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How can you get started on paying down debt?

There are a number of things you can do to help reduce the amount of money you owe on your debts. Whether it's credit cards or other forms of debt, most of these tips can be applied in any situation.

The first thing anyone trying to get a handle on debt needs to do is to know where that debt is. Who do you owe, and how much? How much are the payments, and what's the interest rate? This information is a must-know.

Now, start tracking your costs. It's time to write out a budget; see how much money you have coming in and how much you need to spend on bills each month. Plan to start paying more on your debts to get out of them faster if you can, and look at spending habits that hurt your goals. For example, if you're spending $5 going to lunch every day, perhaps it's time to pack a lunch and to spend that savings on paying down your debts faster.

Now, once you know how much you owe and how much income you have to work with, it's time to choose a way to pay off your debts. You might opt to pay your highest interest debts off more quickly, or you might tackle the lowest debts to see success faster. Whatever you do, stick with the plan and make sure to make all your payments on time. Put away credit cards and refuse to add more debt to the pile if at all possible.

These are just a few ways to get started on paying down your debt; try these tips, and if you need additional options, your attorney may be able to help you negotiate down your expenses.

Source: CreditCards.com, "8 steps to reducing credit card debt," Erin Peterson, accessed Dec. 23, 2016

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