It may seem a bit cliché, but a great many people do appear to be literally drowning in a sea of debt. For several years the economy has been declining and millions of workers have been made redundant or had their hours cut drastically. With limited income, mounting debt and increases in taxes, the average worker is faced with the seemingly insurmountable task of meeting their financial obligations. Here are 3 survival techniques for surviving debt in troubled times.
1) Face Your Debt Head On
One of the worst things you can do when faced with debt is to ignore it hoping things will get better. The truth of the matter is that most people forced into bankruptcy are there because they ignored the warning signs. Once you realise that your bills are not getting paid timely (if at all!) you should sit down to take careful stock of your current financial situation. Separate priority bills so that they can be paid first.
At this point you may finally notice that you have put altogether too much on merchant or credit cards which is why you should set them aside for the moment. For now, make a list of your monthly payments which keep a roof over your head and food on the table.
2) Only Buy What You Need: Now Is Not the Time for Wants
Now that you have a pretty fair estimation of what it costs to keep yourself and your family going month to month, it’s time to look at all those ‘other’ bills that may be causing your current distress. Many consumers are actually surprised to learn that at least 50pc of their outgoing payments are paid to merchants, lenders and banks.
Also, many others had fallen into the trap of making minimum payments which, of course, caused monthly repayments to rise as a result of compounded interest. Then there are floating charges which take some consumers unawares, but that’s another matter altogether. The purpose of analysing all those bills is to teach yourself a lesson. Only buy what you need NOT what you want. To go one step further, if you can’t pay cash you probably don’t need it!
3) Seek Professional Advice for Possible Solutions
Most people aren’t aware of the fact that they can find professional debt advice for free. According to statutory rules and regulations, debt advisers are supposed to offer initial consultation without charge and thereafter only charge for services actually rendered. This is another pitfall which many consumers encounter because they mistakenly believe they can’t get the help they need at a price they can afford.
In fact, ethical debt advisers can help sort out possible solutions which can satisfy creditors whilst keeping you out of bankruptcy court. You may be advised that an IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) is in your best interest or perhaps to seek a DRO (Debt Relief Order). In any case, don’t wait until one or more creditors have petitioned the court to bankrupt you. It costs nothing to talk to a pro but it could end up costing you dearly if you fail to seek help early on. Advice is free, so why not take advantage of what is out there?