For many in Florida, high levels of debt have become a serious matter, leading to increased stress, anxiety and damage to interpersonal relationships. Finding a way to gain control over one’s debt is essential to regaining stability and serenity. That said, many consumers are unsure where to begin and need help in creating a sustainable debt relief strategy.

One of the best ways to pay down high levels of debt is to begin by prioritizing the list of accounts that have an outstanding balance. Those debts that are listed as the highest priority should be paid first each month, and any remaining cash should be put to use paying down debts that fall lower on the priority list. In this way, a system is created that can lead to the elimination of debt over time.

Secured debts should top the priority list. These debts include mortgages and vehicle loans. Next comes high-interest debt, such as credit card accounts. Another type of debt that has a very high cost is a payday loan, which should be avoided if at all possible, and paid off quickly if already owed.

Next comes student loan debt, which can be addressed through payment restructuring or forbearance plans. Failure to pay these bills can lead to wage garnishment. Last on the list are smaller debts, which can be paid off completely over a period of a few weeks or months.

Once a Florida consumer has taken the time to prioritize his or her debts in the manner outlined above, it becomes easier to know where to start chipping away at high levels of debt. Repayment over time is an achievable goal for some, but in many cases, the overall level of debt is simply too large to address, no matter which debt relief strategy is chosen. In such cases, personal bankruptcy may offer the best path toward the elimination of many forms of debt and provide for a fresh financial start.

Source: 9and10news.com, “Prioritize your debts to pay off bills the smart way”, Andrew Housser, June 1, 2015