If badly managed, the debts that rarely cross your mind can be the ones that cause you the most unnecessary expense.
Today, debt is a fact of life. Pretty much every adult you meet will carry some debt at some point through their financial life. Some, however, don’t have an obvious impact on your everyday life, and for these forgotten debts, it doesn’t take much for them to become unmanageable and impact your quality of life. Here are a few ideas about the most frequently overlooked debts and how take control of them.
Most people are very young when they take out a student loan and this is their first real taste of borrowing. However, you’ll start having to pay back this large sum once you earn over the threshold amount. It’s easy to forget that you’ve borrowed near to £30,000 for your studies, so be sure you’ve got the monthly payment amount planned into your budget.
Items on credit
Although it’s less common than it once was, many people still take out credit on big ticket items like furniture and white goods. By their very nature, these items are always going to cost more when bought over the long-term than they would be if bought outright; in essence you’re paying for the privilege of gradual payment. Late or missing payments can be extremely expensive and you can end up paying ten times a product’s actual value by being disorganised or forgetful.
For the vast majority of people, their mortgage is the biggest debt they’ll ever have – but as it’s a constant repayment, you may lose track how much you’ve got left you pay. If you’re thinking of trying to pay off your mortgage early – a dream for many people – make sure you’ve covered other debts with the highest (and costliest) interest rates first. Another point to consider when you’re thinking of paying your mortgage off early, is that your bank or building society may impose early repayment charges.
When you drive out of a car dealership in that lovely new vehicle you may feel on top of the world. But remember that if you’ve bought the car on finance, it doesn’t belong to you until every penny has been paid off.
Borrowing money off parents
Some adult children regard the money they owe their parents as not a real debt. While they prioritise fees owed to banks, stores and other lenders, they let repayments to mum and dad slide by. This is a big error and one that can cause rifts between relations. If you owe money to parents or other family members, or if you’ve lent money to relations, the most important thing is to maintain good communications and pay off your very personal debt.
Although the debts discussed above may not ‘feel’ like debt, they certainly are and it’s in your interest to stay on top of them.