Monday, August 19, 2019

3 Common Debt Consolidation Mistakes (and Tips for Avoiding these mistakes)

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There are many ways to pay off a debt. But most people seem to prefer the opportunities debt consolidation programs offer. If you’re considering taking a brand new loan to pay off old debts, you must ask the right questions.

Below are the important questions to ask: 

·         Is debt consolidation a good or bad option for my financial situation?”
·         What debt consolidation practices should I adopt in order to get rid of my existing loans and debts?

It is important to ask these questions and to answer them satisfactorily. Don’t rely on the theoretical explanation of howdebt consolidation should work. Yes, in theory, new low-interest loans allow you to save enough money on a monthly basis and to quickly pay off existing debts And yes, new loans with longer terms permit much lower monthly payments. But often, theories don’t always work out the way we expect them to in real life.  

Do your research and seek the advice of a financial expert. To make your job easier, we have compiled a list of the most common debt consolidation mistakes people make and how you can avoid them. The debt consolidation experts at Keel Associates have recommended the financial solutions listed below. With these tips, you can avoid costly mistakes and make plans to pay off your debts shortly after a consolidation.

Keel Associates Expert’s Guide To Avoiding Debt Consolidation Mistakes.

Mistake #1: Failure to prepare an emergency funds account

Paying off debts can be emotionally and intellectually exhausting. While paying off debts, there is a temptation to focus on keeping up with monthly payments. Rarely do we consider unforeseen events and the pressure that they can put on our finances. That is why financial experts recommend that everyone adopt a good savings culture. When you set up an emergency fund, you’re unlikely to take out more credit card loans.

Take Joan M for instance. Shortly after consolidating her debts, her car suddenly broke down. Without her car, she couldn’t get to work early. The mechanic had sent her a quote for the repairs for her car, but she didn’t have any emergency funds to cover the payment. Soon her supervisor began threatening to fire her, Joan had no choice but to pay her mechanic through her credit card. In the end, she racked up more credit card debts.

To avoid being stuck in a vicious cycle of debt, ensure that you’re saving funds for emergencies even while maintaining your debt payment. You might desperately need the funds for an urgent medical condition or a house repair. 

Start small. Save small amounts regularly. No amount is too small. All you have to do is make it a habit and be committed to it.  Don’t wait until there’s an emergency. 

Mistake #2: No budget planned

Before you start the debt consolidation process, prepare a budget. It’s risky to fail to do this.

A budget will help to guide you; it will also keep you in check. If you can’t create one, get someone to guide you through the process of designing a budget. A budget shows you your earnings and your expenses. It is easier to make smarter financial choices when you know what your earning power is.

To avoid this mistake, draft a budget, listing all your monthly earnings. (Take time to update this list). Write down all your expenses as well. Are your expenses greater than your earnings? Where can you adjust?

Experts have linked mounting debt to overspending and failure to monitor one’s expenses. To get out of debt quickly, you must figure out the areas where you need to adjust. If you spend a lot of money on cinemas, perhaps, you should consider getting a low Netflix subscription. Cut down on excessive shopping and buy only the things you need, especially if it’s being offered at a discounted rate.

Sticking to your budget is a surefire way to get out of debt quickly.

Mistake #3: No smart plan to repay existing debts and loans

In a capitalist world, it is almost impossible to accomplish any financial feat without a plan. You need a plan. Especially when you’re trying to pay off a debt. There really is no way around it.

Reputable financial institutions (e.g. Neel Associates) often recommend that clients set up a payment plan that works for them. Of course, they also emphasize that the payment plan must be smart and reasonable. These financial experts have enough experience to know that making regular monthly payments aren’t just enough.

A payment plan will help you think outside the box. If your plan shows that you’ll struggle to meet up with monthly debt payments, then you should think of creative solutions. Here are a few strategies that have worked for others.

  • ·         Launch a side hustle, probably something that you can manage at nights and on weekends when you’re not at your 9 to 5 job. (You might want to get some free courses/ schooling from the Side Hustle School podcast).

  • ·         Cut down on unnecessary expenses.

  • ·         Tweak your lifestyle choices. You mustn’t drink so much wine and beer. You mustn’t eat out often. 
  • Take advantage of public transportation when you can.

Final thoughts

Debt consolidation is obviously an easy way to get rid of debts and loans. However, you need to pay attention to your finances and your expenses. What can you do differently? What do you need to change? Answer these questions will boost your earning power, and reduce your expenses.

Remember to write, plan and update your budget, design a payment plan and to set up an emergency fund. Getting out of debt is achievable. All you need is the will to adopt and implement the right debt consolidation strategies.

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