I’m Over My Head in Debt! What Can I Do?

by William Blake

Debt overload has become quite common over the years. Many people are taking on more credit card debt than they can handle, or their circumstances are changing in a way that makes debt that was once manageable hard to repay. Does this sound familiar?

What is the root cause of this problem?

Not all people who find themselves over their heads in debt are necessarily to blame. Some people are unable to pay back what they owe when they unexpectedly find themselves unemployed or too sick to work. Many are unable to once again make the same amount of money as before, and thus find themselves in debt trouble.

Another reason that people end up over their heads in debt is poor financial management. Credit card companies are often willing to extend credit that the borrower may not make enough money to pay back. And an increasing number of people keep multiple credit cards, which essentially multiplies their debt. Although they may be able to keep up with the minimum payments, interest keeps them in debt for many years.

How to keep your debt manageable

If you want to keep a handle on your debt, it’s important to be careful from the beginning. When you are going to get a new credit card, do your homework. Look for the card with the lowest percentage of interest. Also, don’t go crazy acquiring multiple credit cards. There’s really no need for more than two.

When paying back your debt, making more than the minimum payment will prevent interest from accruing. The best thing to do is pay the balance in full each month. This will keep your credit in good shape and save you lots of money. If something comes up and you need to charge more than you can pay back in a month, stop charging until the balance is paid off.

Dig Yourself Out of Debt

Are you already over your head in debt? Do not despair. There is hope. It may not be easy, but if you recognize the problem early and exercise a little restraint, it is usually possible to recuperate your stable financial status.

When you realize your debt is out of control, the first thing to do is stop taking on new debt. Then it’s time to work out a budget, and start putting all of the money you can into paying off your debts. You’ll need to at least make the minimum payment on everything each month, but what works best for most people is putting all of their extra money toward one debt until it’s paid off, and then moving on to the next. Paying debts off in the order of highest to lowest interest is the least expensive course of action.

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