Debt seems to have become the buzz word in today’s world. We can’t blame it on people. After all it’s human to fall for it. However, it surely isn’t good for you. If you have fallen into a debt trap, you can take comfort from the fact that you are not the only one. Getting out of debt trap is not impossible either. You just need to have some patience and exercise restraint on the bad spending habits that you have developed over a period of time (assuming that the debt has not resulted due to some difficult circumstances).
Analyze the situation properly and prepare a strategy for debt elimination. Here is a list which you could reference to pave the path to debt elimination:
1. Controlled spending: The first thing to do is prevent the situation from getting worse i.e. stop the debt from growing further. So exercise control and try and remain within 70% of your credit limit. You might also resort to spending cash instead of plastic, just as a control mechanism.
2. Consolidation: Debt consolidation is another instrument which is very much in use as an important step towards debt elimination. This involves switching over to a new credit card which has a lower APR. However, if you intend to keep spending like mad, this will result in a debt trap and will not help you at all.
3. Negotiate: You might as well talk to your existing credit card company about the situation and check if they are able to help by reducing the APR for a period of time. This does work sometimes because these companies too want to retain their customers.
4. Pay off some debt: If you have some cash handy, you might as well pay off some debt, especially the one that is on higher APR credit cards.
5. Seek professional advice: If you are not able to find the way out by yourself, you should take professional advice. There are consultants who would not only give advice but also detail you about what offers are available in the market and which suit you the best.
6. Resist offers: Credit card companies keep putting up new offers to lure more customers. These could range from getting a discount if you shop with them, a free gift etc. Do not fall for such offers. Just treat them as ‘Not for me’, because these are really not for you until you come out of your current debt. These are more to induce spending than anything else. Moreover, this will just add to the annual fees that you pay on your credit cards.
7. Reduce the number of credit cards: If you have a large number of credit cards, you will always be tempted to using one or the other till the credit limit is reached on them. This creates a debt trap. So, if you can, then close off some of your credit card accounts.
The key to debt elimination, however, lies in ‘Restraint’. If you are able to control your spending then you are already moving in the right direction.