Admitting you need debt help can sometimes be akin to jumping into shark infested waters with an open wound.
But what do you do? How do you tell the "sheep" from the "sharks in sheep's clothing"? Errrr, something like that anyway. After all, you need help getting out of debt. Hey, you wouldn't be here if you didn't. But how do you know where to turn, who to trust, or where to start?
The solutions you will be exposed to can sometimes seem endless...
And quite frankly, the options can be overwhelming. I know.
To make matters even more confusing, the people and/or companies that are trying to sell you on these solutions will have convincing arguments as to why their service is the one you should choose. And you know what? In some cases their service might be your best choice. But even more often you would be better off with another solution. And to make things even more difficult, there is no shortage of downright scam artists out there looking to steal even more of your money.
So what's your next step?
Well, right now you need information. Period. And not just "fluffy" feel good information. (You know the kind. It's what you get when someone is trying to sell you something.)
The kind that, let's face it, not many people want to let you in on, and you might not want to hear anyway. The kind that will help make it crystal clear to you exactly what you need to do and what path you need to take. In many ways, the process of choosing the "right" plan/path to suit you and your financial situation is the most important step you will take.
Right now is perhaps the most important moment in your journey to put you money problems behind you. (And it is a journey. There are no quick fixes.) The road you choose now can either lead you to financial freedom, or to financial ruin. You must choose wisely.
does not exist. The fact is, there are many paths, many options. The type of financial obligations that you have (student loans, credit card balances, taxes due), your income situation (low income, high income, retired) and any financial hardships you are facing (divorce, serious illness, job loss) are just three of the factors that can weigh heavily in the process of deciding on a solution.
But take heart, your situation does have a solution. There is a path to debt freedom just for you. It may not be the one you envisioned, and it may not be the same as someone else's, but it does exist. You just need to know how to discover it!
So start by taking a step back... then take these five steps forward. Before you know it you will be on your way to not only living debt free, but perhaps on your way to financial freedom.
1. Get The Proper Mindset - Debt reduction is a process, not an event. How long it takes you to achieve complete debt elimination depends on many factors, but it will not happen overnight, and there are no "quick fixes". Much like there is no such thing as "Get Rich Quick", there is no such thing as "Get Debt Free Quick". Anyone who tells you differently does not have your best interests at heart. Eliminating your money problems requires a plan, and perseverance to see that plan through to its completion.
2. Knowledge and Education - Like I said earlier, what you need is the cold hard truth, not empty or misleading promises. There is no shortage of people offering debt help to you. But how do their programs really work. Will they work for you? What are your chances for success? You must know this before you sign on for any program.
3. Options - Not sure what your options are? Or are you considering an option because "it sounds good" but you really don't know what you are getting into. Again, education is the key. I'll show you how to assess your own financial situation, weigh the options that make sense for you, and show you where to go for help.
4. Perseverance - Between today, "Day 1" if you will, and your "debt freedom day", there will be a lot of ups and downs. Count on it. No matter what option you choose, you will have challenges. But these obstacles will be much easier to overcome if you have a solid plan, and it is a plan that you truly believe in.
5. Beyond - What's "beyond"? Well... let's
There, I said it.
Paying down debt is an uninspiring goal for most. It's like running for 5 years (or more) just to find you are finally at the starting line of the race. What you need is a more inspiring plan. You need to set your financial goals beyond just the starting line. And to accomplish this, you need to look beyond the run of the mill options to solve your money problems.