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PostHeaderIcon Tips to Get Out of Debt

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Are you sick and tired of facing that pile of bills every month?  Are you loosing sleep over how you are going to pay them?  Well, forget about the credit crisis in the rest of the country. If you are having financial difficulties due to excessive debt - don't wait for Washington to help you out. Instead, take charge of your financial life, by taking action.

Here are some tips that will help you get rid of debt faster and easier:

1.  Find out how much debt  you are carrying.  Begin by pulling out the most recent statements from all your credit cards, student loans, car loans, etc.  Make a chart with the total amount of debt you have, how much you owe, the interest rate and the required monthly payments. Add the totals. 

2.  Figure out where you stand in terms of income and expenses. That means adding all sources of income, including child support, alimony, stock dividends and freelance income. Add up all your expenses, and then figure out what you have left over. 

If you have no money left over, consider some new sources of income, (i.e., a part-time job), and use that money to pay some debt. Also, look at where your money has been going in terms of expenses and see where you can make cuts. Here are a few things to eliminate: dining out, magazine subscriptions,  cafe lattes, designer clothing and brand name foods.. Also, consider becoming more frugal by using store coupons, and buying only what is needed.  

3. Get a copy of your credit report for free. (www.annualcreditreport.com) from each of the three major credit reporting agencies, Experian, Trans Union and Equifax.  You can check your credit reports for free at: www.Credit .com or Credit Score Compass to estimate your score Your credit score can help you in you need to borrow money to pay off your debt. 

4. Your options:
Once you are know how much your owe, how much your are spending, your credit report and credit score, then you can decide what step(s) makes the most sense.

a.  Debt onsolidation
b.  Borrow from social lending networks
c.  Borrowing from your home equity line
d.  A reverse mortgage
e.  Refinicing your house
f.   Credit counseling
g.  Borrowing from relatives
h.  Debt settlement
i.  Bankruptcy

All of these options have advantages and disadvantages. You need to carefully examine which one is best for you based on your personal financial history and what seems best for you and your family.  Which ever way you go, please be aware of the three common mistakes that many people make:

1. Too much analysis. Do some research but don't spend an excessive amount of time considering your options. There is a point where you must take action. Don't make the mistake of making research the excuse for non-action, where paralysis sets in, and your bad situation worsens.

2.  Procrastination.  Avoiding creditors or refusing to open your mail will only make your situation worse, financially and emotionally.  The more you wait, the more it will cost you in the long run. Why? The debt continues accumulating and so does the interest that you pay to the bank.  It will take you longer to payoff your debt.

3.  Short-term and long-term goals:
Avoid confusing quick, temporary fixes with long-term solutions. You might have to make some painful choices in the short run, but keep your eyes on the long-term prize: financial health.

For further assistance please contact a money management organization, credit counseling or financial counselor to assist you in making the best choices.  Beware of scams by accepting guidance from only persons, companies or organizations approved by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. ---ML

Mari LoValvo, M.A., is a Certified Financial Counselor dedicated to helping people get out of debt as fast as possible, and start accumulating wealth.  She believes that developing a healthy relationship with money is the only way toachieving financial freedom. She offers workshops in learning money management skills and Prosperity Group Coaching for self-employed entrepreuners.  Reach her at 925-437-3303 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Last Updated (Wednesday, 31 July 2013 18:17)


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