DebtStoppers Do's and Don'ts
Positive practices to adopt and scams and schemes to avoid so you stay out of debt!
The people we counsel at DebtStoppers are usually already in pretty serious debt trouble. Often, their problems were caused by things beyond their control – like divorce, layoffs or medical expenses.
But in most cases, there were things they could have done — or not done — to avoid their debt trouble. They just didn't have the information they needed to make good choices. We offer some of that information here.
- Live within a budget — It sounds simple, but debt occurs when people spend more than they take in. In order to stay out of debt, you must maintain a strict budget, which should include savings and a rainy day fund. Then, when emergencies come along, you'll have at least some cushion before you have to resort to your credit cards.
- Use a debit card instead of a credit card — If you're interested in convenience, there's no difference between these cards, but using a debit card will force you to limit your spending to cash on hand.
- Pay off credit card balances every month — Interest on your debt is the greatest accelerator of debt. Put the brakes on by clearing your balance.
- Put together a plan to pay off your debt — If a thief came into your house every month and stole your belongings, you'd put together a plan to thwart him. That's exactly what debt does, so you need to think hard about how to prevent that. Some consumers focus on their highest interest debt first, so, after paying the minimum on their low-interest debts, they put all their reserves into driving down that balance. Others prefer to eliminate bills, so they attack the lowest balances, and once that bill is paid off, they feel a rush of momentum and rededicate themselves to attacking their other debts. Choose whatever works best for you, but you must have a plan.
- Be realistic — Finally, it's important to realize that at some point, you may have more debt than you can expect to repay. When you've reached your tipping point, you need to seek out the most favorable option, which may include filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
DebtStopper don'ts: the "too good to be true" solutions that are anything but
When struggling with overwhelming debt, it's natural to feel discouraged, embarrassed and even desperate. But that mindset only leads to greater trouble. It can make you vulnerable to numerous scams and schemes that promise relief, but actually bring on more hardship, such as:
- Foreclosure ''Rescue'' Specialists
- Payday Loans
- Rent-to-Own Stores
- Home Equity Loan Scams
- Tax Refund Anticipation Loans
- Work-from-Home Scams
- Credit Repair
- Debt Consolidation Loans
Do call DebtStoppers! Don't delay!
Contact DebtStoppers today for a free consultation and debt evaluation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Call us at 800-440-7235 or contact our Chicago office online.