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The only reason a great many American families don't own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments. Mad Magazine The above quote is so true for a lot of us. How many of us have things in our homes that we bought because it was a good bargain and we could get it with credit cards? I raise my hand and now I'm trying to get my bills paid off, from buying on credit. So I have come up with seven tips on how to pay off bills. Make a budget: You don't know what to pay if you don't know what is coming in and going out. So the first thing to do is educate your self on your bills and money. Don't forget to add in food, clothes,service bills. Decide what bills to pay off first: Look at your credit cards. Take the one with the smallest amount and pay it off, then go to the next credit card with the lowest amount, but this time pay the amount you normally do, plus the amount that you were paying on the first card. Do this over and over till you get to the highest card, by this time you will be able to pay a large amount and get it paid off quickly. Don't start using credit cards again. You will just get in the same rat race. Do you really need that? Protect Yourself Be wary of credit counseling organizations that:

charge high up-front or monthly fees for enrolling in credit counseling or a DMP.

pressure you to make "voluntary contributions," another name for fees.

won't send you free information about the services they provide without requiring you to provide personal financial information, such as credit card account numbers, and balances.

try to enroll you in a DMP without spending time reviewing your financial situation.

offer to enroll you in a DMP without teaching you budgeting and money management skills.


demand that you make payments into a DMP before your creditors have accepted you into the program.

Take a Part Time Job: Yes I know that we are overworked as it is, but couldn't you find something that you could do on your off hours, baby sit, cook for others, walk dogs. There is so much you could do if you just set your mind to it. Don't go use credit cards unless you can pay them off when the bill come in. Debt Consolidation: You may be able to lower your cost of credit by consolidating your debt through a second mortgage or a home equity line of credit. Remember that these loans require you to put up your home as collateral. If you can't make the payments -- or if your payments are late -- you could lose your home. What's more, the costs of consolidation loans can add up. In addition to interest on the loans, you may have to pay "points," with one point equal to one percent of the amount you borrow. Still, these loans may provide certain tax advantages that are not available with other kinds of credit. Bankruptcy: Should be a last resort, because it is far reaching and seems to haunt you forever. Think very hard about this decision. There are other ways, even through they might seem harder. So there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you can see it. Somebody ask the other day, what if it gets turned off? Thats a scary thought and I didn't have an answer. Do You?

Meg McNeal is an online author specialist. Visit [http://freeiq.com/megmcneal] for more Free Articles on Paying Off Bills

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7 Tips To Pay Off Bills