Debt Basics

Debt Basics
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Debt Help Options

Americans are drowning in debt and using credit to do it. It's a growing problem, made worse by the aggressive marketing of credit cards. If you find yourself struggling to pay your bills each month, it may be time to decide which method of debt recovery is right for you.

A certain amount of debt is not bad overall. So how do you know what you are in trouble? How can you get control of your debt?

  • Prevent debt accumulation.
    Stop using credit cards, or use only one card to pay off the others and lower climbing interest rates.
  • Understand your interest rates.
    Evaluate bills by interest rates rather than the amount of the balance. The amount you owe is less important than the actual rate at which your debt is growing. Try to pay the highest interest-rate cards first. If you are unable to pay off a large balance, switch to a credit card with a low annual percentage rate (APR).
  • Reduce monthly fees.
    You can reduce credit-card fees, by getting rid of all but one or two cards, and by avoiding late payment and over-the-credit limit fees.
  • Pay more than the minimum.
    Paying your monthly minimum will do nothing to reduce the amount you owe. Minimum balances simply keep your debt rising and out of control. Pay as much as possible, if not the entire amount on your ‘total due’, not your ‘minimum due’.

If you find that you are in need of debt consolidation there are many options for you:

In the end, the best advice is: communicate with your creditors. Don't wait until your finances are out of control. Before you miss a payment, pick up the phone and let them know you need help and why. Don't make arrangements you won't be able to keep. Be honest about your situation and allow for a realistic solution.

Get Professional Debt Help. Do all these options sound too overwhelming or confusing? They might be if you feel like you are all alone in this battle to beat your debt. Luckily, there are plenty of people and organizations that can give you the advice and support you need to get over your debt problem.

Consolidate your debt and lower your monthly payments now >>

* Debt Basics is not a lender or broker. We provide information and research on debt help and debt consolidation. Product and service offerings differ by state.