Debt can be daunting. Especially when each month you continue to receive bills for rent, car payment, student loans, credit cards, etc. and you don’t know how you’re going to pay it all off. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to help reduce your debt.
First, calculate your debt so you can see what you're up against. To get a precise debt-to-income ratio, divide your total monthly debt payments by your monthly gross income. A ratio of 39% to 50% is high. Anything above that is cause for concern. Remember, too much debt can hurt your credit score.
Now keeping your budget in mind, you should allocate some of your remaining monthly funds toward exceeding your minimum payments. Then, you have a choice to make – which balance do you pay off first? You can start by paying off the debt with the lowest balance, which will give you a sense of accomplishment, or by paying off the debt with the highest interest rate to save money. Once you’ve made your decision, start making the payments. Once you pay off one balance, add that payment amount to the next item.
Paying bills on time is essential. Some creditors charge daily interest. So, if you pay them early, you can save a lot of money. That method also makes sure that your bills are paid before the money gets spent in other places.
Managing your debt is a lot easier than you think. Calculate your debt-to-income ratio and then systemically begin to attack it.