There are really so many ways to try to reduce your debts, whether credit card, student loans, medical, or other bills. Unfortunately, much of what you will read on the internet or hear from so called “professionals” tends to be “scammish” or “quick fixes” that rarely if ever work. The truth is that paying down or off your debts takes commitment, discipline, time, and hard work.
There are really 3 basic financial literacy tools or skills that will help you get out of debt. They are (1) spend less, (2) increase your income (even from short term jobs) and (3) use a free non-profit credit counseling agency program such as negotiation with creditors or services like a debt management plan (DMP). Those are some ways to get assistance. Learn more on the process as well as get free guidance in how to best pay down your debts. Find more information below.
Non-profits for free debt help and financial literacy assistance
We strongly feel this is the best option. Not only can a free non-profit organization help you tackle all sorts of debts (credit card, personal loans, student or auto debt, medical, etc.), but at the same time they provide free advice on a number of other topics. There are hundreds of local as well as national non-profit organizations to turn to for help. They will even make sure that clients focus on paying off the right bills, as there is a difference between bad and good debt.
Almost all non-profits will give free assistance to low to moderate income families and those people living in poverty, which often includes single moms and other vulnerable groups. Other clients may need to pay a small fee for their services. Only use a non-profit that is certified/approved by the United States Department of Justice as they have been screened for quality as well as pricing.
The overall financial literacy help from non-profit credit counseling agencies may include some or all of the following. They of course help clients reduce their debts; offer budgeting advice; consolidation loans as well as debt settlement programs; home buying help; assist with filing bankruptcy; help improve credit; assist with student loans; negotiate with creditors and more. In effect, a wide range of financial literacy services are offered to help clients achieve both short as well as long term stability and of course help reduce their debts. Continue with non-profit credit counseling agencies.
Spend less to reduce your debts
This is all about budgeting, living within your means, and spending money wisely. A big part of this is knowing the difference between needs and wants. When anyone is trying to improve their finances, whether it is to save more or pay off bills/debts, spending needs to focus solely (if not entirely) on needs. “Frivolous” spending needs to be cut out.
Controlling spending is very important when it comes to financial literacy 101 and paying down debt. this spending also involves “paying yourself first” – that should be the first “bill” anyone pays. Then start to pay down debts, pay for your basic needs, and be aware of every single dollar you spend. We have a number of tips and suggestions about this, and learn how budgeting can help control spending.
By Jon McNamara