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Breaking free: our tips to a debt-free future
Standard Bank Team
Super Contributor
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Attaining financial freedom is probably on most New Year’s resolution lists so we’ve put together some tips on how to stamp out bad debt for good.

You can run but you can’t hide – face that blacklisting
If you are blacklisted, don’t hide from the problem. Have an honest discussion about your situation with the organisation that blacklisted you and make a realistic plan to settle the debt over an agreed timeframe.

Acknowledge your debt
Far too many of us think that by ignoring bank correspondence over non-payment, or skipping payments will make the problem go away. It doesn’t. Talk to the organisations involved before it’s too late, when defaulting could result in legal action.

Consolidate
It’s far more useful to consolidate money owed into a single debt, it will reduce interest and make repayment scheduling easier.

The three rules to achieve financial freedom in 2014:
• Draw up a budget
• Put money away in a savings account every month to cover unexpected events
• Decide what percentage of your income you can afford to spend on loans

If you find yourself in a position of spiralling debt and face being blacklisted, visit your bank. Be honest about your financial position, there may well be a solution to help you.
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