Chapter 3: Reorganizing finances

If your debt is overwhelming, you need to look at all of your options to get control again.

When you’re paying a double-digit rate of interest on one or more credit cards, panic might begin to set in. Take a breath, and read this chapter to find out how to reorganize the credit cards so that you can get a lower interest rate. Then look at other places you might be able to get cash to pay off those high-interest debts, including retirement accounts, even a loan from a family member or a friend.

What you can expect to learn from this chapter:

  • Organize credit card debt

    OK, so you’ve decided to consolidate your credit card debt. We’ll show you the way to do it so that closing accounts doesn’t affect you adversely.

  • Refinance your auto loan

    If the rate on your auto loan seems high in light of current rates, think about taking out a new one. Use Bankrate’s calculators to guide you.

  • Tapping your retirement account

    Borrowing from your IRA or 401(k) has significant consequences. Here are questions you need to ask before you crack your nest egg.

  • Borrowing from family or friends

    Even though he’s your brother or she’s your best friend, you still need to set down the terms of the loan before borrowing money from someone close to you.