Okay, you feel your debt is out of control and it is too late to say, "I wish I had taken action sooner." What do you do? First of all you don't panic and you keep things as simple as possible. Secondly, look to see just how bad it really is. Third, decide which of 4 actions to take with your debts:

1. Ignore them.
2. Pay them.
3. Negotiate Them
4. Declare Bankruptcy.

This article will concentrate on the second action above, Paying Your Debt. This action, in turn, also can be simplified using 3 options:

1. increase your income;
2. decrease your expenses;
3. some combination thereof.


It is that simple...not easy but simple. And if you keep things simple you can better think your way out of trouble. Adding complexities, confusions, anxieties, and other non simple complications does not help. It is time for ACTION. So decide and GET THE JOB DONE.

To Increase Your Income

By increasing your income even by a little bit, you can apply the extra money towards debt which in turn creates more working money to apply to still more debt. Consider some of the following options:

1. Sell something
2. Offer your services in lieu of cash (i.e. offer to mow the lawn or fix up a place for a lower rent.)
3. Get a temporary second job. If you already have one, get another... this is WAR.
4. Ask for a raise
5. Get another loan... I add this very cautiously and almost include it below under Things NOT To Do. A new loans often seen as a way out of debt problem. Creditors love this scenario. And sometimes it is actually true. But I heavily caution against a new loan. Simply put, you cannot "normally" borrow your way out of debt. All "borrowing" does is prolong the agony.

To Decrease Your Expenses

Here are some additional ideas:

1. What do you do when all of a sudden the month is just beginning and you have nothing left? Read Debt Priority - Hierarchy of Debt. Its cold and its hard. But it's fact.
2. Call your creditors and ask for lower interest or to skip a payment to catch up. Surprisingly this often works if you give a good enough reason for a creditor to do so.
3. Look over your last 6 months of check registers to find out where your money is going. Isolate those items that you can change in your life and make a plan of action to change lifestyles to save money.
4. Review 5 Proven Steps To Budget Motivation

Things NOT To Do

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going" is an axiom that applies also to debt. But when the going gets tough, it is not time to jump from the frying pan into the fire.

Here are some cautions and DO NOT'S

1. Some slick promoters would like you to believe the government can bail you out with a grant and are willing to sell you the information to find out how to do it. First of all the material is free and secondly it is not designed for this purpose.
2. Do not run out and grab the first debt counselor that happens by. The Truth About Traditional Debt Counseling explores the question who are the good guys and the bad guys in this potentially lucrative industry?

Readers will probably be interested to know Mike, the author of this article, also offers a free debt elimination mini-course via e-mail. You can enroll at Debt Free In 7.5 Years.

Author's Bio: 

Mike has been an Internet Guide/Writer in the field of Credit/Debt Management for over 10 years. His site was awarded Best Of Net by Forbes Publication from 2000 to 2005 with site visitation doubling to over 500,000 average views per month in the last year.

He has also offered debt elimination seminars to businesses and community colleges for the last 9 years, and has written for several publications, and has been interviewed on the radio a number of times.