Pay Off Debt Now: 5 Steps To Getting Your Finances in Order
In our world of dizzying change, nothing is more true than the time honored statement that circumstances always change.
No where is this more true than with financial issues.
Have you ever borrowed money, or charged up the VISA card at Christmas, all the while telling yourself that you would pay everything off with a coming tax refund or bonus?
Sound familiar. And then what happens when the bonus money arrives?
Let me guess?.circumstances changed, the car needed brakes (or the kids needed braces, etc), and the VISA debt and interest charges keeps piling up.
Unless you have a plan, you will always be caught in the unpredictable grip of "changing circumstances."
This is a slippery slope that can very quickly become serious financial stress. Consider the fact that Americans are declaring bankruptcy at record rates. One in every 100 families is affected by a bankruptcy.
I was on this slope 10 years ago. Declaring personal bankruptcy and filing for divorce went hand in hand.
One of the most insightful moments of the process was preparing a written log for the trustee of all of our spending for the 5 years leading up to bankruptcy.
While all of the individual decisions made sense in the moments that they were made, they looked totally foolish in the context of the "bigger picture"
In other words, constantly changing circumstances drove us off our financial roadmap.
Consider this five step plan for getting on, and staying with, your financial roadmap.
Step No. 1: Make a list of what you owe & prioritize: Put all your bills in a pile. Then list your debts in order, starting with the largest balance first. Then prioritize your repayments (ie paying down the highest interest rate first).
Step No. 2: Eliminate credit cards and don't roll over balances. Once paid off, notify the company that you want to close the account.
Step No. 3: Make a spending plan. Change your free-spending ways. Track the money that's coming in and going out. Use a debit card instead of your credit card. Download your bank transactions into a computer program for easy categorizing.
Step No. 4: Be careful about the equity in your home. Billions of dollars worth of equity has been withdrawn from millions of homes in the last few years. But many people pay down credit cards only to charge them up again ? and then you don't have the safety net of the equity in your home.
Step No. 5: Get help. For some people, the problem of overspending is a psychological one. Spending can become a habit that's as difficult to kick as alcohol, drugs or gambling. Sometimes, it's due to circumstances they truly could not avoid: medical bills or divorce or loss of a job.
You can talk with a credit counselor on a private basis. It only appears on your credit report if you enter their debt repayment program.
During this holiday season, as you consider your finances, remember that Americans are now carrying $683 billion in revolving credit card debt. 47% of the people who paid less than the full amount on their credit card bills in a recent month, made only the minimum payment due.
The good news is that planning and professional help will definitely help you turn things around.
Case in point: I went from bankrupt with zero assets living in a boarding house, to gainfully employed, running my own home based business, with 2 houses and excellent re-established credit.
In other words, it can be done.
Pay-off-debt-now.com is run by Drew Harris and is a one-stop-shop web portal for those facing crushing debt issues. Multiple pages of resources, referrals and tools. Expert advice on credit cards, loans and avoiding bankruptcy. http://tinyurl.com/4bbum
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The first but definitely not the easiest thought that comes to most people when they are neck-deep in debt is to file bankruptcy. Filing bankruptcy seems to be the last straw left in the deluge of unpaid bills and abusive creditor calls. The situation is somewhat like this. You buy whatever catches your fancy and you thank yourself you had the blessed credit cards. It's good as long as you are spending.
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Debt a Glossary of Terms
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Debt Consolidation - Just Lump It All Together!
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Debt Consolidation Benefits
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Is There Something Called a Bad Credit Credit Card?
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Dangerous Debt Consolidation Loans
On the surface, debt consolidation loans offer cash-strapped consumers some relief from high interest rates. Looking deeper, consumers should be wary of both the pros and cons of this fast growing practice. In their simplest forms, debt consolidation loans are refinance agreements, second mortgages, or home equity loans.
Going Debt Consolidation Way!
We are aware of the fact that it is easy to get into debts, but on the contrary overcoming it is very complicated. Now give an end to your fear of lenders as more and more companies in the UK are offering solutions to tackle debts of individuals- both home owners and tenants. The buzzword these days for purging debts is debt consolidation. Debt consolidation pertains to clubbing of many outgoing payments to the lenders. It gives a greater ease to customers to wipe out debts in a smart way.
Best Debt Reduction Service
There was a time when incurring debts was looked down as one of the worst crimes ever. People were punished for not repaying within the stipulated time. Charles Dickens' s father spent months in a debtor's prison because he was unable to pay off his debts. With other ghoulish crimes taking center stage, debts have become a commonplace now. However, sinking in debt has increased with the introduction of newer and scientific temptations. Credit cards are the most popular and the worst temptation. All of us feel rich all the time because of these plastic cards. We hardly realize the pains we have to go through once it is paytime.
Burdened with Debt?
Too many debts? Having trouble paying your bills? Are you worried about losing your home or your car?
Whats the Difference Between Debt Settlement and Debt Consolidation?
The Debt Settlement process involves negotiating with your creditors to settle your debt for amounts significantly less than you currently owe; typically debt settlement can settle your debts for 40-60% of your current balances. This will save you sizable amounts of money on debt principal and interest. It also provides you with the opportunity to pay-off your debts faster.
Debt Consolidation ? Can You Negotiate with Your Credit Card Company?
The average American household has nearly $10,000 in credit card debt, and many people are only able to make the minimum payment of 2% of the balance. Even 2% is $200, and by paying the minimum payment, you could be paying on the balance for decades before you finally pay it off. Since new legislation will make it more difficult to file for bankruptcy, it may occur to savvy debtors to try to negotiate a better deal with their credit card company in order to make it easier to pay off the balance. Is this possible?It might be possible, depending on your credit history, interest rate, and current balance. Your best bet, especially if you have a history of paying on time, is to simply call your credit card company and ask if they will lower your interest rate. They might, especially if you tell them that you got a better offer from another bank. If you have a history of paying late, however, they probably will not be willing to lower your interest rate. That's unfortunate, since paying late has probably prompted the credit card company to raise your interest rate in the first place. Still, it's worth a phone call; you may get lucky.If you've been paying your bills on time, asking for a lower interest rate may be the only option available to you. The credit card companies aren't going to be too sympathetic to your financial woes if they're receiving payment on time. On the other hand, if you're late on your payments, especially if you're more than three months behind, you may have some negotiating leverage. That leverage comes with a few strings attached, however. You may be able to negotiate a lump-sum settlement for your outstanding balance, where the credit card company accepts a portion of your debt and writes off the rest. They're often willing to do this instead of turning your debt over to a collection agency, as it's cheaper just to settle. The settlement amount will vary, depending on your interest rate, your balance and your payment history. This type of settlement comes with a couple of problems of its own, though. What if you don't have the money to settle all at once? If you can't pay your bills on time, you probably don't have the cash to settle at once. Additionally, the amount of your debt that gets written off will show up on your credit report as bad debt, and that will stay there for seven years.Your credit card company may or may not be willing to work out a payment plan, but it costs you nothing to ask them, and negotiating a settlement with them may be cheaper for you than if you consult with a debt consolidation firm. If your credit card debt is substantial and you just can't make the payments, it's worth a try.
Debt Settlement Strategies
One of the most common social diseases remains dormant for a long time. And when it raises its head, it reveals its monstrosity slowly. What is the social malady? Think. More than a million Americans are affected by it. Yes, I am talking of the ugly disease known as debt. Most of us don't think when we go on a shopping spree. This happens more when we are armed by those devil-in-disguise plastic cards, better known as credit cards. Credit cards are useful, but they can easily ring the death-knell of all fun and frolic with their bills.
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