Let me say this how i see it, whilst you are a student you are not going to get rid of your debt. Now please keep reading. There is some debt that when you are a student, unless you are very rich or know someone who is rich, that you cant avoid. However there is some debt that you can and should avoid. I dont know where you are in the world but hopefully the following will help.
- own the debt, accept that you created it
- decide what is necessary debt and what isnt
- decide what debt has to be paid now, ongoing or can wait until you have finished your course and get a job
- get your debt out, put it in front of you, so you can see all of it
- forget about the debt you dont have to start repaying until after your course finishes and concentrate on the other stuff
- cut up and throw away credit cards, store cards and the like. If you have more then one bank account decide which one you will use and stick with that one and get rid of the bank card that comes with any other banks. Dont get any more.
- stop living in your overdraft, changed banks, dont get another overdraft. your overdaft is now part of your debt.
- decide how much money you have coming in, where it will be coming from and when you will be getting it
- if you dont have a job, get one. Even 5 hours at minimal pay is survival money.
- there are some bills that are essential and there are some that are not -
- essentail; rent, utilities - gas, electric, water? - if you dont pay these they will cut you off and throw you out
- you need to decide what other things you either have to pay - travel fares, mobile phone, internet, etc - or want to pay and can you afford them.
- find out what 8% of your total income is, that's your play money, clothes, hair cuts, going out, etc
- if you cant afford to pay your debtors, tell them before they come chasing you
- you also need food money
- divide up the money you have left between your debt/ors and offer them that amount but dont break your promise. Try and get them to stop adding interest too.
This is a budget. This is called survival. If you dont stick to the budget then you have to accept that you didnt. I am the proud mother of 4 children, 2 have been through university and debt, 1 is in the middle of everything and the last one goes in the autumn. I live in the uk and i know things are different here then the usa, but debt is debt wherever you are and it weighs you down and that's not good.