Dealing with Debt? Follow These Three Steps to Gain Control | Cinfed Credit Union

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Dealing with Debt? Follow These Three Steps to Gain Control

Posted on December 10, 2020
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Dealing with Debt? Follow These Three Steps to Gain Control

By Coach Fin

In 2020 we’re all just doing our best to roll with the changes. The pandemic has taken a physical, emotional and economic toll on many Americans. Financial stress can affect your physical and mental health, so it’s no surprise that many people feel overwhelmed.

If you’re feeling that pressure, here are some tips to get your finances back in shape. Debt management goes a long way toward improving your financial outlook — and your outlook on life.

1. Change your financial mindset

As with many things in life, the first step is usually the hardest. You can’t ignore or wish away debt, so it’s best to lay it all out on the table. The first step to getting out of debt is to get your head around where you are today. Here’s how:

  • Set aside time to document your debt. Gather up your bills and write down balances, anticipated payments and due dates. Make this a weekly habit to stay on top of it.
  • Check out this debt payoff calculator. It lets you compare the avalanche method (paying off highest interest debt first) and the snowball method (paying off smallest debts first) to see which is right for you.
  • Take a fresh look at your budget. Are you sticking to it? Have you adjusted your budget to account for any changes in income or expenses? If you don’t have a budget, here’s how to create one. You can use this monthly budget calculator to tally your income and expenses.
  • Keep tabs on your checking account and debit transactions. This helps make sure you account for everything. Errands, drive-thru meals and coffee stops? They add up, so make sure you capture and categorize them on your budget. This can help you spot money “leaks” on nonessential spending. A mobile app can help monitor and track transactions almost instantly.

2. Get help from a financial pro

It can be hard to ask for help, especially when it comes to your finances. You can talk to a Cinfed financial coach at any of our branches. They’re always happy to answer questions or help you access debt management services. They help people through all kinds of financial situations every day. They’ll be glad to listen to you and help you find the right path forward.

3. Create a plan — and stick to it

Whether you’re making a debt management plan of your own or have expert help, the last step is to work your plan. It won’t always be easy. After the initial rush of taking control, you might relax some guidelines. Or get bored with the process. You might have to make some tough choices. But take heart; this won’t last forever. Making your way out of debt takes time, discipline, and resolve. You can do it. And, if ever you feel your habits slipping, just go back to step 1 and repeat the process.

Make an appointment to learn more

Cinfed is here for you during the exciting times — like buying your first home — and challenging times, like creating a plan to manage your debt. If you’d like to chat with a Cinfed financial coach, call or make an appointment to visit your local branch. Here’s what to expect if you visit in person.


Cinfed Credit Union
4801 Kennedy Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45209
(513) 333-3800
Routing #242076656


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