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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Jul 1, 2014.

Question

We are 45,000 in Credit Card Debt. With growing unrelated expense's and unmet repair needs. Very stressed finances. My question is would a CPA or a financial planner be best to seek help to see the real and true problem we are in? Or who should we seek? Thanks for your time.

Answer

You can find a CPA who is also a PFS near you by visiting www.findacpapfs.org.

In the meantime, consider the following self-help strategies to help you pay down your debt. Contact a local consumer credit counselor.  Pay off your highest interest rate debt first.  Contact your credit card companies to see if they will reduce your interest rates, or negotiate a lower settlement to payoff the outstanding balance of your credit cards.  You may be able to freeze your account, which means that you will no longer be able to use it, and the credit card company will work out a payment plan with you.  If you end up negotiating a payment that is less than your debt, the bank will issue you a Form 1099-C for the amount of the debt that is forgiven, which may be taxable to you, depending on your personal circumstances.  You haven't given us personal details, but if you are employable, take a second job and be diligent in using your increased cashflow to pay off your debt.  Be very creative in reducing your expenses, including housing expenses. Stop using your credit cards, and put yourself on a strict budget.

Good luck and I hope that this helps.


For additional information visit http://www.360financialliteracy.org/