Eliminate Debt Plan
The very first step in an eliminate debt plan is twofold: to personally commit to paying off current debts and to not incur any future debts. Saying it is easy -- doing it is hard. But resolving to change one's economic behavior can only have a positive influence on future financial security. A sincere commitment to a debt-free lifestyle means taking a principled stand to saying no to needless spending and yes to self-denial and hard work. Are the sacrifices worth it? Absolutely. When none of the monthly paycheck gets sent off to creditors, a family has more options and freedom for what to do with their income. Debt-free living is most definitely a worthwhile and achievable goal. The wise King Solomon writes: "Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun. For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it" (Ecclesiastes 7:11-12). Wisdom in financial matters provides a security net for a family when emergencies arise and also provides opportunities for family members to receive the blessings of giving to others. A prudent and wise eliminate debt plan rewards those who are willing to do whatever needs to be done to climb out of a financial hole.
Once an individual makes the commitment to debt-free living, the next step is to implement an eliminate debt plan. Designing a workable strategy requires two kinds of knowledge: general personal finance and specific personal finance. Online resources are only a mouse click away and numerous books and magazine articles provide helpful hints and tips on getting rid of indebtedness. The savvy individual reads and learns as much about personal finances as possible so that the best information rises above the good information and the bad stuff can be immediately dismissed. While learning general information about personal financial issues, individuals also need to take a hard look at their specific financial situations. Many people are too afraid to list all their debts because they don't want to face the total. It's frightening. But a workable eliminate debt plan needs relevant information to operate properly. As scary as plugging those numbers into the calculator may be, the task has to be done. Individuals are advised to list each creditor, the total amount owed, the monthly payment, and the interest rate. This creditor list will come in handy as future financial decisions on repayment are made.
Changing spending habits is a vital element of any eliminate debt plan. This may involve several different strategies, but the primary one is to stop using credit cards. Getting out of debt can be hard enough without increasing the amount by the continued use of credit cards. No matter how wonderful the reward program may be, its value is seldom offset by the amount of interest or annual fees that are being paid. Few people have the self-discipline to pay off credit card balances every month and thus truly benefit from a card's reward program. The best thing to do is to perform plastic surgery and cut up every single card so the temptation no longer exists. Some people have problems doing that because a credit card funds household emergencies. That objection is answered by saving up, as quickly as possible an emergency fund. Even if saving money means selling items, working extra hours, or even doing without that premium four dollar cup of coffee, getting an emergency fund of several hundred dollars in place is another feature of changing spending habits. Then credit cards aren't needed for emergencies since the money is in the bank. While accumulating the emergency fund, individuals should continue paying the minimum payments on monthly obligations. When the emergency fund reaches a pre-determined threshold, then it's time to step up the monthly payments to creditors.
Different eliminate debt plan strategists advise different means for accomplishing the same goal. Consumers should read as much as they can and then choose the way that seems to best fit their personal situations. Now is the time to take out the creditor sheet and make a plan for paying off all the debts. Some strategists advise paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first. Others suggest listing the debts from smallest to largest and working down the list that way. Both strategies require paying the minimum payments on all debts except the targeted one. The individual should send as much money as possible to the targeted debt. Following this second eliminate debt plan provides a quick success that gives a psychological boost. With either strategy, the money that was being used for the targeted indebtedness is then added to the minimum payment for the second creditor on the list. For example, a person has four credit cards with a minimum payment on each one of $100. At the beginning of his debt-free plan, he allocated $450 to debt repayment. He targets the first credit card by making monthly payments of $150 until it is paid off. While he is doing that, he is also sending $100 every month to each of the other three accounts. When the first targeted account is completely paid off, he adds the $150 payment to the $100 payment for the second account on his list. He sends this account $250 every month until the debt is paid. Then he sends $350 to the third account and, finally, $450 to the final account. Though the process takes some time, eventually this individual is free from indebtedness and has $450 each month to invest, give, or spend. An eliminate debt plan isn't quick or easy, but the rewards of a debt-free lifestyle are priceless.
Financial Debt SolutionMany people don't search for a financial debt solution until they are in a serious money crisis. Preparing a financial management or savings plan often is not considered until unexpected bills begin to pile up. While unexpected car repairs, serious illness, a lost loved one or divorce can cost a lot of money. Most of the time, debt piles up over the course of months or years. Payments aren't made on time creating more late fees and higher interest payments. Sinking into debt can be so slow that it is often not realized until the problem has grown almost uncontrollable. But finding a financial debt solution is possible. There are many choices. For consumers, the key is to learn about each of those choices and make an informed choice that will best fit the individual situation.
Acknowledging the problem is the first step. Unfortunately many people who have money problems tend to ignore the issue, hoping it will just go away. But ignoring creditor's calls and the mounting bills doesn't make it all disappear. It just makes the problem worse. Any financial debt solution takes time. Consumers should request a copy of their credit report from all three credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax). This can easily be done through www.annualcreditreport.com. All agencies are required by law to provide one free copy of an individual's credit report each year. Credit scores can be obtained through the same website for a small fee. Then make a plan to get out of a financial crisis and stay stable without going bankrupt. Plans can include one or more of the options listed below. Not every solution will work for every person. Each situation is different and comes with its own pros and cons. These should be weighed carefully before making a decision. Don't rule out prayer. The Bible says, "be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." (Philippians 4:6)
One of the more popular financial debt solution options is consolidation. Consolidation takes many forms. Standard consolidation companies take multiple bills and lump them together into one loan, usually secured with some type of collateral like a house. Loans are repaid with one easy monthly installment at a lower interest rate. The consolidation company works with creditors to lower payments and agree on an affordable option for the consumer. It then distributes payments to the creditors once installments are received. Such companies can be risky. Many withhold a portion of the monthly installments or the first few installments as fees for their services, making payments to creditors even later. If the consumer defaults, he or she risks losing a home. While similar to consolidation companies, credit counseling services help consumers stay out of debt by offering assistance in budget creation, money management, and access to other resources. A reputable company will walk an individual through the process of consolidation, negotiating with creditors and establishing payment plans that work for every party involved. This financial debt solution helps individuals see the big picture. Both options will stop creditors from making those harassing phone calls, but there are any agencies that do run scams that can cost the consumer more money than what was originally owed. Individuals should remain aware, ask questions, and research complaints before choosing either option.
When money problems become very severe, some consolidators and counselors will suggest negotiating to settle on overdue bills or even declare bankruptcy. These expert negotiators can significantly lower interest rates or reduce bills. Creditors may even agree to negotiate a settlement over bankruptcy to reclaim some of the funds they have lost. Depending on the severity of the situation, settlements can range from 50-70% of what was owed or even less. However, settlement do appear on a person's credit report and can lower an individual's score. Bankruptcy should only be considered as a last resort for a financial debt solution. There are two options when considering bankruptcy. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is very similar to a consolidation but is handled through the court system. Debtors agree to repay a portion of the amount owed within a 3-5 year period. The person can retain property and are protected from any legal action as long as payments are made in a timely manner. After that time, debt included in the bankruptcy is wiped clean. Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves liquidation of a person's assets and is much more severe. With this option, the person sells his possessions or property to repay what is owed. Bankruptcies remain on an individual's credit report for ten years and severely damage his or her rating.
There are many other less severe options in finding a financial debt solution. Many people take on a second job. A stay-at-home mother may decide to go back to work again, either full time or part time. Huge cutbacks can be made on monthly bills like cable, phones or Internet. Individuals with better credit scores can transfer debt onto a new credit card with very low fees. Those rates are usually only short-term and sometimes can carry high rates once that period has expired. But after consolidating all credit cards onto one, get rid of the remaining cards so the temptation isn't there to spend more. Some people even get desperate and sell valuable items at pawn shops to repay bills. This option is usually not advisable. Most times, the sale price is much less that what the item is worth and the individual loses even more in value.
Getting out of debt is not easy but it is possible. Develop a budget and manage it appropriately within the income limits available. Most financial debt solution plans will appear on credit record in some form and affect an individual's overall score, so they must be chosen very carefully. By doing some careful research, consumers can find the solution that best fits their overall situation and get themselves on a solid track to financial recovery.