Debt Consolidation Specialists Recommend Balance Transfers
If you’re trying to get out of debt, you might be unsure of the best way to approach your problem. Not only that, but confronting your debt can be scary.
Luckily, debt reduction and consolidation experts have plenty of advice to help you out, so you’re not in it alone. A guide recently published by Allstate Debt Consolidation aims to guide folks in the process of paying off debt and starting over with a clean slate.
The first step to getting out of debt, according to the guide, is to mentally prepare yourself for a few lifestyle changes. Cutting your spending is one of the keys to getting out of debt. You’ll need to stop charging purchases to cards you’re trying to pay off, if you haven’t already done so.
The next thing to do is write down everything you owe, along with the interest rates you’re paying on each debt. That way you have a clear idea of how much you’ve got to pay off.
Next, you’ll want to make a budget. Write down what you absolutely need to spend money on: rent or mortgage, groceries, gas, car insurance, etc. Then write down what you’d like to have money for: going out to eat, taking vacations, buying new clothes, and things like that. Look at how much that adds up to and compare it with how much money you have at your disposal. If the numbers don’t match up, decide where you can cut.
Once you’ve got a budget going and you know how much debt you’ve got, you can decide how you’ll tackle it. A great thing to do is apply for a balance transfer credit card, which will allow you to pay down your debt without accruing any more interest. If you’ve got debt on more than one credit card, transfer the balance with the highest APR first. Find a card that gives you a nice long window with 0% interest on your balance.
Keep in mind that once you’ve transferred that balance to your card, you don’t want to use the card for purchases until the initial amount transferred is completely paid off. Also, you want to make sure you pay the minimum due before the due date each month. A late payment can cause you to lose your 0% APR before the promotion expires.
In addition to transferring your balance, think about bringing in more income by selling things you no longer need, getting a second job, or asking for a raise at your current job. The most important thing is to hang in there and know that you can pay off your debt, with time and patience.