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Get your head out of the sand: Solve your debt problem now!

Malaysians are facing rising levels of debt in 2013 and while the blame may not lie completely with our spending habits, we need to take action now to avoid falling further into debt. The task of addressing the high cost of living in Malaysia lies with the government, but we can’t bury our heads in the sand and hope that everything will solve itself – we have to take action to protect ourselves and our families from debt!

Here are our top five tips to sorting out your finances and getting back into the black!

1. Talk to your bank

If you’re struggling to meet your payments, it’s important that you try to avoid defaulting on your loan. This could mean more fees which will cause your debt to escalate even more. Discuss the possibility of reorganising your repayments so that you will be able to pay off your debt without risking expensive fees. 

How should I contact my lender?
Although it is more difficult for Deaf people to contact their banks, there are other means to get in touch so don’t get put off! All of the main banks now have contact email addresses available, so send off a quick email with all of your questions in and make sure you get a comprehensive and clear answer back.

What should I do if my bank doesn’t help?
If your bank is taking too long to get back to you, or their answers aren’t helping, why not take your complaint to their Facebook page? No company wants to look bad in front of all of their Facebook fans and potential customers, so expect a quick and helpful answer.

But I want to talk to a real person!

If you prefer to talk to a bank representative in person, contact your bank and ask about the possibility of organising a sign language interpreter (or take your own along with you!). And again, if you feel your bank is not helping you to get the best possible assistance, don’t be afraid to complain – you won’t just be helping yourself, but also others in the deaf community banking with the same lender!

2. Pay off as much as you can afford

You might be tempted to just pay off the minimum on your debt every month, but don’t fall into this trap! Yes, you’ll avoid those nasty late payment fees and your lender won’t be on your case all the time, but this strategy could end up costing you dearly in the long term.

Why should I pay more than the minimum?
The banks want you to just pay off the minimum, because it will take you much longer to pay off your debt, and that means more interest for them! Just paying the minimum could cost you thousands and keep you trapped in debt for decades.

How should I pay off my debt?
The minimum payment you have to make will drop as you make payments, but don’t follow this pattern. Stick to paying off a fixed amount each month – ensure it is more than the minimum and that you will be able to afford paying it off each month. Commit to paying at least this amount off every month, and consider paying off more if you can.

3. You deserve the best!
Are you getting the best deal on your credit card, mortgage, loans and savings accounts? Don’t make the mistake of thinking all accounts and loans are the same – check the interest rates on your accounts and compare with other financial products on the market. If you’re not getting the best deal, switch! It may seem like a lot of hassle for not enough results, but that slight difference in interest can soon add up… And no one wants to pay more than they have to, right?

How much can I save?

Let someone else do the hard work for you and head to www.CompareHero.my, where you can compare everything from credit and debit cards to mobile phone contracts. Are you overpaying on your internet plan? Could you earn more interest on your savings? You’ll never know how much you can save until you compare all the deals out there, and CompareHero’s quick and easy-to-use price comparison tool will help you to find the best products for you and save you money!

By Author:
Thomas Bradshaw

Editor of CompareHero.my
CompareHero.my helps Malaysians save time and money by comparing financial an telecommunication products such as insurance, credit cards, debit cards, loans, mobile tariffs, internet plans & more.

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