Also known as debt negotiation or settlement, debt reduction is a method used to not only repay creditors but to improve your credit score. You can regain control, even if you have been thrown a financial curve ball and feel overwhelmed. Rising costs, economic downturns and sometimes just overenthusiastic spending can contribute to a mountain of bills that are suffocating. Both companies and consumers feel the financial drain when loans cannot be repaid.
People do not apply for loans with the thought that they will not repay the creditor. But situations arise that may make repayment challenging, if not downright impossible. Financial counselors can help you to reduce the amount of money you owe and to improve your credit rating. You can get help online or contact a free or paid counselor to help you with this task.
First things first, find out what you really owe. Do not just pile statements on a counter top, open them and make a list of everything you owe. Large loans, like mortgages, typically have lower interest rates and are for very long terms, so those should not be addressed yet. Pay particular attention to revolving credit or anything with a very high interest rate.
Use a simple accounting method to list what income you have, what bills you owe and the costs for rent, utilities, food and any other costs you have each month. Any money spent should be listed, even if it is for hobbies.
Look through the list and see what you can do without until you get your finances in order. For example, if you play online games or have expensive hobbies, think about giving them up for a while, until you are in a better financial situation. The money used to pay for extras can be used to pay down high-interest loans, and get you on track sooner.
Each month, pay the normal amounts to all of your creditors. With the money saved from reducing luxuries, along with any extra monthly income you might have, pay extra on the bill with the highest interest rate. When this bill has been paid in full, move on to the next one, with the second highest interest rate.
After cutting back on your cost of living as much as you feel you can, start contacting the creditors to see if you can work out other arrangements to pay them back. Sometimes, they are very understanding and will work with you so they can recover at least part of the money. For example, they may give you a reduction in the total amount owed if you agree to pay a smaller amount in full. Credit card companies may offer an incentive of zero percent financing for a period of time so interest does not accumulate.
If this is too overwhelming to do by yourself, you may want to contact a counselor specializing in personal finances. Whether free or paid, they will work with companies on your behalf to try to come up with an equitable way for the bills to be paid. Creditors like to see that you are serious enough about paying them what you owe, that they may be more likely to offer help to get you back on the right track.
Utilize debt reduction to cut your debts and solve your problems. The key is to have debt management consultant that should help you.