It can start out small. You’re a little short, so you put a week’s worth of gas and groceries on your Mastercard. It’s not much, and you even get points or cash back. Then you find that because you’re coming up short more often, you need to put more on your card so that you can pay your bills and rent. Then slowly, you end up making a higher and higher minimum payment, your interest rate goes up, and suddenly all the gas and groceries, the power and trash bill, even your kid’s daycare costs are being put on a card. Suddenly your card is two cards, then three or four, with juggled balances and another card just to transfer balances so you can have some breathing room…
And then you’re deep in debt and looking for a way out that doesn’t involve more debt.
Here’s a list of tips to help you out of the hole, but there’s no silver bullet that can get rid of a problem years in the making. Just figure out a course of action and proceed with it. It will take time and effort, but you can stop living off credit cards.
When you decide to stop living off credit cards, you have to change the habits that got you into credit card debt in the first place. It’s a big change, and it starts with these ten basic tips to stop living off credit cards.
It won’t happen fast, but soon you’ll see results in both your financial health and your pocket money. Paying down debt spares your credit rating from the hard hit of bankruptcy, but there are no automatic stays, and delinquent accounts stay on your account along with late payments and charge-offs.
There is a time to ask for help, and when your debts are overwhelming your ability to meet necessary expenses, and you’re having a difficult time keeping up with minimum payments that bankruptcy should be on the table. Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy are open to individuals, though Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires that you pass a means test. If you cannot pass the means test, your filing will be converted to a Chapter 13 – meaning that you will have to pay off your creditors in accordance with the terms of the court. After your bankruptcy is discharged, no matter which filing you make, your debt is settled and cannot return.
At Van Horn Law Group, we specialize in debt, not just bankruptcy. Since 2009, we’ve been working with South Floridians to get them out from under their debts whether it’s through renegotiation, consolidation, or bankruptcy. We offer free initial consultation either by telephone, videoconferencing or in-person. Get in touch with us by calling (954) 765-3166 to schedule a consultation today and stop living off credit cards!
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