If you feel like you`re overwhelmed by a mountain of credit debt, you’re not alone. With today`s economic recession, families all over the country are increasingly swamped by credit obligations that they can’t meet.
Whatever the reason for their financial distress, millions of people are in far more credit debt than they ever imagined possible.
If your credit score has taken a nosedive and you’d like to get it back on the road to recovery, here are five tips to help you get started on the right path.
1) Stay on top of your credit score. This means getting a copy of your credit report and making sure that there are no erroneous charges or late penalties listed. If you find that your credit report is mistaken in any of its figures, contact your credit bureau and your lenders to get the erroneous charges corrected.
2) Use a credit counseling service. This is one of the most important things you can do to repair your credit debt. A credit counseling service professional can give you the advice you need to manage your credit and become debt free. Credit counseling services operate by consolidating your monthly debt into one single bare minimum payment. In doing this, they work closely with credit card companies so that you can pay a reduced payment every month. In addition, if they know that you`re working with a counseling service, some creditors might be willing to reduce the amount you owe by as much as half, in return for a lump sum payment.
Credit counseling services charge a very small fee every month, but their services are absolutely invaluable when it comes to helping you get out from underneath a mountain of debt.
3) Stop using your credit cards. If you use a credit counseling service, this is the first thing that they`ll tell you to do. By eliminating credit cards from your life, you’ll be starting off with a clean slate and you’ll prevent yourself from incurring further debt.
4) Pay as much as you can afford on your cards each month. If you`re left with any disposable income at all at the end of the month, try your best to pay more than the minimum payment on as many cards as you can. Otherwise, it could take years, or even decades, to completely pay off the cards.
5) Make sure you pay all of your bills on time. Whether you`re paying through a credit counseling service or handling your remaining bills on your own, it`s crucial to pay everything on time every month. If you pay late, you`ll not only accrue late charges, but you’ll also be whittling away at that good credit score that you want to maintain. Even one late payment can damage your score, so budget yourself carefully so that you can pay on time from now on.
Whether you`re looking at debt relief or considering other resources to help you get out of debt, you`ll want to get advice from a reputable professional. By taking these important steps, you`ll eventually find yourself debt free and ready to face a better financial future.