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ACU Blog  / 7 Strategies to Manage Your Debt and Regain Financial Wellbeing
11 September 2023 / 3 minute read

7 Strategies to Manage Your Debt and Regain Financial Wellbeing

Being in debt can be extremely stressful but we have 7 strategies to help manage your debt and back on track financially
Words Allegiance Credit Union
11 September 2023
3 minute read

In today's fast-paced world, managing debt and achieving financial stability have become paramount. As we navigate various financial responsibilities, it's essential to adopt effective strategies that pave the way toward regaining control over our finances. In this article, we'll explore seven proven strategies that can help you manage your debt and embark on a journey towards restoring your financial well-being.

Whether you're looking to streamline repayments, adopt effective budgeting techniques, or explore debt consolidation options, here are 7 strategies to manage your debt and help you get started on your financial journey.

7 Strategies to Manage Your Debt and Regain Financial Wellbeing


1: Recognize the Signs

It’s not uncommon for people to feel subtle stress and anxiety due to growing debt. Too often, those feelings are shrugged off as people attend to busy lives and look for ways to earn more money. Taking the time to make a mental inventory may be the first step toward managing a potential problem. If these telltale signs look familiar, it’s time to take proactive measures.

  • Thoughts about debt keep you awake at night.
  • You are receiving overdue notices, text messages, or phone calls.
  • You were recently denied credit.
  • A check was returned or debit card transaction declined for insufficient funds.

Recognizing these and other triggers often prompts people to be honest with themselves about the issue. After facing the situation head-on, you can begin the healing process and regain control.

2: Monitor Your Credit Score

When debt-to-income ratios become imbalanced, or you suffer late payments, credit scores are quickly impacted. By that same token, skillful debt management and reduction typically result in an improved credit score. Consider setting up a credit score monitoring system that delivers reminders about the state of your credit. This impartial measure lets you know which direction your financial health is trending. At a minimum, be sure to stay on top of your credit score by requesting one free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies from annualcreditreport.com


3: Create a List of Your Existing Debts

Crafting a successful debt management plan requires community members to put the numbers down on paper. This process helps identify high balances and ongoing credit usage. Consider putting the comprehensive list of consumer debts into a spreadsheet. This strategy allows you to click a column and list debts from highest to lowest interest rates and balances.

4: Pay off High-Interest Debt First

It’s essential to make at least minimum monthly payments when engaged in a debt management and reduction process. Trying to quickly pay down one account while sacrificing others can harm your credit score. That, in turn, hurts your ability to borrow in the event of a financial emergency.

Consider paying the monthly minimums on each account, except the one charging the highest interest. Focus your resources on paying down that balance by reducing the principal. Once you achieve a zero balance, target the next high-interest credit card.


5: Create a Budget

Although some people prefer writing checks or making electronic payments as invoices arrive, tracking revenue and expenses has significant advantages. By drafting a monthly budget, working families are better equipped to navigate spending habits. Discretionary spending for dining out or entertainment can be clearly articulated in a debt management context, and families can budget their resources effectively. A monthly budget can also become a source of inspiration. As you rein in debt, there will likely be more discretionary money available.


6: Consolidate Your Debt

Chipping away at multiple accounts can prove time-consuming and cumbersome. That’s why residents often work with local community-based financial institutions to leverage debt consolidation options. The basic strategy involves taking wide-reaching premiums and funneling them into a single monthly payment. The following debt consolidation products can reduce the stress associated with paying multiple debts.

  • Home Equity Loans: Qualified community members with built-up equity can leverage that asset and apply for a low-interest loan. Because the product is secured with collateral, interest tends to remain far lower than other products.
  • Credit Cards: Local lenders invest in their community members and often have relatively low-interest, high-balance credit cards available. These can be used to pay off other cards that charge significantly higher interest rates and fees. This strategy reduces the amount of your hard-earned salary going toward interest.
  • Personal Loans: Taking out a personal loan at the right rate and repayment schedule can make debt consolidation possible.

Debt consolidation ranks among the tried-and-true methods for restoring financial health and enjoying the fruits of your labor. Being responsible for one monthly payment also helps reduce bill-paying stress and anxiety.

7: Build an Emergency Fund

No one can predict when the next financial emergency will occur. Illness, job loss, or another economic disruption could place a strain on anyone’s ability to pay monthly bills. Strategies such as debt consolidation generally create enough wiggle room for families to build up an emergency fund. Creating a budget line item that sends a percentage of your income into a rainy day fund may prove invaluable.

Remember advisors at local credit unions are often a great resource

If you are considering home equity loans, credit cards, personal loans or other debt consolidation loan options, the value of working with a local credit union cannot be understated. Local banking professionals are also community members and invest their reputation in getting you the best possible option. That’s something everyday people cannot get from online resources and big corporate banks. Your local credit union representative will take time to listen and diligently work through the process to help you gain the financial independence you deserve.