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Get Out of Debt Guide

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What You Need To Know Before You Can Get Out of Debt

To get out of debt, you need to :

  1. Assess your financial situation
  2. Understand the basics of how credit works
  3. Get help when you need it
  4. Budget and cut costs
  5. Avoid credit and debt mistakes

Assess Your Financial Situation

Do You Have Too Much Debt? Calculate Your Debt-to-Income Ratio
Businesses regularly calculate key ratios that indicate their financial health, and so should you. One of the most basic is your debt-to-income ratio. Learn how to calculate it to find out if you have too much debt.

Calculate Your Net Worth
Another key indicator of your financial health is the Net Worth Statement, a snapshot of your current financial situation. It will provide important clues about where you should concentrate your efforts. Includes a worksheet and instructions on how to calculate your net worth.

Eight Warning Signs That You May Be Heading Towards Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy doesn't happen just to financial deadbeats. It could happen to your family member, neighbor, or friend. It could even happen to you. Here are eight warning signs that you're headed for bankruptcy, and eight tips to get out of debt before it's too late.

Understand How Credit Works

Why You Need To Know What's On Your Credit Report
It's important to know what's on your credit report, how to fix errors, and how to improve your credit history if it's not exactly squeaky clean.

What You Don't Know About Your Credit Score Can Cost You Money
75% of all lenders use FICO credit scores when considering requests for loans or credit. Your FICO credit score is also used to determine your interest rate and the amount of your down payment when buying a house, your eligibility for a car loan, and the premium on your auto or homeowners insurance. It can even affect your ability to get a job.

Top 15 Warning Signs of Too Much Debt
Don't be lulled into a false sense of security that you don't have a debt problem just because you pay your bills on time and can manage your monthly minimum credit card payments.

Get Help to Get Out of Debt

Deciding to Seek Credit Counseling
Should you seek the services of a consumer credit counseling agency? Find out what they can do for you and how to choose a reputable consumer credit counseling agency.

Bankruptcy: How It Works. How To Prevent It
Sometimes bankruptcy is the only way out of a crushing financial burden caused by job loss, medical bills, or other circumstances that are out of your control. Here's an overview of bankruptcy and tips on how to prevent it.

New Bankruptcy Law Makes It Harder to Erase Your Debts
How recent changes in the bankruptcy laws make it harder to erase your debt.

Use the Net to Manage Your Debt
Obtain credit and manage your debts without leaving your PC.

Budget and Cut Costs: Required to Get Out of Debt

Save Money On Credit Cards and Other Costs
You can easily save thousands of dollars a year with very little effort by following even a few of these cost-cutting measures.

Get Out of Debt: Don't Pay Your Minimum Balance
To get out from under the burden of debt, you need to face the uncomfortable (and perhaps downright ugly) truth: it may take you 30 years to pay off that credit card balance, but there IS a way out.

Budgeting Guide
Everything you need to have a successful budget (spending plan), including how to get motivated, start budgeting, and stick to it. Budget worksheets included.

Common Credit and Debt Mistakes

High Cost of Using Credit Cards
Don't fall for credit card offers that are "too good to pass up." Find out what the credit card companies don't want you to know.

Payday Loans: Dangerous Consumer Rip-off
Payday loans may seem like an easy solution to a temporary cash shortage, but they can be the beginning of a vicious cycle that is difficult if not impossible to escape.

Your Car Payment May Prevent You From Qualifying for a Mortgage
Find out why so many young people are unable to qualify for a mortgage because of their car payments and how you can avoid having to choose between new wheels or digs you can call your own.

Five Worst Money Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Car
Buying more car than you can afford can lead you into credit card debt as you turn to credit to make ends meet. Here are the top five mistakes to avoid.

Risky Mortgages
Rapidly rising home prices have pushed home ownership out of reach for many people, so lenders have created a whole new generation of mortgage loans, ranging from the risky to the downright scary. Here's a recap of the most popular "new" mortgages, their risks, and when they might be appropriate for you.

The Psychology of Spending Money
Are you an impulse spender? If there are psychological factors in your spending, following a debt reduction plan is like wearing perfume to cover body odor. It treats only the symptoms, not the underlying cause. Impulse spending can put a strain on both your finances and your relationships, so discover the real culprit behind your urge to splurge.

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