Debt Free Tips

By | June 2, 2006

Put away all of your credit cards. Try to pay for purchases with cash or checks until your credit card balances are paid in full.

Do not apply for credit cards that you don’t need.

Determine the total amount you owe creditors.

Pay credit cards with the highest interest rates first.

Pay your lowest balances first to completely remove some of your debts.

Investigate any opportunities to transfer your existing balances to a card with a lower interest rate.

Reduce your spending and set a realistic budget.

Set goals. Once you’ve achieved them, reward yourself with small indulgences.

Review credit card statements and credit reports for errors.

Keep records of income and expenses.

Only charge what absolutely must be charged and not things you could pay for now.

Use your debt card instead of a credit card.

Request copies of your credit rating and credit score from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You need all three, because each company may have different information. If the information on either credit history is wrong, correct it immediately.

Pay your bills on time. Even if a company allows a grace period, don’t use it.

Own between two and four credit cards. Fewer cards shorten your credit history; more cards indicate that you are financially stretched.

Keep your debt-to-income ratio under 20 percent.

Pay more than the minimum required on your credit card.

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