HOW TO GET OUT OF DEBT IN INDIA- A DISCIPLINE APPROACH

Hello, are you struggling to pay off the debt? Wants to get out of debt? No worries, this is the post that can help you achieve it. The only requirement is discipline.

Before getting into details of how to get pay off debts, let us understand the debt.

WHAT IS DEBT?

By definition, debt is a sum of a loan borrowed by a person from another person, a party, or a bank.

A party who provides a loan is the creditor, and the person who receives that is the debtor.

There are different types of loans; each comes with different terms & conditions and rules on payments.

In today’s date, people are dependent on loans for almost every step they take forward. Be it buying a car, home, or even applying for higher education.

The first thing one should do before borrowing money is to outline repaying the amount as soon as possible. 

After borrowing, they either grow less cautious about the accumulating debt or consider it a child’s play.

This leads to a bigger trap where a person falls into a confused state. At such an instance, you must understand that you are not lost. You can always pay your loan back with some guidance. 

Here are some ideas that may help you to pay off your debts. 

STAGE 1: PLAN

Planning before doing anything is very much important. Because when you plan, you tend to see the pros and cons of the situation.

It is the same for repaying debts also. Starting to do the following helps you look into the actual mess and find a solution to get out of it.

WRITE DOWN THE DEBTS TO BE PAID:

Even though you cannot start paying your debts at once, writing it all down and breaking all the bills into smaller parts brings relief. After you do this, the repaying seems possible and less tough. 

This would be a great help while planning to pay back all the debts you have. These things help you figure out the method and the time required to be out of debt.

● Note the type of debt you are on. Whether it is borrowing money or personal loan or vehicle loan or cards, etc.,

● Keep track of the amount you owe to the creditor.

● Also, note the interest rate provided for each of your loans.

● And, note down the minimum amount to be paid when you start paying off the debts.

Being that done, now you might wonder how to categorize it. It can be done using two methods, categorizing it according to the interest rates or the outstanding bill.

PRIORITIZE:

The next thing you need to do after categorizing is prioritizing.

You need to prioritize which debt you need to pay first, the one with a higher interest rate or the lowest balance or any other order that seems fine to you.

Usually, people take the advice of paying the debt with a higher interest rate than the one with a large amount.

This stops the quick accumulation of debt. Paying off the minimum amount dues might seem to reduce the debts, but they always tend to have very bad consequences later. 

CREATE A BUDGET:

This bigger step helps you resolve all your problems if you do it right.

The idea you come up with should help you pay the possible sum in a lesser time. Start paying off your debts first with whatever you have.

Again, this is not middle school math to calculate it right away. Pen down the costs to get a proper outline of what should be done.

It helps you foresee what can be done in how much time. 

STOP CREATING MORE DEBT:

Stopping yourself from borrowing more money is as important as cutting off unnecessary expenses, be it small or big.

It will become critical if you are going to keep adding to your balances continuously.

Not using your credit cards is also included in this step. It might seem tough not to use your credit cards, especially when you are broke. But it is a serious step if you are running late or out of time. 

STAGE 2: METHODS

It is so easy to come out of this if you have a single debt. But if you have borrowed from multiple creditors, that is when the challenging phase arrives.

If you have started thinking of paying off your debts already, here are some methods to help you find your way out. 

AVALANCHE METHOD:

This method works by paying off the loans with the highest interest rates first. 

Minimum Payments – First, make minimum payments on all the loans you are responsible for.

Extra Money – Next, put all the extra money in the debt, which has a higher interest rate.

Repeat – Repeat this process until the debt is paid off, then target the next account, which has the highest interest rate.

This method seems easy and so much possible. You get happy and satisfied every time the loan with a higher interest rate vanishes.

It is the fastest way of paying back the money borrowed.  It is all done if you track properly and follow the method throughout.

BALANCE TRANSFERS:

This method is more like paying back one credit card loan with another.

When you have a credit card loan, you can transfer your credit card’s balance to some other card. You transfer money from a card with a higher interest rate to a card with a little lesser interest rate and reduce the interest rate. This would often be a promotional interest rate. 

One thing to remember is, this method works only when you have a high difference in interests. Also, it should pay off the amount within the promotional period. 

Some accounts charge balance transfer fees, where some accounts do not. It is better to read the regulations before opting for balance transfers. It is easy to make a good deal when you have decent credit. 

You can even apply the same principle to reduce the other loan burden by sourcing a loan at lower interests to pay off higher interest rates. Usually, personals secured loans with banks come at a very low rate of interest

SNOWBALL:

This method is the exact opposite of the Avalanche method. It works by paying off the smallest balance first. 

Minimum payment – Again, pay the minimum payment to every debt account you have.

Extra amount – Now, calculate the extra amount you have and pay as much you can to the account with the smallest balance first. 

Repeat – Repeat the same after one account is paid off totally. 

This method gives quick payoffs and small successes. It motivates a person to pay off loans as the person sees progress quickly.

There are possibilities that you might pay more than required because, in this method, we do not consider the interest rates much. And the due time keeps adding to the interest amount.

It works well when you are under qualified for bank balance transfers or cannot consolidate your debt. Also, it is much easier when you have a lot of small debts to be paid off. 

DEBT SETTLEMENTS:

In this method, you negotiate with the creditor or the card provider to settle for a partial amount to be paid back, which is lesser than the actual payment.

Some creditors agree to this settlement only when the debtor is under a challenging situation like job loss, health issues, or getting divorced. But some creditors consider debt settlements even if the debtor is not facing any of these.

Suppose you think you have less knowledge in this area. In that case, it is better and useful for you to hire a professional debt settlement company. They make this process easy for you and help you settle for the best deal.

But before proceeding with an outside company, it is better and safer if you research them

PERSONAL LOANS:

Sometimes, the debts you have might look like a mountain to you. You might even lose hope in the other methods that help you pay off your loans quickly. This method is for such situations. 

In this method, you borrow personal loans to pay off your credit card or higher interest rates at once.

This alternative approach works well where you have several credit card debts or debt with a higher interest rate. They can be paid off with a personal loan that comes at a lower interest rate.

It is one of the fastest methods to pay back card debts if they bother you so much.

This method reduces the overload and helps you manage your debts quickly. Also, it saves you a considerable sum when you are qualified and settled for a monthly payment at a lower rate. 

There are three things that you always need to keep in mind while using this method:

1. Do not close your cards – Keep the credit cards unclosed even after making the payments. 

2. Stop spending through cards – Cut the spendings from credit cards. Be careful about the automatic subscription payments that happen every month.

3. Payment checks – Even if you borrowed money, make sure you make punctual paybacks. If you are not able to follow this, you’ll end up with another trouble. 

Anything has good and bad, so this might even turn upside down and dangerous. To be on the safer side, reading the terms and conditions and following them properly is advisable. This method requires much responsibility. 

BANKRUPTCY:

After all the methods you have tried, you feel exhausted about paying your credits back? This method can help you deal with that. Bankruptcy is usually the last choice of people in debt. 

There are two types of bankruptcy, one asks you to give in some of your properties, and the other does not ask you to surrender any property. 

Be it anything, one cannot take this process lightly as it is a lengthy process. It is expensive, too, as it includes the filing and attorney fees. You will also have to attend counseling before filing for this to be approved by the department of justice.

One can follow these methods to reduce your loans and relieve yourself from the phone calls and sudden visits from the creditor’s side. 

STAGE 3: CHOOSE A RIGHT METHOD

After all, this being said, you might have doubts about which method is the right take for paying back your debts. Well, that can be decided with specific criteria. There are two basic things to look for when you are choosing a method: 

● If you can make minimum payments on all the debts that are accumulated.

● If you have good credit. 

With these two things, you can pay off your debts by:

Good credit When you have a good credit score, you can always negotiate and settle for bank loan balance transfers, apply for a personal loan, or even ask for your debt consolidation. 

Do not have good credit If you do not have good credits, but if you can make payments, then avalanche and snowball methods quite quickly pay off. Remember to keep track of your payments while you opt for these methods. 

Cannot make minimum payments – You can do nothing but attend a counseling session and come up with a good plan to settle your debts. 

Everything goes easy, quick, and falls in place when you plan things and follow them correctly. 

STAGE 4: MANAGEMENT

Managing certain things while you spend through a loan is a bigger step.

If that step is followed and maintained throughout, things become more comfortable and helpful. It makes progress faster. Manage your money to keep yourself away from the black marks. 

LOWERING BILLS:

This is a great step that will be so helpful in your future. Everything becomes better when you plan your expenses, create a budget according to that, and mark your payoffs or savings.

Lowering your bills helps you pay back your debt much faster than expected. 

With the credit card amount, you can pay the monthly expenses such as rent, groceries, gas, telephone, and other bills.

This helps you sort out your finances first and then plan accordingly when there are other expenses like vacations. Also, using your credit cards wherever they are provided with an offer or a coupon is advisable. 

CUTTING OFF EXPENSES:

It is okay to spend on basic needs. But it is not okay to make unwanted expenses.

It is better to look at what you and your family have been spending much on that is unwanted.

Ask yourself if such expenditure is necessary or not and slowly start cutting down those expenses.

You should stop using your credit card to pay everywhere. Being responsible when you borrow money or loans is a required quality.

Convince yourself that you can live without spending on unwanted or more luxurious things.

These habits become more useful when you pay off all your credits and start saving money.

Check out the 65 + Best tips to save money.

PROTECT FROM UNCERTAINITIES:

Uncertainities such as an accident, Critical illnesses, death can even push/ your family in to even more troubles. It is good transfer such uncertainities to insurance companies at some expense i.e premium.

Check out the different types of insurance policies that can protect you from uncertainities.

INCREASE YOUR INCOME:

Not just when repaying debts, but generally, earning extra income is a great idea.

It has two plus points.

One is you start paying off your loans much faster and the second is that it can help you save money side by side.

If you are earning extra through work you love, it adds to your mental health and lessens your stress.

You can always increase your income by taking up weekend jobs, freelance work, or even by starting a small business. Any amount of extra income will help you get out of this situation.

Check out 25+ best ways to make money in india 2021.

DEBT CONSOLIDATION:

Debt consolidation is taking a new lower interest personal loan and paying other different debts that are pending.

It is marked as one of the best ways that bring a person out of a debt trap. When you do this, you tend to consolidate and bring in multiple debts into a single debt.

As an add-on, it has a lower interest rate, which saves a good sum. It also has lower EMI adding to the same point. But executing this also depends on your financial status and the debt consolidation you have opted for. Think twice before asking for a consolidation.

SELL UNWANTED THINGS:

There are indeed things that you don’t use at your home. They might be small or large. You can always sell them if you are sure that you are not going to use them.

There are websites like eBay, OLX, Quikr, or craigslist through which you could sell off things at a good amount. 

Please do some research and groundwork on what price would be reasonable for the product you have, click good pictures of the product, add a description to the images, and post it.

Selling things is as easy as that. The things that collect dust in your closet might be useful for somebody else.

PUT YOUR WORK BONUS ON DEBTS:

Are you receiving a bonus very often in your current job?

The first thing you need to do is control your temptation not to spend that bonus on anything else.

Pay the extra money than the minimum payment with this bonus that you get. Keep in mind that fixing the financial situation is a priority.

Remember, the lesser you have to pay every month, the longer it would take to finish paying all the loan balances.

This is one of the smartest things you could do with your bonus if you have borrowed money.

PAY ON TIME:

Paying the amount to be paid, at least the minimum payment, on time is also essential.

If you are going to pay back after the due, it slows down the payment progress. And, paying late also results in extra fees which are unwanted in our progress.

There are also terms and conditions where two or three late payments in a row will fetch you a penalty.

This makes it more challenging towards the goal of paying off the loan. So, keeping up the deadline is as important as keeping track of your loan’s balances and interests.

STAGE 5: STAYING OUT OF DEBTS

Borrowing loans have become a part of everybody’s lives. But there are some ways to stay away from borrowing money and avoiding debts.

These tips are to be followed right when a person starts earning. But it is never too late even if you have traveled years of earning.

Here are a few things to avoid borrowing money. 

PRIORITIZE SAVINGS:

In general, to attain a secured living, it is much needed that your bank savings account always has a balance as same as your annual income.

If you cannot save that much amount, you should put at least 20% of your income into savings. This money will help you in critical situations. 

Furthermore, the amount you save motivates you to another investment, which results in extra earnings.

While saving money, make sure you do not spend them unless you fall under a circumstance where you have to spend them.

DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN WANTS AND NEEDS:

Every time you have money in your wallet, you might have a plan to spend it. This process is natural. What you can control is that on what you spend that amount.

Before buying something, think several times if you require that expenditure or you just want it. Thinking this way reduces a lot of unwanted expenses. 

For instance, you plan on buying a suitcase, but you do not have a vacation or a trip coming up. Thinking twice before purchasing that suitcase is important.

The wise choice is when you choose not to buy it at the moment and postpone that expense.

When you concentrate more on your needs and cut off your wants, your mind becomes more stable in the financial aspect. 

TRACK YOUR EXPENDITURE:

Tracking how and what you spend is a good habit. It helps you look into the part that has gone right or wrong about the monthly expenses.

It gives you an idea of what can be added or what can be cut down regularly. With this idea, you will be able to outline the savings and expenditure. 

Tracking your expenditure is your first step towards the first two steps, i.e., prioritizing savings and differentiating between what you want and what you need.

When you start cutting back on spending, you will gradually move towards saving money. 

When you track your expenditure, you tend to stay more alert, and the chances of losing your money or being cheated become less.

EMERGENCY FUNDS:

An emergency fund is a money that you save to support yourself during any financial emergencies or expenses that are unexpected.

This fund secures you and keeps you away from loans during such situations. This emergency fund might save you even if you are in debt. 

Though saving money for emergency purposes sounds like a sacrifice, it brings in a concept of fake suffering when you have rather than suffering during emergencies. 

It might seem huge to give up what you love to save this amount, but it is a great help in the future.

REGULATE YOUR LIFESTYLE:

You have to make sure that you are spending less than you save. 

The earlier one learns to control their temptation, the better it is for their future and living. Leading a simple life instead of experiencing a luxurious one is very important when a person starts earning.

So, regulating your lifestyle and exploring things little by little keeps you more and more away from debts and loans. Also, it makes you independent and helps you think freely. 

STAGE 6: CREDIT COUNSELLING

If you feel so helpless and do not know what to do, you should reach out to a credit counseling agency.

They assess and review all the loans you have borrowed so far. They come up with an idea to pay off your debts quickly.

These agencies find a way and draw a budget that manages your debt and your monthly expenses accordingly. 

The credit counselor comes up with a Debt Management Plan (DMP). This plan includes drawing a budget, foreseeing your expenses, distributing the payments to the creditors, and negotiating with your creditors for consolidation or a settlement.

Through this, the monthly payments to be made to the creditors are lowered. But you will have to make payments to the credit counselor.

Some agencies are very good at negotiating a proper settlement for you. These agencies work on plans that last up to seven years. They don’t help you settle your loans in a day, but they make sure they get it done slowly. 

Even though they are a great help, it is better to learn and look into the terms and conditions before settling with them.

CAUSES FOR DEBT ACCUMULATION:

Borrowing money becomes unavoidable in most people’s lives. But people can always stay away from debt accumulation if they plan and prioritize accordingly.

Before you get into trouble, it is better to know the causes and reasons. Here are some major reasons why there is debt accumulation. It is the same in most cases and differs rarely.

EXCEEDING CREDIT CARD LIMITS:

This is the most common error any person makes. When you exceed your credit card limits, the creditor or the card issuer might increase the interest rate to be paid. 

This becomes more serious when you have multiple cards. The other creditors or card issuers also tend to increase the interest rates when they notice that you have already exceeded one of your card limits.

This also results in a penalty and other unwanted charges adding to the debts that you already have. 

STRUGGLING WITH VARIOUS LOANS:

There are different types of loans that serve different purposes. They have different terms and conditions. Also, they have different interest rates.

Often, people tend to borrow two or more different loans at a time. This puts them in a confused state where they don’t know which should be prioritized first and paid off.

One might have a lower balance amount, and the other might have a higher interest rate. The debt keeps on accumulating as they stay, not knowing which to fix first. 

LACK OF SAVINGS:

Savings is considered to be one of the basic needs of any person’s life. When people save the right amount from the beginning, the chances of getting into a debt trap become less.

When people lack or forget to save, they are helpless and are put in a situation where they have to borrow the money.

This pushes them into debts that they cannot come out of or the long debts. It takes a lifetime to pay back.

PAYING JUST THE MINIMUM DUE:

The first thing to calculate every month is the minimum due to be paid to increase debt. Many people do not follow this and get into a worse situation.

Even paying just the minimum due puts people under long debts, but it is less bad than not paying at all. It adds up to the debtor’s mental pressure and stress of repaying loans.

So, keep in mind that paying off at least the minimum due every month is a must. 

WHY SHOUID YOU PAY OFF DEBTS?

Debt can be viewed in both good and bad aspects. People borrow money for living, education, settlement, and various other reasons. It is a struggle until they pay it back. 

But once they pay it back, they are going to feel accomplished and satisfied. It will surely bring about a change in how they view their lives. Here are some reasons why you should think about paying off your debts. 

TO SPEND WITHOUT GUILT:

When you are under debt, there might be instances where you would have controlled yourself from buying something that you were planning to buy for a long time.

It might even be a gift that you were planning to purchase for your loved ones. That kind of instance vanishes once you pay off your loans and you are debt-free.

You will be able to buy anything that you need without any hesitation or a guilty feeling. 

STRESS RELIEF: 

A major source of stress comes from the debts you are planning to repay. But the stress starts to lessen when you start paying off the loans that you have. Loans make you overthink and worry a lot.

Also, the constant pressure to go to work, whether you like your job or not, just because you have repayment dues adds up. 

You get calls from agencies; you fear being sued, or even you might be under bankruptcy. 

Paying back loans is like reducing the weight of your head. When it is done, you know that you are no longer trapped in your work or anything. With all the relief, you stop worrying and start spending some quality time with yourself and the people around you. 

LESS RISK:

When you are under debts and not under control, you are definitely at risk. These risks do not stop troubling you, but it also, at times, troubles the people who are dependent on you. You fear losing your job or the emergency funds that you have been saving.  

Being out of the debts you have takes away the risks from you. It gives you the space you need to plan your expenses and keeps you away from imagining unfortunate circumstances and crises.

FEWER BILLS:

Paying back your loans little by little lessens the bills that are produced. With the right strategy, you will be left with no extras or penalties to be paid once you pay off the money correctly.

This brings relief to you and motivates you towards the next step you have planned in your life. 

TO SAVE MORE:

Once you pay off your debts and come out of the whirlpool, you will start thinking about saving money from your income for your future.

When you plan and save more, automatically, you will think about investment, be it starting a small business, buying gold, or even a property.

That savings or investment might help you during emergencies and unexpected situations. 

BETTER JOB PROSPECTS:

When you are under a loan process, your mind will never think of shifting from one job to another.

This is because you might fear losing the job and being jobless, where you will not repay the loan. Or your current job provider might have helped you to get a loan when it seemed impossible from the outside.

But once you pay off your debts, you can start thinking about joining better jobs, exploring different fields, and taking up opportunities without any hesitation.

CONCLUSION:

Borrowing loans have been a great financial tool to fulfill desires, wants but being trapped in debt is the worst part. So, before borrowing debt, it is a must to plan how to repay it. When you have a proper plan, things become better, easy, and comfortable.

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