Are you looking to eliminate your debt in the New Year? Knowing what you are doing wrong can help you to turn your finances around in 2007. Learn some of the common debt mistakes, then take steps to avoid them in the future.
Mistake # 1: Ignoring your credit report
If you don't check your credit report at least once a year for errors, you could be paying more in interest than you need to be. Your credit report not only affects your ability to get a loan, but it can increase your interest rates and your insurance premiums. Even minor errors can negatively affect your credit score. Make sure that you check your report at least once a year and take steps to quickly resolve any mistakes. If your report is accurate, take steps to raise your credit score, including lowering your debt and paying your bills on time each month.
Mistake # 2: Not sticking with your budget
I know that it doesn't sound fun, and it isn't always fun, but it is necessary. Budgeting helps you get your spending in control. It lays out the plan for your financial future. The more you plan, the less stress you will have in the future. Keep track of what you are spending your money on, look for ways to cut costs and start paying off your debt. Without a budget, you won't know if what you are doing is working or not.
Mistake # 3: Leaving the cash at home
If you seriously want to control your debt and your spending, you need to start shopping with cash. Put your credit cards in a safe deposit box at the bank. Leave your checkbook and debit card at home when you go shopping. Take only the cash you have to spend. This will eliminate your spending more than you have.
Mistake # 4: Paying the minimum amount due
If you pay only the minimum, you won't be getting out of debt. Pay as much as you can each month towards your credit card debts. Educate yourself on the snowball debt elimination method. It is the most effective way to eliminate your debt.
Mistake # 5: Paying your bills late
If you pay your bills late, you are paying too much. With a credit card bill, you will pay as much as a $ 39 late fee and your interest rate will be increased to 25% to 31%, depending on your card agreement. Other cards may see that you paid one card late, and they will raise your rate on their cards as well. If you miss your payment by 30 days, your credit score will be negatively affected. Pay your bills on time every month.
Mistake # 6: Leaving your creditors wondering
If you don't talk to your creditors before you start missing payments, you may not be able to negotiate with them later. When creditors see that you owe them back payments, they aren't as sympathetic. When you know that you are going to have problems paying your bills, take the time to call your creditors right away. You can negotiate a lower interest rate or extended payment deadline if you call before you miss that first payment.