The national debt in America is at an all-time high. Millions of Americans are struggling to make bill and loan payments and still have enough money for day-to-day living, and the current economic recession is expected to last well into 2009. So how should people cope with the recession and the debts associated with it?
Credit counseling and debt settlement programs are some of the options people can choose. Consumer debt settlement can go a long way toward stretching your money as far as possible, and the right credit counseling professionals can help you achieve your goals of becoming debt-free. Digging out of debt isn't a quick or easy process, but professionals involved in credit counseling and debt settlement programs all generally offer the same advice.
Reducing spending to prevent acquiring new debts, creating an emergency fund, and paying off current debts are the basic steps required to become free of debt. A Safe Harbour Credit Counseling Services provides effective services with online access to your information. www.40debts.org For debt settlement assistance contact American Payment Technologies, Inc. www.payonlinetoday.com They escrow your funds until you have enough for a cash settlement and they have a list of effective settlement organizations to pick from depending on your state of residence. For debt management encouragement and spending plan help contact www.newsuccesspath.com
Tips for Preventing Further Debt
-Stop spending. It may sound obvious, but you must stop spending more than you have. For many years, living within your means seemed to go against the American dream of having a huge house, designer jeans, and every other gadget you could ever want, but the current American dream sadly is simply having enough money to put food on the table. Cook more meals at home, brew your own coffee, rent movies instead of going to the theater, and put off big purchases until you can reasonably afford them (without credit cards).
-Cancel credit cards. If you don't, it will be too easy to use them, and you'll continue to be caught in the circle of debt.
-Create an emergency fund. It may take awhile, but it needs to be done to take care of any unexpected expenses. Gradually save up enough money, maybe two or three month's equivalent of your income, to cover any emergency car repairs or dental visits. This way, you'll be able to fall back on this account if needed instead of getting another loan or paying with a credit card.
Debt Settlement Programs to Reduce Money Owed
Many debt settlement programs employ professionals who can negotiate with creditors to reach a compromise about your delinquent payments. Credit counseling services offer help to those who have gotten in over their heads with debt. These debt settlement programs can offer help with refinancing, managing, and ultimately eliminating debt. Some of the tips offered for consumer debt settlement include:
-Pay off the debt with the lowest balance first. Some credit counseling professionals suggest paying off the highest interest rate debts first, but it's more psychologically satisfying to see the instant gratification of paying off lower debts. It still might take awhile, but it'll be the quickest to pay off and you'll be encouraged to keep going until all debts are paid.
-Refinance. If you bought a house a few years ago and didn't get a great interest rate, now's a perfect time to refinance since mortgage rates are so low. Switching from a variable interest rate to a fixed rate could bring significant long-term savings in your budget.
-Try consolidating debt to lower monthly payments and save on high interest rates.
-Consult a credit counseling agency. Their advice and ability to negotiate with creditors on your behalf is priceless. They escrow your funds until you have enough for a cash settlement and they have a list of effective settlement organizations to pick from depending on your state of residence.
With these consumer debt settlement tips, hopefully you too will be able to begin living a debt-free life.