With the holiday season right around the corner, many in Kentucky are in the process of doing their holiday shopping. Unfortunately, many will choose to finance their purchases with credit cards. Although this is a quick and easy method, it makes it easy to spend more than they budgeted. Unless the balance is paid off in full, the high interest rates that many of these credit cards carry can cause the debt to rapidly inflate over time.
Get Your Debt Under Control
If you are already in a situation with unmanageable debts, this time of the year is a reminder of the importance of getting your debts under control. Depending on your situation, filing bankruptcy may be the best way to accomplish this. However, if you take some steps before your debts become too unmanageable, you have a chance of pulling yourself out of your sticky financial situation. To do this, financial experts recommend three main tips:
- Using cash: Although this tip may seem obvious, it is impossible to get out of your debt problems if you keep accruing debt. To avoid this from happening, make a budget and pay your expenses in cash or check. If having cash in your pocket makes you want to spend, use a debit card. Pay off all of your expenses that you can in full. If you anticipate that you will need funds for a larger purchase, set aside a portion of your income so you can purchase it in one payment.
- Make and follow a repayment strategy: Now that you have stopped adding to your debt, it is important to form a strategy for the repayment of your existing debts. Start by making paying off your high-interest credit cards a priority. Since making the minimum payment on these cards is ineffective at lowering the principal, make as large of a payment as you can afford towards this debt each month, even if it is only $50 over the minimum payment amount.
- Give your credit score some TLC:If you are in debt, it is highly likely that your credit score has been adversely affected by your situation. Since low credit scores result in you paying higher interest rates, it causes managing your debt to be more expensive than it needs to be. However, if you pay your expenses in full each month and continue paying down your debts, your credit score will increase over time, allowing you qualify for and transfer your debts to cards with lower rates of interest.
Get help, if seriously in debt
Of course, these tips will likely not be enough if you have reached a point where your debts are too large to feasibly pay back over a reasonable period of time. If this is the case, you may have no choice but to file bankruptcy. Although this sounds dire, bankruptcy can offer you the help you need, by discharging your credit card and medical debts, giving you a new financial start. To find out if this is the best course of action, consult an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
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