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Debt Management for the Individual

One of the best ways to pay off your debts quickly is through debt management. By management of your debt, you will be able to budget for your everyday living expenses.

To begin, ask yourself why, ask yourself how. Why am I in debt, how did I get in debt. Some of the most common reasons are: failure to set goals, lack of information, too many fixed expenses, failure to plan for emergencies, overestimate income, failure to say no to kids, failure to keep records. A rule of thumb to follow is your total debt minus your mortgage/rent should equal 10% for singles; 15% for those married and no children; and 20% plus three months of living expenses in saving for those married with children.

So how do you get out of debt? There are several strategies to use in getting control of you finances. Some include forming a budget, getting credit spending under control, changing habits you have towards money.

Listed below are further sites to help you with debt management. If you don't have access to a computer, many local libraries do and their staff is willing to assist you with finding these sites. Good Luck!

www.bankrate.com

This is the definitive debt management site. There are news stories about everything from how to manage your credit card debt to refinancing your mortgage. A how-to section lets users calculate credit and loan payments and master the basics of home equity, loan and credit reports.

www.ftc.gov/ftc/consumer.htm

This site from the Federal Trade Commission is easy to navigate and has up-to-date information on credit legislation as well as documentation about credit-related issues.

www.dca.org

Debt Counselors of America, a nonprofit organization, offers a user-friendly site to help you dig your way out of a financial hole. DCA publications cover credit repair, child support, identity theft and repossessions, among other topics. You can visit a private chat room to talk with a DCA representative about how to better manage debt. If you need more help, DCA runs its own programs to help people find their way out of debt.

www.debthelp.com

You can learn what you can do to start rescuing your credit and other helpful advise about your debt.

www.debtsmart.com

This site features financial new and tips on how to budget to pay off significant debt and advice for people who need basic credit help.

www.financenter.com/consumertools/

The dozens of calculators at this site cover seven categories: homes, autos, credit cards, investing, planning, banking and insurance. Each category enables you to weigh products and services and then calculate the benefits of different financial strategies. You can compare mortgage rates, figure out how to pay-off credit cards and devise a college-savings program. Great tool for taking control of your personal finances.

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