Americans feel threat of financial strain ñ but do you?

A recent study in the US suggests that American women see financial strain as the single biggest threat to the American family.

That puts money worries ahead of divorce, loss of faith and the stresses of work.

Not surprised? With the effects of the credit crunch hitting British shores, money worries are as much of a concern here as they are on the other side of the Atlantic.

The question is, what can you do to ease the strain? MoneyExpert.com points you in the right direction.

Managing your debts

Balancing lots of different debts can be time consuming as well as difficult to manage and can lead to your finances spiralling out of control.

You could have an overdraft, several credit cards, store cards and possible a personal loan, too. And then of course there’s the burden of a mortgage.

Each source of debt will be charging a different interest rate which means setting yourself priorities and knowing what to repay when can be tough to get right. In fact, it often becomes easy to let things slip and only repay the minimum repayments.

That’s when things begin to slip and life feels that little bit tougher.

Re-arrange your financial burdens

Whether it’s the maths, the paperwork or the plastic that’s making you struggle, try to make the time to sit down and work things out. Or call for help.

You should be able to save yourself time and money by paying off all the debts with one loan.

Typically that loan is called a consolidation loan. It allows you to take care of your finances much more easily AND reduces the amount of interest you pay overall.

Click on MoneyExpert.com’s Debt Consolidation calculator to see what you can save.

What are the options?

Banks, building societies and plenty of specialist firms offer personal loans for up to £25,000. You can repay loans over a range of different time periods, from six months to six years. Rates current start at around 7.2 per cent.

It’s also possible to extend your mortgage, although in the current climate getting any kind of mortgage is more difficult so you shouldn’t take this for granted. Contact your lender to talk through the options.

And finally you could consider a secured loan. Typically these are open to people who need to borrow larger sums or who cannot get an unsecured loan because they don’t have a good credit record. MoneyExpert.com can show you the best deals by clicking here.

Nb. You should wherever possible look to pay your debts off as quickly as you can. The longer you borrow money for the more interest you will pay.

So it’s not just the Americans feeling the strain. You may not feel like you have much in common with the big U S of A, but if money is getting you down, perhaps now is the time to try and sort it out.

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