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Robert N. Heath, P.A.
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Serving Northwest Florida
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Managing debt with organization and payment plans

Many Florida residents understand the frustration of keeping on top of credit card bills. The first step to controlling the problem and creating a plan to eliminate debts requires a person to make a list of every source of debt, including car loans, credit card balances, medical bills, home loans and student loans.

The monthly payments for each debt should be evaluated. A person should determine how much money can be applied to each balance every month and make a budget that reflects these obligations. To avoid late or missed payments, online billing needs to be set up for every account with automatic payments for the minimum amounts. After meeting minimum payments, secondary payments can be sent through whenever possible.

Student loans, especially for members of the millennial generation, represent a substantial burden. Among millennials, two-thirds of them carry long-term debt, frequently from a student loan, and the average loan balance equals $40,000. Financial planners recommend making the payoff of educational loans a priority. A person struggling to meet payments on a student loan needs to contact the lender and discuss options for a new payment plan.

A person experiencing financial challenges might choose to acquire legal help when managing credit card debts. If creditors and collection agencies have become aggressive, an attorney could assert the person's rights by citing laws such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. An attorney could review the claims made by creditors and ask the companies to provide paperwork that justifies the demands being placed on the person, especially if the person disputes the existence of certain debts. The negotiation of a new payment plan could be achieved by an attorney, who might also work out a settlement that allows a person to resolve a debt for a portion of the outstanding balance.

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