Synopses & Reviews
Struggling with debt?
Then you already know how stingy lenders have become. Today, it’s not easy to avert disaster or to recover from serious financial setbacks. This realistic, up-to-the-minute guide will help you find your best options, get real help, and take action that works.
Award-winning personal finance expert Liz Weston reveals why it’s simply impractical to “pay off every dime” and “live forever debt free”--and why trying to do so can actually make you poorer. It’s smarter to control and manage your debt, and Weston shows you how.
You’ll discover which debts can actually help build wealth and which are simply toxic. You’ll find up-to-date strategies for assessing and paying off debt, including money-saving insights on which debts to tackle first. Weston helps you figure out how much debt is safe--and offers friendly, sensible guidance for getting back into your “safety zone.” It’s time to stop worrying: Get this book, make a plan you can really follow, and start sleeping at night again!
Debt is NOT evil (but out-of-control debt can kill you)
Solve the real problem: get beyond short-term fixes and inspirational slogans
Build your personal three-step plan for managing debt
Get intimate with your debt and then decide where to go and how to get there
Deal with a debt crisis (and creditors)
Avoid disastrous mistakes and discover options you didn’t know you had
Stay on track for the rest of your life
Handle the “financial curveballs” life will certainly throw your way
Struggling with debt? Get realistic help that's actually useful, from Liz Weston, one of the most popular and respected personal finance experts! Today, people struggling with debt have far fewer options: lenders are stingier, which makes it harder to avert disaster, or to recover from setbacks like foreclosure, short sales, or bankruptcy. (Meanwhile, people with good credit have more options than ever, including some of the lowest interest rates in decades.) You need an up-to-date guide that can help you assess options, find help, discover opportunities, and take action that works. Liz Weston's Deal with Your Debt, Updated and Revised Edition is that guide. Weston reveals why most "conventional wisdom" about debt is just dead wrong. For most people, it's simply impractical to pay off every dime of debt, and live forever debt free. In fact, doing that can leave you a lot poorer in the long run. You're more likely to give up, or pay off the wrong debts. You could leave yourself too little flexibility to survive a financial crisis. You could neglect saving for retirement. You might even wind up in bankruptcy -- just what you're trying to avoid! For most people, it's smarter to control and manage debt effectively. In this extensively updated guide, Weston shows how to do that. You'll learn which debts can actually help build wealth over time, and which are simply toxic. You'll find up-to-date, real-world strategies for assessing and paying off debt, money-saving insights on which debts to tackle first, and crucial information about everything from debt consolidation loans to credit scores and credit counseling. Weston offers practical guidelines for assessing how much debt is safe -- and compassionate, realistic guidance if you've gone beyond the safety zone. If you've ever worried about debt, you'll find the new edition of Deal with Your Debt absolutely indispensable.
About the Author
Liz Weston, an award-winning personal finance columnist, is one of the Internet’s most-read money experts. The New York Times called her The 10 Commandments of Money a “wonderful basic personal finance book...[with] enough counterintuitive ideas to keep even people who know a bit about personal finance reading further.” Her best-seller Your Credit Score is now in its Fourth Edition. Her columns run twice weekly on MSN Money, and her Money Talk Q&A appears in print nationwide, from the LA Times to Stars and Stripes. She has appeared on Dr. Phil, NBC Nightly News, the Today Show and CNBC Power Lunch and is a regular contributor to Marketplace Money. Her books also include There Are No Dumb Questions About Money.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Isn’t Debt-Free the Way to Be? 1
Chapter 2 Your Debt Management Plan 15
Chapter 3 Credit Cards 39
Chapter 4 Mortgages 63
Chapter 5 Home Equity Borrowing 85
Chapter 6 Student Loans 99
Chapter 7 Auto Loans 119
Chapter 8 401(k) and Other Retirement Plan Loans 133
Chapter 9 Loans You Don’t Want to Get--or Give 147
Chapter 10 Dealing with a Debt Crisis 159
Chapter 11 Putting Your Debt Management Plan into Action 177