ICFE eNEWS #11-31 - September 6th 2011

"S.O.S." Your Debt - AskMrG

Most people know that "S.O.S." is some type of distress call, but most people have no idea what it means. The popular notion is that it the letters stand for "Save Our Ship" which was used by the military in battle. You may be surprised to know that in reality the acrostic has no meaning at all!

The letters "S.O.S." were used as a Morse code distress signal by the military in telegraph communications. Those letters were chosen because they were easy to remember and easy to use. "S" was three dots in Morse code, and "O" was three dashes. Thus, "... --- ..." was an abbreviated way to send a distress signal that you were in trouble and needed help.

With that said, I believe it is high time we send an "S.O.S." call about our debt! As a veteran credit counselor in the "trenches" with people plagued with debt problems, I am telling you that stress from debt is at epidemic proportions!

Debt is robbing us of our happiness, our health, and our heritage. I just read that 14% of 64 year olds will enter their retirement with negative net worth! They have no choice after retirement but to buy a new pair of tennis shoes and be a greeter at Wal-Mart.

If you are tired of spending everything you make, never having any extra, running out of money before you run out of month, and always "robbing Peter to pay Paul", listen to me. There is hope for you. There is something within your reach that you can do to change things.

Send an "S.O.S." to your debt! Here's how it works.

"S". See your debts as one debt. Make a list of every debt you have, credit cards, loans, mortgages, cars, boats, etc. Make three columns to include the name of the debt, the current monthly payment, and the present balance. Total each column so you will know the total amount of debt you owe and the total amount of monthly payments you are making. View this list as your "enemy" over which you want to gain freedom.

"O". Offer each creditor an unchangeable payment. The monthly payment for some debts, like credit cards, is based on a percentage of the balance, so as the balance declines, so does the payment request. Our plan of attack keeps each payment at its current amount and does not reduce it, regardless of the statement request for less.

"S". Shift payments to a different creditor once each debt is paid in full. When one debt is paid off, shift that payment to the next smallest debt. Now, you are paying extra on that debt which is applied directly to its principle.

This plan would pay off $10,000 of credit debt in about seven years instead the normal thirty years and give you a cost savings of $10,000 and a time savings of 23 years! Eventually, the entire monthly debt payments you are presently making would go toward your mortgage payment! Now that's what I call a plan!

Borrowing to get out of debt is like digging a hole in the front yard to fill in the hole in the back yard! A better solution is to send an S.O.S. message to your debt. It is easy, effective, and emotionally healing.

Ask Mr. G
© Jim Garnett
AskMrG Financial Library
2216 SW 35th Street
Ankeny, IA 50023

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Sent by:

Paul Richard
President - Executive Director
Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE)

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