Christmas spending takes it’s toll when January rolls round the bell starts ringing ….
Have you just received your statement for December? Did it make you cringe? You are not alone. Thousands of Australians are in the same boat trying find a way out this month ….
Here’s our New Year Checklist for dealing with unmanageable debt;
1) Check for 0% balance transfer deals – just make sure you know what the T&Cs are, eg balance transfer fee? term of offer? reversion interest rate if you do not pay off the balance in time? does 0% apply to all transactions or just the balance transfer? It is easy to be caught out if new transactions attract an even higher interest rate!
2) Consider applying for a personal loan. You obviously have to meet the lender’s credit criteria but if you can afford to, this may be the path to being debt free as there is usually a much lower interest rate, a fixed term to pay off and you cannot add extra purchases on!
3) Struggling to repay even the minimum payments? Your absolute FIRST call needs to be to your lender and ask for the hardship team. This is very important. The words “hardship team” get you through to a separate team trained to assess and assist customers who are facing financial difficulty. They can talk you through if and how they can help. Another option is seeking free Financial Counselling.
4) Been through hardship and need a long-term plan? Talk to us. At Life After Debt ®, we will go through a free debt assessment to see what you options are and we will also provide a free credit file report (authority and ID required). We can look at informal arrangements or a formal debt agreement and advise of which may be best for you.
5) Bankruptcy. It is the last resort and sometimes necessary but don’t even think about until you’ve talked to us. If we think Bankruptcy is the option you need, we can talk you through how to apply and what the process is.