It is a sad reality that many of us are in need of debt relief solutions. There are many ways that we might end up with debt, from trying to pay for school to a medical emergency to simple bad luck. Whatever the cause, debt can be a steep and daunting hill to climb.
It is also a remarkably common one. Almost 70% of us here in the U.S. Have less than $1,000 set aside for a rainy day. That does not leave a lot of room for error when it comes to our finances.
Fortunately, you do not need to go it alone. There are a range of debt relief solutions out there, from free resources to lawyers and attorneys who specialize in handling debt for their clients. There are many paths forward if you have debt, including some that you might not have considered.
Here, you can find 7 tips for digging yourself out of debt.
1. Figure Out What You Can Sell
One of the easiest and most accessible solutions is starting to consider what you own that you might be able to sell. You don’t need to start big with this. You can instead start simple.
Consider opening up that garage door and selling whatever you can. If you were going to set up a simple garage sale, do you have items you could get rid of? Maybe you have a second toaster than you have never even used. Or perhaps you have a bunch of old clothing that you don’t really wear anymore. These can be great items to get you started.
You don’t need to set up a garage sale, either. You could go right to a clothing reseller if you have clothes to sell, for example. Many places will give you cash for some gently used clothing if you clean it and bring it in in good condition.
You can also look at places like pawn shops if you have items you can get rid of. Of course, these smaller items aren’t comprehensive debt relief solutions, but they are a simple and easy starting place. It might be a good way to start handling your debt if you feel overwhelmed and unsure about where to begin.
If you have larger items to sell, that can make a more significant dent in your debt. For example, if you have art, that can be a real boon to your finances. Art appraisers can help you assess what any art in your home is worth if you were to sell it.
It can be tough to part with something like art, but things like art and furniture and vehicles are way more valuable than a bag of clothing. If you can part with these items, it will go a long way toward your debt relief solutions.
The far end of the scale is selling a home. This isn’t the happiest prospect, but it is effective. If you have severe debt, your home might even be part of that. Instead of allowing it to continue to drag down your finances, you may consider selling.
Selling will not only stop the payments for the home, but it might allow you a new opportunity to restructure your life. Perhaps this is the right time to downgrade your house into something smaller and easier to manage. This can set you on a path for resolving your debt issues in the long term.
2. Figure Out How to Buy Cheaper
Selling your belongings isn’t the only way to deal with your debt. Buying can also be included in debt relief solutions, if you’re buying wisely.
Next time you need to make a major purchase, think about ways you might buy for less. You don’t need a brand new car when a used one will do. See if you can get a good deal from a used auto dealer so that you can still have a car without making your debt situation worse.
Buying used can apply to a lot of things in life. You can even get used clothes, use appliances, and used furniture. These kinds of items can be large expenses that build over time or even requirement payment plans. You don’t want to end up on more payment plans if you’re already in debt though, so if you can avoid that by buying used instead, you will strengthen your financial situation.
Buying used doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice quality or appearance, either. Many used cars and other goods are still in perfect working condition and look great. A used car, for example, might have simply been a showroom car that was used for test drives. Still, because it was driven at all, you stand to get a steep discount compared to if that car was brand new.
Getting creative with your purchasing decisions can go a long way toward your financial help and debt relief solutions.
3. Work, If You Can
If you can work, that is one of the best debt relief solutions possible. A steady income will allow you to save, plan and consistently chip away at your debt over time.
You do not need to have a fancy corporate job, either. Any form of legal employment will help tremendously when it comes to your debt. Don’t look down on service jobs and things like that. They are just as important as any other work, especially because at the end of the day they put a paycheck in your pocket.
If you can work, don’t just spend your entire paycheck. Try to plan carefully around that paycheck in order to ensure that you have a long-term plan for chipping away at your debt. Look at the big picture and make a payment schedule. When you can see the end date for your debt, you may feel more motivated to get there.
4. Look Into Loans
Though you don’t want to rely on loans entirely for your debt relief solutions, there are some instances where loans can be very helpful.
Loan is a bit of a dirty word in our society, implying shady business dealings and terrible rates that stick people with large bills. However, that is not always the case. In fact, loans are very common. You might not even realize how many successful people around you have loans.
For example, anyone who owns a home had to get a home loan. Even real estate investors get multifamily loans in order to rent out apartment buildings. These loans are debt, that’s true, but they are also large long-term investments.
If you are in a position to do so, you can mimic these kinds of loans as debt relief solutions. If you already have a car or home loan, you may be able to talk to your lender about refinancing or getting a better rate, for example. Go in with a plan for how you will pay off the loan and resolve your debt.
Loans can also provide some temporary relief so you can focus on your debt relief solutions for the long term. If you think this might help, be sure to do your research ahead of time. Consider carefully whether a loan will ultimately help or just saddle you with more debt.
5. Talk to An Advisor
This brings up an important point: Talk to the experts. There are many types of experts out there who can help you with your debt. If you need serious debt relief solutions, you should try talking to people like financial advisors who can help you develop a solid plan for dealing with your debt.
These kinds of advisors are there to help you build your wealth in the long run. They do this by looking at strategies you can employ to reduce your financial risks and resolve your debts.
Think of it as a life coach for your money. However, there are many, many types of financial advisors. You will want to find one who can help you with debt relief solutions in particular.
For example, there are advisors who are tax specialists or wealth managers. These folks are not going to be as helpful to you as someone who specializes in debt management and debt relief solutions instead.
An advisor who focuses on debt management can help you come up with a long term plan for addressing your debt. They are often financial coaches because they are coaching you on how to set up your life and finances in order to deal with your debt. They can advise you on how to develop your own personalized plan for your debt and encourage you along the way.
Of course, there is a cost for these kinds of services, so make sure you won’t just make your debt situation worse by talking to an advisor. Still, if you think you have the means, a financial coach can be invaluable. Having an expert on your side who can develop a plan with you can set you on the right path with the right debt relief solutions for your particular situation.
This is an investment in your future, a future that will hopefully be debt-free.
6. Consider Bankruptcy
It’s not a happy thought, but sometimes we need to consider bankruptcy when debt is severe enough.
Bankruptcy is a serious situation. However, declaring bankruptcy can be a smart solution for those with a lot of debt on their hands.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, you might contact a bankruptcy lawyer for help and guidance on this serious matter. They can guide you through this tricky legal process, as well as explain some of the ins and outs of bankruptcy.
For example, there are many types of bankruptcy, just as there are many debt relief solutions. Not all types of bankruptcy are right for everyone. You should figure out what kind of bankruptcy suits your particular situation.
The two types of bankruptcy most individuals encourage are chapter 7 and chapter 13. Chapter 7 wipes out your “unsecured” debt, meaning things like medical bills, credit card debt and payday loans. This can be a fresh start for you, even though you will still have your “secured” debt, which is things like a car loan or mortgage.
A chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer can help you determine if this is the right type of bankruptcy for you to file. It will not magically wipe out all debt, but it will wipe out a lot of it. This can be a great opportunity for you to start over with a better financial outlook.
The other type is chapter 13. If your income is too high for chapter 7, you may need to file chapter 13 instead. This is more of a debt consolidation than a debt removal. You pledge to make payments over time and your creditors accept the plan.
Bankruptcy is just one among an array of debt relief solutions, but if your situation is severe enough, it may be worth considering.
7. Consider an Attorney
With debt comes debt collections. Those hounding calls from your debtors can be a real mental and emotional burden, as well as a monetary one.
If you are getting overwhelmed by your debt and creditors, you might consider hiring an attorney to help you with your debt.
A bankruptcy attorney can be an invaluable ally for those who need debt relief solutions. They can help you sort through the calls and legal threats and figure out what your options actually are. They can also advocate on your behalf as you try to find a solution.
Another important function of this kind of attorney is just guiding you through the bankruptcy process. It is complicated and involves a lot of legalese that many of us aren’t experts on in our everyday lives.
Make and Plan and Get Out of Debt
No matter which debt relief solutions you employ, from bankruptcy to yard sales to refinancing, it’s important to make a plan. You can take control of your debt and your future by putting a plan in place and sticking to it. It will also help you to see the light at the end of the tunnel and know you are working toward a brighter future.