Take Control of Your Debt: 5 Steps You Need to Take

Have you been dealing with debt? It might be time to take control of your financial future. Here's what you need to know.

If you're like most adults, you have some debt. This might include credit card debt, a mortgage, or even student loans. Managing your debt can be quite challenging and tricky. In fact, debt can cause both stress and anxiety when you aren't sure how to control it. Fortunately, no matter what kind of debt you have, there are several steps you can take to reduce your debt and to start living the life you've always wanted.

1. Create a budget that works for you.

One of the first steps you should take when you're ready to reduce your debt and start moving forward is to create a budget that works for you. Make sure you understand exactly how much income you have each month. Then you can calculate what your actual bills are, how much spending money you need, and how much cash you should have left over. This will enable you to determine how much extra money you can put toward paying down your debt each month. Consider downloading a budgeting app or even creating a spreadsheet to determine what your spending looks like, as well as what you want it to look like.

2. Check your credit.

It's important that you check your credit report regularly. This is because sometimes things are not reported accurately on your credit report. Request a copy of your report and look it over. Does everything seem to be correct? Does a bill show up as being unpaid on your credit report even though you paid it? It's important to contest anything that seems like it is incorrect on your report, as inaccuracies can have a negative impact on your credit score. This will make things like getting a car loan or buying a house much more challenging.

3. Talk with lenders.

In some cases, your lenders may be able to work with you to reduce the amount that you owe each month. In some cases, they can reduce the amount you owe overall. This is especially important if you have medical debt, so don't be afraid to reach out and call. Simply letting them know you are having financial hardship problems and asking whether they have alternate repayment methods available can go a long way in reducing the amount you need to pay each month.

4. Consider a loan forgiveness program.

Depending on your career choice, you may qualify for a student loan forgiveness program. There are a number of programs available that may forgive a portion of your student loan debt. This is especially important if you're in a field where you serve the public, such as a teacher or physician. Note that program options vary from state to state and will depend greatly on your personal financial situation, as well as your current career field.

5. Talk with a bankruptcy lawyer about whether you should consider filing.

Understand that no two situations are completely alike, which is one of the reasons you should consider speaking with a bankruptcy attorney. Your lawyer understands exactly what you're going through and can help you analyze your financial decision to talk about what your options are. Understand that even if you file for bankruptcy, you'll generally still have to pay back your student loans. This is one type of debt that can be hard to manage since even when you file, you'll still owe; however, your lawyer can help you review your options for facing bankruptcy and student loan debt.

Don't be afraid to reach out. If you're dealing with student loan, credit card, or mortgage debt, call today and schedule an appointment.