After losing my marriage, business and health I had $88,000 of corporate credit card debt from my business (which seemed like $600,000 at the time.) Here are some tools that will help you and anyone out there get out of credit card debt. These tools worked for me, and millions like me. They can work for you.
1. Don't Go This Alone
Lindsay, you are not alone. Studies show that currently 58 million Americans are not paying their bills on time. Get caring support as you reinvent your habits. ( No, Dr. Pinsky wouldn't be on my list either.) Yes, you are going to need to change your habits. It isn't easy. My prayer for you is that you have someone that sees your great good that goes beyond your current behavior.
2. Use Paper Power
You aren't going to like this one...but it works.
Simply, switch from plastic to paper money. A study from NYU and the University of Maryland found that when consumers switch from credit cards to cash and they automatically 30 % spend less. These studies show there's a gut reaction that's absent when we pay with plastic. That's the reason you trade your money for poker chips (plastic!) in Las Vegas. Credit cards use this fact to their advantage.
3. Get A Grip
You aren't going to like this one either.
Make a budget. Put the cash for each budget category into envelopes. Food, gas, entertainment, clothes, shoes etc. I did this. It is very simple and it works. From my own personal experience once you get down to the copper money (they are called pennies in case you forgot) in an envelope you are highly motivated to get out there and make some money. Highly motivated.
4. Pick Up the Phone
Before a large expense, ask for a discount. Sure, you are Lindsay Lohan, but I know that this tip works for the rest of us. One LA consumer got her dentist visit cut for a crown from $850 to $550 by simply calling and explaining her circumstances and asking for a discount for being a long term customer. I've heard of lots of people asking for reductions on the rent they pay...and getting it. Give your landlord a call...and let me know.
5. Ask For Help
If you are in over your head in debt you can get help. Credit Counseling will help you with your budget and lower your interest rates. My bet is that Credit Counseling companies are call you right now. Lindsay, listen up...because this is a very hidden fact.
Most consumers aren't aware that these credit counseling "non-profits" are actually funded by the credit card companies. They are not working for you...they are working for the credit card companies. I used a debt settlement company that cut my credit card debt in half. Having my debt cut in half helped me to avoid bankruptcy and give me the dignity to pay off the debt my start up business had created. Get educated and see what is the best fit for you.I am here to help you. If this worked for me, it can work for you.
Are you struggling under credit card debt? I want to hear your story.
I also what to help you find the best solution for you.
The Today Show "Reinvention Expert" shares her system to get out of debt using her "Turnaround Techniques." system with other consumers to get out of debt- for good.