One of the best things that you can do for yourself is to get out of debt. Debt is very limiting. It limits your earning potential by taking away from the money that you can invest and save. It limits your choices when it comes to changing your career or opening your own business. Debt will constantly hang over you. The only way to get away from debt is to pay it off and stop using credit.
Once you have determined that you want financial freedom, you need to set up a debt payment plan. You can say that you want to pay off debt, but until you make a plan and stick to it, you will not go anywhere with it. Many people avoid making a plan, because it involves adding all of your debt together, and the numbers can be depressing and scary. However, knowing that you are doing something about your debt helps to relieve those fears and the nagging worry that you may be experiencing.
Student loans have a unique set of payment options. You may be able to defer for an economic hardship. You may also have a lower interest rate than on your other debt. You may consider putting your student loans at the back of your debt payment plan, but you should still pay them off. You will save yourself interest payments over the years.
Although, you may be looking for an easy solution to pay off your debt you should be wary of a debt consolidation loan. Generally this loan will move unsecured credit card debt into secured debt (a home equity line). This can be dangerous, because if you fail to make payments you may be in danger of losing your home. You also do not address the reasons that you are in debt in the first place. With a debt consolidation loan you are not really paying off debt, but simply moving it somewhere else.
A credit counseling service is another option that sounds better than it really is. The credit counseling service will show up on your credit report. Credit counseling services also receive funds from the credit card companies. There have been many reports of services committing fraud with its clients. Although there are good credit counseling services out there, you can do everything that a credit counseling service does yourself. You need to change your spending habits and focus on getting our of debt. You need to carefully consider all of your options before you sign up for a debt relief firm. They may be able to help you, but not as much as you originally think.
Ultimately, you should take responsibility for your own debt. You can do this through setting up a budget, limiting your spending and following your debt payment plan. You will save money doing the work yourself and you will change your spending habits, which means that you will change your financial outlook. Since you are making sacrifices the changes are more likely to stick than with a quick fix solution.