1. Document Debt—You can’t fix what you don’t see.
In order to consolidate debt you must first break it down by individual accounts. This includes any personal loan balances and payments, credit cards, doctor bills, payday loans, and student loans. It does not include any maintenance costs, such as those you incur while “maintaining” your life. These include food, utilities, insurances and dues you may pay to belong to a particular organization, such as a union. The reason these are not included in debt consolidation is because these are open-ended expenses that can never be paid off. While these are definitely costs you may be able to reduce or modify, they are not part of your debt consolidation plan.