An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth Many Pounds Of Interest

As more Americans struggle with the burden of heavy debt, many consumers are looking for ways to relieve the financial stresses they’re feeling. There are some who will tell you that there are cures that can essentially make your debt problems disappear. While it’s true that it is possible to get out of debt, there’s no magic button that can wipe the slate clean without consequences. Curing debt requires sacrifice, discipline, and very often a lifestyle change, but it can be done. Here are a few options that people use successfully:

– Pay it off Step By Step: This is probably the natural first step that any consumer would take when trying to resolve debt problems. The borrower in this case simply needs to get their financial life in order. The process starts with organizing debts by type and interest rate and then determining a battle plan to get them paid off systematically. Focus on the highest interest rates first, ensuring to avoid any late fees or adding to your debt balance. One by one, that amounts you owe are reduced and finally paid off.

– Piggybacking: This is a lesser known strategy that was more common in the past than it is today, due to new rules from credit rating agencies. The idea is to become an authorized user on a liability with someone that has good credit and good habits. The indebted person benefits as timely payments are made, increasing the credit score of the troubled borrower.

– Consolidation: This is another proven way to pay off debt, but it’s not a magic pill. The borrower still needs to have the discipline to make the payments and stop racking up more debt. However, consolidating liabilities does have its advantages and if done right, the debt can be paid off faster and with less interest paid than issuing each debt individually.

There are excellent resources, both online and in your public library, that will teach people how to get out of debt. Be warned, however, as there are also many scams that will claim to cure your debt problems and then ask you to pay high fees both upfront and on an ongoing basis.

For example, a recent infomercial guaranteed that they can help people cure debt. The infomercial took the blame away from borrowers and placed it firmly on the shoulders of banks and other creditors extending credit to borrowers who lack discipline. By the time you purchase the books, tapes, newsletters, and counseling services, most borrowers would be further in debt that when they started, and without useful information.

They’re right that there are problems in America with how easy it is to obtain a line of credit. However, the true culprit in this country when it comes to debt is spending, and the real cure is discipline.

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