Steps to Take to Figure Out Your Finances

  • April 14, 2021
  • By: Greenpath Financial Wellness

Since April is Financial Literacy Month, it’s a good time to figure out your finances and the steps to take when it comes to debt.

A situation we see here at GreenPath Financial Wellness when we talk to clients – a gradual increase in credit card debt balances over time with high-interest rates and the ability to make only low minimum payments each month.

Perhaps a person’s cards are maxed out, and they are experiencing calls from collection agencies.

The average credit card interest rate is 16.04% according to Creditcards.com. A recent study has shown that about 23% of existing credit cardholders have added to their current debt as a result of the pandemic.

For people utilizing credit more and having problems making payments or meeting the minimum payments on credit cards, a high balance and accruing interest make it more difficult to get out of debt.

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Figure Out Your Finances

Questions about managing money can be tricky. While each person’s situation is different, some steps to take to figure out your finances include:

  • Monitor your bills regularly. If your creditor has granted a payment deferment or waived fees, interest could still be accruing. Annual fees could also still apply.
  • Monitor your credit report to ensure your credit history is accurate.
  • If you must utilize credit, try to use credit cards with low interest. That’s part of using credit cards wisely. Or, request a reduction in your interest rate as a hardship option.
  • Don’t ignore the problem! Don’t delay in speaking to your creditors to see what hardship assistance programs are available. Most credit card companies are offering COVID-19 accommodation.
  • Review your income and your expenses. Set a simple spending plan.
  • Having a fresh set of eyes to review your situation is never a bad idea.
  • Talk to a trusted national nonprofit like GreenPath, who can contact your creditors with you, and ensure you understand your options.
  • For those facing financial challenges, credit cards are typically only part of the picture.
  • Counselors can help focus on your total financial situation and make a personalized plan to address the debt moving forward.  Having a clear strategy for handling your credit card debt can help you feel more in control of the situation and reduce stress.

Let’s Connect

Financial Literacy Month is a good time to connect with a caring financial counselor to conduct a free financial counseling session.

What are the steps to take that are right for you? If you are ready to manage, and eventually eliminate, your debt, let’s connect!

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