Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Life After Debt Settlement - Budget, Credit, and Debt Help

After successfully completing a debt settlement program, most consumers are looking forward to a brighter future of being debt-free. In order to do so, I have listed some healthy tips to manage a brighter financial future.

Steps to managing debt and staying debt free:

Control your spending and develop strategies to manage your debt.

1. Cut spending- Cook at home, use other means for transportation to save on gas, adjust the thermostat around the house to lower your electric bill, buy used goods on Ebay for instance.

2. Pay with cash

3. Track your expenses.

Paying your bills on time. When you pay your bills on time, you establish yourself as a responsible, creditworthy individual. Destroy all of our credit cards except one, (preferably the one with the lowest possible long-term interest rate). Leave the card at home and use it only for emergencies. It's important not use up the entire credit limit, which also may affect your credit negatively.

Get a copy of your credit report from one of three major credit bureaus:,; Review your report carefully for accounts or addresses that don't belong to you, creditors who have made mistakes and companies who have looked at your report without your permission. Immediately, notify any mistakes to the credit bureau. That means requesting and reviewing a report from the other two bureaus to make sure the mistakes are corrected. Maintaining a good credit history is essential to securing future credit, loans and mortgages. Even if you think your credit history is problem-free, it's time you know for sure. Errors occur more often than you may think. Examining your credit report regularly allows you to verify the accuracy of the information being reported by your creditors. Services like DirectAlert® make it easy to stay on top managing your debt and your credit report information.

Set financial goals

To manage debt you need to know how much you have and develop strategy to control it. If your expenses exceed your income, take a step back. Your debt should be no more than 25% of your gross annual income.

Create a spreadsheet with your net salary and any assets, investments, money in your savings and checking accounts, and anything else that is of value. Start by working out how much income you have each month after tax and other deductions. All expected expenditures for the month should be listed another spreadsheet, including rent, food, entertainment, trips, and loan payments.

If there's nothing left or if you're spending more than you bring in, it's time to examine your expenditures and cut out some luxuries.

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