The CFPB released a guide for individuals who made it (or want to make it) their New Year’s resolution to get a handle on debt and improve their finances. The guide includes links to resources and additional information consumers can use to get debt-free in 2019.
Here are six steps to make that resolution become a reality:
- Budget: Creating a budget will help individuals figure out how much money they have to pay down their debts, while also covering their needs and obligations.
- Track your spending: Tracking and comparing week-to-week spending makes it easier to find areas where spending can be cut back.
- Strategize: There are two basic ways to reduce debt: the snowball method—where people pay down their smallest debt first—and the highest interest rate method – the process of paying down the debt with the highest interest.
- Work with debt collectors: If a debt has fallen into collections, a budget or cash flow tool is a good starting point for negotiating a repayment agreement with debt collectors.
- Work with a credit counselor: Reputable credit counselors can provide assistance with budgeting and offer money management workshops.
- Acknowledge accomplishments: After a debt is paid, individuals should take the chance to look back at how their financial situation has improved.
To view the complete guide, visit the CFPB’s website.