CFPB: 6 steps to get a handle on debt and improve finances

cfpb-logoThe 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.

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