By Kris Bickell
Sometimes the best lessons in life are the ones you learn the hard way. And I’m an expert at that. So here are some of the lessons I learned about getting out of debt. If you’ve got too much credit card debt, you may already know some of them. Then think of these as a friendly reminder.
Either way, if all you do is read them, don’t expect much to change. You need to come up with your own action plan, to make sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes – and end up dealing with debt for a long time!
1) The credit card companies don’t care if you’re struggling:
It’s a hard lesson to learn. You would think that the banks would be smart and stop giving you credit when your debt reaches a certain amount. But in most cases, they don’t. In fact, once you start using credit cards, it gets easier and easier to get them. Until one day you wake up and you realize you’re in WAY over your head. Then you can’t get credit any more (which makes sense). But if you call the creditors and ask for help, they tell you “sorry, there’s nothing we can do.” I realize it’s not their job to teach you about making good financial decisions. Or to bail you out after you are the one who kept spending money you didn’t really have. But you might think they would be eager to help out a customer, by lowering your interest rate or your minimum payment. But they’re not. So if get into debt and can’t get out, you have to look elsewhere for help.
2) Don’t always listen to the experts:
Most of the financial experts you see on TV and read about online never went through debt problems like the average consumer. So they tell you things like all debt reduction programs are scams, and that credit repair is impossible and you must wait 7-10 years for your credit problems to clear up on their own. But neither is entirely true. I used debt settlement to help me get out of debt, and it worked well. No, it’s not right for everyone. And there are companies who can rip you off if you’re not careful. But it does work. And there are honest companies out there to help you. Same with credit repair. I fixed my credit problems in less than 2 years, and I did nothing illegal, unethical, or immoral. I just learned how to ask, in the correct way. So while the experts can provide you with some good advice, don’t believe everything you read or hear – do your own research and make your own decisions.
3) You can do it yourself (but not everyone should):
Do you change the oil in your car, or bring it to a mechanic or oil change shop? Do you repair problems in your home, or hire a contractor? Do you do your own taxes, or bring it to a CPA or tax prep company? All of these you can do on your own, if you want and know how. And all you can easily bring to a professional to do for you. Same with debt reduction. You can create your own budget, change your spending habits, and create a plan for paying off your bills. Or you can get help from a professional. If you have the time to learn and like taking charge, do it yourself. But if you don’t have the discipline, or need advice, get help. It’s that simple. Personally, I tried doing it on my own, and it didn’t work for me. So I got help, and I’m glad I did, because it worked.
4) Nothing will change until YOU make a commitment:
Probably the most important lesson of all. Because without a goal, without a plan, without a vision, you’ll get nowhere. You need to decide that you will make some changes in your life. And make a commitment. For me, I struggled for years. Until one day I had enough. And I said to myself “I’m going to do WHATEVER it takes to get out of debt, and I won’t stop until I do!” And everything changed. I found the inspiration to take action. I did lots of research. I made many sacrifices. And eventually, became debt free. And the most important thing I did was make a commitment to myself. So if you’re ready, do the same for yourself!
5) You need to figure out what the REAL problem is:
It might be that you spend too much. Or make too little. Or both. Or you have no discipline, and keep buying things you really can’t afford. Or even worse, you have no idea why you’re in debt. You need to be honest with yourself. Take out your checkbook, your pay stubs, your credit card statements. And write down a list of all your income in one column, and all your expenses in another. Add them all up, and see which column has the larger total. And you’ll have your answer! Then you need to find ways to reduce your expenses, and if possible increase your income. That’s it, the “magic” formula for getting out of debt!
Hopefully you’re now a little better informed, and ready to take action. The truth hurts sometimes. But in the end, it will provide you with the tools you need to make your life better, and to become free from debt!
Tired of struggling with credit card debt? Visit www.debt-tips.com, which was created by Kris Bickell as way to share the lessons he learned about debt settlement, credit repair, and other debt reduction tips. You can also learn more buy signing up for the free email course “5 Steps To Completely Eliminating All Of Your Credit Card Debt!”.