Become Debt-Free

Create a budget and set your #DebtFreeDate

You probably know that good financial decisions can make life better, but did you know that every financial challenge has a solution? If you are ready to learn new skills that will change your life, read on!

Better Business Bureau and are encouraging consumers to be “calculated budgeters” in their efforts to get out of debt and increase savings. In light of record-breaking household debt, here are the five most common financial challenges with tips to help you be more calculated in budgeting and debt reduction:

Credit card debt

Most credit card companies will lower interest rates when asked, especially if you mention a “hardship plan.” If they won’t budge, try debt management through a nonprofit credit counselor. Lower rates mean your payments go more toward principal instead of interest.

Student loan debt

Millions of Americans struggle with student loans. You may feel helpless and confused about where to start, but it’s important to understand your repayment options. Work with your loan servicer to learn about consolidation, loan rehabilitation, income-based repayment, loan forgiveness, and more!

Auto loan debt

For many, a car is critical to earning a living and keeping up with busy lives. It’s also seen as a status symbol and badge of independence. While transportation is a “need”, a fancy new car or extra options is a “want”. Be careful not to stretch your budget, or you may find yourself struggling to pay.

Medical debt

As healthcare costs rise, so does medical debt. In fact, it’s one of the leading causes of bankruptcy. While medical bills are steep, they also come with unique opportunities to manage the expenses, like negotiation, financial aid, and prescription co-pay assistance.

Mortgage debt

Home-ownership has long been part of the American Dream, but mortgage debt can last a lifetime. Experts recommend a debt-to-income ratio (based on gross income and including all debt) of no more than 40% for a healthy budget. This is known as your “back-end DTI”.

To get started with budgeting and debt reduction, check out this Budget Calculator from and set your #DebtFreeDate today!

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NOTE: is powered by Money Management International (MMI), a national nonprofit promoting financial wellness through empowered choices. MMI is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Clearpoint is a systemwide BBB Accredited Business and a Council of Better Business Bureaus National Partner.