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Michael D. Hart, P.C.
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Tips for paying off debt

Women in Virginia might carry more student loan, credit card and other types of debt than men. According to Comet Financial, women have over $6,000 more in student loan debt, over $1,000 more in credit card debt and over $1,500 more in auto loan debt. This may in part be due to the wage gap between men and women.

Both men and women should take steps to reduce their debt. They can start by making a budget. There may be unnecessary expenditures that can be cut out, and the money can be used to reduce the debt. Financial experts often recommend that people start with the debt that has the highest interest rate.

If the budget is already tight, people may need to look elsewhere for ways to increase income. It may be possible to get a second job. Over one-third of people who pick up a side job make more than $500 per month doing so, and this can be significant for paying down debt. People may also want to look at the salary range for their career and consider whether it might be time to ask for a raise. Career Builder reports that about two-thirds of people who do so get more money although some negotiation might be required.

However, people who are overwhelmed by debt may want to talk to an attorney about options for debt relief and the possibility of filing for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy filing might put a stop to creditor harassment and any other actions against a person including a lawsuit and home foreclosures. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy may allow a person to keep a home and other assets. Instead of discharging all debts, in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a person creates a payment plan to pay off creditors. If the plan is approved, the person will stay on it for three or five years.

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Roanoke, VA 24011

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