Interest rates have no where to go but up so if you are carrying a lot of debt, now is the time to start reducing it. Personal Finance Expert Jean Chatzky explains in this short video, that you should start doing this in an organized fashion.

Chatzky explains the first step you should take, is to examine your debt. Figure out whether the debt you have is "bad" debt or "good" debt and then start attacking the "bad" debt first. She goes on to talk about other things you should do -- among them, refinancing loans, transferring your credit card balances to lower interest rate cards and using home equity lines of credit. Great advice, along with some recommendations on Web resources that will help you.

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af62250

Gee-whizz, I've had the same credit card and the only one credit card since 1974.Used it mainly when I really had to like in emergency. Have done somthing wrong all these years?

April 02 2011 at 3:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
americlense

OK, we gave away the farm, print more money everyday to cover old debt, nothing
new here as inflation is on the rise. Here's something that is new and the sad
facts are we cannot stop it. The going price per barrel for oil is hovering around
$105.00 U.S. dollars today making regular gas price out at about $3.58 per gallon
around the country here in the U.S.A.. Now, it's reported that by this summer oil
will with NO MAY BE'S about it will rise to over $200.00 U.S. dollars per barrel
making the adjusted price per gallon of gas at the pump $8.59 and more per gallon
for a gallon of regular gas. OK, you say no way can this happen again after the
2008 raw deal we took when gas soared to $3.80 a gallon. Just going to work will
take 90% of your pay and then, how will you all pay your regular living expenses
as that will be a good question on every one's minds. My information comes from
people still living from the great depression in the 1930's and know first hand they had a great life one day and the next day the great crash came and with it the whole country was totally broke, their homes were taken away with families once well to do, tossed out on the street broke and without a dime.
Look at the for sale signs in your neighborhood where just a year ago kids stood
waiting for the school bus to pick them up for school. Notice the change and
do you really believe you and your family arent next to leave the neighborhood.
Here are a few idea's to prevent the rapid change that's heading our way.
Cut up those credit cards today and cancel them by calling the bank today.
Keep the car you have as it will save thousands in tax and the big payment every
month. Stop taking unnecessary trips with your car, stock up and buy in bulk at
the food store and make less trips wasting gas. This alone has saved us 58 percent
of our income. Maybe you can do better and maybe little by little we can all
save what we now have in our possession.

Norm S
Americlense Tech

March 10 2011 at 2:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mclkarim

What a mess we are in. Our government keeps giving away the store to foreign countries and foreigners who come into our country. They get benefits we American taxpayers can't even get, yet we are the ones who pay for it. It is no wonder we are broke.

People are living off of their credit to pay for things like groceries, rent, gasoline, car repairs, insurance, etc. We have no say in that the costs of gasoline, utilities, groceries, insurance, etc. keep going up while our income keeps going down.

When is the US government going to do something to help us with things like this? I don't see that the IRS has done much of anything.

God help us all.

March 10 2011 at 12:58 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
frankerin

This is the wrong forum. Spare us from teaching us to clear our debts. We know that. Go after the Obama crowd, and displace every democrat as soon a possible. The debt storm is already on us, the tsunami of debt will hit us very soon. Cut the budget, reduce the entitlements. Now before it is too late. This woman has a book on finance which she is flogging to increase her income. Her concern sounds great, but not aimed at the right targets.

March 10 2011 at 12:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to frankerin's comment
mclkarim

Please do not blame Obama for this. He took over a very big mess.

March 10 2011 at 1:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
james

Talk and advise like this are not the problem. The reason so many Americans are in serious debt is the cost of everything is totally out of reach. From homes to utilities, food, transportation, insurance everything is beyond what the average working person can afford so what do they do to fill the gap? Yep, use the credit card. To fuel this fire the economy bowing up in everyones faces has made the situation even worse.

March 10 2011 at 11:52 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to james's comment
mclkarim

Absolutely!

March 10 2011 at 1:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
djtayfam

question.. can anybody help??? we do NOT have any credit cards.. gave them up 40 years ago.. house is paid for.. owe yearly taxes.. BUT. w/o medical insurance (self employed) we keep paying off bills.. and are on medicaid/medicare and ssi only now.. except when husband works.. part time.. now and again.. so how can we get our credit rating off of zero..??

March 10 2011 at 11:42 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to djtayfam's comment
nad22551

you have no credit rating BECAUSE you have no mortgage or credit cards-get a card, just charge a little periodically, and pay it off in full when you do-that will get you on the radar

March 10 2011 at 11:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mclkarim

You know, I have heard that having no credit rating is better than having a bad one. But, I would try to get something like a Discover Card which you can charge your groceries on and receive a 5% cash back reward.

March 10 2011 at 1:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mr. Brian D.

CLOSER ALL THE BANKS NOW !!!!!!

March 10 2011 at 11:24 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mr. Brian D.'s comment
mclkarim

So, what do we do? Put our money under our mattress like my grandfather did?

March 10 2011 at 1:14 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
litebrightfuture

The BEST savings plan one can have is being debt free, especially credit card debt. I write about that in my book "Master The Card: Say Goodbye to Credit Card Debt...Forever!"

The book is available through Amazon, Balboa Press, and my website www.joeparetta.com

Joe

March 10 2011 at 10:56 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
fixdrill

GET RID OF YOUR CREDIT CARDS!!! My wife and I have no credit cards. Save up for what you want. Budget for what you need. If you need big purchase item, youre going to a bank anyway. Other countries that I go to, practice this way of life. Guess what? Their banks advertise for loans at 1.99%!!! If you people really want to get to those "greedy bankers", stop doing business with them. Or are you so used to relying on them that you can not quit the "addiction"?

March 10 2011 at 8:59 AM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to fixdrill's comment
litebrightfuture

ABSOLUTELY!! I cannot agree more.

Joe Paretta
Author - "Master The Card: Say Goodbye to Credit Card Debt...Forever!"

March 10 2011 at 10:57 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
smapplebee

Are you bragging? Where are you keeping the money? A savings account pays .15% interest. I use credit cards to buy everything and pay it off once a month. Why? Once, a teenager tried to rob me. I told him I had no money. He said, I got a gun. I'm going to shoot you. I told him, go ahead. When you check my stuff, you'll find out I still don't have any money. He ran away. I never keep money in the house. Count me as one senior citizen that knows how to survive in a rough neighborhood.

March 10 2011 at 1:19 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
taz56117

You always hear the same old story. Move to credit cards with lower interest rates. Call your cardholder to lower your interest rate. Not only don't they do it, they raised my rate from 13% to 21%, without me ever missing a payment. They wouldn't even drop my yearly fee, which they had done 6 years previously. Banks are a ripoff. They can charge you 29% interest rates and give you 1/4% on a savings account, then wonder why people don't save. And with all their fees, they still fail!!

March 10 2011 at 8:47 AM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to taz56117's comment
mclkarim

Yeah, what is up with that anyway? How can they justify raising their credit card interest rates and lowering their savings interest rates?

Your bank should have waived your yearly fee and NOT have raised your interest rate. B of A tried to lower my credit limit from $21,000 to $7,500 because I wasn't using the card, but I called them and complained, so they didn't change anything.

Call your bank and complain again. Maybe this time they will listen.

March 10 2011 at 12:39 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply