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Helping good people through bad times

Relief possible for Tennessee residents with debts from 2013

According to the Federal Reserve Bank, 2013's third quarter saw a 1.1-percent rise in consumer debt to $11.28 trillion. Basically, Americans overspent from July through September. Tennessee residents who were among these big spenders can follow this simple plan to climb out of debt.

First, work out and follow a debt-payoff strategy, but make sure it does not take too big a bite out of the household budget.

Second, make a list of all debts incurred. Knowing exactly what is owed helps a consumer develop a realistic approach to debt relief.

Third, concentrate first on the biggest debt on the list. This usually means the credit card with the highest interest rate. Do not neglect the other cards, but pay off the highest one as quickly as possible.

Fourth, transfer the balances of higher-interest-rate cards to the credit card with the lowest rate, or find another bank with a lower-interest-rate card.

Fifth, avoid creating new debt by leaving the credit cards at home. Use them only in emergencies. Once debt is under control, use them occasionally to maintain a credit rating, but be sure to keep the amounts small enough that the bills can be completely paid off each month.

Sixth, look at spending over the last year and see whether the highest outlays can be reduced by, say, 10 percent. If they can, that money can go toward paying off debt or a retirement fund.

Sometimes the simplest strategy is the most effective. But if all efforts to reduce debts fail, then it may be time to seek relief through a bankruptcy filing. This form of debt relief can help Tennessee residents discharge their debts through a reasonable and well-planned repayment schedule or by liquidation. A qualified and experienced legal professional can help determine which method will yield the best results.

Source: Yahoo Finance, "7 Easy Steps to Pay Off Debt," Hitha Prabhakar, Jan. 16, 2014

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Kenneth C. Rannick, P.C.
4416 Brainerd Road
Chattanooga, TN 37411

Phone: 423-624-4002
Toll Free: 800-257-7594
Fax: 423-624-0509
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