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Becoming a homeowner is a milestone for many working professionals, though it’s not without its challenges and responsibilities. Many homeowners go into this ownership role with pre-existing debt. Some buyers have significant mortgages, which can bring on their own set of challenges.

Getting out of debt takes time and continuous effort, especially if you’ve accumulated multiple outstanding balances. These five simple steps are designed to help homeowners at every stage of life deal with their debt in an efficient manner and provide helpful tools for the future.

Pay More Than the Minimum

The minimum balance on any loan or line of credit should be precisely that, the minimum. The more money you can put towards your debt, the less interest you’ll find yourself succumbed to.

One of your primary goals is to rid yourself of any debt that may be prohibiting you from investing or saving for the future as a homeowner. This may require short-term sacrifice — forgoing dinners at restaurants or purchasing brand new clothes — though you’re able to rid your budget of debt payments faster, ultimately giving you the financial freedom you need to take those next steps.

Find Items You Can Sell

The longer you live in your home, the more excess and clutter you’ve likely accumulated. A simple way to put more money towards debt payments is to use the items in your home as easy cash flow. Every season, consider doing a deep clean throughout your home. Along the way, identify the items that you haven’t used in the past six months and consider selling these pieces online or through a garage sale. Why not make money off of items that are simply sitting in your home unused?

Consider Short-Term Loans

There are various options for homeowners regarding short-term loans, but there are just as many factors to be mindful of when seeking out lenders to help tackle debt payments. Ultimately, the goal is to receive the money you need without excessive paperwork and unnecessary bank interviews. Alternative lenders like FlexMoney are sought out by homeowners because they offer the convenience of temporary cash relief without the red tape often found with traditional lenders.

Homeowners must remember that these loans are meant to be paid back, and these payments should be added to your monthly budget to avoid falling behind on payments. The benefit of alternative lenders is their ability to help borrowers manage multiple creditors, leaving them with a single payment rather than several monthly payments.

Negotiate Lower Rates

Many homeowners are unaware that there is a potential to negotiate credit card rates and household bill payments, resulting in potentially wasted capital that could go towards urgent debt payments. If your interest rates result in difficulty paying down your debt, consider calling your utilities and credit card companies and discuss the possibility of lowering your rates. This may take some time and persistence, especially if you’re new to negotiating, but it could pay off significantly in the end.