What is a debt management system, and when do you need it? Like any kind of management system, debt help systems can be good or bad. We will take a look at what you can do to manage your debt better. One element is paying off debt, but that's not the only one. It is much more than paying off your credit cards, and does not end when you pay off your mortgage or car loan either. You have to make a system of good money management, and follow this system in your daily life. Here are the key elements in such a system:
Make a budget
The purpose of making a budget is to keep track of the money that comes in and get out of your economy. This is basic in every financial system and absolutely necessary to stay on track. Unfortunately very few people are actually doing this and many are even living above their means. Approximately 10 percent of the American people spends 10 percent more than they make each month. If this can be called a system for managing debt, it's indeed a bad one.
Follow your budget
Now, it's necessary and great to make a budget. But you'll also have to follow it. There's no meaning in using time and effort on making it, if it's only function is to stay in a drawer.
The first symptom of not following it is experiencing a growing need for debt relief. As soon as you ever see this, you must put all your effort in getting back on track. This may take a bit of time, but it's absolutely obtainable.
What to do if you get off track
If you for some reason do not follow the budget you have made, you need to find a program that can help you get back on track again.
There are many such programs that can help you obtain debt relief. What such programs have in common are that they
- help you organize a plan to pay off debt
- offer advice on how to stay on track with your budget.
The criteria for chosing a plan is that it must be realistic with regard to the time it will take to bring you back on track. If you make goals that are too high, you are setting yourself up to fail, which means a big risk of falling back into your old habits. The average length of a credit-counseling program for example, can range from four to six years.
This kind of program for managing your debt, is to create a realistic budget, adjusted to the new financial situation you are in right now. Counselors are professionals, who teach their clients good money management.
You can also get help to reorganiz your debt payments. This is done by consolidating all your monthly payments into one. You do not have to pay each credit bill by bill. The various payments are automatically distributed to all of your creditors, from this single payment. This normally means reduced interest rates and no over the limit or charging late fees.
Loan consolidation programs have much in common with the type of program described above. The main difference here is that all your debt is consolidated into one loan, which usually has a low interest rate.
This kind of program is also called debt settlement. The main element in this way to manage your debt is to outsource your problems to a debt negotiation firm, which negotiate with your creditors to reduce the total principal of your debt. The main difference from counseling is that your amount of debt is adjusted, not the interest rates.
This is the most radical program and is probably the quickest way to debt relief there is. In USA the average length of a such a program is three years.