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Buying your first house is exciting, often so exciting in fact, that you might neglect to give your future mortgage much thought. Once that little honeymoon period wears off, and you realise precisely how much debt you are now in, you may start feeling very overwhelmed, especially if you have other debts to your name. Or maybe you’ve had your mortgage for a while, and you’re struggling to keep your head above water.
Regardless of your situation, you can manage it. Your mortgage is just another hurdle for you to clear, and this article has some suggestions. Here are tips on becoming a homeowner without drowning in debt.
Change your repayment date
If you’re struggling to manage your repayments, and find yourself having to move a lot of money around to make ends meet, a simple solution to this is to change your repayment date. The best date to change this to is whatever day you get paid. This is as you will be giving yourself fewer opportunities to spend the money you require for your mortgage. Often, removing this temptation to use your paychecks for other reasons, is an efficient way to ensure you make your repayments on time.
Depending on your location and payroll department, you may also be able to arrange for some of your pay to go directly toward your mortgage. This means that this money will never appear in your account, removing the impulse to spend it. You also won’t have to worry about making the repayments yourself, as everything will be behind the scenes.
Reduce your repayments
Another potential method for managing your repayments is to reduce their size. If you’ve had some personal troubles and have new debts or are earning a lower income, you may be able to organise with your lender to repay the minimum.
Once you are in a better financial position, however, it may be smart to return your repayments to their original state. This is as lowering your repayments will extend the loan term, allowing the interest to accrue. Which may mean you will pay more in the long term. Consider reducing your repayments as a holiday from your typical fees, which you will eventually have to return from.
Consolidate some of your debts
If you have a few loose debts you would like to cover; consolidation might be a possibility. Consolidation means taking out another loan to pay off multiple smaller loans. This results in less scattered debts and allows you to budget your repayments properly.
The other side of consolidation is refinancing, which may be helpful if you’re looking to get a better deal on your mortgage. In essence, refinancing is taking a new mortgage with better features and rates to replace your current mortgage. This can be a smart way to make your mortgage more flexible if you do begin struggling with it.
If you’re somewhat unsure about how to lower your repayments or consolidate your debts, you could consider debt negotiation. Essentially this is employing a company to negotiate on your behalf with your creditors. By doing so, they may be able to convince your creditors into accepting less than the full amount. This is a good idea if you are not sure who to contact, or what exactly you should be asking for.
Negotiation may be a valid option if you are looking to manage unsecured debts. Although, debt negotiation is more difficult in some instances; such as when it comes to home loans.
No one can predict the future, although, you can be proactive about it. A smart way to protect yourself and manage your debt well is by having an adequate emergency fund. This means, if you’re ever in a period of uncertainty, you will have a fund of untouched cash to fall back on.
Sometimes, unfortunate events do occur; hence it is important to recognize that there are still ways to manage your debt healthily. Keep in mind that it may be worth speaking with a financial advisor about these matters. If you are stressed over debt, it may also be a great idea to talk to a counselor. Having someone to talk to can help put things in perspective and remind you that this won’t be a permanent problem and that things will balance out eventually.
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