How to Get out of Debt
- Debt Consolidation and Ideas - Avoid Bankruptcy and Reduce Payments
Using Credit Counseling Agencies
June 7th 2006
Create a Plan
Over the past decade many Americans have found themselves in debt. Some
debtors have run-up their credit cards on consumer products, while
others were hit with a medical emergency that placed them in a financial
bind. There are several options for reducing and eliminating debt,
however you will not eliminate your debt overnight.
This may sound simple, but the first thing you need to do is develop a
plan. You have three options: 1) Make more money, 2) spend less or 3)
make more while spending less. On a recent Oprah Winfrey series of shows
called The Debt Diet, experts agreed the best approach is to make more
and spend less.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying this is an easy thing to do. Part
time jobs or a sideline business were the most common methods given for
making extra money. Cutting expenses is just as hard. You should
investigate cutting your down or eliminating your Cable TV. Maybe eat
out less frequently. Also, make sure you are getting a good deal on
your car insurance. There is only one better feeling than saving
money, and that is making more.
Another alternative is a debt consolidation loan. There are three basic
options you should consider. Many experts advise clients to stay away
from placing unsecured debt into a secured home loan, and for good
reason. But this option does have some advantages.
First off, the loan payments can be stretched out over an extended
period of time. This will likely give you the lowest monthly payments.
You will also get a tax deduction. You may want to talk to your tax
advisor before making that decision.
Another option you should consider first is a non-secured debt
consolidation loan. Many credit card companies offer zero-interest
promotions. Keep all of these promotions; don’t throw them out. You
can also call your credit card company and ask them to lower your
interest rate. This does not always work, but sometimes it does. If
the operator says no, ask to speak to the supervisor. Tell them you are
considering a zero interest promotion (or a low interest rate
promotion). Oprah had testimonials that proved this technique can work.
Carrie Reeder, in an article on isnare.com, suggests establishing a
relationship with a debt management or credit counseling service.
According to Reeder, these agencies may help to improve your credit
rating by contacting your creditors and establishing better terms and
rates on your credit cards and loans.
Again, the most important thing you should do is develop a plan.
Determine the worst thing that can happen and then develop a plan to
prevent it. This is the cornerstone of Dale Carnegie’s “How to Stop
Worrying and Start Living” book and seminar. Reading this book and
following the advice may help you sleep at night.