6 Rules for Surviving Debt
Rule #1 Prioritize Your Debt
If you can't pay everything pay what is going to have the most immediate negative impact. i.e., If it comes down to paying for housing or paying a store credit card...pay for housing. See if you can be given some leeway on the less important debt.
Rule #2 No Matter What Don't Let Debt, Collectors, Stress or Anxiety Force You into Making Bad Decisions
Bad decisions never make bad situations better only worse. Be aware of the emotional pressure you are under and refuse to panic.
Rule #3 Stretch Your Money & Your Debt as Far as You Can Without Sacrificing Your Future
Focus on increasing income and decreasing spending. Look into restructuring your debt all into a new loan etc. But make sure if you do this you DO NOT take on more debt. It is fool’s gold to pay off a credit card with a loan only to rack up bills on the credit card again. Caution should be exercised when considering debt restructuring or consolidation as it often lengthens the time you pay which usually means you will pay more.
Rule #4 Avoid Scams and Rip-Offs
Follow the guiding principle of: If it seems too good to be true it probably is! Absolutely never use payday or title loan companies, DO NOT use overdraft protection for short-term loans. Don't trust any company that seeks you out and tells you they have a magic bullet to eliminate or severely reduce what you owe.
Rule #5 Before Deciding on Bankruptcy Carefully Weigh the Pros & Cons
Bankruptcy is not a cure all and has benefits and drawbacks make sure you clearly understand everything involved.
Rule #6 Get Help
If you can't seem to get a handle on your debt reach out to an accredited financial counselor to help you get control over, your behavior when it comes to money. Know when to talk to an attorney if bankruptcy, judgements, liens, foreclosure, or other catastrophes loom on the horizon.
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