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Question:

If I have accumulated more debt than I feel is manageable, what options do I have to eliminate them?

Answer:

If it is credit card debt you are referring to, concentrating on one card and neglecting the others, or paying just what you can afford can further adversely affect your credit rating. If you haven’t already done so, it may be in your best interest to contact the card companies and negotiate new repayment schedules and the possibility of receiving a lower interest rate. This goes for your other creditors as well.

If you are unable to renegotiate workable terms with your creditors, then your best option, if your circumstances allow, would be to obtain a consolidation loan. A consolidation loan would retire your multiple debts and give you one manageable payment at a lower interest rate. Check out the Accelerated Debt Payoff calculator to see the difference it could make for you. Consolidation would give you some breathing room and allow you to regroup, change your credit habits and get a positive grip on your financial situation. You should make an appointment with a loans officer who will work with you to see what your options are.

If you are unable to obtain a consolidation loan, what then? Pay at least the minimum amounts due on all of your cards except one. And on that one, concentrate your debt repayment dollars to pay it off as quickly as possible. When the balance on that card reaches zero, move on to the next with the same aggressive repayment plan. As your debts decrease, the amount of money you have available to repay the remaining debts increases.

And something else to explore, do you have ‘found money’ that could be used to go toward debt repayment? Examine your normal expenses with our Home Budget Analysis Calculator, you might be surprised. Skip eating out at lunch, give up happy hour, we all have ‘luxuries’ and you know what yours are.

You can’t do anything about your past, but once you have made the commitment to change your spending habits, and you can, you can start to improve your personal financial situation. The key is…get started today.

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