Do You Have to Take on Debt? Here’s How to Do it The Right Way

Here's what to know before you're stuck in a hole you can't dig yourself out of.

by Daniel Kurt
Joy Velasco for Fatherly

At some point or other, a lot of folks have fallen into what feels like a financial Twilight Zone. The furnace goes bust or the car needs a new transmission – or your employer unceremoniously hands you a pink slip. Suddenly, there’s not enough cash in your bank account just to scrape by. You have to take on debt. But what’s the best way to do so? Is there a best way to take on debt?

Most of us aren’t excited about the idea of going into the red to make ends meet, but it happens. The only real mistake is taking out credit without a game plan, which too often leads to long-term debt that becomes an emotional albatross. Should you need to take on debt, here are five pointers to make sure that you come out in one piece.

1. Ask: Why Am I Taking on Debt?

credit card debtNerdWallet survey

2. Get Your Credit Report into Shape

3. Find Low-Cost Ways to Borrow

BankrateWhether the emotional strain of being in your friend or family’s debt is worth

4. Have a Plan to Get Debt-Free Again.

LendingTree survey

5. Take Advantage of COVID Relief Programs