Canadians have never been in so much debt as they are in now. Everything from having monster mortgages to owing $1.70 for every $1 they earn, consumers need to rein in their spending.And with the Bank of Canada (BOC) raising interest rates, it’s going to get a lot harder.
If you have yet to establish a plan to pay off your debt then you must launch a game plan now. Otherwise you’ll be sinking with each passing month thanks to the higher rates on your mortgages, credit cards and other forms of debt. There’s no reason to be complacent today.
Of course, it can be a daunting task to relieve yourself from debt, but you need to remain positive at all times. You can do it as long as you have an objective in mind and the willpower to do so.
Here are five tips to get debt relief when interest rates increase:
1. Yes, You Need to Make Sacrifices
A common surprise for many households is that they need to make sacrifices, trim their expenses and cut back on unnecessary items. They don’t think they need to change anything in their lives.
Well, that’s about to change.
Moving forward, you need to make plenty of sacrifices to become debt-free. This could consist of everything from eating more at home than at restaurants to getting rid of that unnecessary gym membership that you never really use. It’s sacrifices like these that pay down your debt.
2. List Debts by Interest Rates
If you’re unsure which debts to fight first then here is a simple solution: list your debts by interest rates.
Money experts always say that it isn’t debt that hurts you but rather the interest rates. It’s true. You may have a $500 credit card bill, but it jumps to $750 because of the sky-high rates.
Even if the full balance is quite low, you should still pay off debts with the highest rates first.
3. Put Your Credit Cards on Ice
For the next little while, you’re going to adopt the old adage of cash is king.
Since you are trying to pay off your debt and discover some good old-fashioned debt relief, you need to refrain from using your MasterCard, Visa or American Express. Instead, you need to primarily depend upon cash and your debit card.
4. Use Your Savings to Tackle Debt
We all have a little bit of savings sitting somewhere. Whether it is the change in your piggybank or some bonds that were given to you as a wedding gift from your great grandmother, it would be prudent to utilize your savings to help pay down a credit card or a line of credit.
If you’re worried about not having an emergency savings, the primary aspect to focus on is debt. Once you are out of debt then you need to aggressively rejuvenate your emergency fund.
Yes, it’s a gamble, but it’s a bet that will pay off.
5. Debt Consolidation May be the Only Way
At the end of it all, if you haven’t paid down 75 percent of your debt with cutbacks, additional income, paying everything with cash or using a budget then the only solution for you may be debt consolidation.
By having a single monthly payment, you can ensure that you’re making progress and that you will be debt-free by a certain time. You just need to speak with a debt counselor in your area.