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Get Out Of Debt

Author: Life Kit from NPR

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Being in debt is like being buried underground; digging out is like emerging into the sunlight. This guide gives you the tools to get there, with proven approaches to paying off debt and tips to stay motivated, plus the best strategies for dealing with medical debt.
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Rx For Medical Debt

Rx For Medical Debt

2019-02-1800:24:242

You go to the doctor to be healthy, but for millions, a visit comes with a bad side effect: huge bills that can lead to serious debt. One in 5 Americans struggles with medical bills. But there are often things you can do to get those bills reduced or even forgiven.Here's what to remember:- Ask for help as soon as possible. You may qualify for the hospital's financial assistance policy.- Don't pay the sticker price! Research fair prices through Healthcare Bluebook.- Be persistent. - Don't put medical debt on a credit card.- Remember that medical debt is not as urgent as your other bills — pay mortgage and credit cards first.- Take steps to make debt collectors stop calling.- A non-profit advocate can help.
There's a moment when the alarm bells ring and you realize you're thousands of dollars in the red. Want to dig out fast? Welcome to the X Games of escaping debt, in which you shut down almost all your spending, take on a side job, endure the most extreme steps you can on a gritty marathon to a better place. It's hard, but fun and rewarding too. Here's what to remember:- Set a specific goal, such as "debt free in two years."- Have an advance plan to resist future temptation.- Find ways to make the challenge fun — it can't be all pain and sacrifice.- You'll need social support. Enlist your family and community.- Divide the bigger challenge into smaller goals to keep up momentum.- Reward yourself — but not with a big expense that throws you off track.
Our brains seem almost designed to get us into debt. Some 50 percent of people with credit cards don't pay them off every month, meaning millions are paying high interest rates on their debt. We learn the best ways to dig yourself out. Here's what to remember:- Choose a plan — are you a "snowball" or "avalanche" person?- Don't make money decisions in the moment — follow the plan.- Make a budget — this is how you actually spend less money!- Try a "spending fast" — you'll start to crush your debt and learn a lot too.- Be wary of debt consolidation.- Don't blow your tax return — use it to pay down debt.- Get one-on-one help from someone you can trust. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling can help.
Being in debt is like being buried underground; digging out is like emerging into the sunlight. This guide gives you the tools to get there, with proven approaches to paying off debt and tips to stay motivated, plus the best strategies for dealing with medical debt.
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