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Credit Cards And Debt Consolidation

Apr 25, 2008
It's easy not realize how much you've spent on vacation. It's difficult to hold back your credit card spending during the holidays and birthdays. If you've bought a house you probably have a hefty mortgage payment. And of course your car payment is a big chunk of your budget. Perhaps you've faced a few unexpected emergencies or had major medical or dental treatment.

Debt can be a lifesaver in an emergency situation but many people are drowning in debt. Unfortunately some of us think that an available balance on a credit card is the same thing as cash in the bank. If there's enough credit to go on a cruise, buy those expensive shoes, or go out to an elegant restaurant, well why not, we all deserve it.

Breaking down a $6,999.99 set of new living room furniture into easy monthly payments of $249.00 makes it easier to swallow. And what about that new car you've had your eye on? Never mind the price tag of over $20,000, it's only $389.00 a month. And then it happens your child needs a trip to the emergency room and suddenly you're facing a credit crisis. Your paycheck will only stretch so far and those "easy" monthly payments are pushing you under water.

The first step is to face the fact you have a problem. If you've been missing payments call your creditors and see if you can renegotiate the terms. It's possible you can lower your interest rate or get the late fees waived.

If your debt is more than you can handle you might consider debt consolidation services It's nothing to be embarrassed about if you decide to seek counseling. Taking that first step might be a challenge. You have to admit to yourself that you are over budget and tighten your belt. Some of the little luxuries that you think you deserve and probably very well do, are going to have to go.

Take the bus to work instead of driving your car. Brown bag your lunch instead of eating out. If you need to lose weight now is the time to go on a diet, you'll be trimming your waistline as well as your budget. Keep a money diary and record every penny you spend. You might be surprised to see where the money is going.

The sacrifices you make now to trim down your debt will pay off in the long term with a better credit rating. And in the short term you'll have a more positive attitude because you know you're doing something about your situation.

Debt consolidation can be a lifesaver but there is a downside. You might feel a heavy load has been lifted off your shoulders and that's true. Quite a few of the debt consolidation programs are dependent upon tying the loan to your house. It's in fact a second mortgage. If for whatever reason you can't make the consolidation loan payments you could lose your house through foreclosure.

Worrying about money and how you're going to make even the minimum payment on your outstanding balances can sap your energy. Don't wait until it's too late. No matter what you decide to do start with one small step.
About the Author
Get out of debt and stay out. Dee Power is the co-author of several nonfiction books including "The Publishing Primer: A Blueprint for an Author's Success," "58 Ways to Find Money for Your Business," Inside Secrets to Venture Capital" and "Attracting Capital From Angels," Read Dee's blog need to make money online?
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