No matter how careful you are with your spending, it’s easy to get in over your head and flounder in debt. Whether it’s credit cards, car loans or a home loan, once you start missing payments or can only pay the minimum, your debt can start to spiral out of control. You’ll need to come at the problem from several angles to truly get a handle on your debt and lower the interest you pay.

Make Larger Payments

If you’re only paying the minimum on a credit card debt, you may not only be going deeper into debt, but you can be hurting your credit rating and facing higher interest payments in the future. Check the credit limit on your card and keep your spending under 30 percent of the maximum limit until you can pay it off to avoid damaging your credit score.

Consider a Consolidation

If you get an offer for extended terms, such as 12 months at 0 percent APR, you can use this offer to lower your debt. Once you pay the loan origination fee, often 3 percent, you pay no interest on the debt transferred to the card. Debt consolidation can work if you take steps to wipe out the debt once you transfer it and don’t use credit cards during this time. Consider switching over to cash to make money feel real again while you pay down the consolidation loan.

Delete Collections

If you have bills that have gone to collection on your credit report, you may struggle to get any type of financing at all. Consider hiring an attorney to help you with credit repair. It’s possible that you can pay for a collection to be deleted from your credit history. This solution is usually the best for handling small amounts of debt, ideally anything under $500. If you do want to get it deleted, the collection agency can remove the listing once you pay the full debt amount. Having these things deleted from your credit history will help you to not only get financing but might even help you get a better interest rate in the future when you apply for it.

Get a Cosigner

You may be able to get a consolidation loan at a lower rate with the help of a cosigner. However, be aware that you are impacting their credit just by taking the loan as it will damage how much they can borrow should an emergency come up. In addition, if you default, they will be responsible for the loan. If you can get help from a cosigner, do your very best to pay down the debt as quickly as possible to protect their credit rating as you improve yours.

Getting a loan of any type when you have no credit rating or a poor credit history can be a challenge. Consider a consolidation loan to help you manage the debt and interest while you buckle down and pay the debt and get help to remove collections from your history. Doing these things will help you to reduce the interest costs of debt and may even boost your credit score.

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