If your finances are a mess and you’re too intimidated to deal with them, there’s never been a better time than right now. The longer you wait, the messier they’re going to get — but if take control now, you‘ll find that the tools to pay off your debt and organize your finances are within reach. You just need to reach for them.
Here are 5 tips that can improve your financial situation right now.
1. Consolidate your debt
When you have a bunch of different debts, consolidating them is the first step toward taking control of your finances. Why? Consolidating debt makes managing your money simpler, and if staying financially organized can get complicated for you sometimes, simple is good.
2. Take out a personal loan to pay off your consolidated date
A personal loan is a great way to pay off consolidated debt. The main advantage is that it’s unsecured, which means you don’t have to put up any collateral. Plus, personal loans typically offer lower interest rates than credit cards and they have fixed repayment terms that range between 36-84 months. This means you’re not sitting on a never-ending pile of debt; rather, you know if will all be paid off within a certain timeframe.
Online loan marketplaces, such as LendingTree, allow borrowers to fill out one application and receive multiple, competitive loan offers. And because marketplaces like LendingTree work with hundreds of trusted lenders, you can easily find the right lender for you, no matter your credit score.
3. Make your payments on time
When you don’t make credit card/loan payments on time, you can be charged late fees, which just add to your debt. Plus, making payments on time is crucial for maintaining good credit; the higher your credit score, the better the interest rates you’re likely to get on any loan you take out.
Now is not the time to take that dream vacation to Hawaii. Don’t worry, that time will come—after you create a budget for yourself and live within your means. While it doesn’t mean you need to live on bread and water or never go out, it does mean you should plan out your monthly expenses and stay within your means.
5. Don’t neglect your savings just because you’re in debt
Debt does not equal ignoring retirement. If you have a 401(k), you should should definitely be contributing the minimum, and if your company has a matching program, you should do your utmost to contribute as much as your company is willing to match. Otherwise, you’re missing out on free money!
How to Apply For a Personal Loan
Applying for a personal loan is easy; you can contact your bank or check out any number of online lending companies. If your credit score is less-than-stellar, marketplaces like LendingTree and AmOne are good options, since they comb through hundreds of loans and find ones that you are most likely to qualify for.
Remember, debt won’t go away unless you address it head on. So don’t wait another moment — take control of the reins and act now. Once you get your finances in order, you’ll feel like a million bucks.