Do you feel like you are drowning in debt? Like the payments are consuming your entire paycheck and you can never get ahead? Or worse, there really is not enough money to pay for basic living expenses and cover the debt payments you owe? If you are in a situation where you do not have enough money to pay for everything, I would suggest prioritizing in this order:
- Food/Prescription Medicine
- Back Taxes
- Secured Debts
- Family & Friends Debts
- Unsecured Debts
As you can see, your debts would actually be addressed last. So many people are so terrified of creditors that they make sure these payments are made first. I would suggest the opposite. Once you have your basic living expenses covered, it is then time to decide which debts are going to get paid. At this point it is very beneficial to have an understanding of the different types of debt and how they operate.
The first type of debt you should focus on paying back is secured debt. This is debt where the lender can come take something – like a car, boat, motorcycle, tractor, etc. If the lender repossesses the item, they will sell it at a wholesale auction and then come after you for the difference.
The next type of debt I would suggest paying off would be debt to family and friends. I feel this is important because unpaid debts to family and friends have been the cause of relationship issues. It is essential to pay back these debts to avoid these problems!
The last type of debt to pay is unsecured debt. These are the debts that are screaming at you the loudest to pay: credit cards, student loans, signature loans, etc. Why are these creditors the loudest? Because there is nothing they can come take from you! The debt is not attached to anything that they can come and repossess. This is why creditors will play on your emotions to get you to pay them before anything else. I have met so many people who are up to date on their credit card payments but behind on their house payment. I do not want this to be you! Pay your secured debts first!
So go back to your spending plan and make sure that you have all of your priorities in order. If you cannot make all of your payments this month, make sure you are prioritizing and paying the most important first.
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