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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How to Cancel a Credit Card

Get rid of your plastic -- without hurting your credit report.

Photo: Veer

Finally paid off your card and ready to say goodbye for good? Here’s what you need to know to cancel a credit card without damaging your credit report.

* Call your credit card company and tell the customer service representative that you’d like to cancel your card. They’ll probably try to talk you out of it, and may even offer lower rates or fees to try and convince you. But if you really want to cancel the card, be firm. Be sure to ask for the name of a person and an address that you can send a credit card cancelation request to.

* Write a short letter to that person or the credit card company in general if you can’t get a specific person’s name. Include your name, address and account number, and state that you’re canceling your account, and you’d like your credit record to reflect that request. Send by certified mail so that you can make sure the card company got your letter.

* Wait 30 days, and then obtain a copy of your credit report to ensure it says “closed at customer’s request.” Also, look to see that the account is actually gone from your credit report.

* If the report says “closed by creditor” that will reflect negatively on your score, so you’ll need to call the card company to tell them about the mistake and ask that it be corrected.

-- The Nest Editors

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