A recent survey showed that more than 2 million people in the UK had unsecured debt of more than £10,000 (approximately $16,000). As you can imagine most of this debt is held on Store and Credit Cards, which are quite often the most expensive form of unsecured debt an individual can acquire.
How manageable this debt is, is often down to the individual's circumstances. One thing for sure is that when borrowing you want to aim to reduce the amount of interest that you pay on any outstanding debt. Here are a few tips to achieve this.
1. Pay off expensive debt first
Unsecured lending is by far the most expensive borrowing and if you have a number of cards, some probably charge higher interest rates than others. If you are not paying off the full balance of your credit card each month, aim to pay more off the most expensive cards.
2. Transfer expensive debt to cheaper cards
There's a lot of competition out there. Many credit cards have introductory offers with either low or zero interest rates. Transfer your balances from your old card to these new cards. Remember to close your old credit card accounts to remove temptation.
3. When you've cleared some debt, try not to borrow more
When you've cleared your credit card balances, try to get into the habit of only spending what you earn. Stop using the cards and to remove temptation cut them up.
Obviously this isn't an exhaustive list, but if you follow these tips it will be a positive move in the right direction.
Ian Walsh is the webmaster at Samuel Blankson Books, information on Finance, Gambling and Self-Help.