Slash Your Debt: Save Money and Secure Your Future

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9780965963831: Slash Your Debt: Save Money and Secure Your Future
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Credit cards may sound like a great way to finance your lifestyle - but do you know how much you'll really be paying and just how long it will take you to get out of debt? Even if you consolidate your debts, do you know the hidden pitfalls that could cost you thousands and get you even deeper in debt? Now, this first-of-its-kind guide unlocks the secrets of "credit card math" and shows you how to navigate the tricky world of debt consolidation options - such as home equity loans, 401(k) loans, credit cards - and come out AHEAD. Slash Your Debt: Save Money and Secure Your Future - written by America's top credit experts, Gerri Detweiler, Marc Eisenson and Nancy Castleman - is filled with simple charts that show how to pay off small or large debts as fast as possible, saving you a ton of money. You'll discover ...
* Why a 13% credit card can cost more to pay off than a 19% one ...
* Where to get consolidation loans with no credit check ...
* Smart ways to make secret credit card math work to your advantage ...
* How to create a rapid repayment plan based on your personality ...
* The 8 essential keys to successful debt consolidation ...
* and much, much more! The influential experts, who have already helped thousands of people save millions of dollars, are now offering YOU their priceless secrets in this step-by-step guide for getting out of debt fast. Chapter 1: Debt Consolidation Basics The Good News: If you choose the right consolidation loan, you'll have one monthly payment (or at least fewer payments), which can mean fewer hassles. You can save time and money -- if you choose a debt consolidation loan with an attractive interest rate and reasonable repayment terms. The Traps: You may pay more with a debt consolidation loan. That's correct. If you don't choose the right consolidation loan, you can end up forking over even more money than if you had just paid your bills at the higher interest rates. You may be in debt for a very long time. Some of these loans carry long repayment terms that can keep you in debt for decades, if not generations! You may end up deeper in debt than when you started. This happens to a lot of folks. Don't let it happen to you! Follow our advice to ensure that you'll get out of debt and stay out. Our first goal is to help you choose the lowest-cost debt consolidation option for your situation, which will hopefully mean lowering the interest rate you're being charged. But getting a lower rate is just one of the steps you can take to get out of debt and save a bundle. Another is to pay off your debt as soon as possible, ideally in no more than three to five years. Throughout this book, we're going to offer many tips that will help you pay off your debts faster, at less cost, and without creating more problems for yourself in the future. Concrete examples will make it easy for you to tune in on the advice that's most relevant to your situation. To keep the numbers as simple as possible, we'll assume your debt is all on one credit card, carrying a 17% interest rate and requiring a minimum monthly payment of 2% of the outstanding balance. As your balance goes down, so will your required payment. (That's how credit cards work. Mortgages, car loans, student loans, and other personal loans require a predetermined monthly payment that does not get smaller as the balance is paid down.) We'll compare three levels of debt: $5,000, $10,000, and $15,000. If your debt is smaller or larger than that, you'll be able to use the tables we provide for information that more closely matches your situation. The Less You're Charged, the More It May Cost At first glance, it would seem that the lower the interest rate charged on a credit card balance, the less you'll pay in interest. And all things being equal, that would be true. Unfortunately, all things aren't always equal, and the credit card industry has come up with an ingenious way to turn less into more.

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About the Author:

Gerri Detweiler is education advisor to the nonprofit Debt Counselors of America (www.dca.org) and former executive director of the nonprofit consumer education and advocacy group, Bankcard Holders of America. She is author of The Ultimate Credit Handbook (Plume, 1993, revised 1997). The Ultimate Credit Handbook was featured in Money magazine as one of the five best new personal finance books of the year when it was released in 1993.

More recently, with Marc Eisenson and Nancy Castleman, Gerri co-authored Invest in Yourself: Six Secrets to a Rich Life (Wiley, 1998), which has been highly praised by personal finance writers from coast to coast. The book lays out practical strategies for setting priorities (like spending more time with your family), going after your goals (like funding your retirement), and getting the most for your money (whether you want to drive a new Lexus or a used VW Bug).

Gerri has written articles for publications including Woman's Day magazine and Bottom Line Personal, and has been quoted in numerous national publications including The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. She has co-hosted an award-winning syndicated financial radio program, and has also been a guest on network television programs including The Today Show, Dateline NBC, CBS Evening News, and CNN. Gerri has spoken to over a hundred audiences across the country and internationally.

She has also developed educational materials and programs for organizations such as Union Privilege, AFL-CIO, and the Financial Literacy Center. She has served on the Board of Directors of the National Coalition for Consumer Education and on Experian's Consumer Advisory Council, and is currently an active member of the National Capital Speakers Association and Toastmasters.

Gerri holds a B.A. in International Business/Political Affairs from Taylor University and an M.A. in Adult Education/Psychology (with a focus on financial education) from Vermont College at Norwich University.

Marc Eisenson, author of the bestseller The Banker's Secret, is known as the expert on how to painlessly exit from debt, and is widely regarded as one of the foremost financial thinkers of our time. With his partner Nancy Castleman, Marc has spent the last 15 years teaching Americans the secrets to saving money, managing debts, and living better on less. Through books, software, audiotapes, and an assortment of other publications, their small, home-based consumer advocacy business, Good Advice Press, has saved hundreds of thousands of families billions of dollars.

Marc and Nancy originally self-published The Banker's Secret, which has been dubbed by the media as the bible of mortgage pre-payment. It was greatly expanded over the years, and was subsequently published by Villard, a division of Random House. The pair continue to distribute it to this day from the old farmhouse where they live and work in upstate New York. Over the years, they've created (and upgraded) companion software that makes it easy to save money on mortgages as well as credit cards and other loans.

Since 1990, Marc and Nancy have also published the highly respected Pocket Change Investor newsletter, which helps consumers make savvy financial choices on subjects like refinancing, taxes, and credit cards. They also help readers to tackle difficult lifestyle decisions, and have been championing the value of a debt-free, simple life since 1984 -- long before "downsizing debt," "voluntary simplicity," and "tightwaddery" were politically correct.

Hundreds of reporters, producers, and editors across the nation receive, ingest, and report on their often provocative, but always well-documented, sound advice. Marc speaks to members of the media every day, and they regularly showcase his ideas on radio and television, in virtually every newspaper, as well as in every personal finance, business, and women's magazine.

Marc Eisenson and Nancy Castleman are also co-authors with Gerri Detweiler of Invest in Yourself: Six Secrets to a Rich Life (Wiley, 1998), which shows ways to invest your time, money, and energy for great payoffs in life.

Review:

"An important book for learning how to get out - and stay out - of debt!" -- Ric Edelman, CFS, RFC, CMFC, Author, The Truth About Money

"Anyone who has ever suffered from the burdens of being too heavily in debt knows that it can be overwhelming and terribly difficult to emerge from. Most people facing this situation don't know where to start to attack the problem. The authors have done a wonderful job of providing very clear explanations of how things like credit card fees and debt consolidation loans work. They have provided lots of easily accessible resources and ideas, and they have kindly provided a path for people to follow so they can get out of debt and begin to save money." -- Norman M. Boone, MBA, CFP

"The authors of Invest In Yourself have done it again! An excellent, comprehensive, and accessible guide for anyone who wants to reduce debt responsibly and well, to find help and support in a variety of ways. This books fills a vital need in an era of increasing consumer consumption and debt." -- Olivia Mellan, speaker, business consultant, psychotherapist and author

"The responsible use of debt is vital to anyone's ability to achieve financial security. And debt management is an important consideration in any personal financial plan. Slash Your Debt offers a thorough, yet highly readable explanation of the A to Zs of debt consolidation and reduction. The practical, step-by-step approach to eliminating burdensome debt, and the easy-to-use charts make this book an invaluable resource to those looking for ways to free up money for more productive uses." -- Richard P. Rojeck, CFP Chairman, International Association for Financial Planning

"This book contains some of the best advice for getting your debt under control. It's packed with credit secrets consumers need to know. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. Before you try to tackle your financial issues, read this book. You'll save thousands of dollars and eliminate years of debt by following the authors' sage advice." -- Steve Rhode, President, Debt Counselors of America

"This is the most complete book on consolidating debt, the cost and problems of credit card and other debt; and alternatives for successful management of your money." -- Major General George W. Miller, III

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Gerri Detweiler, Marc Eisenson, Mark Eisenson
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