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

FRAGoodbyebalance transfer preexisting condition not coveredhealthy aging social workmarriage financial responsibilitynot enough life insuranceteach importance of helping othersretirement planTelepicturesUS Tax Codedear suzebuying a carpaying for collegedream schoolfocus on new truth physical healthpresident Obamapay 100% cashallowanceno private loanincentives for health care wellness screeningcar leasingkids schedule paymentsPersonal FinanceYoung Adult Americans don't use all paid vacation timeadjust allocations unsubsidized Stafford loanSuze changed my lifeholiday spendingprotect your familyFinancial Solutions For YouFederal Reservemoney-aware childpermanent life insuranceFinal GoodbyeFree Debt Eliminatorpremiumeight month living expense death benefit needs for familyRetirement Savingsnon conventional routeCredit Card Interest RateSwap Older Annuities or Life Insurance gay marriage ban end Florida iffy incomehigher monthly paymentAlarm ClockCommunication Skills emergency fund don't cover cosmetic dentistryvalue moneyno interestARMcut monthly cable billdon't charge a pennyAdequate Auto and Home Insurancewives should be involved in retirementuniversal college accessunder 18 financial giftmake saving a pleasurerolloverAARPresponsible with moneystudent loan repaymentCD'smaintain standard of livingverify retirement plan with HR or plan sponsorstudent loan repayment estimatorhighest possible benefitschool Gay Coupleslong term caresavingsGifts10% donate to charitycommunity collegeapproved medical 100% tax-freeclosing fees8 month safety netreal estate marketSuze Ormanaffordable premiumgrandparent IRA contribution gift not loanquick closingLong Term Care premiumsLong Term Care shoppingPhyllis Shelton expert long-term careSchool of Social Workstore credit cardscut monthly cellular billlong term goalRoth 401(k)dental insurance increase retirement savingsstrained relationshipincrease emergency savingsVital DocumentsHigh FICO Score = Better Rateyours, mine & oursavoid burn outlower interest rate2017 Taxeslow-cost index mutual fundsummer job match income 30 year mortgage would you decline a bonushome buying budgetpublic service loan forgiveness programonly offered while employed HDHP Durable Power of Attorney for Health CareSelectQuote.comrequire chore in exchange for allowancesave home budget after tax costpercentage men widowed 75-84refundPrime Rate Increasecostly legal protect loved ones pay down car loanFICO Scorecredit reportno life insurance financially irresponsibleSave Us Moneyinsuranceschedule vacationone annual fee2016 adjust withholdingbetter loan dealspay down student loan debtvalentines day50 over 50enjoy saving back door Roth IRAhousing marketoverspend on nights outshorter payback period8 Rulesteens and moneycost of capitalization calculatorgift grandchild IRA contribution3 step financial road mapexercise reguarlydo you need life insurancelife insurance name trust as beneficiaryautomate student loan paymentsultimate compounding giftcompare monthly expensesrepay student loansleave a legacywomen outlive menInvest for savings growthhigh deductible health care planswitch to spouse coverageCory Bookerback-to-school budgetignore 6 month grace period positiveoverspend on dining out20% down payment avoid feeslow mileage discountmoney vowsFinancial Educatorwomen live longermortgage interest tax deductionRetirement IncomeCPI-WRichchildren's booksuccessteenssidelinedat worst still pay 75% benefitinterest on student loanstake actionloved ones dependent on incomebe kind to yourselfAARP Social security calculatorcontribution borrow each year, capitalization is going to pile up Emergency SavingsAuto Savings financial aidcredit managementget the most out of social security Heartlive below your meansloan no longer than 36monthsFinancial AdviceChanging LivesCivil RightsGiftmax employee matchis it kind?raising interest ratesdebit cardconfidentgift up to 14,000origination feesmultiple lendersdangerous retirement plansame sex marriage band end Floridadon't extend mortgage insurance mistakeprovider of financial supportdon't use allowance as bribegrandchild summer job IRA contributioninsurance yearly reviewFICO credit score credit card mortgageno sneaking in feesderailed plandebt freenew carGay Rightssecure creditlousy investment40% toward financial goalmeet monthly high FICO scorepowerfuldon't spend Foreclosureis it true? mortgage brokerHoliday Season6 month waiting periodFinancial Awarenessjanuary billsno retirement funds for down paymentSuze approvedhome loan credit score below 740 not gender specific Fundsreal estate mistakesRevocable Trust15-year refinance dealEasy Life Insurance no apologyconsider roth 401(k)HDHP/HSAis it necessary?Employer Matched ContributionETF'spay interest while in schoolwaive home inspection bidStudent Loanraise insurance deductibleForbes Top 10overcome financial fearsBeautyCOLAVeterinary Schoolalternative FICO scoreSuze Orman Scholarship2015 record year car salesrent vs buybest loan deal protect and provide for minor child HDHP'sMortgage Credit Availability Indexlower mortgage interest20 year level term SelfishFederal PLUS loanretirement accounts8 month emergency fundHDHP's are good for youcredit union401(k) Contributionssocial security never insolventUrbana-Champaignbreakdown projected monthly housing cost740 credit scoreplanfour steps to retirement savings no splurge family save at least $100 monthlyfinancial fearsverify wellness screening and programsMarlo Thomasstudentwomen long term carecouple financesfinancial independenceinitial tax break MoneyHigh Credit Scoreface your financial fearfinancial concernCredit scoreproperty taxdon't blow tax refundreduce monthly payment20% down paymentmental healthFinancial SystemrefinanceMoney-SavingInterestworst financial mistakeStudent DebtLTC shoppingInfluentialsEric Dodge The Suze Orman Showlife insuranceMotherburn outCNBCFederal Funds Ratebad retirement planningpurely financial standpointwrite new goalfinancing car stay positiveno negativity4 Must Have Documents allowance taskreduce interest ratePrime Rate Rise 2015be good exampleterm insuranceborrowing plan Bill and Pennyraise your deductibleletter to suzeno waiting periodchildren under 18lowest cost fund optionMass Mutualclosing disclosuremarriage inequalitybuy home you can affordworkaholicmobile appcharges on credit cardearn allowancebuying car 2016same-sex marriageincrease retirement contribution rateMinor Children focus on needsresponsiblefederal student loan deferment too expensive schoolreduce withholdingSandy Hook Promisecar buying mistakesspeak new goaldental savings planincreased auto insurance premiumbad decisionshigher insurance deductiblepeace of mindhome buying season20 to 25 times annual incomeLTC401Ksetup automatic savings withdrawpay high rate off firstsmall changes automatic withdraw to savings Suze Orman spouse Kathy Travisjuggle multiple financial goalslong-term care premiumshome related tax break bonus lower premiumidentity fraudone credit cardCredit Card Rate IncreaseJose Rodriguezearn more on savingsoverspend on giftsstudent loan repayment planspring summer SpendingSandy Hook Elementary Schoolspecial saving accountprescription tierbetter termsFinancial Awareness Video Festivalmanage student loanspoint cost offset by savingsescrowOverspendingfinancial goal phrasemax benefit coveredhealthy youHDHP's are not baddangerous money seasonknow before you owehome insurancemonthly benefit best interest ratesdon't defer interest paymentsget health insurancereferrals pay off debtconfident of solutionswitch to roth 401(k)healthy gumsaffordability15 year mortgagebecome member costly insurance mistakeNewtownadvice for college graduatesARM Cautionunexpected expenseCommencementGraceUniversity of Floridaeliminate credit card debtmortgageemployer funding HSAinterest capitalizationclosing costs 2% of loanFinancialstandard deduction automatic paymentwomen longer life spanfinancial argumentsAshley Springersocial securityFiscal Responsibilitylearn good financial choicesstandard rateConventional loan PMIdon't derail retirement savingsLTCi ASAPtax refund fraud3 bucket approachFinancial Power of Attorneyco-sign commitdoctors in networkbuy down Lovecommunity bank2016 adjust estimated taxpublic service career student loan repayment don't do five year car loanFinancial CliffNew York LifeFixed Rate Mortgagelong-term care roth irahome ownershippay more than minimumFinancial Gift Cliffdental discount planlow credit scorehigh credit score discounthealthy teethtax ID theftstaycationForbesdoctor no longer in networkcontribute household expenses Post-Divorceemergency fund savingsbill paying prioritiesage appropriate goalsloan is giftMost Influential Celebrities Listsecured cardExhibitionHolidayhigh down paymentsavings pleasurecar loanidentity theftaccelerate dental workWall Streetlet them have 50% controlrequired disclosuremax employer matched 401(k) contributionlower ratehealthy retirement blood pressureWashingtonzero rate transfer dealsreplace permanent life insurance with termAccuQuote.comInfluential Celebrityterm life insuranceCiti Simplicity Card college studentalways use all paid time offemployer offered life insuranceannual cost of living adjustmentfraudulent returnbig results get credit cardlower overall drug costSuze is my biggest mentorPBS Specialraising mortgage rates Lifestyledepreciating asset Long Term Care Insurance file asapcredit cardpay credit debt ASAPWarner Bros Television Groupcalculate dependents annual income needshealthy retirement weightpaid in fullno late fee anticipated salarybudgetCombo Insurance Productsno fee transferdon't ignore open enrollmentStudent Debt Crisiscan you afford itis it necessarydo not pay allowance for good behavior10 year repayment plan loan big picture 19 years cash flow problemno private loansMust Have Documentspush yourself to save more for retirementmonthly dental insurance premiumnear historic lowsDeath Benefitno tax on withdrawlstraditional vs roth 401(k)college graduatetelevision hostbe true to yourselfPay Off Debt Before Retirementshop online guaranteed level term policyfile taxes quicklySuze Orman's Money WarsOne Wallet At A Timeteach your child good money habitsFederal Stafford loanWillCollege of Veterinary Medicinefull retirement ageritual scheduleFHA loan feesgraduationdon't buy wantsemotional stakessave moneyMoney Marketbuy homeUniversity of IllinoisIRA contribution gifted moneyretain separate credit cardsget over life insurance phobiaadult children2015 financial roadmaprising home pricesStaffords this year have a fixed 6.8% interest rateretirment savingsHSA tax savingshigh premiumspercentage of women widowed 75-84How To Build Creditstudent loan debtNew american Dream !00% tuition paidBankruptcyopen enrollment review BankSatisfyingdebtcreate new truthnegotiate points with bank or seller3 savings buckets low down paymentFICO at least 720Stock Investmentssocial security not going brokedeath benefit 20 to 25 times annual incomebetter loan ratesshort term goal 3% debt transferred 20% equitycomparison shoppingcnbc alarm clockonly refinance if it paysadd teenheartachekeep a schedulecompare provider pricingpaid vacationloan necessitycredit utilization rateAmy Lacyethome buying mistakestaxesraise deductiblesitemized deductionstretch out haircut appointmentsBaby BoomersInflation Benefitkid borrow firstLegal Guardianretirementtitle insurancethree year car loanage appropriate choreprotect dependent mortgage disclosureTeachRevocable Living TrustHoliday Shopping


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