Need a debt consolidation program? You are not alone. Here are 5 tips on reducing debt that you can do right now.
Debt Consolidation Step 1 – Knock Off Using Credit
If you haven’t done this one, then this is the place to start. Put the credit cards and line-of-credit checks under lock and key, and operate as if you don’t have them at all. Figure out how to make more income and pay cash instead. This is the single most effective action you can take to start your debt consolidation program.
Debt Consolidation Step 2 – Never Commit to Spending More Than Your Income
When you pay for an item with credit because you don’t have the cash, you are committing your future income to pay the credit company. Then you experience economic slavery. Ask yourself if you just want the item or if you really need it to increase your production of income. If you need it, figure out how to make the cash to pay for it over a short period of time, instead of buying on credit. Find ways to increase your income and use it to pay both current expenses and pay off credit debt. That will really but the rocket booster on your debt consolidation program.
Debt Consolidation Step 3 – Always Pay More than the Minimum Payment Required
Your debt consolidation program will be most effective if you carve out a minimum of 10% to 15% of your income. Use this money to reduce debt. Set a target of paying 3 to 5 times the minimum monthly payment on every credit card. Set aside some of the payment money every week until the statements arrive. It’s always easier to save small amounts over 4 weeks than to pay a big bill all at once.
Your debt consolidation strategy should include paying more on the highest interest rate card. Combine that with paying off low balance cards as fast as possible. As you pay off a card, use the money you were paying on that card against the highest interest rate cards. Don’t cancel a card, as this lowers your credit score. Just keep the card locked away and don’t use it.
Debt Consolidation Step 4 – Never Pay Late or Spend Over Your Limit
Do not destroy your debt consolidation strategy by getting hit with late payment or over-limit fees of $25 to $39 on which you’ll pay interest. Plus, if you pay over 30 days late, that black mark stays on your credit record for 7 years – a harsh penalty to pay.
Recently a Vice President of a U.S. bank stated that last year over 24 Billion dollars was paid out in interest, late fees and over-limit fees on credit cards. Do you think the credit card company really minds if you pay late or go over your limit? If they didn’t want you to spend over the limit they could have declined the charge, right?
Debt Consolidation Step 5 – Cut Back on Expenses
Reducing debt requires as much cash as possible, as fast as possible. Look closely at where your income is being spent and cut back on any expenses that do not contribute to the production of more income. Before you spend, figure out how much money that purchase is going to bring back in to you, your family or your business.
TIP: If you are a business owner, always promote your business to everyone – don’t cut back on that activity.
Correct business money management, to ensure your financial survival, takes more than a debt consolidation program, but this is a great place to start. There are other steps that you can take to increase income, pay bills on time, have cash reserves for emergencies, increase profits and pay yourself more money. Who doesn’t want that, right?
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