"I have a new motto now because of you: From this situation, something good will come! You're a true godsend! I thank you from the bottom of my heart." -Jamie
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Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey

Host of "The Dave Ramsey Show" on Fox Business Channel and...

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Scott Bilker

Scott Bilker

Author and creator of DebtSmart.com

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Liz  Pulliam Weston

Liz Pulliam Weston

MSN Money columnist and author

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Reduce Debt, Increase Your Worth

In addition to Debtors Anonymous, psychotherapy may be helpful for some people, especially if there is a deeper issue, like gambling, fueling the debt. But many people find support via online communities. “The internet is open 24/7,” says Hunt. “People can go online and realize they’re not in this alone.” Finding a message board at a reputable site, such as MSN Money or Hunt’s site, can provide moral support and practical advice. And of course, you may simply want to talk to a trusted friend, who can help keep you accountable as you work to reduce debt and live more freely.

Living Debt-Free

Reducing or eliminating debt will require long-term changes and self-discipline, but it’s definitely possible. “I realized that I had a problem,” Eric says. His landlord was very kind and worked with him to avoid eviction. He received money from a city program that allowed him to pay his back rent. Eric says what amazed him was how his income soared once he got control of his money. “Once I released my old beliefs—that someone would always rescue me—money started flowing into my life,” he says. He accumulated substantial savings and then called his creditors and negotiated lump-sum payoff amounts. Today, he is debt-free with $25,000 in savings.

Shari paid off her consumer debt and continued to live below her means to allow herself to build up savings. She saved $52,000 over a two-year period and was able to purchase the home of her dreams. In just four years, Shari has amassed an emergency fund, which she continually builds, and owns mutual-fund shares and stocks. (She continues to make student-loan payments each month.) “My goal is to have three months of mortgage saved and $10,000 in emergency savings,” says Shari, who used most of her funds to put down a payment on the home. “My ultimate goal is to invest more.”

While complete debt relief for you may seem very far away, the first 30 days of reducing debt are your stepping-stones to becoming free from the burden of being a borrower. By working through your emotions, finding support and making practical changes, it is possible for you to turn things around and take control to eliminate your debt completely.

*name has been changed

Posted: 2/4/08

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If you need answers to questions like these, you could search the web - or you could ask a professional debt adviser.
Along with answering your specific questions, they can help you help yourself. In many ways, the best kind of debt advice is the kind that teaches you something lasting - like how to budget, for example. Keeping track of the money going into and out of your household will help you:
Debt Advice


this is nice


Kudos to Eric for finding Debtors Anonymous...so many people don't know it exists and for many folks in debt (esp. repeat debtors like he was as well compulsive shoppers), it IS the answer.


What perfect words of wisdom!
I am a financial advisor, and use these same techniques to help others as well as in my own life. The most empowering feeling is the realization that you don't need "STUFF". The needs vs. wants debate, of course. Materialism is a widespread disease in America, and it's up to us to change our feelings toward money and things.