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How can you start paying down debts?

Repaying your debts can be easier than you might think. Starting with reviewing the debts you have is a good way to begin. When you list out your debts, you can see which ones might be easier to pay off right away or discover debts you forgot you had. When you make a list, you should write down how much you owe along with the minimum payment and interest rate.

Once you have this information, you can rank your debt to show which ones are costing you the most over time. You can create your own ranking system to decide which debts you want to pay off. You might want to start with the most expensive debt or the one with the highest interest rate. It's up to you.

Now that you're ready to begin paying, the fact is that you probably need to tighten your budget or find new sources of income. Cut back spending on things you don't need, and take the time to work extra hours or odd jobs if you can. Add tax returns, work bonuses or other income toward paying off your debts, and they may decrease faster than you expect.

If you write down all your minimum payments and find you simply can't afford them, it might be time to talk to your attorney or to reach out to the credit company to negotiate. There are steps you can take to reduce what you owe, and you may be able to lower interest rates or payments to help you get back into control of your finances.

Source: The Balance, "Set Up a Debt Payment Plan in 6 Steps," Miriam Campbell, accessed Nov. 22, 2016

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