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Hey there, Sai fam! ๐ŸŒŸToday, we’re diving into the world of debt, breaking it down into bite-sized chunks, and making sure you’re in the know.

Debt 101 ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ’ฐ

In the simplest terms, debt is the money you owe to someone or something. Think credit cards, loans, or that cash you borrowed from your friend. Debt is like a financial IOU, promising to pay back the borrowed funds, usually with interest. ๐Ÿ’ฐ

But here’s the deal: understanding debt is the first step to mastering it. So, whether you’re tackling your debts head-on or simply looking to boost your financial IQ, keep reading for more tips and tricks to conquer the debt game! ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ“ˆ

Mind Your Mind: How to Be Self-Aware ๐Ÿง โœจ

Starting the โ€˜managing your debtโ€™ journey can be hard, we get it! But the first step in conquering debt is being self-aware, and weโ€™re here to be your sidekick.ย 

1. Check your credit score ๐Ÿ’ณ๐Ÿ“ˆ

Your credit score is like your financial fingerprint. It is calculated from your credit history and shows how well you manage credit. Your credit score will change over time based on your actions.ย 

Some factors that impact your credit score are:

  • Your time in the credit game
  • Your credit behaviour and consistencyย 
  • Your debtย 
  • How close you are to your credit limitย 
  • Your amount of credit applicationsย 
  • The variety of credit types you’re managing
ย 2. Make a list of all your debts ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿฆ

Figure out what you owe by listing out all your debt. This may include mortgages, car loans, student loans, credit cards, or lines of credit.ย 

Now, for each category, write down the total amount you owe, the minimum monthly payment, and the interest rate.ย 

3. Regularly check your credit card bill ๐Ÿ•ต๏ธโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿงพ

It is important to not only be self-aware of your current debt but also be proactive not to build more. We recommend downloading your bankโ€™s app on your phone to make checking your credit balance super easy.ย 

Pinpoint Your Debt Status & Make a Plan ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿ’ณ

Is this you when it comes to looking at your debt status: ๐Ÿซฃ๐Ÿซฃ๐Ÿซฃ. Coming to terms with where you are when it comes to debt can seem scarier than The Exorcist, but making a plan with benchmarks can help you feel more confident.

1. Pick your Pace๐Ÿƒโฑ๏ธ

Select a payment timeline that makes sense for your goals and budget.

  • Too long? You risk losing momentum and paying more in interest.
  • Too brief? It might become a tough juggling act and discourage you.
2. Prioritize your Payoffs ๐Ÿ“‹๐Ÿ’ธ

Depending on your debt, it’s smart to tackle specific debts first:

  • Start by knocking out those debts with sky-high interest rates. Clearing them first means less interest and a faster path to freedom. Sort your debts from highest interest to lowest, maintain minimum payments on all, and put extra cash toward the highest-rate debt.
  • On the flip side, clearing the lowest balance debt might give you a quick win and keep your motivation high. But remember, it can be pricier in the long run if you have debts with high interest rates.
  • If you owe friends or family, be open and discuss your repayment plan. Set a schedule that suits both parties, and consider automating payments to show your commitment.
3. Talk with your Creditors and Financial Institution ๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ๐Ÿฆ

Communicate with your creditors โ€” the folks you owe money to โ€” and unlock possibilities for managing your finances. They might present you with:

  • A reduced interest rate on your debt
  • Extended payment terms to ease your monthly loan
  • Debt consolidation into a single loan
4. Account Closure ๐Ÿ—ƒ๐Ÿ‘‹

After settling a debt, think about closing the account. Keep only what you can handle responsibly, while preserving older accounts. Your credit score loves long-term relationships!

5. Consider Switching to Secure Solutions ๐Ÿ”“๐Ÿ’ณ

Explore the idea of using a secured credit card. It involves leaving a security deposit, allowing you to only spend within that limit.

6. Steer Clear of Future Debt ๐Ÿšซ๐Ÿš—

Maintain a debt-free path by:

  • Saving for your financial goals
  • Using your credit card responsibly
  • Avoiding “buy now, pay later” plans
  • Setting up electronic alerts from your bank to help monitor your account balances
  • Exploring income boosting strategies.