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Too much debt? -- Use these tips and strategies to dig yourself out of debt.

Topics: How bad is your debt?, Know your credit cards, Understand credit reports, Reduce your debt

H E A V Y  D E B T

How bad is your debt?
Warning signs of too much debt -- You can live with debt. The questions are, how much is too much, and how can you tell?

Late with one creditor? All will punish you -- A trend in the financial industry is for Company X to jack up your rates because you were late to pay Company Y.

Falling behind? Call your mortgage lender -- If a job loss or other financial crisis hits, don't hide from your mortgage company. Most would rather work with you than foreclose.

15 signs you need debt-reduction help -- These signals let you know it's time to call in a financial fitness expert.

FAQ about overwhelming debts -- When debt is rising out of control, these tips will help you cope.

Quiz: Are you financially self-destructive -- These questions will help you discover if your psychology sabotages your finances.

Garnishment: the unexpected pay cut -- If you don't pay your taxes, child support or other debts, creditors can tap your paycheck.

Dealing with a debt collector -- They can try to collect legitimate debts, but there are legal limits on how they do it.

Men and women spend and save differently -- The sexes exhibit distinct gender traits when saving, investing and spending.

  Credit cards 
Reading credit card offer fine print -- The big letters on the envelope may say "You've been approved!" but make sure you know what you're agreeing to.

Reading a credit card statement -- Not knowing how to read it can cost you money.
PLUS: Figuring finance charges

How to cancel a credit card -- Be careful when closing an account, or it may come back to haunt you.

Borrowing with lousy credit -- If at first you don't succeed, try, try another lender. But expect to pay more.

  Credit reporting 
Why you should check your credit report -- If you are applying for a loan or credit, records of your previous dealings with borrowed money are vital.

Contacting the credit bureaus -- Here are the addresses and Web sites for the big three credit-reporting agencies.

Can you read your credit report? -- OK, you got your credit report just as everyone says you should. Here's how to read it.

13 myths about credit reports -- When it comes to credit information, what you think you know that isn't true can really hurt you.

Correcting errors on your credit report -- Follow these steps to get errors removed from your credit reports.

The future of FICO -- A little three-digit number, practically unknown a few years ago, keeps growing in importance for your finances.

8 steps to take if your identity is stolen -- This step-by-step guide will help you clear your good name.

 Debt-reduction strategies 
Making a money-smart spending plan -- Do you fail every time you try to budget? Then don't say the "B" word, which reeks of self-deprivation. Say "spending plan" instead, and use it to help you get what you want.

Cash-out refinancing: a way out of debt -- If your debt load is getting too big, refinance your mortgage for more than you owe and pay down debt with the difference.

Tax advantages of cash-out refinancing -- The big one is that you can convert your debt into one that is tax deductible.

Borrowing from family -- It's uncomfortable, but sometimes it's your only option. Here's how to get a loan from a relative without turning the family tree into kindling.

Some credit counselors helping themselves -- Growing industry attracting scam artists who rip off the vulnerable.
PLUS: How to pick a credit-counseling firm
AND: How debt management affects your credit
MORE: What to ask a credit counselor

Cures for post-holiday debt remorse -- 8 solutions for dealing with your spending demons.

5 ways to improve your credit -- So, you've made mistakes. These steps will help you restore the luster to your credit rating.

Advance fee scams: The big con -- Vulnerable consumers are falling prey to Canadian con artists promising loans to pay off debts and rebuild credit.

Good debt vs. bad debt -- A mortgage is usually good debt. Buying more clothes you don't need on credit is not.

Monitoring the credit monitoring services -- Can they protect your credit, or do they just cost you money?

Credit management home

Credit Management


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