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by Brooke Sikula
There is no doubt that more and more people are finding themselves saddled with higher and higher levels of personal debt. A quick perusal of the news will reveal that personal debt levels are higher than ever, while personal savings rates hover

There is no doubt that more and more people are finding themselves saddled with higher and higher levels of personal debt. A quick perusal of the news will reveal that personal debt levels are higher than ever, while personal savings rates hover near their all time low. With these kinds of statistics it is no wonder that so many people are finding themselves in need of help with debt consolidation and debt elimination.

High levels of debt cause all kinds of problems, not all of them financial. Problems with money top all other causes of divorce, topping adultery, and problems with the children. In addition, money problems are a great source of stress and sleepless nights. When reducing debt levels, it is important to create a plan, and to follow it closely.

Step 1 Think before you buy

This is perhaps the most important piece of advice of all. Before making a purchase, ask yourself: Do I really need this item? Do I already own a product that can do the same thing? How important is this product? Asking yourself these important questions will help you to avoid the impulse purchases that can wreck any budget.

Step 2 Create a budget and a plan

Another important step is to make a budget, and to create a list of wants and needs. Take a hard look at your list of needs and makes sure each one of them is truly essential to your life. Be sure to focus on those things you need now, and leave the wants for when you can better afford them.

Step 3 Be a stickler about bill paying

There are of course many reasons to pay the bills on time, not the least of which is to avoid the inevitable collection calls. Aside from that important reason, however, a history of on time payments will be positively reflected in your credit score, and this can save you thousands of dollars when it comes time to buy a big ticket item like a car or a home.

If you are having difficulty paying the bills on time, however, be sure to notify your creditors about the situation and try to work out a payment plan you can afford. Lenders will appreciate the honesty, and you will get a head start on the road to financial freedom.

If all these steps fail, however, it may be necessary to use a debt consolidation loan to get the debt under control. There are many debt consolidation loans available from a wide variety of lenders, and using such a loan can be a great way to regain your financial independence.

Brooke Sikula is a freelance writer based in Ventura, CA and writes on a wide range of topics from home improvement to credit repair and everything in between. She is a regular contributor to and For more information and advice on credit issues, check out

The site is not responsible for any content in it. E-mail: alldir[at]gmx[dot]com
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