If you have been looking for ways to consolidate and reduce debt, or if you long to become debt-free, chances are you have overlooked all of the opportunities that are available at your local credit union in New Bedford. From credit union loans with low interest rates in New Bedford to paying off your home equity line of credit early, there are lots of things that you can start working on right now to help clean up your existing debt. For those who want to become debt-free there are three easy ways to help you achieve your goals. They might sound simple, but after reviewing the following tips you will understand the brilliance of the simplicity behind this proven method.
Debt-Free in 3 Easy Steps
Sounds like one of those late night infomercials or an unsolicited email that you might receive on an old email account, but it is possible to become debt-free just by doing three simple things. The first is to stop going into more debt. That may sound like a no-brainer, but it is harder than it sounds. No more credit cards, no more major purchases that you need to pay off, no more loans – absolutely no more debt. The second is to spend less than what you make each month. Create a budget a stick with it, making sure that your outgoing expenses are less than your incoming income. The third is to use the extra money that is coming in to pay off all of your existing debt.
You don’t need a financial planner or any other tools to achieve your goals with this plan. All it takes it will power and something they used to call “stick-to-it-iveness”. Don’t add any more debt, make more money than you spend, and use the money you save to pay off your debt. Unfortunately, life has a way of making a plan like this not work out. There’s the unexpected automobile repairs, medical bills, birthday gift, road trip or home repairs that often come up right when you are trying to save and pay down debt. It can also be hard to stick with a plan like this for any length of time totally on your own. The best way to do it is to use the tools that you have at your credit union in New Bedford to your advantage.
Identifying Your Existing Debt
Before you can do something about your debt, you need to face it head on. The best way to do that is by sitting down and creating a list of all your debt. Write down how much you owe, who you owe it to, your minimum monthly payments and due date, as well as any other essential information. While some people may prefer to use a computer spreadsheet, there’s just something about writing it down on a piece of paper that helps to solidify what needs to be done. Take advantage of all the online banking tools available at St Anne Credit Union, such as keeping track of your credit union home loan, home equity line of credit or staying on top of interest rates in New Bedford.
Once you have everything listed from credit cards and student loans to automobile and credit union loans, it is time to start creating a plan to pay off your debt. While continuing to make your minimum monthly payments, one way is to make additional payments toward the credit cards and other bills that have the highest interest rates. For example, a credit card with a 22 percent interest rate will ultimately cost more than a card that only has a 10 percent interest rate. Paying off that higher interest rate card will mean less fees becoming due throughout the life of the credit card. Once it is paid off, keep it at a zero balance until everything else is paid off. Don’t close down accounts until you have a chance to review everything at the end.
Create a Budget
The next essential part of the process is to create a budget. Write down how much you spend each month for the next two to three months or go over your banking records at your credit union in New Bedford to see what you have already spent in the past couple of months. Create a spreadsheet that shows how much you spend on utilities, gas for your car, home repairs, medical bills, entertainment, groceries, health and wellness, and cleaning supplies. You should also write down any incidentals, such as trips to the coffee shop, fast food lunches, and splurges on pizza. Believe it or not, it is sometimes these so-called incidentals that add up the fastest. A five dollar latte each morning will add up to $20 a work week and more than $80 a month – plus tips!
Stop By St Anne Credit Union in New Bedford
Whether you are already a member or if you are thinking about joining, stop by our local branch on Union Street to speak with our customer service representatives about taking advantage of all the tools available at St Anne Credit Union to help you become debt-free. From our low interest rate credit union loans to our money-saving tools and opportunities, we can help you put your money to work for you and start looking toward a financially independent future. Give us a call at 508-993-0011 to speak with a representative.