A brand new year is here, bringing with it exciting new possibilities. Some possibilities in 2018, however, will not be exciting for some Arizona households. According to a recent study published by TransUnion, a credit reporting agency, consumer credit card debt will increase this year for the fifth consecutive time. Earlier this year, the amount of credit card debt American households owned reached a whopping $1 trillion. By next year, market research shows that many households would significantly struggle to pay off that debt.
Despite a strong economy, American households continue to amass debt. Credit cards are not the only culprit. A significant number of households are indebted due to unsecured loans like payday loans. This is in addition to typical loans like a home mortgage and student loans. While 2018 may be a good year in economic terms, it will also be a year many Arizonian households and individuals grapple with debt. Here are several debt management tips to keep in mind:
Avoid Taking on New Debt
Remember that any money you borrowed for the holidays will have to be paid off this year. If you are already in debt, it’s not a good idea to take on even more debt. Use your income or savings for holiday activities like parties and vacations and avoid borrowing more money overall. Control your spending habits right now to start reducing your debt gradually this year.
Talk to a Lawyer Regarding a Debt Relief Strategy
If the debts have piled up high already, the creditor may start suing you next year. Therefore, consult with a bankruptcy lawyer in Scottsdale to formulate a strategy to get rid of at least some of that debt. You can consider filing for bankruptcy if you find yourself literally unable to make payments. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows judges to discharge certain forms of unsecured debt, like credit card debt and payday loans. Ask a lawyer whether filing for bankruptcy would make financial sense in the coming year.
Negotiate with Creditors
If there are creditors calling, demanding that you pay back a loan, there are several options you can consider here. First, if the creditor is abusive and is subjecting you to harassment, you could consider taking legal action against creditor harassment. If the creditor’s communication tactics are legitimate, you can try negotiating. Creditors prefer to have their loans paid back at least partially than to have a bankruptcy court discharge the debt. Therefore, if you are unable to meet due payments, try to negotiate the interest rate or request an extension. Your lawyer may be able to assist.
Last but not least, save for emergencies. The start of the year is a great time to open a new savings account. When you have money saved for tough times, it will eliminate the need to take on personal loans or use expensive credit cards.