Getting Out of Debt
If you are in debt, it probably didn't happen overnight. Getting out of debt doesn't happen overnight either. But there is good news. There are steps you can take to get back on financial track.
- If you have several credit cards, take all but one out of your wallet and put them away in a safe place. Keep the one with the lowest interest rate in your wallet to use for emergencies only. Resolve to stop spending and start paying down your credit card debt. Some experts say to set your sights on the debt with the highest interest rate and pay it down first. Others say to focus on the lowest balance and pay it off so you can see results faster. Choose the plan that will work for you and stick to it.
- Call your credit card companies and lenders. Try to negotiate a better interest rate. If you are already behind on payments, arrange a new payment plan that you can comfortably handle. Explain your situation and let them know you want to continue to be a customer, but you need help right now in meeting your obligations.
- Set a budget. Sticking with a budget will help you manage expenses and enable you to eliminate your debt and grow your savings. Learn about budgeting
- Consider a consolidation loan. You can save yourself time and money every month by having only one monthly payment instead of making payments to multiple creditors.
- Consult with a financial advisor about what will work best for your situation. He or she may be able to present options you may not have considered.
DebtAdvice.org is the website of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. As the nation's largest financial counseling organization, they help millions of consumers find trained, certified counselors for credit assistance in their area. Log on or call 800-388-2227.