4. Find new ways to save or even make money

Become a savvy shopper. Cut coupons if need be and watch for deals online or in publications. Cut down on extravagances. Eat dinner in more, go to a matinee instead of an evening film and look for discount tickets to entertainment events. Websites like Funcheap.com and Wisebread.com can be very useful when you’re trying to find something to do that doesn’t cost much money. If you have any assets that you don’t need (electronics, jewelry, cars) sell them on eBay or through another venue. Take that money and pay it to your lenders and credit card companies.

The basics of getting out of debt aren’t complicated, but they do certainly take some self –restraint. Don’t get discouraged if it takes a while to get out of debt. You’re not alone. Americans are in nearly $2.4 trillion of debt, which averages out to $7,800 for every U.S. citizen. If you’re already on the path to paying back your debt, you’re doing better than most people.

3. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate

We’ve mentioned this before when it comes to payday lenders, but the same goes for any debt. Get in touch with your lender, and figure out a plan that works for both of you. Whatever you do, don’t stick your head in the sand and pretend the problem doesn’t exist by not answering the phone or your mail. If you do, you may find yourself in a much more uncomfortable situation face-to-face with a large and intimidating debt collector! No one wants that. The loan and credit card companies you owe money to certainly don’t. They want their money back, so they’re usually willing to work with you to find something realistic for your budget.

2. Start paying up

Once you’ve created a realistic budget, you should factor in the maximum amount of money you can use to pay back on your loans and credit cards. You may need to prioritize those with the highest interest rates. If you have any windfalls, like a large tax return or an annual bonus, use some of it to pay back your debt! Don’t be tempted to spend it all on a new cell phone or designer handbag. It’s more important to get out of debt first.

1. Get organized!

This step always seems to come first with these matters, but that’s because it’s essential to the process. Know exactly how much you owe on what. Figure out which credit cards and loans are charging you the most interest, and create a realistic budget for your monthly expenses. This can be as simple as an excel spreadsheet where you enter in your monthly purchases and bill payments or as complex as buying specialized software like Quicken to help you manage your budget.

Advice for payday loan borrowers – tips for getting out of debt

While we know most of you are responsible borrowers who pay back your payday loans on time, we realize that some of you may have other forms of debt that are weighing you down and keeping you from achieving financial success. This could be credit card debt, student loan debt or other personal loan debt. There is a way out, but as usual with financial concerns, it takes time and discipline. Here are a few bits of advice to get you started.

Know your credit score

Whether or not you get accepted for a payday loan could be determined because of your credit score. To find out your credit scores, contact all three credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. While the scores likely won’t be the same number, they should be close.

Note: There could be a fee for getting your credit scores.

Contact Information:

My FICO (Fair Isaacs): http://www.myfico.com
Equifax www.equifax.com 800-685-1111
Experian www.experian.com 888-397-3742
TransUnion www.Transunion.com 800-888-4213
Centralized service to obtain credit reports from all three credit bureaus:

Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

Who’s got a credit score

To get a FICO credit score, you must have a credit account that reports to at least one of the three credit bureaus, and you must keep that account open for at least 6 months.

Note: As of September 2017, Fair Isaacs Corporation changed their credit scoring software at each of the three credit bureaus. Authorized credit card account holders no longer have a credit score. An authorized user is someone, usually a family member, who is allowed to use the account but who is not held financially responsible for payment. Permitting an authorized account has been a way for young people to establish credit. This change in credit scoring is to protect lenders from abuse in the marketplace of authorized user credit card accounts by so-called credit repair services that sell good credit card histories to those with poor histories, a strategy called “piggybacking.”

Did you know? Your FICO score may be different at each of the three credit bureaus, because credit card companies may report to each one at a different time of the month and not all credit card companies report to all three bureaus.