Financial: Budgeting & Savings

How Can You Get Out of Debt?

Posted: Saturday, October 07, 2000 at 04:12 PM CT

The first step is to stop borrowing.

Instead of using your credit card, pay by check or with cash. If you know you are spending real money, you will buy less. Then figure out exactly what you owe. Reduce your debt as much as possible with a one-time payment from savings or even a garage sale.

Consider consolidating the rest of your debt with a home equity loan or a credit card with a lower interest rate. If you can't consolidate, pay the minimum on the low-rate debts while paying off as much as you can on high-rate credit cards.

Temporarily tighten your belt so you have more money to pay down debt. Continue paying the same amount each month even when balances and minimum payments decrease.

If you are still not making any headway, it may be time to seek help from Consumer Credit Counseling Services (, a nonprofit organization that helps people figure out how to repay their debts.

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