Now that 2020 is rapidly disappearing in our proverbial rear-view mirrors, there’s no better time to start fresh and put a plan in place to conquer debt in this new year. Here’s how you can show your debts who’s boss in 2021. And beyond.
This year, show debt who’s boss
Maybe it was those lobster tails for Christmas lunch, the (well-deserved) holiday rental by the sea or that perfect gift for your partner (that you can use too). Or perhaps your debts have been adding up over time, with a small personal loan here and a few big credit card purchases there to get you through any recent tough times. Whatever might have caused your debts to mount, it might be time to start taking control.
Eight tips to show debt who’s boss
- Create a budget. Create a budget. Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard it before, right? But a budget is the simplest, smartest way to get a handle on your money. Our budget planner makes it easy.
- Be careful with credit. Credit cards are convenient. To avoid interest, just be sure to only spend what you can afford to pay off fully each month.
- Get smart with debit. If you want more control, a debit card lets you buy things just like a credit card – but you’re using your own funds rather than borrowing money.
- Have a hit list. So that you know what you’re working with, list all your debts, what their interest rate and fees are, and how much you owe for each one.
- Roll your debts into one lower-cost loan. Something like an ING Personal Loan could help you save on interest and fees so you pay off your debt sooner.
- Pay more. The best way to get ahead of your debt is to repay more than the minimum amount when you can. Just make sure you won’t be charged early repayment fees first.
- Ask an expert. A financial adviser can help you set goals and give independent advice on managing your money and debt. Find licensed advisers in your area at fpa.com.au.
Get a better read on debt
Once upon a time, finance was a closed book. But today you can find lots of books about managing money in the personal finance section of any bookshop or library. You’ll also find an increasing range of resources about money written specifically for kids, young adults, growing families and women.
Whatever you choose, just check the publication date to make sure it’s up to date and is relevant to Australia’s financial system.
You can also grab a copy of ING’s guide to taking control of debt. Whether it’s for you or someone you know, in just a few minutes the guide will explain what debt is, how and when to use it, when it’s best to avoid it and how to get help if you need it.
You don’t have to do debt alone
While financial hardship can feel quite isolating, you’re not alone. There are resources and services available to help you get back in control.
MoneySmart is a well-regarded government website run by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. It has heaps of handy information about a wide range of money matters.
More specifically, the National Debt Hotline is a not-for-profit service dedicated to helping people who are tackling debt. As well as free guides, the service offers a referral service that can connect you with one of 850 free financial counsellors Australia-wide. Call them on 1800 007 007 or visit ndh.org.au.
Finally, if you’re an ING customer and finding it hard to make repayments, our ING Financial Support Team may be able to help. For your options, check online or call 1300 349 166.
ING is not affiliated with third parties mentioned in this article. ING is not responsible for any services provided by third parties nor does ING accept any liability or responsibility arising in any way from any products or services supplied by the third parties.
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