Whether you’re applying for your first loan, or if you’ve had more than a few, it can always be a daunting process. Thus off we go, looking for the best advice and tools to help us ease the process. We’re always looking for good advice in life. However, in every single area of our lives there are those that provide us with the good, and those that give absolutely bunk ‘advice’.
Perhaps you’ve come across these pieces of ‘advice’ on paying off your debt, they’re in fact, nonsense! You can’t afford following them:
Don’t Worry about Borrowing Too Much.
The don’t worry approach to borrowing discourages planning and considering your ability to make repayment on your loan. This approach causes some to assume that everything will work out in the end. You should borrow enough to cover whatever expense you need to pay for, and not a cent more. Planning is essential.
Pay off all your debt before you start saving for retirement.
Oftentimes you’ll hear this one, and it’s easy to see the logic if you’re looking at hefty interest rates. Tackling debt first can actually make sense, but only if you can do the job quickly. But – if it’s going to take you a long time to pay off your debt, you’ll be forgoing many years of compounded growth on your investments.
You can borrow money and then invest it and earn a return.
You can borrow money for, say, 8% and then invest it and earn 10% or 15%. This is the logic that have caused many troubles for individuals in the past. It looks like a compelling proposition. But – it is not a good idea, it’s bad advice. Your debt repayment is guaranteed, but your investment isn’t, anything can happen in the markets, and you’d be left in a pickle.
So, let’s scrap the bad ‘advice’ and take a look at some good Debt Advice to live by:
Whatever item you finance should last longer than the life of the loan.
Fulfilling your lifelong dream to sunbathe on the beaches of Mauritius by charging it all on your credit card or applying for a loan, is bad debt since you’ll be paying off that loan long after you’ve recovered from your sunburn.
Don’t be mastered by your wants.
Wants are infinite, this is an economic principle. Wants can be like a monkey riding on your back. Don’t give in, know what you’re able to afford, and stick to it!
Know the difference between Good debt vs. Bad debt.
Is debt your friend or your foe? It depends on what you’re looking to finance. Don’t get confused between the two. Good debt, simply stated, can be for an investment that grows over time such as a rental property or business, they provide leverage. Bad debt generally refers to loans for items that lose value the minute you purchase them.