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Becoming Debt Free
That wonderful feeling of becoming debt free.
People that are debt free are happier, less stressed, more free and generally in a better place than those encumbered by debt.
In 2015 most sources say the average U.S. household with debt carries $15,762 in credit card debt and $130,922 in total debt. Ouch.
Are you in this category? And is your situation getting better or getting worse?
Of course, we are going to suggest you come see us to help you lay out a plan if you want to change that path, but here are some concrete steps you can take now.
Credit Cards are the worst! Try these suggestion to lower, then eliminate your credit card debt. The goal should be to use your credit cards for normal monthly expenses and pay the bill completely – with 0 interest at the end of the month. If you can’t pay it off – you are spending too much! (Or making too little!)
#1 Try to find lower interest cards and move your balance.
Be careful here though as some cards are playing a bait-and-switch to get you. They will offer a 0% card that can change to high interest if not paid off in a certain amount of time. Watch out for balance transfer fees as well.
#2. Call your existing company and negotiate lower rates.
If you have good credit, and/or sometimes threaten to move your account.
#3. It is a good idea to close unused cards.
There are several reasons for this. An empty card is just an invitation to spend. The more cards you have the greater possibility of credit theft.
#4. Have you visited creditcardnation.com?
There are some good calculators to help you understand what it would take to pay off your cards.
#5. Your housing debt can be managed.
a. Try a certified financial planner for options.
b. Consider refinancing. Rates are extremely low and banks are hungry. Change adjustable mortgages to fixed?
#6. Student loan debt got you down?
Some options might include: Consolidate your student loans with a low interest and aggressively pay off those loans.
#7. Check your credit.
Federal law allows you an annual free credit check. (Be careful not to sign up for the $19.95/mo monitoring option!) Research how to improve your credit – making it easier to negotiate better interest rates.
#8. Have you thought about a secured loan for debt consolidation?
If you have the credit and the collateral, a consolidation of debt secured at ta lower interest rate can help you pay the debt faster while improving your credit.
#9. Cut down on credit cards.
Do you really need all those cards? If you are paying your monthly expenses with one card, one or two extra is more than what you will need and those can help you dig deeper into debt.
#10. Create a budget. Stick to it!
Probably the most important of all ten. There are two ways out of debt. Spend less and make more. Spending less is often easier than making more!
We are a debt relief agency and have practiced bankruptcy law for a combined 50 years. Our services include helping individuals and couples file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.
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