The Debit/Credit Card: Are You Playing Out Of Your League?

By Debbie Wilson Columnist

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Many Americans today purchase homes and other "necessities" with the hopes of keeping up with the neighbors. They assume that with their good credit and high-powered jobs that their mortgage will shrink and their savings increase. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Instead, they end up living a life of credit card debt and the perils that accompany a life of overspending.


The Credit Card Cover-up

Getting caught up in credit card debt is much easier than you might think. You may start out with only a few select credit cards, then slowly add to your collection for the purpose of getting a lower APR, store merchant credit, transfer incentives, etc. Before you know it, you've accumulated way too much available credit and one heck of a debt consolidation nightmare. Luckily, there are ways to get out from behind the credit card debt curve and move on to a life of financial bliss.

The Road Back To Debt Consolidation

If your credit card debt hasn't spiraled too far out of control, you might be able to salvage your credit by consolidating balances to a few, low-interest rate cards. You'll want to get rid of store cards, supermarket cards, and gas cards and begin paying cash (you know, the green stuff). If however, your credit card debt proves to be beyond repair, you may have to consider bankruptcy and a new, fresh start. Don't be embarrassed. You may not think you know anyone who's gone bankrupt, yet 1.6 million families file for bankruptcy each year. In the bankruptcy process, you'll be required to give all your income, beyond approved living expenses, to a court trustee, who'll distribute the money to your creditors.

So next time you're ready to flip out that credit card, stop and think again. You might just be headed for a credit card disaster. If you're not sure you can afford your current lifestyle, you probably can't or shouldn't try. Instead, opt for some money free choices like camping, hiking, or quality time with loved ones and leave the credit cards behind.

About the Author
Debbie Wilson owns and operates a lakeside resort. Her previous experience includes profitability consulting for a national healthcare company. Debbie holds a B.A. in Business Management with a minor in Physical Education.

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