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How To Become Debt Free!
Step 1 - Stop Creating New Debt!!
That’s it. Don’t create any new debt. This should be very simple. Cut up your credit cards. Or at the very least quit carrying them around with you. If you must, during the start of this process, keep one in a box in the back of the closet, or put it in a small container and freeze it. If you really, really have to use one it will be there. There will come a time when you just won’t need to use one ever.
When you stop creating new debt almost anything you do to pay off your debt will work. If you keep creating new debt almost nothing other than a sudden windfall of riches will work. So don’t even bother with step two unless you're serious about step one.
If you’re not sure you can quit using credit cards then we’ll try our best to scare the debt out of you with the true cost of debt. This includes:
The Financial Cost of Debt
Have you ever wondered what the real price of "no money down" or "low monthly payments" really is?
Recently some credit card companies have started charging up to 29.9% interest on unpaid balances.
Imagine that you are 23 years old and want to treat yourself to a nice vacation for, say, graduating college. You go away and have a nice time, with travel, hotel, food and shopping and you spend a total of $3,000. You put it on your 29.9% credit card because you could afford the monthly payment and you had room on your card to do it. So now the question is, when will your debt be paid off and how much will it really cost?
You'll be 65 years old and have paid over $13,000 in interest alone before your vacation debt had been paid off. Yes, that is basically your entire adult working life. Make one financial mistake and wind up being a slave to your debt for 42 years.
If you were lucky enough to have "good credit" and get an 18.9% interest card you'll have the debt paid off in 16 years and 7 months. Your credit card debt will be old enough to drive before you get it paid off.
Have you ever seen an ad like this? I have. Lower your payments with our loan*. Borrow $50,000 and your payments will only be $300.Save $200 compared with regular loans. Great idea? When you read the fine print by the asterisk you find that after making 10 years of payments on your $50,000 loan you owe $50,000. Why? Because the payments were lower because you were paying interest only. You paid $24,000 in interest and still owed all the original $50,000 you borrowed. Good idea? If you like beating your head against the wall you'll love this loan.
This is the reality of modern debt. You get sucked into making payments and then they've got you and they've got you good. Talk about addictive behavior - this is it. You’ve got to admit there is a problem before you're willing to look at a solution. So hold on we're going to get real about your debts.
The Emotional Cost of Debt
Anxiety - Anger - Depression - Shame
As bad as the financial cost of debt is, it is not the biggest price to pay for a life of saying "charge it". The emotional baggage that debt bestows is much worse. Do you fear the day your credit card bills arrive? What would it feel like to discuss your credit card balance with an acquaintance? You'd probably lie or change the subject wouldn't you? Do you walk around like a zombie knowing that it will take you years to pay off your debt or worse, that you have no plan or no idea how you will ever get it taken care of? Have you stopped having fun or do you secretly agonize with regret after you do? Do you lie awake at night worrying what to do about your debt? Is it 2am right now?
Okay, you're getting the idea. Being in debt is miserable. It robs you of the joy of life and it cripples your sense of enjoyment and wonder. Point your finger at your credit cards, you choose the finger, and tell them "I'm never going to let you ruin my life again". Get out the scissors and cut them up. Cut them to pieces! Be careful, don't cut yourself, but you can put an end to your debt creation right now - so do it! You'll feel much better when they're gone.
The Social Cost of Debt
Isolation - Divorce - Shame
The cost that our society pays because of the accumulative toll of personal debt is so immense that's it's hard to calculate. It may be easier to understand when we look at what happens within the social structure of a family that's in debt. First there's the shame of not being able to pay one's debts. This can manifest by being a family secret. It's likely that the parents will try to hide their debts from the children, and they may break out in fits of anger when the child asks for something that costs money. Yelling at a child because you can't afford to buy them something does not solve the problem and it does not explain the situation. It creates additional problems far beyond not being able to pay the credit card bill.
It's unfortunately a very common experience that one person will run up debt and hide it from their spouse. What does this do for the intimacy and trust in a relationship? It destroys trust, eliminates communication, ends intimacy and snuffs out the life in a relationship.
The family unit as a whole may very well manifest the secret shame of debt. They may be isolated from their neighbors. Parents may not form social bonds that would serve them well in their careers; this may reduce the potential to increase their income, and actually prolong their burden of debt. Children may not want to bring friends home or may avoid making friends so that the obvious lack of money doesn't become a question that the have to answer.
If you recognize these symptoms then it's time to stop creating debt today. It's simply not worth it.
The Ultimate Cost of Debt
Sickness - Death - Murder - Suicide
Okay, this is not going to be easy, but it's true. I know of a lady who kept her debts a secret from her family. Her stress got the best of her and when she was in the hospital she confided to her daughter that she was deeply in debt and the husband didn't know about it. She paid the ultimate price. She left her daughter the task of coming to terms with her mother's death, telling her father about the debt and trying to find a way to pay the bills.
I'm sure you've read stories of people who were overwhelmed with debt and solved their problem by taking the lives of their spouse and children before ending their own life. No, this isn't pretty but it is real and it's real serious. It's not worth it and when I say "I hate debt" I'm not kidding around. Except in a rare emergency or special occasion you never need to buy something you can't afford; the price you wind up paying is just too much.
The Path To Freedom
Are you ready to kick up your heals and start dancing? Then let’s start the “Getting Rid of Debt Two-Step”. It’s easy! It’s fun! When the dance is over you’ll be debt-free and ready to move on to the “Wealth Building Rumba”. Seriously, this is going to be fun. We’ll turn that mountain of debt into a mole hill and then we’ll stomp all over it, flatten it out and you’ll have a great foundation on which to build a palace of wealth. So, here you go but before you do, say it loud, say it proud, “No new debt! No new debt! No new debt!”
On to Step Two.
"Thank you for your help and resources. I had no idea how to handle my creditors until I found your website. Yes, there is light at the end of the tunnel!
(2nd Grade School Teacher, Washington)
"I appreciate your helpful information. We were able to work out a deal that is a win win situation for me and my debt collector's. Thank you so much. Sincerely,