Q: HOW DO I START MAK­ING A PROPER DENT IN MY DEBT?

Sunday Herald Sun - Body and Soul - - LIFESTYLE -

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.”

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