Guest Author - Vannie Ryanes
A family in heavy financial debt has become the norm rather than the exception. Even when you are knee-deep in debt there seems to be a way of getting additional credit. You are using one credit card to pay off another card; you take out a "payday loan" to stay one step ahead. Then it hit's you, your family is in big trouble.
Digging out of debt may not be the toughest thing you and your family ever have to face, but it may be the toughest financial decision you will ever have to make. Becoming debt free is difficult, but not impossible. It take's focus and commitment from the whole family and may mean letting go of some the luxuries you have come to feel are "must haves" or "I deserves." Whatever steps you take to rid your family of debt, be sure that your partner is fully aware of what you are doing so you can work together. Don't forget your children when you make this change, especially if they are used to getting the newest and best of everything. I recall my friend gave her daughter the responsibility of choosing one or two things at a very early age, that was a very smart move. As Smokey The Bear used to say in those early fire safety ads, "Remember it's up to you," parents should remember that curbing high expectancy fulfillment wants their children may have is up to them. Teaching little ones that it is not necessary to "keep up with the Joneses" may be difficult if adults are bitten by the same bug.
If you are thinking of using a debt negotiation company, you should know that just because a company calls itself a nonprofit, there is no guarantee that it is a legitimate organization. When seeking help through debt negotiation be sure to check out the company as thoroughly as possible.
Be wary if debt negotiation companies do any of the following:
1. Guarantee they can remove your unsecured debt.
2. Promise that unsecured debt can be paid off with pennies on the dollar.
3. Claim using their system will allow you to avoid bankruptcy.
4. Require substantial monthly service fees.
5. Demand payment of a percentage of savings.
6. Tell you to stop making payments to or communicating with your creditors.
7. Require you to make monthly payments to them, rather than your creditor.
8. Claim creditors never sue consumers for nonpayment or unsecured debt.
9. Promise using their system will have no negative impact on your credit report.
10. Claim they can remove accurate negative information from your credit report.
The best way to avoid heavy debt is to steer clear of it.