Guest Author’s Bio : The following article has been contributed by Sophie Kinsella, Columnist.
Divorce and debt problems go hand in hand and financial problems are the cause of many divorces. In many cases, men who go through a divorce are financially well off while women struggle with soaring debts and no one else to fall back on. If the woman wasn’t working or was financially dependent on her husband, a divorce can be economically devastating. For many women, being separated or divorced is both challenging and stressful. The situation becomes worse when she is the caretaker for children.
If you are a single woman with a huge amount of debt, you should know about the debt relief options that are available to you. Debt consolidation vs debt settlement – if this is the question in your mind, make sure you consider the pros and cons of each option and the costs that are associated with them. While there are several professional debt relief options that you can take resort to, it is still better to be financially diligent and follow some steps on your own so that you may be able to save your dollars on the unnecessary fees. Here are some steps that you can take.
1. Check your credit report thoroughly. The first step that you should take is to check your credit report thoroughly. Your husband may have handled the family finances before, but now that your marriage is ending, you need to take charge of every financial task. Order a free copy of your credit report in order to check where you stand financially. Check whether or not your credit report still carries debt that is owed actually by your spouse. Try to remove all such erroneous information so as to emerge creditworthy on your own.
2. Establish a frugal budget and categorize your expenses. You should form a budget so that you can follow it throughout the month and thereby maintain a balance between what you earn and what you spend. You also have to categorize your expenses so that you can spend your dollars on your needs and wants. Always try to keep your luxury expenses after your needs so that you don’t have to repent later on.
3. Negotiate with your lenders. You can negotiate with your lenders. Tell them about the financial hardship that you’re going through. Don’t refrain from getting help from the creditors and the lenders as they can often help you with the best steps. Ask them to alter the interest rates and the terms of the loans so that you can more easily repay without falling back on all the other debt obligations.
4. Save money and start making payments. Make sure you save at least 10% of what you earn so that you can build an emergency fund that can be used during an emergency. Soon as the creditors relax the terms and conditions on your debt accounts, make sure you start making the payments so that you can get out of the debt cycle as soon as possible.
If you are getting divorced and you owe a huge amount of debt on your credit cards, try taking the steps outlined above. Only when you can’t get out of debt on your own, should you opt for debt consolidation or a debt settlement.