Night of the Living Debt
Stay Alert or It Could Come for You
Debt can be a terrifying creature. At first it might not seem that threatening. A few small credit card charges are manageable if you keep track of it. But if you let it go unchecked, it will grow steadily as charge after charge begins to pile up. Let’s say you used your credit card to cover a vet bill for $700. You fully intend to pay that back in a few months. Except your car needs some emergency repairs to the tune of $1,000, which you add to your credit card. Now you owe $1,700, plus interest if you can’t pay the balance right away. That adds up quickly. If you have multiple credit cards and loans, it makes matters even trickier.
You can try to put it in the back of your mind and outrun it, but it will continue its slow march forward. You realize, with horror, you can’t escape.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be devoured by your debt. You can not only face your debt, but triumphantly survive it and live to tell the tale. So arm yourself with a budgeting app and prepare to face your debt.
It’s Not Good… But, It’s Not the Apocalypse!
The first step to taking down your debt is to figure out how much you owe. Start by making a list of your debts, including the creditor, the amount of the debt, interest rate, your monthly payment and due date. Once you have it all in front of you, you can clearly evaluate your situation. Make sure you keep and update your list every few months as well. Your list is a vital and useful tool in confronting your debt and keeping it at bay, in addition to tracking your progress.
Make a Plan
Once you have a list of your debts in front of you, you can come up with your plan of attack. This means it’s time to develop a budget. There is no better way to lay waste to your debt than to effectively manage your financial resources.
Earlier we mentioned arming yourself with a budgeting app. There are a variety of free apps available and they can make budgeting a cinch. Simply download the app of your choice. Most apps will allow you to link your bank accounts, credit cards and loans so you can have a complete picture of your finances. From there, many apps will allow you to create budgets for specific expenses such as $200 for car insurance per month, $50 for internet, $115 for the electricity bill and so on. When you create a budget, you can easily set aside money each month to pay your essentials and bills. Many apps will calculate how much you have to spend based on your income.
By developing a budget, you will know where every dollar is going and you can make sure to cover your debt payments. If you have an emergency, you will know how much you have in the bank, preventing you from taking on more debt. With your budget, you can wrangle your debt into a much more manageable place and keep it subdued.
You can only run for so long. Even if you do, things will only get worse. So, once you have a list of your debts, as well as your budget, the next step in your plan is to fight back. You can do this by making payments… ON TIME. Your debt will only increase with late fees when you miss a payment. If you miss two payments in a row, you may also get bitten by an increase in your interest rates and finance charges.
The best way to avoid missing payments is to set up automatic payments. That’s as easy as logging into your account online or calling your creditor or loan servicer. With automatic payments you don’t have to remember on your own. The payments are automatically taken out of your bank account each month.
If you do happen to miss a payment for some reason, don’t wait until next month to make a payment. Make your payment as soon as possible.
Dead In Its Tracks
Now that you’ve held all your debtors at bay and you’re not being eaten alive, you can take a breather and think more proactively.
If you’re budgeting well, you might have some money left over at the end of each month. There are two things you can do with that extra money: pay down your debt or save. Both of these are the solutions you need to start putting down your debts for good.
Paying down your debt with that extra money not only pays it off faster, but it also means you end up paying less in interest and fees.
Saving helps because you can put aside money for emergencies which can spawn debt. Saving also means you can have money for things like home improvement projects, school or that vacation you’ve been dying to take. Most importantly, saving means you don’t need to take on more debt. Either way, you’re on the attack now and your legion of debt is decreasing in number.
Trap Your Debt
If you try to beat back your debt but find it just doesn’t seem to get any smaller or to stop its relentless advance, it may be time to call for help. Instead of letting your debt tear you apart, let Heights Finance back you up. We offer debt consolidation where you can take out a larger loan to pay your outstanding debts. Your existing debts, which have become a mindless mob with multiple monthly payments, will be turned into one loan with one monthly payment to Heights.* Less monthly payments means it will be easier for you to vanquish your debt.
Face your Debt with Heights Finance
Debt can be monstrous and frightening. It seems to have an unlimited capacity to regenerate and is utterly tireless when it comes to pursuing you. At Heights Finance, we understand just how gruesome it can be. That’s why we have the Money Minute Blog, where we arm you with the know-how to take on all manner of financial ghouls, including debt. It’s also why we’re always available to answer your questions. So, if debt’s got you spooked this Halloween season, don’t hesitate to reach out and call us or visit your friendly, neighborhood branch. We’ve got the firepower (knowledge) to blast through your monetary fears and help empower you to find financial freedom.
So instead of lying awake thinking of debt all night and feeling like a zombie the next day, rest easy. We’re here to help.
*All loans subject to additional terms, limitations and conditions.