Ten Debt Relief Tips

By Michele Lerner
Mortgage Credit Problems Columnist

If your debts have become overwhelming or your income has dropped, you may think bankruptcy is the only option for debt relief. Other steps, including debt consolidation loans, are available before making that drastic decision, but each requires discipline and a commitment to get out of debt and stay out of debt. Credit repair only makes sense for someone who intends to work to rebuild poor credit history.

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Debt Consolidation Tips

  1. Check your credit report. The best way to get a good picture of where you really stand is to see how creditors view your credit card debt.
  2. Try to manage your own credit card debt. Stop using your cards, pay more than the minimum, and see if you can transfer balances to the card with the lowest interest rate.
  3. Cut up your credit cards, saving one only for a true emergency.
  4. Find a reputable debt consolidation agency. Check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure you are working with someone trustworthy.
  5. Apply for a debt consolidation loan by entering your information on this page.
  6. Ask your creditors to consider accepting a settlement for less than the full amount due. This can have a negative impact on your credit score, but it is better than months and months of partial payments or late payments and can lead to debt relief.
  7. Try to live on a cash-only basis until you have paid off every credit card debt.
  8. If you own a home, a home equity loan may be available to help you pay off your credit card debt; however, home equity loans are tied to your home, so if you cannot make the payments on that debt, you could find yourself facing foreclosure. Find out if you qualify for a debt consolidation loan first, which does not endanger your home.
  9. Find a way to increase your income, even it means temporarily taking on a second job. While a debt consolidation loan can certainly help your budget by lowering your interest rate and monthly fees on credit card debt, ultimately, your credit repair depends on making the debt consolidation loan payments in full and on time. Extra income can make that easier.
  10. Develop a written budget or add a free budget application to your iPhone or computer to track your spending.

A debt consolidation loan can be the first step toward a healthy financial future.


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