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In this issue you will find that I have added links to articles of interest. The YouTube video is worth a watch under Crisis of Credit. I have had requests to repeat an article I wrote for Ezine Articles.com and you will find this as the featured article.

I made a promise to get this out during the month and well, I made it! Just...

Until next time...
Best wishes,

Winner of the IFA Education Award 2005 ( Canterbury Branch)
Interviewed on CTV during 2008

In This Issue:
Feature Article: How to Get Out of Debt in Hard Times

Review: Zilch Standard Debt Reduction
Crisis of credit
Thought for Today
Reader's Feedback
Subscribe/Unsubscribe Information

How to Get Out of Debt in Hard Times

by Lyn Bell

As the credit crunch bites and recession follows the question of how to get out of debt is being asked by more and more people. Many have lost their jobs in the current recession, while others may have had a long time off work through sickness. Hours may have been reduced. resulting in less income. Opportunities to work overtime may have dried up.

It is so easy to get into debt when you go through a bad financial patch. The credit card balance mounts up. You take out a loan thinking that things will soon be back to normal and you can then pay everything off, but so often it turns out not to be so easy. You may be unable to find another job, or your company reduces your hours permanently.

Even if the situation is resolved and your income goes up again, often the debt is not as easy to pay off as you expected. Here are a few steps to help get you started.

� Do a budget! This is the best place to start to sort your finances.

� Keep making your monthly payments on time. Make sure you budget for it and do not use this money for spending.

� Pay the highest interest debts off fastest.

� Cut up your credit cards or at the very least put them in a safe place but not in your purse.

� If you receive a windfall such as a cash gift or an inheritance pay this off debt. Do not spend it!

If these strategies are not working for you, there are several things you can do.

� Debt Consolidation is a way of repaying a lot of small loans or credit card debts with one large loan. Payments can be cheaper each month and will help you to keep track of all your debts. A word of caution though: Do not start accumulating more debt because the pressure has come off. This unfortunately is an easy trap to get into.

� Negotiate the terms of your loans with the lender. Arrange for a longer period to pay. This will make your monthly payments smaller. Be truthful with the lender and explain your situation. If you are making an effort this is seen in a favorable light.

� Apply for a 'payment holiday' if you cannot make your payment this month. Remember that interest will still be accruing.

� Bankruptcy is really a last resort and should not be taken lightly. Bankruptcy can be voluntary (where you initiate it) or forced (where you have a court judgment against you). In bankruptcy proceedings you lose all your assets and you will find it very hard to get credit for many years to come. In terms of how to get out of debt, this is certainly not the best way, but sometimes some people have to resort to it.

The best answer on how to get out of debt is to take stock of your situation and be realistic about what you need to do to make things right. Speak to your bank or credit card provider. If you need extra help seek it out with a budget advisor or financial planner.

"Zilch Standard Debt Reduction" Software Review

If you have been having trouble getting out of debt, this tool definitely gives you an incentive to keep plugging by showing you the light at the end of the tunnel Once you know how much $$ you have to spend over your regular payments, it helps analyse how quickly you can repay your debt.

Read the full review http://www.soundfinance.com/site/471168/page/834131

Crisis of Credit

This great video clip on YouTube explains the credit crisis in a very user-friendly and entertaining way.

While it doesn't talk about the recent efforts being made to rectify the situation it does provide some background as to how the credit crunch started.

Please note that the clip is in two parts, but both can be accessed from the same page


Thought for Today

"We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons: inspiration or desperation"

Jim Rohn

Reader's Feedback

Let me know how I'm doing, what you would like to read about or even ask a question you would like answered. Did you like this format?

This is some reader feedback from my last article on
"Good News Stories from the Re*cession". http://soundfinanceblog.blogspot.com/2009/02/some-good-news-stories-in-time-of.html

Calum: Great article Lyn, well-done.....great to read positives in a re*cession , I like to look at more positives then negatives any day of the week....:-)

Jack: Keep on focussing on the positives about the recovery. I am so sick of hearing and reading about the negative impact of the re*cession. I know we have to be realistic but I think we have had our fair share of bad news......it's now time for the good stuff

Liz:Thanks Lyn � nice to have a bit of positive news!!

Robyn liked the brevity: I like it including the relative brevity. Some email newsletters go on and on.

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Lyn Bell,

P O Box 38094, Parklands, Christchurch 8842, New Zealand

A current D isclosure statement under the Securities Markets Amendment Act 1988 for Lyn Bell of Lyn Bell & Associates is available on request and free of charge

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