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How to Get Out of Debt

These tips will help you dig out from under the weight.

Like many Americans, you might be in more debt than you had planned for. The average American owes $7,281 in credit card debt alone, according to the Federal Reserve and other government statistics. Maybe your debt obligations result in every dollar from every paycheck goes toward expenses. Additionally, having a large amount of debt increases the amount of stress and worry in your life. If you want to know how to get out of debt, explore these helpful tips from Credit Union ONE.

Create Your Own Debt-Reduction Plan

A debt-reduction plan requires careful analysis of your current expenses and a disciplined approach to pay down your debt. When you identify your debt, you can start paying it off in different ways. Some people start with their lowest amount of debt in order to feel the gratification of eliminating one obligation from their list. Others start with the debt carrying the highest interest rate because the quicker they pay that off, the more money they will save in the long run. In the meantime, they are making minimum payments on their other debts while they work to pay off one in full.

After one debt is paid off, it's important to take the amount of money you were paying and apply it to the next debt obligation on your list. This approach to paying off debt keeps you focused on the task at hand rather than incurring more expenses. You'll see yourself progressing steadily toward debt-free status.

Consider a Debt Consolidation Loan

You may be able to take out a personal loan to cover all your debts, and then pay off that loan in one payment, often at a lower interest rate than what your debts carried individually. Beware of the false sense of security that comes with this approach. You need to be mindful not to run up new debt on your credit cards simply because your card balance is $0. Remember, you have shifted the debt to the loan and it is not eliminated until you have paid off the loan.

If you are a student working to pay of student debt, consider a Direct Consolidation Loan. This will give you one monthly payment on all of your federal student loans.

Balance Transfer Credit Card Debt

If you are in credit card debt, one option to help you find relief is to transfer your balances to a Credit Union ONE credit card that can give you time to pay down your debt without accruing more from high interest rates.

Debt Settlements When Collectors Call

Debts that are overwhelming you and can't be paid back could be eligible for a debt settlement in order to stop the collection agencies from persistently calling you. This approach involves negotiating with your creditors over a settlement amount that is lower than the amount you actually owe. While a debt settlement reduces the amount you will pay back, it comes with an aggressive timeline for repayment. You may have only 24 months to pay off 30% to 50% of your original debt owed. Consider whether this option is better than declaring bankruptcy. If it is, be prepared for some stressful months when you're tightening your belt significantly to meet the terms of your settlement.

Every Little Bit Counts

When you’re struggling to get out of debt fast, reducing your expenses and putting that savings towards your debt can help. Here are some ideas for what you can do to cut down on your everyday costs to help get out of debt faster:

  • Create a monthly budget – and stick to it
  • Apply your tax refund and any work bonuses towards your debt
  • Cut down on eating out and eliminate purchasing frivolous items
  • Sell things you don’t need
  • Make coffee or tea at home instead of buying that daily latte
  • Pack your lunch as often as possible
  • Cut the cable cord and look for less expensive streaming options for TV
  • Evaluate your auto, home and life insurance to see if you can find less expensive coverage that still meets your needs
  • Practice smart grocery shopping: plan your food purchases around sales to reduce impulse purchases and eliminate waste
  • Look for rewards programs to earn money while you spend
  • Go to the library instead of buying or renting books and music
  • Research free events in your hometown, go for a hike, bike ride or enjoy a picnic
The key to this strategy is to save as much money as possible and use the savings to pay down debt. Being in debt isn’t fun, but you can get relief. If you need help to build a plan to get out of debt, or want to speak with us about your options, please contact us.

 

Related resources

How do I view transaction information?

You can find this information by logging in to Online Banking, Mobile Banking, or using 24-Hour Telephone Banking.

How do I update my account information? 

You can update your account information by signing in to Online Banking and selecting the Profile Tab. From that menu, click on Update Profile.

How do I  change my address?

You can update your account information by signing in to Online Banking and selecting the Profile Tab. From that menu, click on Update Profile.

I did not get my statement. Why? 

Paper statements can be mailed to your address on file for a $2.00 monthly fee. Statements can be retrieved online electronically by accessing Online Banking, clicking on the Accounts tab and clicking on e-statements. There is no fee for e-statements. Members can view and print statements in Online Banking.

Can I get a copy of my statement?

Paper statements can be mailed to your address on file for a $2.00 monthly fee. Statements can be retrieved online electronically by accessing Online Banking, clicking on the Accounts tab and clicking on e-statements. There is no fee for e-statements. Members can view and print statements in Online Banking.

What are my options for receiving a statement?

Paper statements can be mailed to your address on file for a $2.00 monthly fee. Statements can be retrieved online electronically by accessing Online Banking, clicking on the Accounts tab and clicking on e-statements. There is no fee for e-statements. Members can view and print statements in Online Banking.

How do I change my address? 

In Online Banking, click on the Profile tab, and then Update Profile.  You can also visit a branch or call the Member Contact Center at 800-451-4292

I have moved and need to change my address?

In Online Banking, click on the Profile tab, and then Update Profile.  You can also visit a branch or call the Member Contact Center at 800-451-4292

How do I close my Credit Union ONE account? 
 

To close a Credit Union ONE account, members can visit any Credit Union ONE branch or call us at 800-451-4292 and a check will be mailed to the address on the account for any remaining balance payable to the member.

Where do I go to find account info?

You can access your account through Online Banking, Mobile Banking, or Telephone Banking. Also, account information is available by calling 800-451-4292 or visiting a branch.

How do I dispute an ACH/automatic payment?

Members can submit a dispute request for an ACH/ Auto Pay that they did not authorize by contacting Credit Union ONE at 800-451-4292 or visiting any Credit Union ONE branch. If doing this in person, you need to report the activity with the proper form attached with the transaction information. This form is then sent to Accounting Department for processing.

There is a deduction for an insurance premium on my account that is not mine?

Members can submit a dispute request for an ACH/ Auto Pay that they did not authorize by contacting Credit Union ONE at 800-451-4292 or visiting any Credit Union ONE branch. If doing this in person, you need to report the activity with the proper form attached with the transaction information. This form is then sent to Accounting Department for processing.

What is a Garnishment?

A garnishment is a court order whereby a member's property or money are in possession or under control of another and applied as payment for their debt to a third party. A levy is a proceeding in which money is obtained for the payment of taxes that are past due. When members are served with a garnishment or levy, they must call and email Admin Services with the information and fax the documents to 248-584-5446. If the member questions a garnishment or levy, they can contact the filing court, the IRS, or the State of Michigan to file an objection. A phone number of the attorney will be in the account notes. By law, Credit Union ONE must follow the garnishment/levy orders.

What is a Levy?

A garnishment is a court order whereby a member's property or money are in possession or under control of another and applied as payment for their debt to a third party. A levy is a proceeding in which money is obtained for the payment of taxes that are past due. When members are served with a garnishment or levy, they must call and email Admin Services with the information and fax the documents to 248-584-5446. If the member questions a garnishment or levy, they can contact the filing court, the IRS, or the State of Michigan to file an objection. A phone number of the attorney will be in the account notes. By law, Credit Union ONE must follow the garnishment/levy orders.

There is a transaction on my account I did not authorize. Can you tell me what it is for?

A garnishment is a court order whereby a member's property or money are in possession or under control of another and applied as payment for their debt to a third party. A levy is a proceeding in which money is obtained for the payment of taxes that are past due. When members are served with a garnishment or levy, they must call and email Admin Services with the information and fax the documents to 248-584-5446. If the member questions a garnishment or levy, they can contact the filing court, the IRS, or the State of Michigan to file an objection. A phone number of the attorney will be in the account notes. By law, Credit Union ONE must follow the garnishment/levy orders.

My family member has passed away. How do I close the
account with Credit Union ONE? 

The procedure to close a deceased member's accounts vary depending on if there were joint owners, a beneficiary, if it was a trust, etc. Contact Credit Union ONE at 800-451-4292 or visit any Credit Union ONE branch for assistance.

What do I need to close my deceased parents account?

The procedure to close a deceased member's accounts vary depending on if there were joint owners, a beneficiary, if it was a trust, etc. Contact Credit Union ONE at 800-451-4292 or visit any Credit Union ONE branch for assistance.

My friend has passed away and left me in charge of his affairs. How can I close his accounts?

The procedure to close a deceased member's accounts vary depending on if there were joint owners, a beneficiary, if it was a trust, etc. Contact Credit Union ONE at 800-451-4292 or visit any Credit Union ONE branch for assistance.

I'm a student. Is there anything special for me?

Yes, if you are under the age of 24, there is no monthly maintenance fee for the Cash Back checking account. Also, you will receive all standard benefits, which include earning cash back against certain debit card transactions.

What happens to my points if I close my account? 
 

Points, if eligible, may be redeemed by you and paid to the account the day you close your account. Your accounts must be in "good standing" to redeem your points. Rewards and points are not paid and are forfeited if account is closed by Credit Union ONE for any reason.

Do you offer medallion or signature guarantee?
 

Yes, but please confirm by calling 800-451-4292 to find out if the location you wish to go to has one available and what documents you need to bring. All parties who need the signature guarantee must be current members.

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