For the many people who have accrued a large amount of unsecured debt with a range of creditors over the years, it can be very difficult to keep tabs on what you owe and who you owe it to. Financial management can be difficult enough at the best of times but when you are drowning in a sea of debt and are finding it difficult to keep track of your repayments and balances, it can become all the more difficult to control your finances.
It is important that you try and keep track of your debts as best you can, which means keeping tabs on repayments and balances as well as interest rates and any penalties that you may incur if you were to repay the debt early. There are a number of reasons for logging this information. It is a good idea simply put all of this information on a spreadsheet, with a row for each of the debts that you owe so that you have a full list of debts and associated details. Some of the information to include on your spreadsheet includes:
The amount of the debt: Make a list of the amount that you owe to each creditor so that you are able to keep tabs on your individual debts and see which ones you may be able to pay off more quickly based on the size of the debt
The monthly repayment: Make sure that you keep a note of what your monthly repayments are, as this will help you to budget more easily as well as providing valuable information at a glance when you need it
The rate of interest being charged: Keep a note of the interest that you are being charged on each debt, as this will help you decide which debt to try and clear first if you get the opportunity to pay off one of your debts through a windfall or savings
The details of the creditor: Make a note of the details of your creditors, including contact address email, phone number and a contact name if you have one.
The term of the loan/finance and end date: Make a note next to each debt of the amount of time over which you have taken the loan and what the end date is, as you will be able to see at a glance how long you have on each of your debts and which ones are due to come to an end soon
Esther is a personal finance blogger and journalist. She writes regularly about consumer finance, covering everything from mortgages to savings accounts to loans.