Help with Debt in 10 Steps
Acknowledge your debts
One of the first steps to getting help with debt is admitting that you are struggling.
List your income and expenses and learn how to budget
You need to be realistic about your debt situation. Start by organising your finances – this will help you see exactly where your money is going. Make sure that you assess your spending habits thoroughly and create a budget which you can stick to.
Cut back on expenses
Assess your budget and try to work out where you could make some savings. Make some changes to reduce your expenses. For instance, you could cut back on certain luxuries, like buying takeaways on a daily basis. You could opt for packing a lunch instead and save hundreds of rands every month. You could downgrade your cable TV subscription and use that money to pay your debt off instead.
Contact your creditors
Get in touch with your creditors and explain that you are having financial difficulties. Explain how you got into debt and how you intend to get out of debt. Start by dealing with the most urgent debt.
Prioritise your debts
Make sure that you make regular payments to your creditors. Even if you pay small amounts, your creditors could give you some leeway while you come up with a long term repayment strategy.
Consider debt consolidation
You could create a debt repayment plan or get help from a professional. By getting help with debt through debt consolidation you may be able to negotiate lower interest rates and lower repayments.
Create an emergency fund
Open a savings account which is specifically dedicated towards emergencies. This way you can avoid having to resort to using your credit card(s) to pay for any emergencies.
Get rid of your credit cards
Go on a cash-only diet. When you use cash only it feels like you’re spending more money, so you spend less as a result.
Pay more than the minimum
To reduce your debt faster, pay more than what is necessary.
Increase your income
You could get a second job or work extra shifts to earn over-time money.