Acquiring too much debt can put a major strain on a household. To eliminate debt, many people consider bankruptcy. With the new bankruptcy laws, it has become difficult for some people to eliminate debt. However, many will continue to qualify for bankruptcy protection. The effects of bankruptcy are long term.
Before considering bankruptcy, it helps to explore solutions to debt elimination. Here are three tips that can help reduce debts.
Limit Credit Card Use and Pay More than Minimums
People file bankruptcy with varying credit amounts. Some have acquired over $10,000 of credit card debt, whereas others only have about $2,000. Individuals with small debts can usually payoff the balances without bankruptcy. However, these persons must be willing to make sacrifices.
If attempting to eliminate debt, stop using the credit card. Paying only the monthly minimum, and then going on a shopping spree defeats the purpose. Before you can successfully eliminate credit card debts, you must commit to using cash for all purchases. Additionally, the majority of minimum payments barely reduce the finance fees. To notice a significant reduction, endeavor to pay the minimum payment, plus an additional $50 – $100.
Negotiate a Lower Interest Rate
If you have maintained a good payment history with a credit card company, attempt to negotiate a lower interest rate. When contacting the credit card company, highlight your history with the company such as length of credit account, payment history, etc. If your credit is good, the company may consider a reduction. Before approving the request, you must consent to a credit check.
In addition to evaluating your history with the company, they will also assess whether you maintain a good payment record with other creditors. If your credit score is low, it may require the help of a debt consolidation agency to convince creditors to lower interest rates.
Once your credit card interest rate is lowered, you pay less finance fees. Thus, a larger portion of your monthly payments will help reduce the outstanding balance.
Consolidate Debts with a Home Equity Loan or Refinancing
Owning a home provides a huge advantage. Homes increase in values, thus they gain equity. As a homeowner you have the option of tapping into your home’s equity. Through a home equity loan or refinancing, you have the chance to get hold of a lump sum of money that can be used for different purposes. One such purpose includes debt consolidation.