100 smart money tips for 2010
debt
10 ways to dump your debt in 2010

Tip 7Debtor beware.

Take some time to review your credit reports to make sure they contain accurate information. Get a copy of your reports for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. If you have ugly credit caused by errors, this will hurt your credit score. If you find inaccurate information, dispute the item with the credit bureau that reported it.

Tip 8If it's too good to be true, it is.

Don't fall for debt settlement scams or schemes. Lenders don't want to settle. If you must, use an attorney or don't do it at all.

Tip 9Jingle bills, jingle bills ...

Don't forget to plan for 2010 holiday expenses. Every year, people seek help after the holidays because overspending on gifts, travel and other holiday expenses pushes them over the financial edge. Set a limit, fund it with yearlong savings and enjoy the season for a change.

Tip 10Don't call the Ghostbusters.

Ignoring a financial problem will only make matters worse. Get professional help now if you need it. You can find a trusted, nonprofit, free credit counseling agency at Aiccca.org or Nfcc.org. Card issuers will be required to include a toll-free number for credit counseling on statements after February.

<< Read all 2010 money tips

Read tips from previous years: 2005  |  2006  |  2007  |  2008  |  2009  | 

Bankrate's content, including the guidance of its advice-and-expert columns and this Web site, is intended only to assist you with financial decisions. The content is broad in scope and does not consider your personal financial situation. Bankrate recommends that you seek the advice of advisers who are fully aware of your individual circumstances before making any final decisions or implementing any financial strategy. Please remember that your use of this Web site is governed by Bankrate's Terms of Use.

Read more Debt Adviser columns and more stories about debt management. To ask a question of the Debt Adviser go to the "Ask the Experts" page and select "Debt" as the topic.

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