Vance P. Truman, Attorney at Law
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Learn how to live free of debt

Are you struggling to keep your head above water to stay out of debt? If so, it can be incredibly frustrating to try to manage your finances.

Although it is overwhelming, you have the power to climb out of the pit of debt and emerge onto stronger financial ground. The following tips may be helpful to you on your journey to fiscal stability.

Commit to getting free of debt

This is a marathon and not a sprint, so prepare yourself for some serious discipline and major lifestyle changes. But also beware of setting conditions that are so stringent that you are unable to maintain them over time.

Get your spouse/partner on board

If you are married or in a committed relationship, it's likely that you didn't amass all of this debt on your own. So, it is only fair that your spending partner commits as well to the changes that will lead to a debt-free lifestyle.

Make a spreadsheet

On it, list your total debts. Figure out the balances on all of your accounts, what the minimum payments are and note the interest rates. One of the consequences of debt is that it becomes so massive that debtors frequently have no idea what they owe.

Talk to your creditors

In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate with your creditors to reduce your minimum payments and knock off some fees. But you won't know unless you have the figures ready when you ask.

Can you restructure your debt?

Debts can be restructured in various ways, including:

  • Refinancing
  • Making 0% balance transfers
  • Getting the APR lowered

However, before accepting any more credit card offers, make sure that you read all the fine print. If the great offer of 0% interest expires in just a few months, it's not a good deal if you're unable to pay it off. You might wind up with even higher interest rates.

Track your spending

There are priorities — rent/mortgage, utility bills, car payments. Then there are things that you don't really need — Netflix subscriptions, cable TV, pricey gym memberships, restaurant meals. Trim the fat and cultivate a thrifty mindset. Search online for promo codes and coupons to use when making your purchases.

Face hard facts

Some debts are just too exorbitant to wipe out in your lifetime even with the most austere lifestyle. If such is the case with your finances after taking a hard look, it might be time to consider whether filing for bankruptcy is a viable option.

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Medina, OH 44256

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