Mapping Your Financial Journey: Helping Adults Plan for College
Money Pitfalls

Tips for Reducing Debt

You can pay off your debts if you stay focused on that goal. Taking these steps can help:

  • Don’t wait to act. The problem won’t improve if you ignore it.
  • Stop buying items on credit.
  • To reduce the number of credit card offers you receive by mail, call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT.
  • Keep only one or two credit cards. Cut up the others and call the companies to cancel the accounts. Consider reducing the credit limit on your remaining cards.
  • Honestly assess what you can pay and what you own. If you own a new car, for example, and you’re having trouble making the payments, it may make sense to sell the car and pay off the loan rather than have the car repossessed, which will harm your credit record.
  • Create a spending plan to help you identify ways to cut expenses. Are there some things you can stop buying altogether, or buy less often? Use the money you save to pay off loans.
  • Consolidate your loans. Combine higher-interest loans into a single lower-rate loan.
  • When you've paid off one debt, redirect payments to pay off another loan.
  • If you are having trouble making your loan payments, contact your creditors. Explain that you want to pay off your debts and ask if they will accept smaller payments now. Many companies will work with you.
  • Create a plan to reduce your debt. The debt recovery worksheet will help you organize your plan.

Go to Debt Recovery Worksheet: PDF | WORD

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