Wouldn't it be nice if getting out of debt was as easy as A-B-C? Well, the honest truth is that it's not that easy. It takes work. And time. And stress. And planning. And patience.
For most people it takes years to get deep enough into debt that you need help. And for most people it takes years to get back out.
If you can't deal with that, then you're not being honest.
But if you do come up with a plan AND you make a commitment, you can get yourself out of debt. It doesn't matter which path you take. Credit counseling. Debt settlement. Banktruptcy. Debt consolidation. Borrowing from relatives. All of them work, in the right situation. And none of them work if you don't really go full steam ahead.
Here are the real ABC's of getting out of debt:
Acknowledge that there's a problem. Sounds obvious. But many people don't realize that the solution to their money problems is WITHIN their own heart and mind. Sure, you can get professional help. But YOU need to understand that YOUR decisions got you into debt. And YOUR decisions can get you out. But first you need to take ownership of yourself and your money decisions. It may be that you spend too much. Or make too little. Or have a true financial hardship. In any case, take back control, and you'll be one step closer to a solution.
Begin immediately to fix the problem. Don't wait for your next paycheck. Or your raise or bonus at work. Or the next lottery drawing. All of those may happeen. Or they may not. But you CAN make commitment to getting out of debt. And write down your goal on a piece of paper. Be specific. Write out all the steps you can take to fix your finances. Like cutting out "extras". Getting an extra job, or a job that pays more. Sell stuff you don't use. Cancel the newspaper. Downgrade your cell phone and cable plans. Stop eating out so frequently. You get the idea...
Consider your options carefully. There are several different programs to help you get out of debt. Credit counseling. Debt settlement. Banktruptcy. Debt consolidation. Borrowing from relatives. Look into all of them. Contact 2-3 companies that offer type of each program. Compare details, fees, results from past customers. Ask lots of questions. Then make a decision. And stick with it.
Don't get ripped off. If you do decide to get help, this is an important step. Just just call the company you see on late-night TV. Sometimes these ads sound "too good to be true" for a reason. So, ask lots of questions. Get everything in writing. Ask for references. Check with the Better Business Bureau. Go to Google.com and type in the name of the company and see what other people have to say. In short, shop around and do some research. A little time and effort here could save you lots of headaches later on.
Enjoy life while you're fixing your money problems. Realize that getting out of debt takes time. But don't wait until the end to have fun. Do little things to reward yourself. Go to a matinee at the movie theater (they're usually cheaper). Clip coupons. Find specials at local restaurants. Head to the beach or lake or take a walk in the woods, these don't cost much. But make sure you stick to your plan so you don't stray too far from your goal.
So that's it, the ABC's (actually the ABCDE's) for getting out of credit card debt faster. Follow these 5 steps and you'll be on the right path to paying off your bills.
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