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Develop and Use Personal Debt-Reduction Strategies

What if you are already in debt? Is there a process that can help you get out? The good news is that there is. The following are five steps for debt-reduction:

  1. Recognize and accept that you have a debt problem.
  2. Stop incurring debt. Don't buy anything else on credit. Be especially careful about using home equity until you have your spending under control.
  3. Make a list of all your bills.
  4. Look for one-shot ways of reducing debt. Consolidate balances to a cheaper credit card, have a yard sale to earn money to pay down debt, or use savings or sales of assets to reduce debt.
  5. Organize a repayment or debt-reduction strategy and follow it. Debt-reduction strategies are methods of reducing your debt.

There are basically three different types of debt-reduction strategies:

  • Personal strategies: These are strategies you can use on your own; they include products such as spreadsheets and financial management software such as Quicken or Money to help you organize your financial situation so you can make payments to get out of debt.
  • Counseling strategies: These strategies require outside help and include debt consolidation and negotiation strategies from credit counseling agencies.
  • Legal strategies: These strategies require professional legal help and mainly consist of declaring bankruptcy.

In this section, we will focus on personal strategies to help those in debt organize a plan to get out of debt. Even if you do not have any debt, it is still helpful to learn these debt-reduction strategies because you will probably know someone who would benefit from these suggestions.


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