Top 9 Reasons Why You Are Still in Debt and How You Can Help Yourself Starting with a Few Easy Steps
by CashOctopus • November 27, 2019
If you feel like you will be stuck in debt forever, you are among several other people who believe it is impossible for them to pay off the entire amount of money they owe. This is a discouraging statistic when you think of how common it is for consumers to end up in debt without a solution.
Take a step back, shake off the feeling of despair and figure out how you got into this situation. There are various reasons that are associated with falling into debt and being unable to get out of it. Finding out the reasons that are applicable to your situation can help you formulate a plan and strategies that can help you to effectively overcome your debt.
1. Not knowing what you owe
People who struggle with their finances often do not know the amount of debt that they really have. This leads to uncertainty about how long it will take you to pay it off. You may also not realize how your debt is preventing you from reaching your financial goals.
If you do not face the reality of how much you owe, it will be difficult to come up with a plan that can help you deal with your debt.
2. Paying the minimum
One of the guaranteed ways to remain in debt for a long time is making minimum payments every month. With minimum payments that account for a small percentage of the balance, you will take much longer to pay off the money you owe. Additionally, the total amount of your payments and interest will be much more than what you originally borrowed.
3. Large mortgage
Mortgages can transform into tremendous burdens for consumers. These types of loans typically take up most of a household’s debt. When your mortgage is more than what you can comfortably handle, you may need to downsize to a more affordable home, find a roommate or rent to reduce the costs.
4. Spending habits
People can develop detrimental habits that affect how they spend their money. It feels nice to drive nice cars, eat at restaurants and shop at popular stores but it also goes beyond your financial abilities. You will not be able to get out of debt if you do not make an effort to change your spending habits.
It is virtually impossible to take back control of your finances when you do not have a practical budget. While some people may think that creating a budget is tedious and boring, it can prevent you from ending up deep in debt and wondering how to get out.
6. Emergency savings
Suddenly losing your job, home repairs or high medical bills can have a negative impact on anyone’s finances. Unfortunately, many people do not have enough cash to deal with these types of emergencies. Some would turn to friends or family for the cash or use a credit card to pay the bills.
You risk being overwhelmed by debt when you keep on borrowing cash each time unforeseen expenses arise.
7. Late fees
The fees that come with each late payment may appear to be small but some of these charges can be quite high and can quickly add up. The money that goes towards penalties could help pay down your debt.
8. High interest rates
Higher interest rates mean that you will be paying more to get rid of your debt along with potentially taking more time. With reasonable interest rates, you can look forward to being debt-free faster and saving more in interest.
9. Not making debt a priority
If you keep putting your financial obligations in the backseat, each month will pass by without a budget or practical solution. Although paying off debt is not a fun activity and may require a lot of effort, you have to make the necessary changes in your lifestyle. Eliminating debt should be one of your top priorities.
Tips for getting out of debt
Getting into debt can be very easy but getting out of it is a whole other ball game. It can take a few months to end up knee-deep in debt and decades to get rid of it completely. People pay off their debts in different ways and usually implement a number of strategies to get out of debt.
Begin by listing your debts and determining what you should pay off first. It is advisable to start with debts that have high interest rates. Stretch your monthly budget to increase your monthly payments.
Some people opt to choose the debts that charges them the highest rates of interest and pay them off first.
Once the costliest debts have been paid off, the money that was being used for that debt can go towards other debts with the least expensive one being paid down last.
Many people have desires and wishes that exceed their financial capabilities. Individuals get into debt and remain stuck because they purchase what they want whenever they want to.
This kind of lifestyle is usually unsustainable. Do not buy something if you do not have the money for it. Being satisfied with less than what you have, even on a temporary basis, can help you save more money that you can use to pay down the debt.
When your debt is eventually paid off, you will probably have adapted to your new lifestyle and can continue saving money for other priorities.
Preventing debt from getting worse
Avoiding more debt may not completely get you of debt but it will prevent the situation from becoming more complicated. Adding debt when you are trying to pay it off will slow down your progress. Steps such as reducing your expenditure can help to keep your debt under control.
It will take a much longer time for you to get out of debt if you stick to minimum monthly payments. You will end up paying more than what was originally charged when the balance is finally paid off.
Pay more than the minimum payments each month to shorten the payoff period and get rid of your debt faster as well as lower the interest charges. You may have to stretch your budget to accommodate larger payments but the money you save over time can be used to build wealth instead of servicing your debt.
Although you may think that the money used to create an emergency fund should be used to pay off debt rather than putting it away in a savings account, emergency savings actually prevent you from getting into more debt. When emergencies come up, you will no longer have to depend on credit cards or have to borrow money from other people.
Lower interest rates
People stay in debt longer when most of their payments go to interest charges rather than the actual balance. This is why it is important to negotiate for lower interest rates with your creditors. If your payment history has been favorable, it may be easier for you to get better rates.
Dedicating more money to debt repayment
Directing more money towards debt repayment will enable you to pay off your debt faster. You can accomplish this by creating a monthly budget to manage your money effectively and determine how to reduce some of your expenses. Another way to increase the money available for debt repayment is by generating additional income through yard sales and lucrative hobbies.
If you owe more than what you can pay within a reasonable period of time or are past due on your accounts, consider settling with your creditors. Settling debts involves asking the creditor to take a lump sum payment to clear the debt. Creditors usually accept this offer when there is a risk of defaulting or the account is in default.