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Debt can be a significant source of stress and hinder financial stability.  Learning debt management can help reduce stress and improve your financial outlook.  But not everyone manages debt well or knows how.  As a nurse turned Financial Advisor, it is important to educate other nurses on debt management.  In this blog post, we’ll explore debt management.  We’ll review do-it-yourself plans and debt management programs aimed at helping you take control of your finances and plan for a more secure future.

Understanding Debt Management

Debt management is creating a structured plan to pay off debts.  While typically done through a debt management program, anyone can do it on their own.  Regardless of how you do it, the goal is to get out of debt with little to no damage to your credit.  Typically, debt management plans include budgeting, consolidating debt, and negotiating with creditors to reduce monthly payments, interest rates, and fees.

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Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Debt Management Plan

A DIY debt management plan involves taking personal initiative to manage and repay debts without enrolling in a formal program.  A DIY plan takes discipline, something nurses have.  Here are steps to create your own debt management plan.

Assess Your Debts

Start by listing all your debts, including balances, interest rates, and minimum monthly payments.

Create a Budget

Once you know your debts, develop a detailed budget that outlines your income, expenses, and debt repayment goals.  Consider cutting back on items you don’t need or no longer want.  Then create a plan to apply the extra money to your debts.

Negotiate with Creditors

Contact your creditors to negotiate lower interest rates, reduced fees, or more favorable repayment terms.

Prioritize Repayment

Choose a debt repayment strategy like the snowball method where you pay off the smallest debts first.  Or consider paying off high interest debt first.  This approach can help save you money in the long run.  And typically pays down debt faster than the snowball method.

Consolidate Debts

Consider consolidating multiple debts into a single loan.  Consider a loan with better terms to help simplify payments and potentially reduce interest rates.

Monitor Progress

Regularly track your progress, adjust your budget as needed, and stay committed to your repayment plan.

Seek Financial Education

Educate yourself on personal finance, budgeting, and debt management to stay informed and help improve your financial habits.

Build an Emergency Fund

Having an emergency fund can help prevent you from relying on credit cards or loans during unexpected financial challenges. Aim to save at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses.

Avoid Taking on New Debt

Be cautious about taking on new debt unless necessary.  Consider paying off existing debts before taking on new financial obligations.

Debt Management Programs

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Debt management programs are contracts with credit counseling agencies.  They offer many services including unsecured debt consolidation and negotiation services.  Negotiation plays an important part in the success of a debt management program.  Credit counseling agencies act as intermediaries with your creditors to improve terms.  Favorable terms may include reduced interest rates, waived fees, and better repayment schedules.  This aims to make it easier to repay debt.


To be eligible, individuals usually need reliable income and a commitment to repaying their debts.  Typically, there is no limit to the amount of debt owed.  But an individual typically must show financial hardship during the credit counseling session.

Timeline and Process

Debt management programs can take years to complete.  The usual process is to make a single monthly payment to the credit counseling agency.  The agency then distributes the funds to your creditors until the debt paid.


While debt management programs simplify payments, they may have downsides like expensive fees and potential impact on credit scores.


Cut debt image on debt management blog post on www.drgeorgenecollins.comGetting out of debt takes determination and discipline, of which nurses have both.  A DIY debt management plan offers flexibility but may require more effort.  While a debt management program provides structured guidance and support from professionals but comes with fees.  Getting out of debt involves the same steps whether you do it yourself or use a debt management program.  Ultimately, choosing between a do-it-yourself plan and a debt management program depends on your financial situation, budget, and preference.

Ready to take control of your finances?  Contact me.

Georgene Collins

Georgene Collins, RICP®, RN, PhD, MBA is a registered nurse turned Financial Advisor at Airey Financial Group. Georgene helps other nurses take control of their finances and prepare for retirement. Georgene began her career with Airey Financial Group in 2017 after retiring from 30 years in healthcare. Georgene holds the Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®) designation from The American College of Financial Services. She holds health and life insurance licenses and a long-term care certificate in Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Georgene is a Registered Representative and Investment Advisor Representative and has earned the FINRA Series 63 and 65 registrations.