You’re not alone if you’re struggling to pay off debt. Borrowing money can be expensive thanks to high interest rates, and with so many people borrowing with credit cards and lines of credit, debt feels normal. But it’s not healthy for your long-term finances or your emotional well-being. These are the top 3 reasons you may find it hard to pay back debt – and what you can do about it.

#1 Interest rates make it hard to make progress

Higher interest rates add substantially to the time it takes to pay down debt, as well as the final cost of taking out that debt. When you make a monthly payment on your credit card or any other type of debt, you pay the interest first and the loan principal second.

If you’re only making minimum payments on your credit cards, you make marginal progress on the money you initially borrowed, while interest can come close to doubling how much money you paid for something in the long run.

The only way to make progress against high interest rates is to increase your monthly payments or ask for a lower interest rate. Alternatively, a consumer proposal will also stop interest from accumulating on your debt.

#2 It’s hard to reduce your expenses

Consumers get into debt by spending more money than they make. With so many credit options available today, it can be tempting to inflate your monthly budget using credit cards or lines of credit. Unexpected and emergency expenses can also make taking out a loan the only option. But it’s difficult to reduce your expenses, especially costs like your mortgage or rent and bills. You can trim your spending on shopping, entertainment, and eating out, but your basic expenses are hard to reduce without making drastic life changes.

#3 You lack support and see everyone around you borrowing

Debt has become the new normal in today’s society. Reducing your expenses can be difficult when it seems like the people around you don’t have to make the same sacrifices. Your friends can keep pressuring you to go out and spend money you don’t have, or your family may not be prepared to make sacrifices like cutting cable T.V. or pizza nights out of your budget. Ask for support and understanding when you’re trying to get debt free. It will give you more money to spend in the end when you’re not paying interest rates.

If you’re struggling to get out of debt no matter how hard you try, discover what a consumer proposal can do to help. You can enjoy a reduction in your debt, stop interest payments, and stop legal actions by debt collectors and your creditors. To file a consumer proposal, talk to bankruptcy trustees (now known as Licensed Insolvency Trustees) such as David Sklar & Associates about debt relief.

Bankruptcy trustees in Ontario offer free initial consultations to discuss your situation. From there, they can recommend a path forward. Bankruptcy trustees are the only professionals in Ontario who can file for bankruptcy or a consumer proposal on your behalf. Ask a bankruptcy trustee before you take out a debt consolidation loan or other financial products offered by lenders.