Lower Debt Now
Debt Reduction Tips
If you find yourself drowning in debt, you will likely need to take certain action to reduce debt now (or at least as soon as possible). For instance, if creditors have been calling your house or writing you letters incessantly, you already know how maddening and even upsetting this can be. Rather than avoiding their calls and letters, you need to “face the music” as they say, and you need to do it head on.
The best way to do this is to answer the phone next time they call and to approach them in a polite, reasonable manner. If you show them that you can be reasonable right off the bat, they may be more likely to negotiate with you and work out some kind of a payment plan that is appropriate for your budget. You will also need to request that they send you this renegotiated payment plan in writing. This way you will have a copy for your own files should you ever need to produce it.
Once you and your creditor(s) have established an suitable payment plan that you honestly believe you will be able to manage from month to month, your next step is to stick to that plan come hell or high water. Make sure that paying off that debt is your top financial priority each month.
In addition to negotiating a payment plan with creditors (and then sticking faithfully with that plan), you may also want to consider talking to a financial counselor or advisor, specifically one that knows about getting out of debt and sticking to a budget. Ask around for recommendations. Your friends and family members may know someone locally who is trustworthy and gives sound advice regarding debt and other financial matters.
Most of important of all, from this point forward, make a promise to yourself and those you love to live within your means, and then do everything in your power to keep that promise. All around us, in the media and elsewhere, people are “living large” and spending money conspicuously and lavishly. They may or may not have the means to do so, but know that 99% of the population is not in a position to spend money irresponsibly like that. After a while, living within one’s means actually becomes a source of pride because it is an indication of a mature, responsible approach to spending and it's one of the best ways to reduce debt now and in the future.