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Eliminating debt: Persistence is the key to success

Debt is a major concern for people in the United States, and it is for good reason. Debt can hold you back. Monthly payments add up quickly, making it hard to pay enough to get ahead.

Fortunately, there are ways to get out of debt. For example, one woman was able to get out from under $40,000 in credit-card debt by cutting up her cards. She claims she had zero self-control.

It's not self-control that is an issue for others. Some use their cards because they've lost a job or need to make ends meet until the next paycheck. Others struggle because unexpected medical bills have put them thousands of dollars into debt. In those cases, one possibility is to get a second job or to bring in a second income.

If you can bring in two incomes, try to live on the smaller income and put the second, larger income, into savings. After you save a small amount, $1,000 or so, for a cushion in case of an emergency, get rid of your credit cards. Start paying off your debts in bulk with the second income.

How does that work? If you are married, for instance, try to live only on your income or only on your spouse's income, whichever is smaller. Place the other person's income toward the debts completely.

If multiple revenue streams aren't possible, consider other alternatives like negotiating with creditors or looking into bankruptcy. There are ways to consolidate or eliminate debt that can help you get back on track. Your attorney can talk to you about several options that range from consolidating your debts to going through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Source: CNBC, "Debt is the No. 1 cause of financial stress in 35 states--here are 5 ways to get free," Emmie Martin, Sep. 15, 2017

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