No one likes being faced with a big “D” on their budgeting plans. Being in debt connotes poor spending practices and financial savvy. As a matter of fact, debt can be caused by all kinds of unexpected happenings like an unexpected divorce or accumulated student loan.

The truth is that just about everyone today is in debt. According to a survey conducted in 2015, the average household owes as much as $12,000 in debts. This figure doesn’t even include mortgage debts.

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One of the big temptations when faced with debt, is to try to ignore the issue and hope it will just go away. But this is not a good plan according to debt experts Saxton Associates. It is far better to understand the situation and find a way to deal with it effectively.

Following are five tips from Saxton Associates that can help you do just that.

Face the financial facts

The best way to begin is by making a list of all the debts you have made and place them in order of priority. Those that will have the most scathing consequences should be dealt with sooner. This means that debts at the top of the list should include backed-up rents, council taxes and other monthly bills.

Further on down the list you will find the debts owed to credit cards and unpaid purchase agreements.

Snowballing is one acceptable method of addressing these debts. This means that you will work to pay off the largest debts with the highest interests rates first. While doing this, you will only make the minimum payments on all other debts.

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By prioritizing the debts you have collected you will have a better approach to address them all. But, to do this effectively you must also consider the consequences of not paying anything at all, regardless of the interest rate.

Work out a budget

Once you have a better idea of what you owe, you will be able to begin drawing up a financial plan. There are a variety of online budget planners available for this purpose. Here is one fine example from Money Advice Service, which will help you to understand where your money is going each month and how this can be factored into paying your debts. By keeping careful records, you will have a better clue of how much you can put toward paying off debts.

Research balance transfers

Credit card balance is another way of reducing the costs of your accumulated debts. This involves transferring an existing card balance to another that has a lower interest rate. This helps to avoid certain charges and clear your debts faster.

If you believe you are capable of paying off the full loan amount within a specific amount of time you could even take your accumulated debts to a 0% credit card. The important thing to do will be to keep an eye out for better deals than the one you have. It is often a good idea to transfer debts to an option with a lower interest rate. You will still have to pay interest of course, but there is a good chance it will be far less than what you have to pay now.

Take out a personal loan

Yes, the last thing you want to do when in debt is dig yourself deeper. But, taking the time to shop around for a personal loan could be your ticket out of problems. If you really look, you are sure to find loans with a far lower APR than that offer by your credit card company.

According to a report in This is Money, which sourced information collected by MoneyFacts, showed that the average credit card will be charging 21.6%. With a little luck and some diligence, you will be able to find a far better offer than this, maybe even half that rate or lower. Overall, by taking time to be creative in your approach, you may find your fastest route out of debt is right through it.

Seek advice

No matter how scary the thought of debt can be, there is always plenty of help available. There are many professional services waiting to help out. Contact Citizens Advice or National Debtline for some of the most cutting-edge techniques for getting out of this jam. They help thousands of people just like you get out of financial debacle and can do the same for you.

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No one is saying that managing a debt is a simple task, but it is possible and you will be surprised what moving in the right direction can do for you.