Make 2014 The Year You Become Debt Free

Jan. 27, 2014

Did you start the new year with a mountain of debt? Don’t feel bad; millions of people are in the same boat. But no matter how much you owe, you can make changes today to get out of debt and build a stronger financial future.

Better Business Bureau and ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions are encouraging consumers to be “calculated budgeters” in their efforts to get out of debt. Here are five tips to help you be more calculated in budgeting and debt reduction in the new year:

1) Set up a household budget to guide your spending patterns. Adjust expenses to find extra money to pay down credit card and other revolving debt – even $50 a month will help.

2) Choose a method. Debt management experts advise either paying off higher-interest balances first (this is the ladder method of debt repayment) or paying off smaller balances first (called the snowball method, because you build momentum). Either way, you’ll be moving in the right direction.

3) Ask for lower rates. Most credit card companies will lower interest rates when asked, especially if you mention a “hardship plan.” Lower rates mean your payments go more toward principal instead of interest.

4) Send extra payments. Make at least the minimum payment each month on every account, but send that extra amount to the chosen payoff account. As soon as that debt is paid off, put its payment and the extra toward the next account on your target list.

5) Stick to the plan. It can be tempting to use your credit cards again once the balances are lowered, but that will only make it harder to get out of debt, and the process may take much longer. Resist the temptation and keep your eyes on your long-term goal.

To get started with budgeting and debt reduction, check out this Budget Calculator from Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions.

For more tips you can trust, visit bbb.org. For an online version of the story click here.

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.


Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» Greendale's College Park Elementary named a 'School of Recognition' by DPI 11:28 AM

» What residents in Southeast Wisconsin need to know to prevent the spread of Zika virus Updated:  2/11

» Southridge Mall to host sing-a-thon with Sophia's Heart choir for Valentine's Day weekend 2/10

» The Rock Snow Park to host snow tubing fundraiser for Greendale Marching Band 2/10

» Franklin boys overpower Southeast swimming field 2/9

» Franklin girls basketball team shakes off doldrums, wins two games 2/9

» Franklin, Oak Creek student-athletes set their futures 2/9

» SEC champion Oak Creek wrestlers look to bigger things 2/9

» Former MLB player John Mallee to coach at Prospect Training Academy Updated:  2/9

» Oak Creek Chick-fil-A announces March grand opening, 'First 100' promotion 2/9

» Updated rankings of area prep boys and girls basketball teams and players 2/8

» Hales Corners vies for fruity trees through Victory Garden Initiative Updated:  2/8

» Black Bear Bottling named 2015 Business of the Year by South Suburban Chamber of Commerce Updated:  2/8

» Greendale High School holds first induction ceremony to new Athletic Hall of Fame 2/5

» Oak Creek denies police chief's request for 7.5 % raise 2/4

» DCS Cupcakes, now on hiatus, advocates for statewide 'Cookie Bill' Updated:  2/4

» Oak Creek girls basketball team gets defensive in win over Franklin 2/2

» Oak Creek wrestlers claim third SEC dual-meet title 2/2

» Franklin boys basketball team adapts, earns big win over Creek 2/2

» Tickets now on sale for annual 'Taste of Oak Creek-Franklin' fundraiser 2/2

» Oak Creek's former city hall, library now demolished 2/1

» Positive and uplifting stories in suburban Milwaukee and Lake Country in January 2/1

» Oak Creek girls basketball team outlasts Franklin, 47-39 1/29

» Festival Foods looks to build at old Kmart location along Highway 100 Updated:  1/29

» Greendale School District announces names of candidates for superintendent position 1/29

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Advertisement

Advertisement

Election center 2016

Election overage from from the MyCommunityNow coverage area covering suburban Milwaukee County and the eastern half of Waukesha County.

Suburban Milwaukee election center 2016

Local Business Directory

CONNECT    

Advertisement