You have two options for tackling debt:
- Do it yourself with debt consolidation, targeted payment strategies and better budgeting.
- Seek debt relief through options such as a debt management plan or bankruptcy.
Diagnose your situation, choose a strategy and execute it using this four-step process:
See what you owe
Focus on higher-interest debts, the kinds most likely to cause worry: credit cards, medical debt, payday loans. Your mortgage, student loans and car loan tend to have lower, often fixed, interest rates.
Assess cash flow and credit
You need to figure out how much money you can put toward debt after paying living expenses. Get a handle on your minimum monthly obligations. Next, get your free credit score. Your available cash flow and credit score will determine your options for debt payoff.
Pick a path that works
The amount and type of debt you have will help pinpoint a strategy. Options include do-it-yourself methods, a debt-management plan or bankruptcy.
Track your progress
Watch as your debt dwindles, and celebrate your victories along the way. You are changing your financial future.