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"There are many possible ways to go about getting out of debt, but only a handful of strategies will accelerate your debt elimination plans and get you out of debt sooner rather than later," says Judy Sorensen, president of the Association of Credit Counseling Professionals (ACCPros).
To help consumers nationwide, Sorensen and the experts from ACCPros offer the following 5 best strategies to pay off debt in 2015: "When you have debts you can't handle, especially credit card bills that are out of control, that's a sign you need to lay off the credit cards at least for a while until you get your finances back in order," says Sorensen. 2. Move Beyond Minimum Payments "It's very difficult to get out of debt quickly if you're only making minimum payments," says Sorensen. She points out that banks set minimum payment amounts at just one or two percent of your outstanding balance. "You might get a windfall from any source," says Sorensen. It could be your income tax refund check, or maybe a bonus or a raise from your job. While it may be tempting to spend those funds, "anytime you get additional cash, you should use that money to reduce debt. You won't regret it," she adds. "Not only do we educate consumers we work with about proper budgeting and cash management, we can also negotiate with their creditors on their behalf," says Sorensen. "It simplifies life and gives the consumer greater control," Sorensen says, adding: "Consolidating your debt can often lower your overall monthly payment too, giving you some financial breathing room."
"Failing to review your existing benefits and evaluate all your other healthcare options could cause you to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars in medical bills if you're not careful," says Judy Sorensen, president of the Association of Credit Counseling Professionals, ACCPros.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation's 2014 Employer Health Benefits Survey, the annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage hit $16,834 in 2014. That's up 3% from year-ago levels, and workers on average are now paying $4,823 towards the cost of their coverage. So Sorensen and the experts from ACCPros suggest the following four steps to take during open enrollment season in order to lower healthcare bills and avoid medical debt. asks Sorensen.
Its easy to pinpoint the cause of debt if there were circumstances beyond your control, like job loss or large medical bills due to a serious illness or injury, says Judy Sorensen, president of the Association of Credit Counseling Professionals (ACCPros).
But whats less obvious to many Americans is why they keep falling back into debt because of their own financial mistakes. According to Sorensen, here are 10 possible reasons you might find yourself repeatedly struggling with unmanageable debt.
"If you're not careful, while you're out having fun on vacation, poor planning and failing to protect yourself from identity theft can wreak havoc on your credit," says Judy Sorensen, President of the Association of Credit Counseling Professionals (ACCPros).
Judy Sorensen, president of the Association of Credit Counseling Professionals in Falmouth, Maine, said many people are putting off saving in any measurable fashion and are using credit cards to supplement earnings.