From mortgages and credit cards to student loans, nearly all Australians are in debt at some time in their lives, but it doesn't have to stay that way.
While there can be many factors keeping you in the red, sometimes a change of attitude and adjusting your priorities can go a long way towards getting out of debt. Here are five common excuses that trap people in the debt cycle for longer.
1. "I'm waiting for..."
Setting financial goals can be helpful for managing your money, but not if the goalposts keep shifting. Waiting until you get a new job, a promotion or for other uncertain changes in your life before you start taking your debt seriously could mean you stay in debt a lot longer.
Remember: the longer you're in debt, the more you'll end up paying in interest and the larger your overall payment will be.
2. "My debt doesn't affect me"
You might not feel like your debt is affecting your life day by day, but it does have an impact in the long term. Even if you live a frugal lifestyle, every dollar spent on debt is one dollar less put into savings or a retirement fund to help build your wealth for the future.
3. "Debt isn't a priority"
Not all debt is equal, and while you can sometimes afford to delay paying back a relatively small loan with low interest, such as a student loan, a high-interest loan will affect your finances whether you like it or not.
No one likes to make loan or credit card payments when they have more important commitments like saving up for a house, a holiday or a child's education, but ignoring debt won't make it go away. If you miss or delay payments and incur penalties, you'll have an even bigger problem on your hands.
4. "I only want to pay the minimum"
Choosing the smallest possible monthly payment makes sense if you're on a tight budget and don't want your debt to affect your finances too much, but sticking with the minimum all through your loan term means you'll be in debt for longer and will usually have to pay more by the end.
As your financial situation improves, finding out if you can increase your monthly payments or make occasional lump sum payments will help you to pay off your debt faster and mean you pay less in interest overall.
To get an idea of how increasing your payments could reduce your debt, try our free debt calculator.
5. "I don't know my options"
If you feel like you're trapped in debt and don't know the way out, talking to a financial advisor could give you a clearer idea of the different options out there. This could mean rolling multiple debts into a more affordable monthly payment or refinancing to get a better deal.
To find out more about how to get out of debt, talk to Debt Fix's experts for a confidential, no-obligation consultation. Call our team today on 1300 332 834.