Paying Down Your Debt

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Monday, August 22, 2011 - 7:47am

Experts agree that now is the time to pay down your credit cards.

Financial experts are almost universal in their advice: It's time you pay off your debts.

"It's this liberation, it's incredible," says bankruptcy attorney Gary Quackenbush.

Quackenbush says that's the feeling when people get out from under their credit card debt.

In today's economy, where savings account interest rates are at historic lows it's pretty obvious where your money can go the farthest.

"If you're earning nothing, or one percent or a quarter percent on savings and your credit card is going backwards by 12 or 20 percent? It only makes sense to be paying those things down," he says.

Consumer credit counselor Manuel Navarro agrees.

"If everything else is stable, the mortgage payment, the rent payment, the utilities are all stable, they really want to use that money to pay down their debt. They are investing in themselves," he says.

People stuck with credit card interest rates between ten and 40 percent should be using every extra penny to pay it off.

Navarro says it's not enough to simply stop using the card.

"If you look at your credit card statement, it will tell you on that statement, if you make your minimum payment and stop using your card now, it can take you 20-30-40 years to pay off that debt," he explains.

We often talk about saving our money for a rainy day, well if you owe a ton of cash on your credit card, that rainy day could be now.

"Don't save; pay off your credit card," Quackenbush says.

"Once you start paying off that debt and you see that obligation lifted from you, you'll see that you sleep better, you feel better about yourself, you're happier," adds Navarro.

You should still be contributing to your retirement accounts, your 401k, especially if there is a company match.

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