- Clear out the junk. It is much easier to be organized when there is less clutter. Put all receipts together and print out bank and credit card statements. Make a list of all debts including the account number, interest rate, outstanding balance, payment due date, credit limit and the minimum payment. This keeps things organized and prevents bills from being late.
- Review credit reports.Visit AnnualCreditReport.com or call 1-877-322-8228 to request a free credit report from the three primary credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Each bureau is obligated to provide a free credit report every 12 months. Verify that all information is accurate and if mistakes are found, contact the credit-reporting agency immediately. Rather than dispute the mistake via an online form, send a letter that includes complete name and address, a description of each item being disputed, an explanation of why it is getting disputed along with a request for deletion or correction of the information.
- Wipe out debt. Pay off high interest rate debts first. Once the high-interest debt is paid down, tackle the next highest, and so on. Continue paying the minimum due on all other debts.
- Don't hesitate to ask for help. There are reputable debt-counseling agencies that consolidate debt and teach individuals to manage their finances better. Consolidated Credit conducts free budgeting analyses and dispenses free advice on a daily basis. If someone needs help they can speak with a counselor with no obligation by calling 1-800-210-3481 or visiting ConsolidatedCredit.org.
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