It is critical to develop a reasonable repayment plan if you ever intend to pay off your outstanding debt. Many people do not even want to think about the repayment plan, because it involves looking at income and balances owed and establishing a budget to live within, none of which is very fun. However, the repayment plan can give you a sense of ownership over your debt, empowering you to take the steps necessary to get yourself out from under your debt. The repayment plan is both the light at the end of the tunnel and the train taking you through to that light.
Why have a repayment plan
Many people do not want to think about the extent of their debt or the nature of their repayment plan. They figure that they will pay what they can each month and then the debt will eventually be paid off. However, without a repayment plan, the debt never seems to go away. This can be overwhelming and discouraging, leading to increased debt, rather than reduced problems. A repayment plan will make the debt more organized, easier to control and less of a strain on the emotional resources of the person who owes the money. This sense of empowerment is the major reason that a repayment plan helps those who take the steps necessary to paying back debt.
Starting the repayment plan
The most difficult part of the repayment plan is the starting of it. Gathering up the will and energy to begin the repayment plan can be draining. However, once you have made the commitment to starting the repayment plan, you are well on your way to ridding yourself of your debt.
In order to start the repayment plan, you need to do some research into your own personal credit history. The first step in the repayment plan is to contact each of the three credit reporting agencies and to obtain a free credit report from each of them. You will go over this credit report, correcting any errors with the agencies, at the start of your repayment plan. The credit report will show how much money you owe to each lender. You will then contact each lender and verify the amount owed as well as the interest rate on the loan. You should also find out your credit limit on each of your credit cards. The key to the repayment plan is organization of all of this information.
Once you have all of the information organized, you will be able to see where you owe the bulk of your money and who is charging you the highest interest rates for what is owed. For any credit cards with exorbitant interest rates, you will want to contact the company and negotiate a lower rate or consider balance transferring to a card with a lower interest rate. Much of the repayment plan consists of reducing what you pay in interest each month in order to be able to more quickly pay down the balance of your debt.
Life on a budget
Living on a budget is not fun but there’s no way around it while you are in debt, so you need to make the mental commitment to do so. Take into consideration your monthly expenditures, including not only fixed monthly bills but also money used for groceries, entertainment and other standard expenses. Subtract this amount from your monthly income and you have the amount left to budget between savings and your repayment plan. In case of emergencies, you will use your savings, not your credit cards, for expenses. Sticking to this repayment plan will allow you to eradicate your debt and begin to live out from under it once again.
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