Have you made the big decision to tackle your credit card debt? Great decision. Now, what – do you do it yourself? Or, do you go to a credit counselling agency and let them handle it for you?
I think that under most circumstances, you should do it yourself. Here’s why:
1. You’ll gain tremendous knowledge by managing your own program. The insight you gain as you develop your organization, research and follow-up skills may actually prevent you from creating the problem again. Many times when people find themselves facing the same problem over and over, it’s because they haven’t personally identified with their actions. Managing your debt-elimination program will bring you face-to-face with your actions and your responsibility.
2. You’ll save money. Credit counselling companies typically charge 6 to 15% of your monthly payment. You could use that money to pay down your credit card debt.
3. You could get a similar or better interest rate by negotiating with the credit card companies yourself. Credit counseling companies have a conflict of interest. They also get payments from credit card companies for collecting the debt from you. This could hamper their ability to get the best deal for you.
4. You’ll know, first-hand, what’s happening with your program. You won’t have to call the credit counselor handling your account to find out the status of your account.
5. You’ll get satisfaction as you actually participate and watch your credit card balances drop while your credit score goes up.
The decision you make by deciding to personally manage your credit card debt will be a powerful investment in your financial future.
How Do You Know If You Need Help Getting Out Of Debt
Ask yourself these questions. Do you have more than one month’s income on your credit card bills? Is the total amount of unsecured loans more than your ability to repay them within a few months? Have you consistently rolled over your credit card or credit line bills? Have you defaulted on your credit card bill payment more than once in the past one year? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, you do need help in managing your finances and to get out of debt.
If you have grown wary of answering your telephone calls or to check your mailbox for fear of hearing from your creditors, then you need to read on.
The first thing to do is to stop and take stock of your situation. Then work out a realistic plan for debt repayment as well as for meeting life’s basic necessities. By this, I mean to work out a workable budget for both debt repayments as well as for recurring expenditure like gas, groceries, utilities and telephone bills.
Do not fall into despair. You will need all the energy you can muster to tackle your financial problems. Be reassured because there are many creditors who would want to work on a win-win solution in order to recoup their money. You just need to be realistic and sincere in repaying your debt to them. Stay away from the temptation of taking up a payday loan. It is only a temporary patch up and it is not a solution. Payday loans will often lead to more problems later when you are forced to default on repayment or to roll over the balance amount.
Start Paying off Your Debt
Make sure that you pay more than the minimum payment each month. That way, you can reduce your outstanding amount rather than just simply paying the interest on your debt.
Cut down on your expenses and whatever you save should be put into paying off your debt. Sell off your belongings to generate spare cash, especially those that are not absolutely necessary and then use the money to pay off your debts. You must start to live frugally. Avoid lavish spending as this can only add to the existing debt you have. Unfortunately, lavish spending is common for people who seek to mask their financial problems. If you think you have a problem, it is really best to seek professional help.
Seek to consolidate all of your debts into a single debt through a debt consolidator or debt counselor. This will often have a lower interest rate and thus bring down your total debt payable.
The most important tool that you will need is your own determination and discipline. If necessary, get the support of your spouse or family. You have to understand that this is a serious problem, which will affect your life.