Useful tips to manage debt

“Like almost everyone who uses e-mail, I receive a ton of spam every day. Much of it offers to help me get out of debt or get rich quick. It would be funny if it weren’t so exciting.”– Bill Gates.

Stung by the ever increasing inflation, rising taxes, mounting bills and debt payments? Well, you will just have to learn to live with the first three, but the last problem can be tackled with a comparative ease. Here are few tremendously useful tips to manage debt!

  • Few ways to rein in debt:
  • 1. Get a clear-cut idea of how much do you owe to all of your creditors. Having a detailed list will be great.
  • 2. Make it a point to pay the monthly EMIs on time, pay at least the minimum amount to prevent debt from surging.
  • 3. Prioritize your debts, preferably on the basis of interest rate.
  • 4. Have a monthly budget and an emergency bail-out fund.

Start by knowing how much you owe
The first step in managing debt is to be aware of exactly how much you owe in the first place. Enlist all your debts, total amount due, creditors, monthly EMIs, due date and everything else thats relevant. Your credit report will prove to be helpful in chalking out the requisite information.

Compile a detailed list of your own and have it in black and white. It’s best to update it every month as and when you make payments.

Make payments on time
Save yourself agony by making debt payments on time every month. Failing to do so will only attract a late fee and add to your woes. If you miss a couple of payments, be ready for enhanced financial charges and interest rates.

Having a bill payment calendar on your computer, laptop or smartphone will help in keeping things straight. Set a reminder so that you do not miss out on any one of the payments. If you still end up doing that, make the due payment at the earliest possible to avert the miss getting reported to the credit bureau.

Prioritize debts
Prioritize debts on the basis of interest rate. Credit card debts tend to have the highest interest rate, so they need to be on the top of the list. If needed, talk to your creditors while planning out a schedule.

Keep an emergency fund
Things can sometimes turn real nasty, so having an emergency fund is an absolutely must. Begin with a small sum, anything substantial will do. Build upon it as time progresses. In addition, have a monthly budget and list every single expense in it, howsoever small it may be. This will help you maintain a tight leash on your debts.

Remember, a small step is all what you need at times. Do not despair and hope for the best. Things will start moving in the right direction for sure.