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10 Common Mistakes People Make When Paying Off Debt

5 min

In today's digitized age of instant loan offers with low-interest rates and attractive credit card offers, it can seem tempting to fall into the trap of creditors and financial institutions. And, before you know it, you might find yourself reeling under the burden of paying additional interest rates and stuck in a debt loop. 

Controlling finances is essential to have a balanced lifestyle. However, while taking loans and paying them off in time is an excellent financial move, we often do it wrong and end up with a colossal debt balance.

According to a survey by WalletHub, consumer credit card debt is nearing pre-2008 levels. This indicates how Americans are increasingly going over their spending limit and risking their financial wellness long-term. 

You'll now find ten common mistakes people make when paying off debt. This will help you have a fair understanding of the nature of the expenses of people who are reeling in a debt trap:

1. Not acknowledging the leading cause of debt

If you are looking forward to reducing your debt, you must address the root cause that has gotten you into debt in the first place. Most people often borrow or use credit cards when emergency funds are lacking. 

Once you understand the reason, working on your financial habits and reducing your debt will be much easier. The foremost thing to remember is that you should ensure that you are spending less than your monthly earnings and saving a certain amount as emergency funds. 

A casual outlook toward paying off debt while using your credit card for further expenses is a recipe for financial disaster. 

2. Feeling the need to maintain a good credit score

Some people incur credit card debt under the impression that if they keep using their credit cards, their credit scores will remain intact. Unfortunately, this may lead to unnecessary expenses that should be paid off at high-interest rates. 

Credit score only comes into the picture when you need to take a significant loan, such as a house or car loan, etc., for approval from the concerned financial institution. Hence, you only need to worry about your debt balance and focus on reducing it through timely payments. 

3. Not utilizing extra money to pay off debt

A great way to pay off debt without causing a big hole in your pocket every month is by directing money from work bonuses, refunds, freelancing, or side gigs toward paying off your credit card debt. Unfortunately, most people commonly use this money for extravagant expenses or unnecessary investments without looking at the bigger picture. 

When you have extra cash flowing in, the ideal way to go about it is by investing a portion of it for emergency funds and directing the rest toward debt clearance. While the former will strengthen your safety net for emergency cash requirements, the latter will take the heat off your monthly expenses and ease the payment process. 

4. Lack of proper budgeting plans

A monthly budget plan will streamline your finances and help you pay off your debt to the point that you are debt-free and stress-free. In addition, budgeting your monthly expenses will help you have a broader understanding of your basic financial needs and help you save more and spend wisely. 

You can also budget your credit card expenses to avoid reeling in penalties or high-interest rates. By charting down whom you owe money, how much you owe, and when you need to pay and starting with paying off debts with higher interest rates, you can reduce your debt over time. 

With proper budgeting plans, you will always have a crystal clear picture of how much to spend in which aspect, and this is usually where your savings can go downhill. 

5. No emergency fund to fall back on

You may think that as you are paying off your debts on time and would continue to do so, there will never be much of a problem along the way. However, unfortunate incidents never come with a warning, so having an emergency fund will rescue you on rainy days miraculously. 

In times of financial crisis, paying off debts can stick out like a sore thumb; however, with a safety net, you will be much more relaxed while paying off your debt.  Apart from having a savings account to invest a portion of your monthly earnings, you should have an emergency fund to invest a small percentage of your income for rainy days.

6. Prioritizing unnecessary expenses

We all like to indulge in good food, good movies, or shopping every once in a while. Still, it is crucial to draw a line between necessities and luxuries when managing our finances. By prioritizing our spending on needs and paying off debts timely, we can get our finances in control within a short period. 

If we indulge in mindless spending, we may go over our monthly budget and use our credit cards. Hence, creating a priority list of items and spending accordingly is essential. If you wish to reduce your credit card debt, you must stop using it; there is no other way around it. 

7. Closing off accounts once they have been paid off

We are so caught up trying to pay off our debts and get rid of them that we often find it overwhelming when the debts are cleared off and swear never to use the account again. As a result, some may end up closing the account altogether.

Financial counselors' advice against such a move as closing off accounts can be counterintuitive to some extent. However, your credit score will stay intact if you keep the account open. In addition, if you ever need to take out a loan vital to you, you can use your credit card for all the right reasons.

The key is to gain control of your finances so that you spend your money wisely and avoid ending up in huge credit debt. 

8. Making the same financial decisions

Implementing habits that are sound for our finances and allow us to save is necessary. Continuing the same lifestyle and indulging in luxury while having to pay off huge debts every month can be a vicious cycle that can leave you high and dry in the long run. 

Therefore, it is important to adopt newer habits that cover your basic needs and helps you save while reducing your debt at the same time. With better habits, managing finances can be easier!

9. Coping alone 

Not all of us have a degree in accounting or understand finances like accountants; hence, we may sometimes end up overspending or indebted. However, these are times when we must inform our financial situation to our friends or close ones whom we can trust. 

They will help us understand how to manage our finances and give us moral support, which is important to have the courage to find newer ways and bring financial stability to our lives. 

10. Not checking credit card reports Properly

Often, we don't check our credit card reports properly and pay off whatever the amount shows. However, it is vital to be aware of where our finances are going, so it is crucial to check credit card reports in detail.

Before you know it, you might end up paying someone else's expenses, as this has happened before! Hence, always a good idea to thoroughly scrutinize your credit report. 

We don't like paying off debts, and as much as that is true, it is a consequence of our actions. So to ease the burden of debts, let's look at how insurance plans can help us pay off our debts. 

How Can Insurance Help You Pay Off Your Debts?

With several insurance plans at the forefront, such as Income Insurance and Decreasing Term Life Insurance, you can quickly pay off your debts over a while at ease. Insurances are meant to act as our backup resorts in times of need and have several long-term advantages. 

Income insurance is effective when you are seriously ill or injured and unable to earn for a certain period. In such instances, income insurance can help you pay off your debts on time.

Similarly, decreasing term life insurance can be applied for a period of time, and you can pay off your mortgage and debts and stay stress-free. Decreasing term life insurance amount reduces over a while as the tenure progresses. Its primary purpose is to help you pay off your debts or mortgages, as these also decrease over time. 

Pay Off Your Debts on Time With Asteya!

Being indebted is nothing to stress about as long as you have figured out how to manage your finances and jotted down your priorities. The mistakes mentioned above will help you realize where to focus on improving your finances and reducing debt. 

If you are looking for best-in-class assistance in paying off your debt, insurance policies at Asteya will help you do so seamlessly. 


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