Has debt got you down? It might be more than your imagination! According to The Huffington Post, people in debt are three times more likely to experience health problems. If collection agencies are blowing up your phone, you might feel a bit helpless about your debt. But you have more power than you realize. Let’s look at some debt solutions you can try ASAP.
6 Debt Solutions for Every Type of Debt Problem
First – Give Yourself an Attitude Adjustment
Are you depressed about your debt? Depending on how bad the situation is, this is only normal. While it might not seem like a debt solution, you’ve got to change that attitude first. Getting out of debt is hard work, and while it’s natural to have a wide range of feelings about debt, those emotions aren’t the most helpful guides.
These next steps take some guts. So remind yourself of your fantastic qualities.
Start by considering what life without debt looks like (a vision board is a great exercise for this!). It doesn’t have to mean an elaborate vacation. It can be as simple as getting the mail without that sinking feeling that it’s full of bills.
Control Those Harassing Calls
Meanwhile, are collection agencies calling you day and night? Then hang tight to that positive attitude. These people receive training to use words that manipulate you. According to the Federal Trade Commission, collection agencies must abide by these laws.
Collections Callers May Not:
- Call before 8:00 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Call your place of employment once asked to stop (Send a certified letter.)
- Harass you or lie to collect the debt
Don't Avoid them – Take the Driver’s Seat
Don't avoid creditors – this only makes things worse and compounds your anxiety. Ask creditors to mail a “validation notice” with all the information about what you owe. Once you have that information, take control of the situation.
Make a plan
Create a powerful debt payoff strategy….Or at the very least, look at your budget, and make a plan stating what you can pay and how often. Then call the collection agency and share that plan with them.
Get the company to agree to your terms and put it into writing. You may need to negotiate, but never agree to send more than you can afford. Ask for a copy of the agreement. Without that agreement in place, companies can still sue you. (Yes, even if you are sending regular payments.) So do your best to negotiate with them.
If this makes you nervous, you can work with a debt management company to negotiate with creditors on your behalf.
Other ways to create a manageable debt repayment plan:
- Look into balance transfer cards to lower interest rates to 0% for awhile until you get your head above water. We like these CreditSoup® Balance Transfer Cards for their competitive 0% rates.
- Create an aggressive payoff plan on your own.
- Consider a debt consolidation loan with a company like Upstart.
Tallying up all the debt you owe may seem overwhelming. But it’s important to know what you’re up against.
Focus, Focus, Focus on Your Chosen Debt Solutions
Once you have your list of debts, choose one to focus on first. Some say to start with the smallest debt for a quick win. Others say to knock out the one with the highest interest rate.
But I suggest choosing the one with the biggest motivation factor for you. If you owe money to family and wish you could enjoy Thanksgiving pie in peace again, start there. If one credit card is such a nuisance that you’ve nicknamed it “the Soul Sucking Scumbag”, you’ll want to put that first.
Focus on one debt while you tread water with the others, and your brain is more likely to accept this new habit.
Make Some Cuts (Some of them Will be Painful)
If you want a big result, you’ve got to make a big change. Can you take on a part time job for a while? Consider downsizing your home or car. Do you have big items you can sell? I know how much you love those things, but do you love them more than the peace of debt freedom? Only you can decide that. Remember, you can replace things. And buying a new one will feel sweeter with cash.
Finally – Find Your People (and lean on them!)
Finally, few of us can handle getting out of debt on our own.
Kick off your debt plan by finding people whose money management style you admire. Read books, listen to podcasts, and subscribe to blogs that inspire you to pay down debt. Changing the way you think about money doesn’t happen overnight. But catching an “aha” moment from someone who’s been there might be just the inspiration you need. Read our editor Lauren's inspirational story of how she paid off $8,000 of debt in just 90 days.
These debt solutions will help you regain a sense of control over your debt problems.
With a plan in place, you’re ready for debt freedom!