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Break Free from Overwhelming Debt

For many, debt is inevitable. From taking care of credit card bills to paying mortgages, it seems like there's always a bill that has to be paid. But when your bills stack up and you find it difficult to keep up with payments, it may quickly add up and overwhelm you. And when interest rates and late fees are tacked on to your existing payments, you may soon find yourself unable to keep up or even find your way out.

When you recognize that your debt is starting to get out of control, stop the downward spiral immediately! Late or skipped credit card or loan payments can subject you to increasing interest on your balances and penalties on top of your current debt, which could show up on your credit report. There are some suggestions from financial experts on managing your existing debt while paying as little interest as possible:
  • Create a list of all your loans, and include details about how much you owe, the minimum monthly payment, and the interest rate(s). Total the amount you owe so you can get a realistic idea of your debt load.

  • Prioritize the list so that you are paying the most money toward the debt with the highest interest rate. This will help reduce the amount of interest you pay. As the balance goes down, so will the interest-related debt.

  • Consider consolidating your balances with the lender that offers the lowest interest rate. Often, lenders will have promotional offers that include free balance transfers to cards that offer lower interest rates in order to get your business. Be sure to read the fine print and know about all the stipulations that may be involved.

  • Explore the possibility of a debt-consolidation loan with a lower interest rate to consolidate your balances.

  • Keep current on your other bills. Not only will you incur a fee for late or missing payments (which will also accrue interest), but it will have a negative impact on your credit and reflect on your report.

  • As you pay off each account, shift your resources to the next bill on the list.
When you start getting your debt under control, be sure to keep it that way. You can get debt under control if you spend less than you make, keep your debt reasonable, and pay your bills consistently and on time. Responsible credit management will reflect positively on your credit. To make sure your efforts are being recorded, it is a good idea to review your credit report. Experts recommend you check your report regularly to make sure you are on top of your credit. With diligence, perseverance, and patience, you can soon be on the road to financial independence from overwhelming debt.

This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.
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