Resolve to Pay Off Debt in 2014

December 23, 2013

Clear debt in 2014Ring in the New Year with a plan to pay off your debt and get your finances together for a mortgage in Chicago with “

Tips for Paying Off Debt in 2014” from the Equifax Finance Blog.

First, the article recommends you take stock of your financial situation by determining exactly how much money you owe and on which accounts you owe it. Create a spreadsheet or list of all of the debt you owe on credit cards and loans, including the interest rates you are paying for each. If you have old cards that you no longer use, but on which you still carry a balance, don’t forget to include those. Then, pull a copy of your credit report to make sure that you’ve accounted for everything, and that everything in your report is accurate. You may find inaccuracies that you must get corrected. You can order one free copy of your credit report every year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. The article recommends at this point evaluating your debt-to-income ratio, which experts suggest should be between 28 percent and 36 percent of your gross income, meaning if you add up all of your debt, it should not exceed 36 percent of your pre-tax/pre-deduction monthly income.

Next, create a spending plan by writing down all of your expenses (think weekly, monthly, and yearly expenses). Determine which of your expenses are “needs” and which are “wants.” Once it is all written down, you’ll be able to see where you can cut back. Once you’ve shaved off expenses by eliminating (or reducing) the unnecessary ones, you can get an amount to dedicate toward paying off your debt. Make the resolution to also dedicate annual bonuses or pay raises, holiday bonuses and tax refunds to helping pay down some of what you owe.

Get the rest of the tips on the Equifax Finance blog and get more advice on paying off debt, saving money,

credit reports, and more personal finance topics, including identity theft protection, retirement, insurance and taxes, all on the Equifax Finance blog.

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.

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