According to statistics, today the average American faces a higher debt load than ever before. As debt loads continue to spiral, people will find it more and more difficult to get themselves out of debt — an important goal for anyone who wants to retire safely, to make a major purchase of a house or car, or be financially secure. Following are some simple tips that can help you live the debt-free lifestyle you have always dreamed of.
1. Destroy the cards: this tip may seem simplistic, but for people facing heavy debt loads, the first step to the road to recovery is to stop incurring new debts. This can only be done by making sure you have no means to do so. An alternate strategy is to entrust a single credit card to a close friend or family member in case of an emergency, and to destroy the rest of your credit cards.
2. See a financial counselor: a financial counselor is a person specifically trained to help people with debt problems like yourself. They can help provide you with a step-by-step plan to recovery, as well as to provide some emotional support during the recovery process. In many cases, it can be free to see a debt counselor through a government agency or a nonprofit.
3. Choose debts to pay off wisely: this is a step often ignored by debtors, who are all too eager to rid themselves quickly of debt. They become ambitious, and pay off their first few debts haphazardly. Later, they often lose steam and stop paying off debts, leaving themselves in the same situation in which they began. Instead, with the help of your financial counselor, pick the right debts to pay off first. Select debts that are affordable to pay off, which are accruing at a high rate, and/or which are affecting your credit most severely.
4. Debt consolidation : this is the single most important tip we can provide. For most or all people with debt problems, the total debt owed is so vast as to be impossible to pay off immediately. What to do? Consolidate your debts. debt consolidation is a process by which multiple smaller debts are “lumped” into a single sum. This sum can then be paid off with a reasonable monthly payment. Your debt counselor can find an agency to help you take out a consolidation debt loan.
Whether you owe a little or a lot, whether you are in your twenties or almost to retirement, and whether you are just making it or making six figures, debt reduction and debt consolidation will benefit you tremendously. Imagine how freeing it will feel to purchase that house or car, to be able to retire well, or to send your daughter or son off to college, without the fear of chronically increasing debt problems.