So the holidays are over and no doubt the holiday bills have started rolling in. It is easy to do serious financial damage during the holidays. Debt can take a mere couple of weeks to rack up, but can take months and even years to pay off. Getting out of debt in the New Year is on many families’ ‘to-do’ lists, but getting out of debt is easier said than done.
Your ability to get out of debt in the New Year will greatly depend on your own personal circumstances. Let’s review some of your options.
Getting out of debt the good old fashioned way. Getting out of debt the good old fashioned way will take resources because it will involve using your existing assets and cash flow to get out of debt. If you don’t have savings or investments that you can liquidate to pay down debt you will have to take a good hard look at your budget. Think of the time frame in which you would like to be debt free. If it is 24 months for example, then take your total debt, divide it by 24 months and then increase the monthly amount by 30% (to account for interest). Do you have enough room in your budget to pay off the debt on a monthly basis?
Getting out of debt through a debt consolidation. Getting out of debt through a debt consolidation is an option for homeowners who have home equity or for those with very good credit. Though traditional debt consolidation can be a good choice for getting out of debt – the debt consolidation interest rate, fees and terms will determine whether it is the best choice for getting out of debt.
Getting out of debt through a financial program. If you don’t have assets or savings to pay off your debt and you don’t have room in your budget to get out of debt in a reasonable period of time, then an alternate financial program may be the best solution for you. Some financial programs involve freezing the interest on your debt and even reducing your debt. This can result in greatly reduced monthly payments, making the prospect of getting out of debt a reality for an individual who doesn’t have much to put towards getting out of debt.
It’s a jungle out there and with so many companies promoting different things it can be hard to know what the best financial choice is. Making the wrong financial choices can cause you to pay more in the long run and can even harm your credit. So how do you know a financial friend from a financial foe? By trusting your instincts and doing lots of research. Do they have a website? Do they have a bricks and mortar location? Do they have people following them on social media? Have you heard of them before? If you are dealing with a debt company or mortgage brokerage, is the company’s management accessible to you?
Doing your due diligence and then partnering with a financial service provider who can help you come up with a meaningful solution to deal with your debt will be your first step towards getting out of debt and enjoying financial freedom in 2013.
For more information about getting out of debt in 2013 or if you need help with your 2013 financial planning please contact DebtCare at 416-907-2582 or visit www.debtcare.ca.