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Managing your debt

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Updated: 6/17/2003 5:47 pm
If you find you're getting deeper and deeper in debt, there are several steps that professional debt counselors recommend to help stop the drain and turn it around. While some counselors may recommend you tear up all your credit cards, it's difficult to get a loan, rent a car, or reserve a hotel room without an established credit history or credit card. It IS a good idea to close credit accounts and destroy those credit cards that have high interest rates, annual fees, low credit limits, no grace periods, and require collateral. Another step in taming your debt picture is to make a record of your daily expenses and eliminate unnecessary spending. Keeping track of where your money is going and examining how you're spending it can be quite an eye-opener. Make a list of how much money you owe, to which creditors, and what the interest rate is. See if you can pay off high-rate items. Put yourself on a budget or spending plan that takes into consideration your income and estimated monthly expenses. At the end of the month, see how close you came to staying within your budget. Budgeting may be the best way to keep track of where your money's going, as well as finding out where you may need to do to cut back unnecessary spending.

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