Short on cash, late payments, increasing debt?
Check out the blinking red lights in the below video that indicate financial trouble.
Okay, does any of this sound familiar?
If so, as we said, don't rush into any actions. Let's plan this out.
Let's first explore some of the most common financial stress situations, and how to get back on top.
Credit Card Debt
Carrying balances on your credit card, can easily sink you into serious debt. Especially when you're struggling to pay the bills. Maxing out credit cards, is probably the worst thing to do.
This video will show you how to consolidate your credit card debt. Probably good info to have, whether you're about to max out a card, or are up into your neck into minimum payments on a bunch of cards.
There's No Quick Fix!
Money problems are almost never resolved quickly. Payday loans and check cashing services are never the best solution, in FoolProof's opinion.
Neither are "quick loans", aka "high interest rate loans". Even though it sounds like they may get you out of trouble quick, they usually only make your situation worse.
Please answer this question seriously:
After hearing all this, do you have money problems?
First, the good news:
Admitting that you worry about debt is a first step in fixing it!
You've probably learned from experience that debt is not "good." Debt may be necessary in very limited circumstances (like when you are buying a home, or really need a car). But unsecured debt (such as a credit card or a personal loan) is not good.
Fixing Your Debt
I'm sure the previous videos already gave you some good pointers. Am I right?
Well, here are some more tips to rid yourself from that awful debt:
List All Your Debt
(and the amounts)
Compile it in one clear, short page. Looking at your debt numbers is a great way to give yourself a look at the big picture, and may literally scare you into stopping (more/other) impulse charges.
Put Away Your (Credit) Cards
Do not use them for everyday purchases or impulse buys, even if you have to borrow money from your piggy bank to eat. Instead, try using them occasionally, charging amounts that you know you can pay off every month.
If Possible, Refinance or Consolidate
This week, see if it is possible for you to refinance or consolidate your credit card debt at a cheaper interest rate. Refinancing credit card debt for some of us is a definite way to cut debt.
(Note: Follow the tips in the above video).
Look at Your Recurring Bills
Can you cut any? Can you cut back your phone and web services? Stop heating or cooling your home when you're not home? Eat out less? Look at every bill closely, learn from it, and be creative.
Consider a Counseling Service
Do not hide from your debt ever. It will make it more expensive!
Think local! A good credit union or community bank may be a good way for you to refinance and reduce debt.
When considering counseling, research a bit. Make sure you look for a non-profit counseling service. They generally (but not always!) have lower fees.
Also don't forget to ask questions like "How will this affect my credit?" A little research could save you a ton in the long run.
Before you jump into any (paid) financial advice...
But before you jump to any rush decisions, get your plan together.
Every situation is different, so does it make sense to get a financial advisor?
Did you say resources?
And when someone offers you "piggybacking" to fix your credit score, walk away!
Piggybacking is a credit fixing technique that uses someone else's good credit, with the aim to get your own score up.
This may sound good and be legal, but if it goes wrong (and that happens), it may hurt your credit eve more and cost you thousands.
Here's a great Scambusters.org article on piggybacking.