how to: get out of debt

If you’re ready to get out of debt and boost your fiscal fitness, you’ve come to the right place. Staring at that huge stack of bills, fielding the unpleasant phone calls -- even just knowing you’re in the red can really drag you down. Luckily, we’re here to help you get back up! We have tons of advice for getting out of debt, including credit card debt help and an easy-to-use debt calculator to help you pay off debt. You’ll also find debt advice on how to renegotiate your credit card debt and ways to improve your credit (even before you’re out of debt!). Not sure where to begin? Why not give our 7 simple steps to getting out of debt at try -- they will definitely help you find your financial footing. Tackling your debt as a twosome? We’ve got plenty of debt advice geared toward couples. Learn about financial basics for newlyweds, including how to choose the right bank and when to merge your accounts. Peek into real couples’ budgets and see how they fixed their finances. And if you’re wondering where to find all that extra money to pay off debt -- don’t worry, we’ve got that covered too. We have debt help and cash-saving secrets from financial pros, and the money tips that spending savvy couples must know -- plus saving secrets from fellow Nesties. Finally, check out our tips to help you stay out of debt for good -- set up a household budget, plan your paychecks, and get credit smart.

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7 Simple Steps to Get out of Credit Card Debt

Learn the 7 simple steps of credit card rehab.

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Step 5: Lather, Rinse, Repeat
Pay the minimum amount due (on time, every time!) on all accounts except the one with the highest rate. Send every extra dollar, every quarter you find on the street, every dime you earn over time, and that crumpled $20 to the high-interest rate winner -- well beyond the minimum your lender hopes you'll pay from now until eternity. Lather, rinse, and repeat until you've washed each debt right out of your hair.

Step 6: Be Prudent
Be aggressive in paying down debt, but don't get so ambitious that you risk missing minimum payments on your mortgage, automobile, or any other secured credit account. (Secured means that if you miss enough payments, the bank can show up and take your stuff.) Give yourself props each day you keep your cards in your wallet.

Step 7: Resolve to Spend Less Than You Make
If you can't pay for it today, then you can't afford it. In a household built for two, that goes doubly. Spend less money than you make on a consistent, long-term basis and you can amass a nice chunk of change in just a few months. Look at you! Not only are you out of debt, you're saving for the future!

Nestpert Dayana Yochim of The Motley Fool, an investing and personal finance website, and author of The Motley Fool’s Guide to Couples & Cash: How to Handle Money With Your Honey

Avoid debt altogether by working it out with your spouse.

-- Joanna Pompilio

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