Getting Out of Debt Safely
What is debt?
Debt is money that you have borrowed and still owe for goods and services you have purchased. You dont have to
go on a wild spending spree to create a debt crisis. Debt can arise from emergency situations outside of ones control
but more often, a consistent pattern of spending even just a little more than you make, over time, can lead to an
unsafe or unmanageable amount of debt. The key to gaining control of your debt is to first identify what is good debt
and what is bad debt, and then pay off the bad debt.
Good debt vs. bad debt:
Good debt is debt you have on items you need but can't afford to pay for up front without using all of your
cash reserves or liquidating your investments. It is debt that can be seen as an investment and can help you
build your credit rating if paid on time, such as a mortgage, car payments or student loans.
Bad debt is debt you've taken on for things you don't really need and can't afford. The worst form of bad
debt, of course, is credit card debt, since it carries the highest interest rates.
What can be done once debt becomes unmanageable?
Do not continue to borrow if you cant make monthly payments towards the debt. Reserve your credit
cards for emergencies. Try not to add to your debt load by making additional or unnecessary purchases.
Do not use your credit card to borrow cash.
Create a budget for income, and a debt payment plan. Do not spend more than you earn.
Use your debit card, not your credit card, to make purchases.
Pay more than the minimum amount due on your credit card(s) every month.
Talk to an authorized account representative at your credit card company as soon as possible about
lowering your interest rate and, if possible, arranging a payment schedule.
As soon as a credit card account is completely paid off destroy the card and close the account.
If all else fails, consider using the services of a licensed credit counseling company that might be able to help
you pay off your debt.
What is a credit counseling service?
Credit counseling services, also known as debt management or budget planning services, help consumers
pay off unmanageable debt. These companies can contact creditors to help arrange lower fees and interest
rates (sometimes with better results than a consumer could normally negotiate) and can create a reasonable
debt consolidation and/or repayment plan.
Who benefits from credit counseling?
Anyone who is behind on bill payments to creditors can consider using a New York State licensed credit
Anyone who is considering bankruptcy may also benefit from credit counseling. Declaring bankruptcy is
usually the last resort anyone should take to solve financial problems. A bankruptcy petition can stay on
your credit report for up to 10 years.
About the Author: Roberto is the owner of Consolidation Credit Debt. You can find more information at http://consolidation-credit-debt.com