A bad credit report is something that we all try to avoid like the plague, but the sad fact is that sometimes, in spite of years of careful financial planning, many of us find ourselves with debts that have been incorrectly assigned to us or have failed to clear after being paid. Then, there are those occasional debts that are all but unavoidable, student loans being a good example.
Whether debt you discover against your name is legitimate or not, you should always strive to rectify the issue as soon as possible. Debt tends to follow us around and preys on our minds, adding needless layers of stress to the already intimidating world of financial management.
It all too easy to fall into the following psychological trap where we view the small debts that we own ($100 or less) as not being serious enough to clear or something that we will get around to ‘soon’. Similarly, we view the big debts as more urgent but keep telling ourselves that we need more time before we can pay them off.
As a result, we allow opportunities to clear debt from our books to pass us by and even small debts can easily mutate into some kind of monster if we aren’t careful and allow ourselves to become complacent. If the debt is left long enough, it can affect our credit score, and this will make it harder to obtain credit later on when we need it.
The more debt we accumulate, the more stressed we become. It is, therefore, best to keep the amount of debt that we take on to an absolute minimum. Student loan debts are an example of an unavoidable debt compared with buying a new television on credit. No matter how justified a debt is, however, it needs to be paid off or it will impact your financial future, which will cause stress when it comes to things like buying a house.
Wherever your debt comes from, be it student loan debt or an unpaid phone bill, a debt lawyer can advise you on the best way to proceed. If you discover a debt on your file that you don’t recognize, you should consult with a debt lawyer, as well as the individual or entity who believes you owe them money.
One of the hidden benefits to paying off debts, when and where you discover them, is that it will help to develop your own sense of personal and financial responsibility. Effective management of your personal finances is a matter of practice and of developing good habits. The idea is that, ultimately, these behaviors become automatic, and so you will start to efficiently manage your finances without even thinking about it. If that sounds like a pipe dream to you, don’t worry, you aren’t alone! However, it really does work, even in the most stubborn of cases.
It is always a good idea to fight debt where we find it. If it is legitimate debt, then discuss payment plans with your creditors, but if you feel the debt has been issued in error, contact a qualified attorney to help you handle it.