Thanks for joining me on another episode of the Couple Money Podcast! If you’ve been following us since the beginning you’ve probably picked up on a recurring theme – couples who have improve their marriage and money situations by reevaluating and changing how they talk to one another.
Getting a budget ready or getting out of debt, investing for retirement definitely involves running the number. You can’t get around that. But it means that as a couple we find a way to work together. With commitment from both, you two can be an unstoppable team.
Travis Pizel and his wife discovered this as they began a long journey and got rid of $109k of debt together.
Digging Out of Debt
If you are having a really difficult time keeping up with your payments and debt and outside help is needed, please listen to all the segments on this show.
In today’s episode we’ll cover:
- What is debt management and consolidation and figuring out if it;s an option for your family’s situation.
- Travis Pizel, from Enemy of Debt, is on the show and opens up about his family accumulated $109,000 in debt. Reaching a point they were unable to pay all of their monthly bill he had to admit to his wife how much in the hole they were in. Hear how they came up with a solution that drastically changed their finances and their marriage. (As a bonus, their daughter gives her perspective on getting out of debt as a family.)
- Finally if you and your family are swamped with debt, we’ll go over some possible solutions to help you get back on track.
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I want the two of you to find the option for your family to become debt free.
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There are so many scammy companies out there making bold claims that they can turn around anyone’s finances. To help you make an informed decision, I’m going to explain the basics of debt consolidation.
At the heart of it, debt consolidation combining all of your high interest debts into one with a much lower rate. The idea is that you’ll be able to finally get out of debt by sticking to the plan.
There are companies out there with programs to get you out of debt using consolidation, settling with your creditors, or negotiating a lower interest rate so you can actually pay off your loan.
You send them your monthly payments that includes a fee so they handle this for you. Think of it as a third-party payment system.
Be aware that companies charge you a fee for this service and they can vary lender to lender, so make sure you shop around and completely understand them before you consider signing up.
Depending on your situation, you may be able to negotiate a better interest rate yourself, so don’t be so quick to give up control unless you know the company would do a better job.
If you feel like this could be a good option for your family, here are some tips to protect yourself:
- Beware of aggressive counselors. To use these companies, you’re giving up some control, so think long and hard before signing up. If they keep pushing you to make a decision immediately or get upset that you want to shop around, drop them.
- You can weed out some possible scammers by checking and seeing the companies you’re thinking about are registered with The Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies or The National Foundation of Credit Counseling.
- Have them send over the terms in writing. Don’t go by promises made over the phone. Make sure you understand everything and run the numbers yourself. This is a commitment that you want to be sure about.
Finally whether or not you go with a debt management company, you and family still have to make sure that you fix the root of the problem and not just the symptom. Changing your financial habits is the only way you’ll stay out of debt.
Catch Me Next Week for #RetireeNextDoor
I want to mention that next Tuesday, November 18 from 2pm-3pm ET, I’ll be an expert panelist on @moneytipssocial #RetireeNextDoor Tweetcast.
Get answers to your retirement questions from more than 2 dozen of the top voices in personal finance.
Photo Credit: Sander van der Wel