Having to decrease your debt is an unenviable task, and with the economy looking the way it is for 2017, it is unlikely that the government or the Bank of England are going to be able to give us any good news to help. You can use companies like CMC markets to manage some of your money online, but looking to the future can be incredibly hard for people that are still trying to recover from debt they may have acquired in harder times, or even trying to set up there own company to invest for their future.
There are, however, a few ingenious ways you can decrease your debt for 2017.
Look at paying off your debts by interest rate
There is always an element when you have a lot of debt that makes you feel like you are ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’, but having a set structure to your debt repayments really is an ingenious way to decrease debt. If you are meeting all of your minimum payments, you may find that you are able to afford a little more each month towards your debt when you get a bit better off.
If this happens, you can save yourself money by listing your debt by interest rate and paying off the highest one first.
Create yourself a personal budget
Sometimes, you don’t realize how much you are really spending until you sit and write it all down. Once you work things out, you may be able to free up a lot more money to pay off more of your debts. The ingenious thing about this is, it will be the smallest of adjustments that end up saving you big time at the end of the months. Look at the smaller things you do not even think about. The morning coffee on the way to work. Lunches. Foods that just sit in the fridge until they are thrown. That bundle of newspapers you buy ever Saturday morning and never read. All of these things add up and could go towards a debt-free 2017.
Look into balance transfers
Due to needing to entice people in at a time when the economy is struggling, there are many credit cards who offer 0% balance transfers. Although transferring debt to other debt is not generally advised, if you are sensible and you know you can meet the payments and stay on an even keel, there is no reason you shouldn’t take advantage of this offer.
Remember to shop around, and ensure that you read all of the finer print to make sure the balance transfer offer isn’t hidden in among any hidden charges that may not be obvious when you sign up for the card.
Consolidating your debt can either mean one of two things: getting a further loan or using a debt management company. If you are already in quite bad credit, then a debt management agency may be the only option available to you.
If not, you can get a loan and pay off all of your debts. The great thing about this one is that clearing near enough all of your debt in one go will actually have quite a big impact on your credit rating. This should help you further down the line if you ever need to get a mortgage or a small business loan.
Check your credit rating and look for errors
Most of us just go through life accepting what the credit agencies say about us on their files and presuming it’s our fault for not keeping up with payments. This isn’t always the case. Sometimes there can be genuine errors on your credit file which affect your credit rating. Getting a copy of your current credit file through Equifax or Experian should be the starting point for anyone looking to clear their debt.
Not only could you find errors, but you could find something that hasn’t been communicated to you as a consumer, in which case you would have a right to complain to the company and possibly even get some charges back. We all remember when Wonga sent out letters that were not factual to customers and had to pay them for the inconvenience. This is just one company that was caught out and had to pay the price. There could be others no one knows about.
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