How to Get Out of Debt
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Finding yourself deep in debt can be a discouraging reality. And in the past several years, more and more consumers have found themselves in this situation.
Thankfully, there are some steps that you can take to help get yourself back in the black. The steps you take can change depending upon your situation, so we’ve put together a couple of common scenarios to help you determine where to start:
When reviewing these steps, please remember that because every situation is unique, these tips are not substitute for, and should not be used as professional legal, credit or financial advice.
1. Building a Better Budget
When creating a budget, you’re essentially creating a snapshot of your income and expenses with the goal of having more income than expenses each month. In order for a budget to be successful, you’ll want to take into account all sources of income as well as every expense – even if they come at just a quarterly or annual interval.
Here are some steps you can take to build a better budget:
2. You Can’t Pay Your Bills
If you find yourself having to choose between two bills at the end of the month, there are a couple of exercises you can complete to help decrease the stress.
3. When You Just Can’t Do It Yourself
If you follow steps 1 and 2 and find that you’re still struggling to keep up with payments, then there are professionals out there to provide help.
Often that help is in the form of a credit counseling agency. Below is a breakdown of credit counseling and two of the tactics they may present to you:
If you do decide to seek out the help of a professional, the FTC recommends you start your search with the following sources: credit unions, military bases, housing authorities and branches of the U.S. Cooperative Extension Service. These institutions are typically consumer friendly and trustworthy.
Have you dug yourself out of debt? Share with us your story.
Estimate How Long It'll Take to Get Out of DebtEnter information about your current balance
(Optional) To pay off your credit card balance sooner, fill out the fields below. Otherwise leave the fields blank, and we'll estimate how long you'll need to pay it if you only make the minimum payment:
(includes CreditDonkey® Payoff Chart to show how long it will take to get out of debt)
(Research by Kelly; Graphic Design by Marcelo; Additional Writing by Meghan)
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