Paying off debt requires persistence and dedication. Sometimes in the process of getting the upper hand on what we owe, we can run into situations that threaten to derail our strategy. Some are of our own doing, others are external. Let’s review some of each.
Dealing With Lost-Work Injuries
Let’s face it. No matter what other strategies you have to manage your debt, the only way you can pay it off is to remain gainfully employed. And when you are doing everything right but end up off work because of someone else’s mistake, the damage to your life can extend far beyond a few weeks of missed paychecks. Indeed, everything you’ve been doing to try to improve your financial situation can be undone as quickly as a car can run a stoplight.
How do you respond when this happens to you? You can’t let an injury leave you off work with no money coming in. If you do, a vicious cycle can result in which you hurry back to work before you’re fully recovered. You then re-injure yourself and end up off work again, and so you hurry back to work again, and on and on.
This can’t go on. Mike Pines has represented many injured people who ended up without a paycheck because someone else was reckless. His background in the insurance industry makes him uniquely qualified to confirm the importance of recovering money for lost wages when you’re hurt. If you don’t pursue reparations for the full cost of your injury, your entire financial future is in jeopardy.
Avoiding New Debt
This may seem a little too obvious for someone already struggling to pay off existing obligations. But thanks to the availability of your credit score to would-be lenders, your mailbox may contain daily temptations to consolidate debts by taking out new loans.
You must resist those calls for your attention. Most local banks, employer credit unions, and other local lenders who know you better are a much better option for simplifying a jumble of loans and credit cards. The mail-based offers will feature sky-high interest rates, hidden fees, and interminable payoff calendars. You may think you’re doing better by cutting your payments drastically, but you will be stuck paying on it for much longer. Your total payout will be much more by adding all those extra months.
If you really are struggling to make payments, chances are you’ve checked elsewhere for better options. If you’re only looking at something new because of a flashy piece of mail, do yourself a favor and trash it. Remember, the best debt is the one you never owe.
Bring Home (Extra) Bacon
When you’re just barely making payments, it is much better to expand your income than to try to shrink your payments. For those who are already worked to the max, of course, this isn’t an option. Your health, your family, and your performance at your existing employer(s) demand that you have some amount of down time.
But if you’re just trailing along at 40 or 50 hours of work per week and you’d like to get more aggressive in your payments, investigate some options for other work. Maybe you could perform services through your own business, such as cutting grass. Some people have elderly or ill neighbors who can’t mow their own, and they’ll gladly pay the neighbor to do it for them.
There are also freelance writing jobs, part-time work on night shifts, and there really is legitimate online work. Again, ignore unsolicited offers on email or ads and take the initiative to find reputable employers yourself.
Living in debt is unpleasant. It can dominate your every thought, sapping all the enjoyment from your life. The faster you cut it loose, the faster you can enjoy your friends, family, and work. Do what it takes to speed up your payoff, and get ready to enjoy living again!