Top Tips To Get Out Of Debt

By Chris Gardner

Getting into debt by splashing out on lovely holidays or dipping into your overdraft to treat yourself to a new gadget or toy is really easy to do but somehow, getting out of debt is far harder. It's easy to understand why most of us leave the endless stream of payment demand letters ignored and unopened.

If you're in the endless cycle of borrowing money to pay off debt then you may find the following five steps to get out debt helpful.

1. Work out exactly how much you owe. Take a deep breath, sit down and add up exactly how much you owe all of your creditors. It can be quite scary but it's the only way you'll be able to seriously work out what needs paying off and in what order.

TIP: Think about taking out a Debt Consolidation loan. By combining all your debts, such as overdraft, personal loans and credit cards, into one easy-to-manage monthly payment, you can take all the worry out of paying off your debts. It also means you only have to think about paying a single payment to one lender every month.

If you're a homeowner you might also consider releasing equity from your house. If the value of your home is more than the outstanding mortgage you have on it then you could remortgage your home to release some of the cash tied up in it to pay off your debt – make sure you to talk to an advisor!

2. Watch your spending

Stop spending on things you really don't need, after all that's probably how you got into debt in the first place. Set yourself a weekly budget for all your outgoings including going out, travel expenses and paying off your debt - and make sure you stick to it.

TIP: Make your own lunch every day for work and put the money you have saved aside and use it to pay even more off your debt at the end of each month.

3. Use cash not cards

Most of us don't think twice about spending on plastic but unfortunately the odd bits and pieces you put on your card every day add up to hundreds of pounds over a month – hundreds of pounds you don't have! So put your credit, store and cash cards away and only spend what you have in your pocket.

TIP: Decide on a set amount of cash you can afford to spend every week and take it out of the cashpoint. This is all you have to spend all week – so make sure you stick to it

4. Don't ignore your problem.

Your debt really won't go away unless you admit to yourself that you're in debt. Try and tell someone about it, you will feel like some of the responsibility has been taken from you.

TIP: If you don't feel you can approach a friend then get in touch with the Citizens Advice Bureau or the National Consumer Credit Counselling Service. They will give you free, confidential advice.