Most of our country is drowning in debt. You, me, our neighbors, and even our church family. But this should not be our norm.
Debt consists of credit cards, car loans, student loans, mortgages, the list goes on. Are you staying up at night thinking about this? Most people with consumer debt (nonmortgage debt) lose twice as much sleep over their finances compared to people who are debt free (with only a mortgage debt).
You may have heard of a debt management plan. While this may help in the short term, this is not a long-term solution for most people.
What Is a Debt Management Plan?
A debt management plan is the process of handing your debt to a third-party negotiator (credit counselor). This person or company works with your lenders to negotiation lower interest rates and combine all your debt payments into one monthly payment. Typically, these programs are structured to last three to five years with the goal of paying off your debt.
Specific debts may not be eligible under many of these programs. If you have an outstanding secured loan like a home mortgage, auto loan or any other loan that’s tied to actual physical property (otherwise know as collateral), it won’t qualify for a debt management plan. Why? Because debt management plans only work with unsecured loans – loans without collateral attached to them, such as: credit card debt, personal loans, payday loans, income tax debt, or medical bills to name a few.
Debit management plans are listed as a notation on your credit report. They can also impact your credit score depending on how high or low your score is. Since payment history is a big chunk of your overall score, using a debt management plan might help your score improve if you’ve had a history of missed payments. But if you have a higher credit score to begin with, you could see your score drop as you pay off your bills, close out your credit cards and use less credit.
Using a debt management plan means giving someone else control over your finances. Most companies charge an up-front fee just for them to start working with you. And then a monthly fee for their time and service. Although you may be paying your creditors less each month, once you add in their fee your total monthly payments could be higher. And if you miss a payment, they could terminate service.
Using the Snowball Method to Manage Debt
Instead of handing over control of your finances to a third person, YOU can manage your debt with the SNOWBALL METHOD.
1. List your debt smallest to largest. Pay the minimum on everything but the smallest one.
2. Attack the smallest debt, paying it off as quickly as possible.
3. Once that debt is gone, go on to the next smallest debt.
Repeat this process as you SNOWBALL through your debt!
If you feel overwhelmed with debt, you don’t have to take this journey alone. Remember your budget does not need to be stressful. It is a habit that alleviates financial surprises.
Contact me today and set up a time to go over your plan and how to best execute it. The best plans are the ones we put into motion. My calendar link can be found at https://linktr.ee/Carlisacares