Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Individual finances: How to manage when loans are killing you

I read an article that took a situation where a person was in real trouble financially, and what the person can do in such a situation that could help. The situation was one that many of us can relate to - in times of good money and a good job, your finances and projections for the future are good, and you decide to invest for the future. You take a loan for the house that will be an asset for the future, you invest the remaining money in stocks (after all, equity is the way to grow your money for the future), and you get a car to travel in comfort along with your family. And then disaster strikes - your house loan amount was high (higher as a percentage of monthly take home salary that you would like - should not be more than 40% of take home after taxes and other deductions), and it got higher as interest rates went up, the stock market collapsed, and then the worst of all, you lost your job. So, what do you do ? (link to article - read it till the end, the situation may not be exactly the same, but there will be similarities)

He decided to approach a debt counseling centre for his financial hassles. They showed him the right way to manage his finances. They also mediated between him and his bank. He also obtained written consent from the bank that he would resume repaying his loan once he got a job. In such situations banks do oblige you if you manage to repay most of the money or part of the money if not all as it was a better deal than no money at all.
1. Try to lower your interest rate. Negotiate with your bank. One other way is to convert your credit card debt into a personal loan debt. It will definitely be lesser than the credit card interest rate.
2. Calculate your net worth and see if any of your investments could help you prepay a part of your loans.

More tips are there in the article. The main point is that you should be careful of your finances rather than falling in this trap, and if you do, then get help, speak to the bank and explore other means of financing (except for high-interest loans).

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