Steps to solving debt problems

When it comes to trying to deal with debt problems, there are a number of strategies people can use to try and get out of the red.

New York Daily News columnist Jean Chatzky said recently that consumers who are facing debt should start by examining exactly how much they owe, which will help determine what they can pay off.

“Add up your credit card balances, then track your expenses for about a month, taking stock of every dollar that goes out of your wallet,” Chatzky said. “It will be easier to see what can be eliminated.”

If it turns out a consumer won’t be able to make their payments while still providing basics necessities, Chatzky suggests they turn to a debt counseling service, which can help with a debt management plan. If that isn’t an option, then consumers may wish to consider bankruptcy, though it may hurt their credit score.

A recent report from Reuters shows that more Americans are filing for bankruptcy. According to the report, referring to Equifax data, bankruptcy filings were up 31 percent in June of this year compared to June of 2008.

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