Debt Reduction Planning

Debt Help Advice

If you want to hit the mute button on conversations at any dinner party, family outing or evening at the pub, start giving debt help advice.

Nearly every adult in the U.S. has some form of debt, but 99% of us would rather argue about religion and politics than ask for advice on debt management.

Amazingly, many consumers are ignoring these obvious warning signs. A December 2016 survey said that 25% of Americans rated themselves debt free, up from 14% in 2014. Almost half the people surveyed said they have less debt than their closest family and friends and 72% claim that if their debts were wiped out, they would put all that money into savings!

If that’s true, there is reason to be encouraged. However, if you’re like most people, there is no windfall of cash coming in your immediate future. Things like unemployment, medical emergencies, business setbacks and divorce can complicate your situation and make paying off debts a real battle even for the most frugal spenders in the population.

The good news is that there are debt-relief options available. With enough planning, hard work and persistence, consumers can find their way back to solid financial ground.

Here is some advice on how to take control of your finances.

How to Avoid Debt

The best financial option is, of course, to avoid debt entirely, rather than dig yourself out of a hole. If your bank account is in the green, make sure to keep it there. Deposit a consistent percentage of your weekly paycheck in the savings account until you have built at least a six-month emergency fund.

Good Debt vs. Bad Debt

While debt is ubiquitous in American society, not all of it is bad. Yes, there is such a thing as good debt. Most Americans would not be able to afford a house, a car or a college education for their children if they didn’t take out loans to pay for it. Anytime you borrow money and use it to generate more income, that’s consider “good” debt.

Good debt also typically adds long-term value to your property. Mortgages are good not only because they provide necessary shelter, but also because homes typically appreciate in value, adding to your net worth over time.

Student loans are similar. Although you’ll be in debt for several years after school, a college graduate can expect to earn at least $1 million more than someone with a high school degree. The extra money you earn will make up for the cost of money borrowed to attend college.

The worst and most common type of bad debt is credit card debt.

Debt can also be divided into long and short term. Long-term debt includes mortgages and student loans. Short-term debt includes credit cards, car loans, 401(k) loans, medical costs, legal bills, alimony and payments to the IRS.

You can do what others have done successfully – face this challenge. Stop making excuses. Professional debt help is available.