Suze Orman TwitterSuze Orman FacebookSuze Orman YouTubeSuze Orman LinkedIn
View Blog & News List

Conquer Your Fear of Debt: 3 Crucial Steps

January 21, 2016 at 12:00 AM

When it comes to financial fears, debt is the ultimate four letter word. Whether you have credit card debt, or student loan debt, or want to buy a home or a car that you will finance, you’re dealing with debt. Or more to the point, it’s probably throwing you for a loop. Debt is the major stress point in every household that I’ve worked with.

Here’s how to conquer your debt fears and take control of your financial life.

1. Existing debt: Categorize and Strategize. List all your existing debts, from student loans to the $2,000 your uncle came through with when you didn’t have the security deposit for your new home. You must do everything to pay at least the minimum due on every debt. As long as you’re on target with that, your next job is to pay more than the minimum on the debt that has the highest interest rate. Once that debt is paid off, focus on speeding up repayment on the next debt with the highest interest charge.

2. Free up more money to pay off debts. My Expense Tracker will create a detailed report of where you are spending money today. Once you’ve input all your data, you can start to see opportunities for nips, tucks and maybe some very big cuts. When I walk through this exercise with people it is amazing how we can often find $250 to $500 or more a month in spending cuts. That’s a lot of money to put toward repaying debts.

3. Borrow smart. What a mortgage lender tells you that you are eligible to borrow is irrelevant. That mortgage lender knows absolutely nothing about whether you are on track with your retirement savings, or if you want to be able to help pay for a child’s college education. Smart home buying starts with carefully setting a budget that will land you a home that meets your needs and is within your means. And if you plan on financing a car purchase, please don’t be suckered in to a loan that lasts more than 36 months. Cars are depreciating assets. There is no way you will ever trade or sell a car for more than you paid for it. With that in mind, your goal should be to borrow the least amount, for the least amount of time.

Tag Cloud

Federal ReserveSandy Hook Promisefinancial concernpercentage men widowed 75-84women live longerGay Rightslife insurance name trust as beneficiarykeep a scheduleDeath Benefitbest interest of investorhome buying seasonschedule vacationLifestylePost-Divorceoverspend on dining outrefinancedream schoolverify wellness screening and programs20% down paymentstrained relationshipGracefederal student loan deferment waive home inspection bidHolidaybuy homeFundsreplace permanent life insurance with terminitial tax break anticipated salaryNew american Dream costly legal social securitydental discount planNew York LifePrime Rate Rise 2015Minor Children High Credit Scoreretain separate credit cardsovercome financial fearsunder 18 financial giftHoliday Seasonconsider roth 401(k)write new goalfile taxes quicklySuze Ormanloan necessitychildren under 18Credit scoresave Emergency SavingsRevocable TrustInflation Benefitidentity theftpay down student loan debtdo you need life insurancepowerfuldebt freegrandparent IRA contribution Combo Insurance ProductsOverspendinglower premiumVeterinary School2015 record year car salesclosing feesretirement accountsno apologydon't use allowance as bribestudentspecial saving accountrepay student loansdon't defer interest paymentsinsurance mistakePrime Rate Increasevalue moneyfile asap20% down payment avoid feesreal estate mistakesfocus on new truth 6 month waiting periodno tax on withdrawlsdangerous retirement planstay positiveraising mortgage rates debtincrease retirement contribution ratedon't derail retirement savingsnon conventional routerefundaffordable premiumUniversity of Floridano life insurance financially irresponsibleprotect your familytraditional vs roth 401(k)property taxfiduciaryTeachshort term goal Richmortgagedon't charge a penny19 years cash flow problemHDHP's are not badhigh premiumsForeclosureRoth 401(k)monthly benefit 20% equityFinancial Power of Attorneypay high rate off firstSpendinghealthy retirement blood pressurecharges on credit cardVital Documentsjuggle multiple financial goalstake actionbuying car 2016lower mortgage interestdon't cover cosmetic dentistryno negativityloan no longer than 36monthsWillnegotiate points with bank or sellerpaid in fullcommissionsquick closingreduce monthly paymentvalentines dayonly offered while employed closing costs 2% of loankid borrow firstbe kind to yourselfFinancial CliffSuze approvedsame-sex marriageuniversal college accessGoodbye15 year mortgagepreexisting condition not coveredsave moneydon't spend cost of capitalization calculatorRetirement Savingsstandard rateget the most out of social security get health insuranceStudent Loanbreakdown projected monthly housing costinterest on student loansUS Tax Codecredit reportpublic service career student loan repayment only refinance if it paysultimate compounding giftFinancial Adviceteens and moneygrandchild summer job IRA contributionFinancial Systememergency fund savingsFHA loan feeslet them have 50% control2016 adjust withholdingtelevision hostprotect and provide for minor child reduce withholdingterm life insurancePersonal FinanceSuze changed my lifemarriage financial responsibilityMoneySuze Orman spouse Kathy TravisMust Have Documentsverify retirement plan with HR or plan sponsorMoney-Savinghealthy aging exercise reguarlyFixed Rate MortgageDurable Power of Attorney for Health Caredon't ignore open enrollmentprovider of financial supportAmy Lacyet2016 adjust estimated taxteensSave Us MoneyAlarm Clockallowance taskspeak new goalmax employer matched 401(k) contributionSelectQuote.commobile apphealthy retirement weightIRA contribution gifted moneyfocus on needsprofessional advisorthree year car loanbad retirement planningstudent loan repayment planmarriage inequalityPBS SpecialExhibitionbest loan deal Pay Off Debt Before Retirementone annual feeno private loanssame sex marriage band end Floridais it necessary?401Kmaintain standard of livingInterestcut monthly cellular billdebit cardsetup automatic savings withdrawcreate new truthstretch out haircut appointmentsEric Dodge home related tax break bonus Student Debt Crisiszero rate transfer dealshigh down paymenthome buying mistakes4 Must Have Documents raise deductiblescommitrent vs buySelfish10% donate to charitycomparison shoppingeliminate credit card debtadd teenAuto Savings 50 over 50mental healthrolloverWall StreetOne Wallet At A Timeno late fee back door Roth IRAcredit cardFinancialLegal GuardianCommencementEmployer Matched ContributionMotherdoctor no longer in networkcalculate dependents annual income needslow credit score!00% tuition paidLong Term Care shoppingpay credit debt ASAPLTCi ASAPheartachesavings740 credit scoreBankruptcyno retirement funds for down paymentaffordabilityFinal GoodbyeLong Term Care premiumsno fee transferfinancial fearsHDHP/HSAwomen long term carehousing markethigh deductible health care planautomate student loan paymentsreferrals COLAInfluentialsapproved medical 100% tax-freeresponsible3 bucket approachcompare monthly expensescouple financesmortgage interest tax deductionritual schedulelife insuranceletter to suzedon't buy wantsautomatic paymentCredit Card Interest Rate10 year repayment plan credit managementrising home priceshome insuranceleave a legacyitemized deductionconfidentannual cost of living adjustmentteach your child good money habitsFICO at least 720secured cardteach importance of helping othersmanage student loansChanging Livestitle insuranceholiday spendingtaxesinsurance yearly reviewnot gender specific financial independenceraise your deductible2015 financial roadmaplowest cost fund optiongift up to 14,000open enrollment review home loan credit score below 740 healthy youaccelerate dental workForbes Top 103 savings buckets Suze is my biggest mentorbalance transfer home buying budgetgift grandchild IRA contributionmeet monthly HSA tax savings8 month safety netcostly insurance mistakeCory Bookerwomen longer life spanretirment savingsSwap Older Annuities or Life Insurance always use all paid time offno private loanMost Influential Celebrities ListRetirement Incomecommunity collegestandard deduction social security never insolventmax employee matchCivil Rightsknow before you oweSuze Orman Scholarshipmortgage brokerco-sign high credit score discountlive below your means3% debt transferred interest capitalizationunexpected expensecan you afford itARM Cautionlong-term care premiumsadult childrenFinancial Awareness Video Festival20 to 25 times annual incomebe true to yourselfhealthy teethBill and PennyMoney MarketAARPCommunication Skills Citi Simplicity Card employer offered life insurancelower overall drug costpay down car loanFree Debt Eliminatorsmall changes 40% toward financial goalfinancial argumentsspring summer multiple lendersfinancing car worst financial mistake20 year level term Mortgage Credit Availability Indextax ID theftFiscal Responsibilitylousy investmentinsurancebuy home you can affordlong term careBaby Boomers3 step financial road map30 year mortgage Long Term Care Insurance Adequate Auto and Home Insurancefraudulent returncar buying mistakessocial security not going brokeprotect loved ones Financial Awarenessbetter termsget credit cardback-to-school budgetFinancial Gift CliffStock Investmentsnear historic lowspresident ObamaHigh FICO Score = Better Rateplandental insurance dental savings plandeath benefit 20 to 25 times annual incomewomen outlive menreal estate marketlong-term care enjoy saving Young Adult AARP Social security calculatordon't blow tax refundno sneaking in feespermanent life insurancecontribute household expenses 401(k) Contributionsget over life insurance phobiaSchool of Social Workoverspend on nights outlow-cost index mutual fundsuitablewould you decline a bonusHoliday Shoppingbill paying prioritiesloan big picture better loan ratesmortgage disclosurebe good exampleLovemoney vowscar leasingemotional stakesgraduationhome budget after tax costclosing disclosureNewtownCNBCHeart15-year refinance dealemergency fund max benefit coveredrequired disclosurepay interest while in schoolhigher monthly paymentgay marriage ban end Florida paying for collegedangerous money seasonswitch to spouse coverageearn allowanceJose RodriguezAshley Springerloan is giftbetter loan dealsretirement planbudgetcollege graduateignore 6 month grace period children's bookbig results home ownershipFederal Funds Rateengaged in financeslearn good financial choicesEasy Life Insurance positivecut monthly cable billavoid burn outWarner Bros Television GroupFICO credit score credit card mortgageworkaholicwives should be involved in retirementincrease retirement savingsbad decisionsdeath benefit needs for familyphysical healthpoint cost offset by savingsraising interest ratesoverspend on giftsno interestpay more than minimumtoo expensive schoolfinancial aidorigination feeslower ratejanuary billsretirementstudent loan repaymentderailed planincreased auto insurance premiumschool require chore in exchange for allowance2017 TaxesHDHP Americans don't use all paid vacation timeraise insurance deductibleForbesfour steps to retirement savings LTCdo not pay allowance for good behaviorStudent DebtInvest for savings growthstudent loan debtGiftsfull retirement agestaycationCollege of Veterinary Medicineburn outpaid vacationHDHP's are good for youis it kind?Gay Couplessecure creditshop online guaranteed level term policyface your financial fearHow To Build Creditcredit utilization rateInfluential CelebritysidelinedUrbana-ChampaignRevocable Living Trustlow down paymentage appropriate goalsCPI-Wconfident of solutionallowanceprescription tierhigh FICO scoreCD'sFederal Stafford loanidentity frauddon't do five year car loanFinancial Solutions For Youhighest possible benefitHDHP'spercentage of women widowed 75-84advice for college graduatestax refund frauddoctors in networkborrowing plan healthy gumsautomatic withdraw to savings buy down FICO Scoreunsubsidized Stafford loanstudent loan repayment estimatoralternative FICO scoredear suzeSuze Orman's Money WarsPhyllis Shelton expert long-term careUniversity of Illinoisiffy incomeadjust allocations no splurge BankTelepicturesgift not loancollege studentcnbc alarm clockbest interest rates8 Rulesemployer funding HSAhigher insurance deductibleFinancial Educatoreight month living expense don't extend mortgage yours, mine & oursETF'sCredit Card Rate Increaseearn more on savingssummer job match income purely financial standpointone credit cardat worst still pay 75% benefitcar loanSatisfyingbecome member buying a carBeautykids schedule paymentsescrowloved ones dependent on incomepay 100% cashmake saving a pleasuremonthly dental insurance premiumAccuQuote.comprotect dependent Mass Mutualnot enough life insurancepremiumARMcompare provider pricingresponsible with moneystore credit cardsStaffords this year have a fixed 6.8% interest rateswitch to roth 401(k)successSandy Hook Elementary Schoolsocial workFederal PLUS loannew carlong term goalThe Suze Orman Showterm insurancecommunity bankpush yourself to save more for retirementcredit unionlower interest ratepublic service loan forgiveness programGiftpay off debtFRAdepreciating asset reduce interest rateshorter payback periodlow mileage discountborrow each year, capitalization is going to pile up is it necessarypeace of mindfinancial goal phraseis it true? contribution roth iraMarlo Thomassavings pleasureConventional loan PMI8 month emergency fundno waiting periodincrease emergency savingsWashingtonincentives for health care wellness screeningage appropriate choremoney-aware childLTC shoppingfamily save at least $100 monthly

View Blog & News List
People First. Then Money. Then Things.
Connect with me on Facebook Connect with me on YouTube Connect with me on Twitter
© 2017 Suze Orman Media Inc. All rights reserved.
 |  Search  |  Sitemap  |  Privacy  |  Terms
Sign Up For E-mail Offers
Open Panel
Close Panel