Q: HOW DO I START MAKING A PROPER DENT IN MY DEBT?
A:“If you have property, the easiest way to get on top of credit cards, car payments and bills is to consolidate your debt against your home loan using the equity in your property,” Ducki says. “Your mortgage broker or lender can help with this. If it’s only credit card debt that’s causing grief, look at transferring your balance to another bank that offers a 12- or 24-month interest-free term. Pay as much back as you can in the interest-free period.”
“Making lifestyle changes can also have immediate effects,” Hartnett says. “The first question to ask is, ‘Can I increase my income?’ You might be able to work extra hours or utilise another skill. You could rent out a spare room. Secondly, ask, ‘Can I reduce expenses?’ Instead of going out for a meal, go for a coffee or have everyone to your place and ask them to bring a dish. Taking a higher excess on your insurance premiums may be an option. You could car-pool a few times a week or ride your bike to work. Progress is made in small increments daily.”