Credit cards have become like a candle flame to the moth: Beautiful. Desireable. Dangerous.
New changes to U.S. bankruptcy laws now mean that unsecured credit card debt is much, much harder to flush away with a simple Chapter 13 wage-earners personal bankruptcy. But this looming danger hasn't stopped the majority of Americans from applying for those "free" credit card offers that flood the mailbox.
The problem, it seems to me, is that all too many people have either (1) never learned or (2) have forgotten how to manage credit card debt properly, and they are hopelessly digging themselves a deep hole that is difficult to climb out of financially.
But it's never an IMPOSSIBLE climb! You CAN start taking control of your finances by learning how to track your monthly expenses, cut unneccessary ones, and start your own debt consolidation program.
The first step is getting help. I highly recommend you check out Dave Ramsey's website and books to learn the truth about bankruptcy, as he really can help people come to grips with their own financial failures, and I've witnessed how his helpful, real-world solutions have helped people recover financially.
Knowing the status of your current credit score is important, and you can order a copy of your free credit report online. Having these reports will come in handy as you work to improve your finances.
The second step is to set time aside every week to track your spending, develop a budget, and set aside time and space to open your mail, check the statements, write the checks, put them into the mail, balance the checkbook... on and on, until the debts start to dwindle down.
The third step is to STOP using credit as a crutch. If you can't afford something at the moment, then don't pretend you have the money by pulling out a credit card to buy it. Accept your current income as your financial boundary, and live within the fences. Read our article on credit card traps to avoid to understand how important it is to always read the fine print on credit card agreements. Further, don't fall victim to digging yourself into a hole using payday loans. Do whatever you have to do to avoid the payday loan trap payday loan companies operate.
Fourth: Take steps to earn more without spending more. Ask for a raise. Look for a new job. Become more proficient in your job while you're waiting on the raise, and eventually you'll be rewarded. Again, when you do increase your income, keep your expenses level and use the extra income to eliminate debt, not add to it.
The fifth step is to re-evaluate your financial situation from time to time. Do you need to save more? Do you need to lower your monthly bills? Do you need to downsize into smaller, more affordable house? Do you need to sell a little-used car or motorcycle to further reduce credit card debt?
Once you've finally gotten into the habit of breaking free from the credit card trap, you will get into the habit of protecting your credit and you will start to feel more secure. You'll then have better options on what to do with your money, your time, your life. You'll actually be reclaiming your own life in the process, and that's the best present you can ever give yourself.
Rebuild your credit history, get better credit
If you suffer from bad credit, you already know how hard it is to get the best rate for a car loan, qualify for a home loan, or get the lowest monthly rates on your insurance premiums. And you know that there are no quick fixes when it comes to rebuilding bad credit.
There are fixes. Long-term fixes. Your credit report may be costing you money, and there are many ways you can correct erroneous, outdated information that the credit bureaus have on file about you. Also, there are other ways that you can start rebuilding your credit if you've never had good credit or even if you've experienced bruised credit in the past. Finally, here are tips on how to refinance with bad credit even while interest rates are rising higher.
Credit repair is simple once you know how to do it. But fixing your own credit is not without its own unique pitfalls. There are non-profit credit repair and credit consolidation firms to consider. There are credit repair lawyers you can turn to when things look hopeless. There is always the option of credit repair counseling if you only suffer from 'brusied' credit.
Much to do, so little time. But don't just throw up your hands and ask, "How do I repair my credit?" Instead, take action. Seek. Listen. Ask questions. Take notes. Learn.
After all, fixing your own credit report is simple to do once you know how, and that's what http://www.FindHow2.com is all about: Making credit repair services easy to do yourself!
Selecting a credit repair company to help you fix your credit report is an important step in getting your finances in order.
But you should take the time to learn how to clean up your own credit, because you can do it for free and the results are ultimately better when they don't come with a steep price tag.
Plus, in the process of cleaning up your credit, you will learn how to manage your money more wisely, and you'll learn that there's no such thing as instant credit repair so it's crucial that you work hard to keep your credit cleaned up.
Learn credit and debt terms. You've got to learn how to speak the same language as those you are going into battle with! You've got to become your own "credit repair specialist" if you want to succeed at this.
Wipe away bad credit and reduce debt. Like we said before, credit repair is simple. It may not always be easy or seem pleasant to tackle long-held habits of poor spending choices or paying your bills late. But once you get started, you should start to see progress and build momentum.
After you've started repairing your credit report, you'll notice that your FICO credit score should gradually start to improve. If not, you've missed something. But don't fret: Start over and uncover those hidden errors that may still be lurking in your credit history.
Yes, it takes time and effort to fix your credit and improve your credit score. But it really is a simple process anyone can do, and in the long run, it's time well spent setting your finances in order.
When your debt becomes overwhelming, maybe it's time that you consider debt consolidation. No, it won't eliminate debt. But at least it could give you some breathing room and some time to think while you sort out your next step. Our free advice outlining 6 easy steps to consolidate your debt and get debt relief will help you gain control of your finances and finally start getting all the way out of debt! Just added: The best debt management solution is to start eliminating your credit card debt.
Sometimes the best way to deal with student loans is to ask for forgiveness. Not for taking out the loan. Forgiveness in this case means working in certain occupations or volunteering yourself to certain organizations to help reduce your college loan debt principal. We've compiled a list of websites that will help you learn more about how to find student loan forgiveness programs.