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Debt management tips for millennials

Kentucky's millennial generation is growing up. The youngest members are in their final years of university, and the oldest members are now in their 30s, buying homes and raising families. Unfortunately, two-thirds of millennials are facing adulthood with at least one source of long-term debt, often student loans. However, by learning how to manage their money and pay down debt, they can find financial relief and reach their life goals.

The first step in tackling debt is to acknowledge that it exists. Millennials should make a list of all their debts, including student loans, credit cards, car loans, mortgage payments, personal loans and medical bills. The next step is create a budget based on monthly income and expenditures. After that, they should arrange a bill payment schedule that automatically pays at least the minimum amount due on each account every month. This will prevent penalties and fees for missed or late payments.

Experts say that millennials with student loan debt should pay off those loans as soon as possible. The faster student loans are paid off, the faster other life goals, such as buying a house, can be achieved. Advisers also point out the risks of debit cards. While convenient, debit cards don't offer the same purchase protections as credit cards. Some merchants also place holds on funds that can tie up money until a transaction clears.

Millennials who are overwhelmed with debt may find it helpful to consult with an attorney. Legal counsel could explain the requirements of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy and recommend the best way to obtain financial relief.

Source: WBRC, "7 Ways millennials can master the get-out-of-debt struggle," Andrew Housser, Jan. 30, 2017

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