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Debt Log

A debt is money you owe. For things like rent-to-own arrangements, credit cards, payday loans, student loans, and mortgages, the total amount you borrowed is your debt. So your total monthly payment (including interest or fees) is part of your debt payment.

There are other kinds of debt besides loans. For instance, your monthly electric bill isn’t a debt, but if you're past due on your bill, that amount and any fees become debt. That past due amount should be counted as part of your monthly debt.

The first step in managing and reducing your debt is to make a list of who you owe money to and how much you owe them. Be sure to include debts owed to friends and family, credit card companies, banks, department stores and payday lenders. Also include any money you owe for past due court-ordered child support payments, past due rent, and past due payments to local, state, or federal government for things like property taxes and back income taxes. You can gather this information from your free credit report, bills and loan statements.

What to do

What to do
1

Gather all your bills

Gather all your bills and loan statements and make a list of all the debts you have, including who you owe them to.

Remember, a bill isn't always debt. For instance, your phone bill isn't debt, but any past due amount for that bill is. If you're repaying a loan, the entire amount is considered debt and should be included.

2

Get a copy of your credit report

This can help you find any debt you may have forgotten about or has been sent to collections.

3

Create your log

List your debt and put each of the following information in a different column:

  • Name of debt
  • Amount of payment due
  • Payment up to date – yes or no
  • Amount left to pay
  • Interest rate, if any
  • Payoff date or goal
4

Repeat every few months

Repeat this exercise every few months to track if your debit is growing or shrinking.

Documents that can help you create your Debt Log

If you don’t have all the information you need to complete the Debt log, these documents can help you fill in the blanks. Here’s the type of information you can find on each.

Documents

Credit report

  • Your monthly payment amounts
  • The balance (the amount you still owe)
  • Whether you're up to date or more than 30 days late on payments
  • Your status as owner, cosigner or authorized user (if you’re an authorized user on someone else’s account, the debt showing on your credit report may be money they’ve spent that you aren’t responsible to pay; only include that amount in this tool if it’s money you’re responsible for)

Credit card statement

  • Payment date
  • Minimum payment amount
  • Interest rate
  • Payoff date if you continue to make minimum payments

Loan or mortgage agreement

  • Interest rate
  • Payment date
  • Fees
  • Payoff date

Court orders

  • Payment amount
  • Due date
  • Any other terms

Billing statements

  • Past-due amounts
  • Late fees

Common debt types to help you brainstorm

debt types
 

Auto loan

   

Back child support

   

Credit card debt

Friends and family
 

Friends and family

   

Medical debt

   

Mortgage or past due rent

fees and fines
 

Past-due fees and fines

   

Payday loan

   

Student loan

 

Debt Log Workbook
Download this fillable PDF to help track your debts and how much you owe.

 

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