DebtStoppers of Atlanta's Do's and Don'ts
Necessary precautions to take and scams to avoid
At DebtStoppers, our clients are generally in deep financial distress. Usually, their problems came out of the blue: a divorce, job loss, or extended illness. All of a sudden, they had mounting bills and dwindling income. However, in many cases, our clients could have done something to limit the damage, or at least avoided doing something that left them worse off. Atlanta DebtStoppers offers some financial pointers so you can have the information you need to avoid their mistakes.
Atlanta DebtStoppers do's
- Draw up a budget and stick to it — To put it in the simplest terms, people stay out of debt when they spend less than they earn. But limiting your spending requires a clear picture of your expenses, and the discipline to do without what you cannot afford. It also requires a bit of foresight, anticipating that emergencies pop up from time to time. Sock a little money away in a rainy day fund, so you don't have to fall back on credit.
- Use cash, checks or your debit card for purchases — You must be willing to sacrifice a little convenience for security. Credit cards make it too easy to say yes to a purchase.
- Pay off your credit card balance every month — If you must use a credit card, don't let the balance roll over. Credit card interest inflates debt. If you asked yourself at the time of purchase, "Would I buy this item if it cost twice as much?" the answer would surely be "No!" But that is likely to happen when you carry balances over.
- Come up with a plan to tackle your debt — Interest payments are like another layer of income tax, because as long as your debt hangs around, there's a certain portion of your paycheck you'll never see. You've got to attack your debt. Either go after the bill with the highest interest or go after the one with the lowest balance. But do something to produce tangible results you can be proud of, so you'll feel like you're taking control and will stick to your plan.
- Be realistic — Finally, there's no point in playing past the buzzer. At some point, it's clear the game is lost, and you have to make plans to play again on another day. If you've reached the point where you can never hope to repay all you owe, you need to seek professional advice about Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
DebtStoppers Don'ts: "solutions" that solve nothing
When you're overwhelmed with debt, you can feel discouraged, ashamed and more than a little desperate. And that's a very vulnerable state to be in. Soon, you're willing to entertain any flimsy promise of debt relief. That leaves you open to numerous scams that only bring you more hardship, such as:
- Foreclosure ''rescue'' specialists
- Payday loans
- Tax refund anticipation loans
- Credit repair
- Debt consolidation loans
Contact Atlanta DebtStoppers for positive plans to solve your financial problems
Contact Atlanta DebtStoppers today for a free consultation and debt evaluation with an experienced Georgia bankruptcy attorney. Call us at 404.750.4706 or contact our Atlanta office online.