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James R. Jones, Attorney at Law.

Take Control of Your Debt in the New Year

A new year is a good time to gain better control of your financial health in Montgomery County, TX. Whether you make resolutions or set solid financial goals, you can start a program of debt management and improve your credit. You do not have to be into new year’s resolutions—you just need a desire to improve your situation. Here are six ways to take control of your debt:

  • Know what you owe: Order credit reports and gather statements regarding past-due balances. Place them all in a spreadsheet so they are all in one place. Decide which ones to pay off first, whether you want to start with the lowest debts for instant gratification or the higher-interest ones for better cost savings. No matter the method you choose, sort the debts in the order in which you intend to pay them off.
  • Track spending: Know where your money goes, and set a budget. This may mean small adjustments, like ordering coffee out once a week instead of every day, or big adjustments, like selling a car with a large loan balance. You cannot see where you can cut without tracking spending first. Financial challenges often arise from bad money habits, and this is how you identify them.
  • Make deals: Collection accounts can often be settled for half the amount owed. Call the agency to make either a flat sum or a monthly payment arrangement. Basically, find an agreeable plan for repayment, and stay on time with it. That will reflect well on your credit report.
  • Review report for errors: Before you make any deals, make sure the debts are legitimate. Besides using reports to review your debts, also check for accounts that are still listed (but paid off) and other mistakes. Dispute these and request their removal. This will often increase your credit score, too.
  • Consider a credit counselor: We all have jobs and full lives, and sometimes it’s just easier to hand these tasks off to a professional. Contact a credit counselor and make an appointment to create the optimal debt repayment program. Counselors can often settle debts for pennies on the dollar, and you only need to make a monthly payment. These agencies also offer money management workshops and other resources to help you create a better financial future.
  • Be kind to yourself: Accountability is required, but that doesn’t mean you must be in a constant state of self-flagellation. Rather than obsess about the mistakes you may have made in the past, reward your successes. For every $100 you pay off, consider getting yourself a treat. This may mean a frozen yogurt or an activity you previously could not afford. If you see the fruits of your labor, you are more likely to stick to the plan.

James R. Jones, Attorney at Law wishes you the best for your financial health and hopes you can successfully complete a workable debt management plan in Montgomery County, TX in 2020. If you require additional options, including bankruptcy, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

James R. Jones, Attorney at Law.
James Jones, Esq.

Mr. Jones’ practice concentrates on business and consumer Chapter 7 bankruptcy
and he has been an attorney of record in several hundred such cases.