If you have too much debt, there are five options for eliminating debt. Here's my short video explaining your debt management options:
I explain these five debt busting options in the video:
- Personal budgeting: Make a budget, and pay off your debts on your own. (I'm not a big fan of budgeting, since it's hard, so you can read my post on why budgeting is a bad idea, and what you can do to manage your money without budgeting).
- Debt Consolidation Loan: A debt consolidation loan is a loan used to pay off multiple smaller debts. It allows you to combine multiple payments into one smaller monthly payment, generally at a lower interest rate and spread over a longer period of time. Of course debt consolidation doesn't reduce your debt, unless you can pay more towards the principal each month.
- Credit Counselling: A credit counsellor can negotiate repayment plan where you pay your debts in full, but at a reduced interest rate. This is called a "Debt Management Plan" and works well if you can repay your debts in full.
- Debt Settlement: A debt settlement is an arrangement negotiated with a creditor where you pay a portion of the amount owing. If you owe $20,000, you could offer to pay $8,000 as a lump sum to settle the debt, or you could offer to make payments over time. If the debt is old, and if you have a lump sum of money, this may be a viable solution. However, if you have many debts, you must reach an agreement with each creditor, which may not be possible.
- Consumer Proposal: A consumer proposal is a legally binding settlement between a debtor and a creditor. It typical involves the debtor making one monthly payment, on an agreed upon settlement amount, over a period of no more then 5 years. At the end of the proposal period the debtor is then released of any remaining balances, which may be left from their original amount of debt.
- Bankruptcy: In an Ontario bankruptcy an individual surrenders certain assets to a trustee, in order to be absolved of their debts. They are then legally declared bankrupt and required to adhere to the duties of a bankrupt, in order to obtain an absolute discharge, at the end of their bankruptcy term.