download (21)Christmas and holiday spending can be brutal on any household budget, considering most families significantly overspend during the holiday season. It is estimated that the average American household has more than $8000 in credit card debt. After all the fun and festivities are over, you should take control of your household budget and expenses. Unfortunately, one of the biggest yet most controllable expenses for most individuals or households is their revolving debt. The payments may not only handcuff your spending ability, but they can limit your financial options to purchase a car or house. In order to escape from the trap of credit card debt, you will need to determine the best way to pay down and eliminate your debt. The following is a list of suggestions on how to pay down your debt and improve your financial situation.

• Collect Your Information - Gather your last pay stub and all your latest credit card statements. Write down the name of the creditor, balance, interest rate, due date, and the minimum payment for each card. Then add up all the minimum payments for each

images (18)You may ask - what is the difference?

"They are the same thing - loaning money I don't have - I'd rather not risk my lifestyle having a debt!"

The best way to define a "bad" debt, is when you borrow/ leverage money to purchase something that generates a loss (also known as a liability). A good example of this is a car, flat screen TV or a doodad, simply because they depreciates in value. The best way to define a "good" debt, is when you borrow/ leverage money to purchase something that generates profit (also known as an asset). A good example of this is an investment property.

Most people generally tend to have more bad debt than good, such as;

- Credit cards
- Car loan
- Personal loan
- Holiday finance
- White goods finance

Sounds familiar doesn't it! Don't get us wrong, it's not an offence or anything, but keep this in mind - by decreasing these debts, you are more likely to steer yourself in the right path of financial success.

On the other hand, some people think having a debt is a taboo/

images (19)It certainly isn't hard to get into debt today. Businesses create compelling ads that entice you into buying things you don't really need. Paying cash is a thing of the past. Items can be easily purchased on credit or debit cards, either in person or on-line. This results in careless spending and improper financial planning that can quickly throw you into the debt trap. Then once you are caught, it is very hard to get back on track again.

Why do so many people get caught in the debt trap? This is mainly because we have developed an entitlement mindset and believing that we deserve to have everything we want. We don't even need the cash to cover our purchases, all we have to do put it on our credit cards and pay for it later. Sometimes we even ignore the needs of our families and waste money on things we don't need instead of paying for important things like bills and groceries.

We continually hear these statements: you deserve the best, shop till you drop, just charge it, treat yourself, pay later. What sounds

images (17)Getting out of debt is on the hotlist of New Year's resolutions for so many people, yet there always seems to be something standing in the way of truly eliminating mounting debt. The car needs repairs and so does your home. Your kids always need school supplies and new clothes constantly as they grow. Don't forget retirement savings and pet food for the dog; insurance bills, medical bills and the like. Where does all the money go every month? If you're like most people, getting out of debt seems endless and daunting. Debt can sometimes be so overwhelming that we get stuck in indecision, which, by the way, is also a decision. Don't give up. There's hope and help, but it's up to you to find the right direction that will save the most time and money.

If you want to achieve a goal; if you really want it, you will get there. However, you also have choices on how you arrive at your destination. You can pay your debt off like a "gazelle;" you can negotiate and settle most past due debts directly

download (20)As a business, debt is incurred by customers and clients, no matter what type of business it is. Every company will have uncollected debts and there is no way around that. It's like knowing that every steel car will rust. It goes with the territory. Collection agencies help businesses like yours get some of that money back and this article discusses some on the types of debts you can collect on.

Credit and Personal Loans
For those of you that loan money to customers for personal loans or issue a line of credit for purchases; debt collectors can help attempt to get some of that incurred debt back to you, while staying within the local rules, terms, and laws. This type of debt can include any amount of debt, whether it is $100 or $10,000.

If your line of business involves loaning funds to customers for purchasing homes or other real estate in the form of a mortgage, then collection agencies can help attempt to retrieve past due amounts. In some situations, a repayment plan may be established while other times it can go

images (16)It is good to look for alternative ways to collect debt from your customers. However, if all other avenues have failed, you may have to use debt collectors to get your cash. Every agency is different from the other and not every one that is right for your kind of business. Here are a few things to consider.

Some debt collectors specialize in dealing with large businesses while others deal with small businesses and households. Check in your locality for the collectors that target similar clients like the one that has defaulted. The method the agencies apply has a high likelihood of succeeding in your case.

Every state has its own regulations that cover how debt collection is done and how the agencies work. It is important to ensure that you select a firm that adheres to Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Moreover, the firm should be bonded and licensed to work in the locality.

Sometimes the firms use very uncouth means to collect the debts. This may raise legal cases if the debtor feels that the agency has acted in bad faith. The insurance ensures

download (19)As you read this, an employee in some part of the world is struggling to find his bill in order to file his reimbursements and his manager is having a miserable time going through a stack of receipts that are not making it any better for her. Have you been there as well? Then it is time to digitize the process and make it a lot easier.

Over the past few years there have been a lot of buzz about going paperless in offices, home and on-field workplaces. A bunch of reasons might have reached your ears about going paperless; like saving the environment, saving money for your company, hassle free procedures et al. However, another important approach, which remains unnoticed,is increased productivity. Remember the time, you used to keep all your receipts in a shoebox? They were stacked up at one place, but were they organized? They were not in any planned order and finding a specific one at the drop of a hat was a myth. It is time to change that.

Information as we know continues to grow at an astonishing

download (18)The debt settlement is the means of negotiation that comes into play when you or a respective company is liable to pay money so that the creditors accept some portion of money against the full payment. The debt settlement company will force you to pay some amount on a monthly basis that is due until you have enough payment to pay off your creditor.

The theoretical aspect

As soon as you agree to a debt settlement program, many of the settlement firms will advise you to stop making the credit card payments monthly. Taking such a step will enable you to save money. Once you have enough money, the debt settlement firm will negotiate with your credit card company. It will offer them a one-time and a large payment that will settle your debt.

It is believed that many of the debt settlement firms claim that the one-time payment is much less that the original payment that you owe. They even state that will ensure that you no longer get bothered through endless calls from the creditor or the collection agency. But the downside is that

images (15)When I designed my coaching website, I needed to create a tag line. A type of a one line description of what the site was all about. I wanted it to summarize how I felt about the process of getting out of debt and why so many people start at it but quickly give up.

Science was my first love as a career. I spent my first ten years of work life in the biotechnology world. So the idea of a math equation flashed into my mind.

There are thousands of websites and probably millions of blog posts and articles about how to get out of debt. "Seven methods to lower your credit card debt". "Five tips to reduce your holiday spending". Tons and tons of information out there.

So why do less than half of Americans pay off our credit card balances every month? Why do 35% of us have accounts in collections?

I reflected on my two journeys through debt. The first ended in credit counseling and bankruptcy. The second ended with everything paid off, including our home mortgage. What was the difference?

I "knew" that

download (17)Managing debts is a difficult task and many people do not have the means to pay off their debts. Often, people get overwhelmed by the options available for consolidation of debts and they cannot decide their course of action. Out of the available options for debt relief, seeking the help of an agency which provides credit counseling services is the best. There are many such agencies which offer credit counseling services and every month, thousands of people opt for the services of these agencies. People have benefited from using such services as they could consolidate their debt and pay them off over a short period of time.

What is Credit counseling?

It is a practical approach to tackling all kinds of debt and these agencies offer solutions based on the credit situation of the consumer. People should understand that there cannot be a general solution to everyone's debt issues as each individual is different. Hence, credit counseling agencies or companies can assist people on an individual basis, based on their ability to make payments, total available financial assets, total amount of debt, annual income and

download (16)I listened to a training yesterday afternoon on time management. How to eliminate distractions and become relentlessly focused. I have probably attended and listened to more than a dozen time management trainings during the years. Yet every time, I do well for a week or so and then the bad habits creep back in. Checking emails throughout the day. Surfing the web. Listening to a podcast instead of writing a blog post!

All of these actions are necessary, but I allow them to occur when I am "at my best", in the morning. Which takes me away from getting my important tasks done when I am most energetic and creative. Which means these important tasks get done later in the day and take time away from my wife. Time I can never get back!

As I was taking notes during this training lesson, I thought about the millions of people who are trying to get out of debt. How many distractions are they facing that knock them off of their plans? What money did they spend today that they can never get back?

This one statement

download (15)Ways to Get Out of the Credit Card Quicksand

With the modern economic climate, there are a lot of women and men all over the world who are battling with consumer debt. It's simple to end up getting stressed out because of financial debt, with bank plastic being the major element of personal debt. Bank plastic is usually appealing to many people for the reason that they virtually look at them as completely free dollars, until eventually they receive the billing statement.

If you ever currently have been dealing with financial debt, you are likely dreaming about the day when you can at last be devoid of your credit burdens. While many individuals stay ensnared in credit debt for years and maybe even dozens of years, there are uncomplicated methods that can help get you out of financial debt more quickly than you may think. Here I will discuss 5 various straightforward methods to get to be debt free.

1) Stay away from racking up any additional credit card debt. This might sound self-explanatory, nonetheless lots of people who are presently in personal financial difficulties continuously

images (14)Charlie Linville lives here in Boise. He is a US Marine Corps veteran who lost his right leg in 2012 when he stepped on an IED in Afghanistan. He returned home last night after becoming the first combat amputee to climb to the top of Mount Everest.

This was his THIRD attempt to scale the mountain. An avalanche shut down his attempt in 2014. An earthquake shut the mountain down in 2015.

He succeeded this time, but still had to fight the battler against freezing temperatures and 60 mph winds.

Mr. Linville did not just wake up one morning, catch a plane to Nepal, throw a backpack on and start hiking. His successful ascent in 2016 took him away from his family for FOUR MONTHS. So on top of all the training he did here in the USA before leaving, he had to plan, adapt, change plans, etc to complete his dream. It was not a one day shot!

When we look at a mountain of debt in front of us, it can appear to be as tall as Mount Everest. Most people believe they have to

images (13)Have you ever been to a grocery store or farmer's stand where free samples of food are available? It is great to work your way from one end of the samples to the other. But afterwards, did you buy any of those products?

My wife and I just returned from a trip to the Idaho panhandle. One our stops was a fruit and vegetable stand where lots of free samples of homemade jams were available. As I was looking at the samples, I remembered an old study I had read about offering so many free samples that people did not buy anything. While we drove back home I mulled over how this relates to people wanting to get out of debt but never truly starting their plans.

"The jam study" was done in 1995 by Sheena Iyengar, a professor of business at Columbia University. She set up a booth at a gourmet market and sold jams with free samples offered. She alternated every couple of hours between offering samples of six jams and 24 jams. She noted the number of samples each customer tried and

download (14)You are late on a credit card. Months late. The bank which issued you the credit card is calling you every couple of days and sending you notice after notice in the mail to get you to send in a payment. But you can't. Maybe you got laid off or lost your job. Or you have lots of other bills and you cannot afford to pay this bill.

After six months of no payments, the credit card issuer has to "clean up its books". So it performs an accounting function and "charges off" your debt. The assumption is that, after six months of no payments, you are probably not going to pay this debt. So this loan needs to be removed from the bank's assets. This is a charge off.

Charge off definitely does not mean that your debt has been wiped out, forgiven and no longer exists. To the contrary, it means your financial life is about to get worse.

Once the credit card issuer charges off your debt, it most likely will be transferred to a collection agency. It does not matter if the

images (12)This headline has got to be a typo. How can you spend your way out of a money problem? Am I in charge of a federal government program?

When you find yourself in a hole, the first step to get out of the hole is to stop digging. So how can you spend your way out of debt? I will explain how.

Google "how do I get out of debt" and scroll down past the paid ads. Just about every result from your search will give you some iteration of the following advice items:

  • Get your bills organized so you can see what you are working with
  • Create a spreadsheet of your income and expenses (either on paper or using a computer program/app)
  • Add up your expenses and add up your income. Do you have more expenses than income?
  • Get another job.
  • Eliminate every expense that you can. You can keep electricity, housing and food but not much more.
  • Live this lifestyle until every debt is paid off.

Alright I am getting a little facetious here. But I do not believe that I am exaggerating much. The idea touted is to live

download (13)INCREASE YOUR SOURCES OF INCOME: This scheme is as old as the time of the development of commercial. Making more money is not easy, but when you widen your business outlets, there is bound to be a rise in incomes. There is no compulsion in any particular type of business you engage.

However, you must seek some understanding of the endeavor before dabbling in. Liken the scenario to the difference in the volume of water received when a single tap is opened to that when about four or five are opened simultaneously. More incomes translate to higher spending capability and less or no indebtedness. Surplus incomes enhance savings.

REDUCE WASTEFULNESS: There is no other habit as bad as wastefulness. Over spending and extravagance are other habits tantamount to it. Experts say that debt occurs, often, as a result of being wasteful. You should use just enough and desist from being extravagant. Save the rest for future usage. There is wisdom in that.

To reduce or avoid debts, do not over spend. Do not go to buy what you do not need, at least, for the immediate

download (12)Have you ever tried to focus on accomplishing five different tasks at the same time? Or three? How did you end up performing them? Were you satisfied with the outcomes?

I am a linear kind of guy. When I try to do two things at once, both suffer. They take longer to accomplish than if I worked one from start to finish and then tackled the second project. If you have ever heard the phrase "the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts", this describes my multitasking skill!

Paying off debts can be the same. The commercial I hear on the radio about "put an extra $10 towards each of your loans" sounds good. After all you are paying back some extra principal. But when you do this with a car loan, two credit cards and a store loan, you do not see any progress.

I always recommend to my clients that they pick ONE debt to throw their weight against. Pay the minimums on everything else and put the extra principal towards that one account. Highest interest rate, lowest balance,

download (11)When you read the forums on personal finance, debt and credit help, lots of people advise you should demand the collection agency remove your account from your credit report as part of the negotiation. This is called "Pay For Delete".

In theory this sounds great. Pay less than what you owe and have all traces of this debt removed from your credit report. There are even dozens of sample letters available online to help you work the magic and make the collections account disappear. But how often does it really occur?

It occurs much less frequently than those forum posters make it sound like! According to Allie Johnson at, only about 10% of collection agencies will agree to a Pay For Delete. So for every successful story of a Pay For Delete there are nine other stories of rejection.

Why such a small percentage of success? Let's look at this from the standpoint of the credit bureaus and the collection agencies. The collection agencies are paid members of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). All members of the credit bureaus promise contractually to

download (10)(Disclaimer: I am not an attorney. Do not accept this as legal advice.)

I do not know about you, but I have lived in three states since I obtained my first credit card. Since moving out of California three days after graduating from high school, I have lived in Oregon, Washington, back to Oregon, back to Washington, back to Oregon again and then finally to Idaho.

I imagine many of you have lived in multiple states during your adult life.

When you miss your first credit card payment (or any other debt), two things happen. First, when you reach thirty days late, the credit card issuer reports you as 30 days late to the credit bureau(s) it belongs to.

Second, the Statute of Limitations clock begins to run. The SOL in each state sets the time limit in which a court proceeding can be brought against someone in a criminal or a civil case.

If you never pay that credit card, then the issuer or the collection agency which takes the account over can sue you for the amount up until the end of the Staute of limitations