Is debt making you sick? If so, there are several ways too cope and gain control of the situation. Too much debt can destroy your credit, and creditors may call several times a day if you're behind on payments. You may deal with headaches, insomnia and stomach pain. But debt problems don't have to control your emotions or dictate your physical health. So, is debt making you sick? Here are seven ways to cope.
Table of contents:
- get rid of credit cards
- start living by a budget
- start looking for other ways to earn money
- get professional help
- pay more than the minimum
- vent and get frustrations off your chest
- don't expect overnight results
1 Get Rid of Credit Cards
Is debt making you sick? If so, you need a plan. Start by getting rid of your credit cards. Plastic probably contributed to your debt problems. Cut the cards in half or remove them from your wallet. Consider canceling accounts you don't use. But don't cancel your oldest accounts. This can reduce the length of your credit history, and it might reduce your credit score.
2 Start Living by a Budget
If you don't have a budget, there's a good chance you're overspending each month. A budget may sound restrictive, but it's an excellent tool for getting rid of debt and staying ahead financially. Every week or month, determine how much you're able to spend on housing, food, transportation and miscellaneous expenses. Only spend what you designate for each category and nothing more. If you can stick to a budget, you'll probably have enough cash to pay bills, thus alleviating the need to use a credit card.
3 Start Looking for Other Ways to Earn Money
Sometimes, our income isn't enough to pay off debt. If this applies to you, you need to get creative and think of other ways to generate cash. Getting a part-time job or starting a side business can help. Sure, you'll sacrifice time and energy. But if you're able to pay off debt and improve your physical and emotional health, it's worth the sacrifice.
4 Get Professional Help
If you can't handle debt by yourself, get professional help. Contact a non-profit credit or debt counseling agency. These professionals can review your debt and customize a plan based on your unique situation. You might receive a lower interest rate and lower payments, and pay off your debt years sooner.
5 Pay More than the Minimum
You're not going to get out of debt by only paying the minimum -- at least not quickly. The minimum payment is designed to keep you enslaved to the credit card company. Not only should you stop using the card, start doubling or tripling your minimum payments. Drop lump sums to put a dent in balances and reduce interest charges.
6 Vent and Get Frustrations off Your Chest
Speak with a relative, your spouse or a trusted friend and vent about your debt situation. Venting can be therapeutic, and the person you're speaking with might be able to offer helpful advice or tips.
7 Don't Expect Overnight Results
Debt repayment can be a long process, depending on how much you owe. So don't expect overnight results, and don't give up just because your balances aren't dropping fast enough. It's a gradual process. Stick with your plan and you'll eventually make headway.
Getting out of debt not only improves your emotional health, it can raise your credit score and help you qualify for better interest rates in the future. What are other ways to cope if debt is making you sick?
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