What is debt?
Debt is money you owe. Whether you took out a loan, used a credit card, or got behind on a bill payment, it’s debt.
When debt feels like a barrier to your goals, it can be hard to face, but it’s important to remember that you’re not in it alone.
These tools can help you take the first step
• Use them in any order.
• Capture a picture of what you owe, decide which debts to pay first, or set new goals.
• Use them to help get a handle on your payments and cut down on stress from growing debt.
The small steps you choose to take can lead to significant changes. You can fix this; we can help.
Please click on the following link for a chart that lists the most common debt categories.
A step further- Debt Log
Start with one question: How much do you spend on monthly debt payments?
This tool will help you:
- See a complete picture of all your debt payments.
- Determine when you will pay off your debts with your current repayment plan.
- Remember when all your debt payments are due.
- Understand how much money you can put toward paying down debt faster.
What you’ll need:
- Loan statements showing: monthly payment amounts, due dates, and interest rates
- Your credit report (you can use the Credit Report tool at the following link: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/documents/7099/cfpb_your-money-your-goals_request-credit-report_tool_2018-11.pdf)
TIP: If a debt collector contacts you, use the Dealing with Debt Collectors tool or visit cfpb.gov/debt-collection.
If you need to get all the information you need to complete the debt log, these documents can help you fill in the blanks.
- The amount of your monthly payments
- The balance (the amount you still owe)
- Whether you are up-to-date or more than 30 days late
- Your status includes owner, coowner, co-signer, or authorized user.
Credit card statement:
- Payment date
- Minimum payment
- Interest rate
- Balance and payoff date if you continue to make minimum payments
Loan or mortgage agreement:
- Interest rate and fees
- Payment date
- Payoff date Court orders: § Payment amount § Due date § Any other terms
- Past-due amounts
- Late fees
For information on your federal student loans, visit the National Student Loan Data System website at https://nsldsfap.ed.gov/.
The following link will take you to another tool to help you determine your debts and provide a complete picture of where you stand with your creditors.
Part 4 of our series titled “Your Money, Your Goals.”
LifeCrafter Money $ense
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) www.cfpb.gov/your-money-your-goals