the original amount on the lower plan as this will help you to pay it off quicker.

You should try and make a plan to repay your mortgage as quickly as possible at a rate you can afford.

Student Loans

Education debt is becoming more and more common, but there are ways that you are able to reduce student loans.

Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievements or on a financial need. You could apply for various scholarships and even if you are awarded various scholarships for smaller amounts, it is still money that you don’t need to generate debt for.

A grant is similar to a scholarship, but these are usually awarded by the government or organizations.

It might be an idea to work part time jobs and use your earnings to help pay for your education, so that you can reduce the amount that you need to borrow. You could also work before heading to university and save the money you earn to pay for your education and avoid borrowing money altogether.

You should see if your lending company is willing to work out a repayment plan with you, once you have a job and are earning an income. They might be willing to reduce the amount that you owe or plan the repayments around your current level of income.

Student loans are tricky because you might not have been aware of what you are getting yourself into before you took the debt on. You will need to create a budget, so you can pay more towards the debt or make multiple payments a month so that you can pay your student loan off ASAP.

With debt, you will need to do a lot of thinking and understand that you will have a lot of work ahead of you. You need to understand all the consequences of your debt, especially, before you declare bankruptcy or settle your debt. It is a good idea to seek the help of a financial advisor and find out what they recommend.

Debt can be stressful and dealing with debt can feel overwhelming, but you can’t ignore your situation. You will need to deal with your debt and speak to your creditors to see if you can come to an arrangement, so you can pay off the debt.

 

What Causes Debt and How to Get Out of Debt

Debt is a serious issue and many of us are in debt for one reason or another. Here is a look at the most common reasons why people go into debt, what causes debt and how to get out of debt.

What Causes Debt?

Smaller Income but the Same Expenses

We are often slow at bringing our expenses in line with a reduction in income, which means we allow debt to come into play. If you are faced with a reduction in salary then you need to adjust, whether it is a temporary shift or a permanent one.

Divorce

Divorce is unfortunately common, but what many people don’t realise is that it can be expensive. There are legal fees that need to be paid and you and your spouse will be paying for assets to buy the spouse out.

Not Being Able to Manage Money

You must have a monthly spending plan in place. If you don’t have one then you will have no idea where your money is going. You may discover that you are paying for things that are not necessary, which can lead you to charge other items on your credit card. All you need to do is write down your expenses and income and bring these in line with one another. It is about making thoughtful decisions about how and when to spend your money.

Underemployment

If you find yourself unemployed for any reason then make sure you put your expenses in line with what your current income is. If your income increases in the future due to more hours, a second job or even a better job, then you can slowly start adding in the expenses that you got rid of when you became unemployed. However, make sure everything balances.

Hitting the Casinos

Gambling is a major concern and now with online gambling, it is so much easier to spend your money. Gambling is addictive and you are not a managed gambler then you can easily see all your money disappearing. Also, credit and loans are freely available from casinos and other places.

Wait…There are more causes you need to know…

Paying Medical Expenses

This is a common cause of debt for many people due to gaps in coverage, expensive alternatives and lapsed policies. Many people are not able to cover a medical expense without the use of a credit card, which means you will end up in debt.

You Are Not Saving Any Money

One way that you are able to avoid unwanted debt is to prepare for any unexpected expense by saving at least 6 months of living expenses. If anything happens, the financial strain won’t take effect immediately and you won’t end up in more debt then you have to be.

You Need to Communicate About Money

You need to communicate to your spouse or partner as well as your children about finances. You need to be able to discuss financial goals and spending styles. Be open and honest about any debt that you may have and be honest about what you are spending.

Hoping on Windfalls

It can be tempting to spend money that you expect before you even have it. You may definitely get a job bonus, but something like an inheritance is not a sure thing. You should only spend the money when you have it.

Financial Literacy

Many people don’t know how money works, how it grows, how to save and invest and so on. You need to be responsible with your money and educate yourself in money matters. A financial mistake can be expensive and complicated to fix.

How to Get Out of Debt

If you are in debt, there is something you can do about it. Here are effective ways to get out of debt.

Pay More Than the Minimum

You should always make sure that you pay more than the minimum payments. If you only pay the minimum then it can take forever to pay off your credit card. You should rather pay as much as you are able to afford. Also, by paying off your balance quicker, you will save in the long run on interest.

Spend Less Than What You Plan to Spend

We all have wants that are larger than our pay cheques and many people end up in debt because they just spend money frivolously on just what they want. If you do want something then you shouldn’t buy it unless you have the money. You need to become satisfied with less and rather use any money that you save to pay down debt that you may already have.

Pay the Most Expensive Debt First

A great way to get out of debt is to make the minimum payment on all your debts apart from one. You should choose a debt that is charging you the most interest and focus on paying that debt off first. Once this is paid off, take the money that you were paying for this debt and use to pay off the next most expensive debt. You should carry on doing this until your last debt.

Spend Less on Groceries

One way to save money is to stock up on groceries that are on sale or you can stockpile sale items and then skip a shop every month and only use the food that you have. Non-perishables can be stocked piled and you are able to freeze meat and bread, for instance. Filling your cupboards with groceries that are on sale and then skipping a shop can save you money. You may still need to buy items like milk, vegetables and fruit, but you can skip the rest. Think of ways you can reduce your grocery bill and save money that can be used to help pay off debts.

Take a Second Job

Getting a second shop or picking up some extra shifts is a common way for people to pay down debts. All the extra income that you receive from your second job, should be used only for the purpose of paying debt. Once, your debts are paid, you can scale back on the work if you want to.

Track Your Spending

This can help some people save a lot of money. You should track what you are spending and not just think what you are spending in a month. You need to be completely honest in order for this to work. Many people are surprised by what they spend money on. Once, you know what you are spending you are able to see where you can make cutbacks and the money that you find can be used to pay off debt.

There are a still a few more ways you can get out of debt…

A Consolidation Loan

You should find out if your bank is able to help with the consolidation of your debts and put them into one loan that has just one payment with a lower interest rate. This can make it easier for you to pay off your debts. However, a debt consolidation loan will only help if you create a budget where you are able to save some money each month. If you do not have savings then you may find that you have to reapply for credit cards and you will just end up in debt again.

Refinance Your Mortgage

If you own your home then you may have enough equity in your home to consolidate your debts into your mortgage. However, before you do this, you should know all your options and get independent advice. If you do choose to consolidate your debts into your mortgage then you need to make sure you can still save so you are not tempted to borrow money for any unexpected expenses.

Get in Touch with a Credit Counsellor

If you are deep in debt and feel like bankruptcy is your only option then you should speak to a credit counsellor. A credit counsellor will have programs to help you deal with debt and will explain all your options so that you can choose the best one for you.

Have a Spending Plan

You should create a budget so that you stay on track with your current debt payments. A budget will help you to spend less than what you earn.

There are a number of ways that can help you to get out of debt and it is all about using the money that you have in a sensible way, so you are able to free up some money to help pay off debts. You need to be financially smart and seek advice if you are struggling so you can tackle your debt and become debt free.