If you feel like you’re struggling under a mountain of debt, you’re not alone. Regional Australians are finding it increasingly difficult to repay their debts compared to 12 months ago, according to a new business survey.
The report found that 51% of regional SME owners feel consumers are finding it more difficult to make debt repayments than last year while 44% confirmed they are struggling to chase money from their customers. 77% of regional respondents are waiting over 60 days before referring debts to a collection agency.
The CEO of the debt collection agency that conducted the survey, Roger Mendelson is telling Australian SMEs now is the time to focus on getting their debts under control instead of living beyond their means by comfortably sitting on their debts. “This is a major concern for the future should a recession, or any economic downturn hit.” Mr Mendelson said.
Mr Mendelson shared his expert advice on reducing debt to ensure future financial security.
- Pay your bills. If you’re sued for unpaid bills you’ll not only have hefty legal costs, it will affect your credit rating.
- Budget hard, especially if you have more bills than cash flow. Once you’ve cleared your debts you are freed up to save more and faster.
- Consider consolidating your debts into your home loan, where the interest rate is much lower.
- The worst thing you can do is nothing – so ask for help from a financial adviser or accountant.
- Reduce the most expensive debt such as your credit card balance first and aim to get to a position where you can pay it off in full every month.