Most Florida beachcombers do not plan to get covered up under a mountain of debt. Instead, the problem starts slowly. One of your credit cards becomes the fallback plan for emergencies, and little by little, a small, unpaid balance becomes a bigger one.
Before long, your first credit card is maxed out, and the bank offers a special transfer line-of-credit just in time to save the day. The only trouble is instead of transferring the balance and cutting up the old card, you keep the old account as the fallback emergency plan, and next thing you know, you are staring at the possibility of Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
This is a familiar cycle for some, but does it have to be for you? No.
The Credit Counseling Society offers tips for consumers struggling to erase credit card debt once and for all. One of the first pointers is exactly what the debtor in the example failed to do: get rid of those credit cards that are causing so much trouble. When they are just sitting in your wallet or purse, they are begging to go to work for you. The only way to avoid the trap is to remove the easy access to them.
Also, make a budget. This is a solution consumers sometimes overlook, but budgeting is one of the best approaches you can take to avoid relying on credit. Planners know exactly how much they are bringing in each month and can designate how much they will spend. Budgeting monthly for future emergencies can reduce your dependence on a credit card for those urgent but unexpected needs that do come up.
Setting goals is another tip the CCS recommends to help you stay motivated to get out of debt. Also, reach out for credit counseling if you could use input of an objective third party.
This information only intends to educate those struggling with debt and does not provide legal advice.