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How to Get Out of Debt. The Honest and Unvarnished Truth.

As a student of the history of debt, having lived through debt problems myself, and having founded and run a credit counseling organization I have a very unique view from inside and outside the debt world. If there were mistakes and beliefs to be had, I’ve had them. If there perceptions about debt, they’ve floated through my mind, If there moral decisions to be weighed in regards to debt, I’ve wandered across all of those boundaries as well.

But Here is What I’ve Learned About How to Get Out of Debt

The bottom line about debt is, debt is just debt. Nothing more. It is neither an object that can be stigmatized or that can engage in some form of judgment or morality. It just is what it is. And what it is, is a financial obligation that becomes problematic or unsustainable. It become an unmeetable installment in the exchange of money according to a contract or agreement.

All that other stuff, the stigma, morality, guilt, shame and things that make us feel poorly are creations inside our head and not a function of debt itself (see Is Bankruptcy Sinful and Bad or Right and Moral?). Debt does not feel a thing. It does not judge you. It bears you no ill will.

Debt is created when an entity gives something of value in exchange for the pledge to repay that value into the future and often with some additional compensation that is calculated by interest. And what is interest? Well that’s the number used in the formula that a creditor creates to estimate how much additional money they will need to add onto the amount lent to make a profit and cover their estimated losses from engaging in this business of lending.

Notice there is nothing moral attached to the act of lending. There is no moral component tangled in the decision to lend or in pricing for a profit and coverage of a projected loss.

When a lender and borrower enter into a transaction to borrow and repay they both are taking a risk. The lender hopes to recover the asset lent and the borrower hopes to repay that which has been borrowed. Both parties however are making a guess at what the future holds for them. The bank has no way to estimate if the borrower is going to be laid off or have their house destroyed by a volcano. The lender has no idea if the borrower will be in a fatal car accident or choke to death on a baked potato. By engaging in the transaction the lender is taking a calculated risk and covering that risk with interest charged.

Consumers are constantly confused by this and in their hour of problem debt they often assign feelings to the fact they can’t repay as agreed because life has dealt them a bad hand. People feel they have let down their creditor and they will think less of them, they struggle with feelings of failure, and they are made to feel immoral because they can’t repay.

How to Get Out of Debt. The Honest and Unvarnished Truth.

You don’t ask the person who’s house is on fire what the best way to put out the fire. You let the professional firefighters attack the blaze in an logical and rational way that will best put out the fire. Start thinking like a firefighter.

The reality is that while those feelings are all present in one delusion or another, they are not reality. But if you are feeling them, they are absolutely excellent tools to use to manipulate you into repaying for the benefit of the creditor, not you.

The creditor wants you to repay, not to save your soul, but to collect as much as possible back in order to maximize their profit. The entire end game of the typical financial transaction is just that, to make a profit, not damn you to hell.

The fact is that creditors, debt collectors, and many debt relief companies know, that you can’t see, is that debtors can be easily emotionally manipulated for the benefit of the other party. Don’t let that happen to you. Wake up and see reality, please. (To better deal with debt collection calls you should read “Hooray, You Are in Collections! The Debt Collector is Calling. The Debt Collector is Calling” after you finish reading this article.)

But you know what the creditor already knows? Not everyone will be able to repay and they factor that into the interest rate they charge. They have already made allowances for debtors running into hard times and some being unable to meet their financial desire to repay their creditors in full.

I am by no means suggesting that you casually walk away from manageable debt. What I am saying is that in times of unmanageable debt, you’ve already been accounted for if you must walk away.

And let’s not forget, the creditor wanted you to go into debt in the first place. This is not a one-sided transaction. It takes both a lender and borrower to play. Creditors want you to get into debt so they can make a profit off of you and/or sell their goods. And it has been this way since borrowing began.

GO INTO DEBT NOW!

“Keep out of debt!” How often we have heard this slogan.
I say — Go into debt! And I mean it.

DEBT — The right kind of debt is to man what ballast is
to the ship. It helps us keep our balance. It enables us realize
our responsibilities and aids in keeping “our nose to the grind-
stone.” A blessing in disguise.

GET INTO DEBT! AND DO IT NOW!

Debt is a tester of character. A prover of merit. Debt is
the kind of ballast which when carried a while, makes others
realize our REAL WORTH. Soon comes a time when we hear
voiced their estimates of us, compelled to acknowledge that;
“She has grit,” or “He has sand.””

Former Bank Advertisement,
The Washington Times, August 2, 1919.

So You Feel Like a Total Loser

Collectors are calling and asking you to make promises to repay. Those calls are stressing you out and making you feel bad. The stress causes you to lose sleep and all of it is impacting your life, work and relationships. Life feels like it is spinning out of control, and it is, for you.

Your creditors’ lives are not spinning out of control. They are not stressed about your loan. They don’t feel bad at all for taking a risk on you to make them profit. In fact, they feel clever and proud.

The only person judging you is yourself and maybe some other people you may personally know that don’t have a clue about the reality of debt.

You are not a loser. You are a debtor. Those are two very distinct things. Because you are a debtor, you are not also by default, a loser. People confuse the two all the time. Debtor does NOT EQUAL loser.

Cut yourself some slack. The reason you are probably panicking about debt right now is because there has been some change in your life circumstance. Your income has been reduced, your expenses have been increased or you’ve suffered an injury or medical problem.

In fact you may be clouded by debt induced PTSD. Click here to learn more.

The debt is the byproduct of some underlying issue that has led to the creation of this unmanageable financial obligation. If you want to jump on something, then start focusing on the issue that caused the imbalance and the debt.

If you can cut expenses, do it. If you can increase income, do it as well. But the last thing you should do is to label yourself as a loser. You are not.

You deserve dignity as you dig your way out of debt. Read Debt with Dignity.

The Emotional Stages of Debt

People who are dealing with debt most often go through the same emotional stages as those that deal with death and dying do.

Generally people move through those stages in that order. But they may slide back and forth along the way. Now that I’ve pointed this out to you I bet you’ll recognize it in others.

It’s critical that you are aware this is a normal process so you understand you are neither broken or alone. You can read about the Seven Stages of Debt here.

Debt is Dark and Depressing

If you are suffocating under debt right now, you probably are feeling dark and depressed. It is a natural feeling but the depression is a mask to the life being experienced by others at the same time.

As you read this and maybe feeling hopeless. Your creditors are not. Employees at the banks are laughing and having a good time. They have jobs with contests and rewards and the bank is being managed by teams of highly experienced and compensated people who claim to know what they are doing.

Your hopelessness may even make you feel suicide is a way out. That is just not a rational solution and the debt is leading your down dangerous emotional back alleys. The way you are feeling right now is not you, it’s the debt talking.

Don’t let the debt ruin or even take your life. Just realize “You Ain’t Your F*cking Debt.”

If you are feeling dark and depressed, seek help. Make an appointment right now to go talk to your doctor about how you are feeling. There are many good treatments for depression that can restore you to a better balance in short order. And once you get treatment for the depression it will help you to see your situation with clarity.

How to Get Out of Debt. The Honest and Unvarnished Truth.

The Ultimate Sin Debt Tempts Us With

If there is any ultimate sin of debt it is the one root action of robbing your future to repay the past. It is cashing out retirement money or borrowing from it to repay debt carried forward from yesterday. And the reason people do this has NOTHING to do with logic and everything to do with hyperbolic discounting.

How to Get Out of Debt. The Honest and Unvarnished Truth.

In essence, hyperbolic discounting is the human tendency to prefer smaller payoffs now over larger payoffs later, which leads one to largely disregard the future when it requires sacrifices in the present. Being mortal creatures with limited lifespans and resources, the human survival instinct has evolved to appreciate that one cannot enjoy a conserved resource tomorrow if one doesn’t survive today. This hard-wired tendency may be the bias behind our temporal short-sightedness, causing many people to make decisions which lead to short-term happiness and long-term disaster. – Source

Under the theory of hyperbolic discounting a person is more likely to apply an uneven value on something at hand than something in the future. For example, if you loved chocolate and I said would you rather have a half box of chocolate now or wait a week and get a full box, most people would want the half box of chocolate now because they want it now. If I said you could have a half box of chocolate in a year or a full box of chocolate in year and a week, most would go for the full box and wait a week more for it.

If you’d like to learn more about hyperbolic discounting, watch my interview with Dan Ariely.

People are more willing to make the irrational decision of cashing out their retirement money and screwing their future, even though the 401(k) is protected from creditors, because they interpret that money to be the way to make their stressful feeling about their debt go away quickly and restore themselves to some balance of moral equilibrium.

But what is really happening when they take that cash is they are leaving themselves more exposed in their later years when they will not be earning. They are literally robbing their future by draining the 401(k) in an effort to nullify their feelings of today.

While it is not a rational decision, it is one that people make every single day. They assign a greater value to ending their emotional feelings about their debt they are experiencing today by cashing out their future that has no emotional attachment for them at this moment.

Saving for Retirement Needs to be Your Top Worry, Not Repaying Your Debt. Don’t believe me? Then retire poor and see what it’s like.

Saving Money

The refrain I hear often at this point is, “But Steve it is the right thing to do and I want to do the right thing to repay my debt.” Is it the right thing to do? Or is the right thing to do to protect your retirement money for the future when you need it most and will be able to earn it least? Let’s turn this question around and let me ask you, if your bank was in the same position would they do they same thing and sacrifice their future to cut you a break now?

This is the exact reason why big companies and corporations are rewarded on the stock market when they file for protection through the courts when they can’t make ends meet. Wall Street views this legal protection as the responsible action for the business to take to return to profitability.

The Napa Valley Register is reporting the Napa Valley Symphony Association has recently filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. The quote by the president of the board certainly sounds similar to that felt by many people facing equally dark times.

“It’s not something we did lightly,” said Michael Enfield, president of the board of the association. “But sometimes when you’re on a path that doesn’t lead anywhere, it’s time to break a new path, even if it also breaks your heart to do it.”

The story of the journey to bankruptcy for the symphony also reads like a traditional family in which one member is facing tough times.

The Napa Valley Symphony Endowment is a separate legal entity but has helped the symphony to make ends meet in the past.

“In the last three years, we’ve given them $400,000. They would come to us and say, ‘If you could just help us out.’ We’d say ‘OK, but this is the last time,’” Hafleigh said.

“In January they came to us and said, ‘We haven’t paid the musicians since October.’ We felt that as a community we’d all enjoyed the music and we made sure that they were paid. But we also said ‘This isn’t working.’

But faced with the fact that a legal opportunity to reorganize your personal debt exists that would protect 100% of your retirement money, people elect not to consider that solution, even when it is the most logical, reasonable and rational approach. The approach the responsible business takes.

For most consumers in financial trouble, who are unable to repay their debt in some mutual agreement with their creditors, the most logical approach to debt elimination is to investigate a legal fresh start, otherwise known as bankruptcy. Under this financial second chance program set in law, your creditors must stop collection activity, they can’t sue you, your debts are wiped away, and your retirement money remains yours, in full, for when you need it most in your later years.

Some other solutions exist to relieve yourself of problem debt as well but those are minor solutions that are appropriate in very narrow situations. Those solutions include credit counseling, debt consolidation loans, and debt settlement.

And then there are the wide assortment of the minor schemes and confabs to eliminate your debt. Those would include the collection of trickery and deception that hucksters play to mostly separate people from their money in their time of trouble by promising consumers magical solutions to make their debt go away.

Debt Relief Mistakes Are As Old and Debt

As a student of debt relief history I know that since the 1880s there have been wave after wave of promises by others to eliminate their debt through some sort of intervention only to leave people without satisfaction and worse off.

Nearly every decade has seen a wave of debt relief approaches saturated with opportunists who appear to only act in their best interest and earn a dollar on the back of the consumer in trouble by making false promises of eliminating their debt.

People falling for magic solutions is not something new, it’s not even something from the good old days, it’s a constant that has always happened and will always happen. And the reason why it happens is just emotional misdirection created by the people in troubling debt.

People will always apply their emotional state to the magic promises made and conclude that something too good to be true, actually is true.

GET OUT OF DEBT.
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WE’LL PAY THEM FOR YOU!

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No matter how fantastic an offer to relieve you of your debt sounds, the reality and unvarnished truth is there are only two solutions that will relinquish the debt quickly.

The first is if you are able to come to an agreement with your creditor to allow you to repay a mutually agreed amount. This approach is commonly known today as debt settlement. Used correctly it can be an appropriate solution but most consumers are not well suited for this solution.

The second solution, and the only one that gives power to the consumer and forces a creditor to accept the repayment plan or wipe away the debt entirely, under law, is bankruptcy.

There are two other solutions that will allow you to repay your debt over time, if you can afford to. One approach is credit counseling where your monthly payment will remain about where it is now but your interest rates may be reduced. But you need to consider the real cost of a credit counseling program before you enroll. Read this.

The second is a debt consolidation loan where your monthly payment and interest may both be reduced.

The debt consolidation loan is an approach as old as credit as well.

How to Get Out of Debt. The Honest and Unvarnished Truth.

People have always found themselves in positions of limited means and wanted to borrow their way out. It is nothing new at all and for some it works and works well.

If You Are in Deep Debt and Older Than 40, You Must Act Now

If you are in deep debt and you are older than 40 then time is not on your side. While you may want to do everything you can to work your way out of this hole over the next decade, if you don’t take action to resolve your debt situation within 12-24 months it’s quite possible it will have a very negative impact on your retirement. You will retire broke because you were unable to afford to save.

Every month that goes by that you don’t save for retirement is a compounded month you’ve lost to avoid a financial catastrophe when you can least afford it.

I think there is a very logical argument to be made that if you are struggling with unmanageable debt today a consumer bankruptcy now that allows you to get back to saving again makes complete sense in the face of otherwise retiring with little to no income of your own. – Source

Ready to Do Some Research?

Use our guide, 10 Must Do Steps to Find the Best Credit Counseling or Debt Settlement Company for You to make sure you find the right help for you.

Once you do that, then you can move on to the next step.

So Armed With This Knowledge, What Now?

Here is my approach to looking at possible debt solutions.

How to Get Out of Debt. The Honest and Unvarnished Truth.

First, let’s take the retirement account out of the picture. Don’t borrow from it or cash it out. Leave it completely alone and untouched.

Next, if you can afford your regular monthly payment but want to get out of debt, then look at either a debt consolidation loan, (I recommend LendingClub.com) or talk to a credit counseling agency. You can click here for credit counseling information.

If your creditors are nipping at your heals and you can’t afford to repay them, you are being sued by them, or collection calls are burying you, then it is time for you to click here to talk to a local bankruptcy attorney.

Every debtor should talk to a bankruptcy attorney to be well informed about what the one legal debt solution under law means for them. All preconceived notions should be taken off the table and a bankruptcy attorney should be consulted with an open mind. You can reach out and talk to a bankruptcy attorney, not with the intention of filing but to educate yourself about what bankruptcy would mean to you in your situation.


If you are worried about how bankruptcy might impact your credit then read my free guide on how easy it is to actually rebuild your credit after bankruptcy.

Avoiding bankruptcy has hurt more people than bankruptcy ever could. Read Do Not Avoid Bankruptcy for more information.

Lastly, if you have cash on hand now to repay about 50% of your debt, or you will shortly, then debt settlement may be a solution for you. That is, as long as you leave the retirement funds alone. You can click here for debt settlement information.

Take a look at my free How to Get Out of Debt Calculator to review your options.

And that’s the honest and unvarnished truth about debt. As you can see, it does not have to be a complicated problem once you take the emotions out of the picture.

If you need more structure in your path to get out of debt then read A 12-Step Plan to Get Out of Debt Fast!

If you are ready to hunt for the debt relief company to assist you, be sure to read my guide, The Ultimate Consumer Guide to Checking Out a Debt Relief Company Before You Sign On the Line.

Don’t forget, if you need some help figuring things out, seeing them clearly and getting some direction on your way out of debt, just ask. I’m here to help.

How to Get Out of Debt. The Honest and Unvarnished Truth.
Get Out of Debt Guy – Twitter, G+, Facebook

FREE – How to Get Out of Debt Guides

Below you will find many of free guides and articles that address specific issues about debt and getting out of debt. But before you head off to those posts I’d like to invite you to read How Do I Get Out of Debt Quickly? Change Your Mindset. It is a very important post that addresses how to have the right mindset to best tackle your situation.

Bankruptcy Articles and Posts You Must Read

To get ready to read the information below with the right frame of mind, please first read How Do I Get Out of Debt Quickly? Change Your Mindset.

Bankruptcy Advice

Life After Bankruptcy

Filing Bankruptcy Yourself

How to Get Out of Debt. The Honest and Unvarnished Truth. by

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • shannon

    DDS…claims that after non-payment of 5-6 months the credit card co. will file an insurance claim on your debt, then sell the debt to collections.. and stating that the collections co. cannot collect on said debt because the card co. received insur. claim. My question is, can’t the insur. co then try to collect the debt?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      That’s just wrong. There is no insurance claim to file. Whoever told you that is an idiot.

    • http://DamonDay.com/ Damon Day

      Sales people will say anything to try and get your money. What a load of crap.

  • Dona Collins

    Fantastic information. I filed for bankruptcy several years ago after going through many of the emotional stages you describe here. After reading this and looking back, I can attest to the fact that you are absolutely right. It’s all a game to the creditors and we, as debtors, were almost set up to fail from the start.

    As of right now, I only have medical debt to pay off. I hope to pay that off within the next 24 months so that I can start retirement planning. Guilt free.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Hooray and congratulations. It looks like you are headed to a much better life.

  • alfred carrales

    I filed for bankruptcy four years ago i paid $524 a week until i lost my job with one year to go.My attorney told me not worry about it cause the mortage company wouldnt come after me for awhile if i couldnt pay. ihad to pay the $524 or nothing.he wanted me to pay 525 amonth to save my cars idecided not to do that and the Bankruptcy was dissmissed.i since got a job and hooked up with The Mortage Lawgroup they wanted monthly payments.after paying four thousand dollars and getting nothing in return i’m thirty one thousand dollars behind. i’ve contacted the mortage for remodfication but thers no gaurnte they will do anything.I dont know what to do.plus my house may go up for sale in january.

  • tim

    I recently changed professions, and it took me about a year to start making a sustainable income, as I am paid on commission. I have about $8,000 in credit card debt. I also have a few mutual funds, the largest totaling about $12,000. I am not sure what the tax penalties etc are for pulling money out of this, but should I, or should I already have pulled money out of this mutual fund to pay off the debt?

    Thanks

  • guest

    Thank you so much for writing this article. I my self got into debt by buying truck I could afford at the time. Impulsive decision I’ve been beating myself up over for a while now. Personal beliefs, after 6 years of seeing whats really going on, I’ve decided to leave the military knowing full well the job sector problems that await me in civilian life. Yet, it did not stop me from buying a new truck during my last six months. I have a wife and a kid, so I’ve spent the last six months stressing about how I am going to make these payments and yet still provide. This article has giving me hope for the future and knowledge that should I fail I can still move on and still provide. Thank you so much

  • Montelvas

    hello..
    is  freedom debt relief company ok?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      In what way?

  • Alfie

    Just FYI, I fell for one “solution” that just made matters worse for me – I went with World Law Debt (aka Golden Financial Solutions). They practice deceptive advertising. Stay Away from Them!  STAY AWAY! Here’s my experience, which I hope you can learn from. First: These people misrepresent what they do. Ultimately, they will take your money! First they have you saving your money in a special account. They tell you nothing will happen till you accumulate enough money.  But you begin to worry, because so much times passes before you will actually get any substantial help from them that your creditors will have PLENTY of time to sue you. Also, you cannot get these people (World Law) on the phone. They are VERY hard to reach in person. PLUS, they PAY themselves first, so the first several thousand dollars you are saving up will go directly to World Law to pay them FIRST before they render any substantial services to you. They DO NOT explain this to you at first. You have to find out. Instead,  when you first start with them, they constantly tell you like a mantra “You can cancel with us at any time and get your money back.” Repeat this times ten. True, but MINUS their huge fees of thousands of dollars first, for services that haven’t even been rendered yet. Another thing: I was originally thinking I was working with Golden Financial Services. That’s who I signed up with. However, GFS turned me over immediately to World Law Debt. World Law Debt has NO rating on the Better Business Bureau. GFS has an A+ rating. Tricky liars!  I chose GFS due to their excellent BBB rating, but was quickly turned over (or basically procured for) World Law Debt. Both companies should be avoided like the plague! Crooks – they will keep your money and let your credit get worse and worse. If you try to cancel they will pay themselves first and give you chump change back from your hard earned, saved up money. They are deceptive and they misrepresent what is going to happen so you get hooked and are thinking you will be helped. They are slick.  AVOID AVOID AVOID! They owe me $2400. I am determined to warn others not to do any business with them. 

  • http://christianpf.com/ ChristianPF

    Hey Steve! I’ve never seen anyone use the Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance classifications when it relates to dealing with debt! I have a degree in counseling and remember these stages when it came to people dealing with the loss of a loved one or some kind of trauma, but I think it was completely appropriate to use these classifications when it relates to dealing with debt! Bravo!

  • http://www.buonavitasienaribeirao.com.br/ Buona Vita Siena

    Wow Steve. I wish I had found this article before!

  • CJ

    Steve, do you believe that debt consolidation could be an option in some cases first before going into bankruptcy?
    As there are some advantages for debt consolidation according to article,  A Description of Debt Consolidation at   http://www.debtinator-gettingoutofdebt.com

    The advantages of debt consolidations are :
    1. Only have one monthly payment instead of numerous monthly payments (If you have some debts previously).
    2. A fixed interest rate instead of a fluctuating interest rate that unstable. This will make you to not worry of the increasing next payment since all is fixed.
    3. Debt consolidation impact only a little of your credit rating.

  • guest

    This article didn’t make any sense to me it just seems to say file bankruptcy file bankruptcy until I get to the diagram then it seems to suggest that bankruptcy is not a good option i don’t understand I need to answers like yesterday.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      What the diagram tries to say is that you need to identify the appropriate solution based on your situation.

      You might want to use the free How to Get Out of Debt Calculator to review your options.

      Alternatively, you can submit a question here about your specific situation.

  • Diana

    I’ve been unemployed since 2007. I have credit card debts and being sued by 4 credit card/collection agencies right now for about 20k. I have a house with my sister. I have no car. I have court next month.

    Can I take my name off the house to protect it from being taken away or is that illegal? Would bankruptcy be ideal for me, but can I save my house?

  • Online GED

    Your Blog is Fabulous. Good article rather. Very interesting.
    I admire the valuable information you offered in your article. Excellent submission very good post.

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    Your site appeared to be pretty beneficial. I have already been looking through your website a lot within the last day or two and it has received an area at my favorites. thanks.
    Business Loan

  • Steve Rhode

    Stick around and comment more. You offer a great amount of insight that would benefit readers.

  • Steve Rhode

    You are very welcome. Thanks for helping to reinforce the truth of what I said.

  • WILLIAM NAGOWSKI

    steve; i am a credit card bill collector and in my 20 years I have NEVER read anything so refreshing, honest, and true as this. Thank you!

  • WILLIAM NAGOWSKI

    steve; i am a credit card bill collector and in my 20 years I have NEVER read anything so refreshing, honest, and true as this. Thank you!

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      You are very welcome. Thanks for helping to reinforce the truth of what I said.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Stick around and comment more. You offer a great amount of insight that would benefit readers.

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  • Steve Rhode

    Go back up to the article, I pasted in the typical debt settlement link for you that will take you to the information page.

  • debtor

    Steve, you say if you have cash on hand to pay about 50% of your debt now, you should look into debt settlement, but I don’t see a link for more info where it says “click here”. I am interested because I currently owe $35,000 on credit cards. Since the law changed last year upping the minimum payments, I have fallen into the trap of making my payment, and then falling short before the next pay check (and thus I have to use credit again and the cycle repeats each month). Outside my retirement savings, I have about $16,000 in a regular savings account. Though throwing that all at my credit cards makes me nervous, it is true that without the credit card payments I could rebuild that level of savings pretty quickly. I can’t imagine my creditors are jsut going to agree to take that, though, when I have been making my minimums every month. Can you provide more info and/or advice?

  • debtor

    Steve, you say if you have cash on hand to pay about 50% of your debt now, you should look into debt settlement, but I don’t see a link for more info where it says “click here”. I am interested because I currently owe $35,000 on credit cards. Since the law changed last year upping the minimum payments, I have fallen into the trap of making my payment, and then falling short before the next pay check (and thus I have to use credit again and the cycle repeats each month). Outside my retirement savings, I have about $16,000 in a regular savings account. Though throwing that all at my credit cards makes me nervous, it is true that without the credit card payments I could rebuild that level of savings pretty quickly. I can’t imagine my creditors are jsut going to agree to take that, though, when I have been making my minimums every month. Can you provide more info and/or advice?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Go back up to the article, I pasted in the typical debt settlement link for you that will take you to the information page.

  • Steve Rhode

    TC,

    Well bless you for leaving this comment and best wishes on your journey. I think this other article will help as well.

    Be good.

    Steve

  • TC

    I was falling into depression, feeling like a failure and our marriage was suffering over our debt situation, until during one of my sleeplessness nights I found this article. My husband was laidoff from his fulltime teaching job a few years ago and then took any job he could get after unemployment started running low. It was at less than 1/2 his previous salary. There were so many out-of-work teachers on the substitute list he was lucky to work twice a month, so he took the low paying job to have regular income. He broke his ankle and required surgery off the job, and the recovery and therapy will be at least two months, the unemployment is $135 week. Now we have medical bills even with insurance. We exhausted our savings eight months ago and we were considering cashing-out our 401ks – we didn’t want to lose our house or vehicles. Then I read your article Steve and called a bankruptcy attorney. The free consultation provided instant emotional relief and gave me direction. We plan to file bankruptcy next month. Thank you for sharing your story and the reality about debt.

  • TC

    I was falling into depression, feeling like a failure and our marriage was suffering over our debt situation, until during one of my sleeplessness nights I found this article. My husband was laidoff from his fulltime teaching job a few years ago and then took any job he could get after unemployment started running low. It was at less than 1/2 his previous salary. There were so many out-of-work teachers on the substitute list he was lucky to work twice a month, so he took the low paying job to have regular income. He broke his ankle and required surgery off the job, and the recovery and therapy will be at least two months, the unemployment is $135 week. Now we have medical bills even with insurance. We exhausted our savings eight months ago and we were considering cashing-out our 401ks – we didn’t want to lose our house or vehicles. Then I read your article Steve and called a bankruptcy attorney. The free consultation provided instant emotional relief and gave me direction. We plan to file bankruptcy next month. Thank you for sharing your story and the reality about debt.

  • Steve Rhode

    Tom,

    I would talk with one of the AACC member companies. Just be aware, the debt relief world is full of a lot of regulations and you will need to pay attention to state regulations regarding licensing and/or bonding as you move forward.

    Steve

  • Tom Tompkins

    Steve, I am a talented salesman who enjoys earning money by leading people toward good outcomes. I have been looking to get into the debt settlement industry as an independent sales consultant but am, so far, unable to find a legitimate and worthwhile company to associate with. Do you know any that do not victimize people as you outline where a persuasive sales closer can feel good about what he does?

  • Tom Tompkins

    Steve, I am a talented salesman who enjoys earning money by leading people toward good outcomes. I have been looking to get into the debt settlement industry as an independent sales consultant but am, so far, unable to find a legitimate and worthwhile company to associate with. Do you know any that do not victimize people as you outline where a persuasive sales closer can feel good about what he does?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Tom,

      I would talk with one of the AACC member companies. Just be aware, the debt relief world is full of a lot of regulations and you will need to pay attention to state regulations regarding licensing and/or bonding as you move forward.

      Steve

  • Steve Rhode

    You are welcome to excerpt it and link back for the rest.

    Steve

  • Ibarifinancialgroup

    Wow, great article Steve. I would like to know if I could share this (you get credit of course) with
    my readers over at http://www.ibarifinancialgroup… I believe this would be very beneficial to them and give them another source for great information on getting out of debt.

    Jay

  • Ibarifinancialgroup

    Wow, great article Steve. I would like to know if I could share this (you get credit of course) with
    my readers over at http://www.ibarifinancialgroup.com I believe this would be very beneficial to them and give them another source for great information on getting out of debt.

    Jay

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      You are welcome to excerpt it and link back for the rest.

      Steve

  • AlexV

    Great Article Steve! I could not agree with you more. The creditors and the AD agencies have really worked their magic on consumers for decades, so much so that the consumers have voluntarily become the new modern day slaves.
    Today most people worry more about their debt than their health or even their families. The emotions tied to debt cannot be discounted for a second, although most people should look at debt as an outside influence the truth is that most people are very much emotionally tied t the guilt.
    The banks have succeeded in making it more difficult for people to file for a bankruptcy when things go array but it certainly is not impossible. Consumers should definitely speak with a caring professional to identify the best course of action, but let’s not forget that the creditors are still extremely influential in consumer’s minds therefore many will not make decisions based on logic but rather emotions.
    Alex Viecco

  • AlexV

    Great Article Steve! I could not agree with you more. The creditors and the AD agencies have really worked their magic on consumers for decades, so much so that the consumers have voluntarily become the new modern day slaves.
    Today most people worry more about their debt than their health or even their families. The emotions tied to debt cannot be discounted for a second, although most people should look at debt as an outside influence the truth is that most people are very much emotionally tied t the guilt.
    The banks have succeeded in making it more difficult for people to file for a bankruptcy when things go array but it certainly is not impossible. Consumers should definitely speak with a caring professional to identify the best course of action, but let’s not forget that the creditors are still extremely influential in consumer’s minds therefore many will not make decisions based on logic but rather emotions.
    Alex Viecco

  • theomglady

    This is an excellent article. So true that debt is just that, debt. I think we all at one time or another enlist in the debt corps. It was so amazing to me how it just seemed to sneak up on me. I hated being in debt.

  • http://www.omgihatedebt.com theomglady

    This is an excellent article. So true that debt is just that, debt. I think we all at one time or another enlist in the debt corps. It was so amazing to me how it just seemed to sneak up on me. I hated being in debt.

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