Everyone with even a little bit of debt has to manage their debt. If you just have a little debt, you have to keep up your payments and make sure it doesn’t get out of control. On the other hand, when you have a large amount of debt, you have to put more effort into paying off your debt while juggling payments on the debts you’re not currently paying.
Know Who and How Much You Owe
Make a list of your debts, including the creditor, total amount of the debt, monthly payment, and due date. You can use your credit report to confirm the debts on your list. Having all the debts in front of you will allow you to see the bigger picture and stay aware of your complete debt picture.
Don’t just create your list and forget about it. Refer to your debt list periodically, especially as you pay bills. Update your list every few months as the total amount of your debt changes.
Pay Your Bills on Time Each Month
Late payments make it harder to pay off your debt since you’ll have to pay a late fee for every payment you miss. If you miss two payments in a row and your interest rate and finance charges will increase.
If you use a calendaring system on your computer or smartphone, enter your payments there and set an alert to remind you several days before your payment is due. If you miss a payment, don’t wait until the next due date to send your payment, by then it could be reported to a credit bureau. Instead, send your payment as soon as you remember that it was missed.
Create a Monthly Bill Payment Calendar
Use a bill payment calendar to help you figure out which bills to pay with which paycheck. On your calendar, write each bill’s payment amount next to the due date. Then, fill in the date of each paycheck. If you get paid on the same days every month—the 1st and 15th—you can use the same calendar from month to month. But, if your paychecks fall on different days of the month, it would help to create a new calendar for each month.