It can feel like you are taking control of your financial future when you get a loan, but the truth is that you are taking on new risks. Banks can change terms on credit cards, payday loans carry short repayment periods, and hefty late fees on any loan can put a dent in your finances. Here are some tips to help you manage your loans now and eliminate them in the future.
Even if you choose electronic statements, you should still have some basic records on your loans. This includes the terms, interest rates, payment due dates and any changes in terms. Examine statements when they arrive to be sure you have been credited for payments and all charges are correct. Call the lender if you notice any problems, questionable charges or inaccurate information.
Your finances can quickly spiral out of control if you are constantly being charged for late payments or going over your credit limit. Avoid these fees by opting out of programs that allow you to charge more than your line of credit and by sending payment electronically. Bill pay programs through your bank allow you to avoid the expense of stamps and envelopes. You also avoid late fees by assuring that you never forget to mail a payment. When the unnecessary charges are eliminated, your attempts at paying off debts will be more successful.
If you use payday loans, you should make paying those loans off a priority. The high interest rates will devastate you financially if the loans are not paid when due. It might require making sacrifices in other areas of the household budget, but you should avoid extending these loans whenever possible.
The income you earn isn’t just for covering living expenses and monthly debt payments. It should also be used to create an emergency fund, pay off loans and improve your financial future. When designing a budget for the household, be sure to include payments to yourself in the list of priorities. Money should be set aside every month to build an emergency fund and eliminate debt.
No one is exempt from emergencies and difficult financial situations. From mechanic’s bills to home repairs, you should have the funds on hand to deal with life’s unexpected problems. Put money into your emergency fund every month, so you will have the cash you need to deal with these surprises. Having the fund in place will allow you to avoid taking payday loans or cash advances on your credit card. You will save money on interest charges and maintain strong control over your finances.
Live the Dream
Imagine what you could do with the money you send to the banks, credit companies and payday loan agencies every month. Eliminating debts will free you financially. Include money in your budget to make extra payments on your debts. Over time, you will be rewarded with lower interest charges and more disposable income.
Your finances won’t manage themselves, and ignoring them will lead to disaster. Take control of your finances and secure a healthy future by being informed, making smart payments, and working towards your goal of being debt free. It may take a while to reach your goals, but you will be rewarded with more financial security.
Guest author Tim Flores is a freelance blogger and is writing on behalf of parrotloans.co.uk.