The longer we take to pay off debt, the more it costs us. So if there’s room in the budget, it’s smart to put more money towards debt repayments - read on for more tips on how to manage debt.

The quickest way out

Juggling several debts? The quickest way to get out of debt fast is to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first, such as credit cards or hire purchase. Use our budgeting tool to make a money plan.

 

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Make a plan to get out of debt

 

Here’s how it works.

  • Make a list of all your debts and the interest rate on each one. (Look up the interest rates in the loan agreements or credit card bill.)
  • Identify which debt charges the highest interest.
  • Make bigger repayments to pay off this debt faster. When it’s paid off, start paying more off the debt with the next highest interest rate.

The Sorted loan calculator can help with crunching the numbers.

Debt consolidation

Sometimes a bank or other lender can combine several different high-interest loans into one lower-interest loan. (A single payment can be a lot easier to manage than multiple ones, and you could save a lot of money by paying less interest.) This is called debt consolidation. You just need to be aware that repaying a new loan over a longer period could cost more in interest overall. The trick is to keep paying it down as fast as possible – and avoid racking up any new debts along the way.

Guide to consolidating debt

Trouble repaying?

If it gets hard to keep up with debt, talk to the person or organisation that lent the money as soon as possible. They may be able to work out a new repayment plan. There’s also free advice available through financial capability (budgeting) services - visit the Family Services Directory.