Debt Free For Life
- 4 min read
- Debt Free for life is a noble goal, but certainly not practical.
- Follow practical advice to get rid of debt, like paying debt quicker.
- Find the debt relief solution appropriate to your financial situation.
Debt Free for Life - A Castle of Sand?
David Bach’s NY bestseller, "Debt Free for Life", is chock-full of great tips. This book along with others, including "Finish Rich Book Series" and "Automatic Millionaire Series" offer you a wide range of topics, motivating you to get rich, and get rid of your debt.
Who doesn't want to live comfortably, buy some luxury items, and build a nice nest egg for retirement? However, we all are aware that some people are rich, while others are struggling to make ends meet. Some people are healthy, while others are dealing with tough diseases and expensive medical treatment. It is not always enough to want to be debt free to get debt free for life. You can dream of living in a castle of sand, but dealing with everyday reality means making tough financial decisions.
Debt Free for Life - General Comments
Bach claims that during the latest recession he recognized that there is not good debt or bad debt. It all should go, and quickly. This realization helped him write the book "Debt Free for Life".
Mindset: Bach makes the argument that you need to make it your goal to get out of debt. Gear your way of thinking to spending less, saving more and paying off debt. Change your lifestyle so you don’t dig yourself into debt. He came to the conclusion, which runs counter to his previous way of thinking, that all debt is bad. Maybe you can build a castle of sand without a mortgage loan, but few can afford to buy a house without one.
Practical Advice: Bach appears on television as well as on the internet. He and his book are full of practical advice. Here are some good examples:
- Use automated bill-paying systems to ensure that you pay you debt on-time.
- Don’t prolong your debt by only making your minimum payment. He suggests using a DOLP (Done on Last Payment) plan, to calculate your last day to debt freedom.
- Increase your revenue by finding another job, or if you are unemployed, then take almost any job.
- Lower your expenses and avoid buying unnecessary items.
- Don’t take on more credit card debt.
- Negotiate lower interest rates with your creditors.
- If you need professional help, a credit counselor can help.
Debt Free - The Pirate's treasure for me?
No, I am not suggesting that you become a pirate. Although finding a pirate’s treasure would be nice, is it really going to happen?
However, I am suggesting that you realistically evaluate your situation. If you are in a position whereby you can make more money appear and use it to pay off debt, then great. (Don’t forget to keep up your rainy day fund, savings account, investment accounts, and retirement funds). In addition, can most people realistically buy a house without taking out a mortgage? Yes, I agree, make it your plan to pay off the mortgage, and not use your house as a source to take out more loans to buy more items.
Much of the advice in the book is good advice. If it helps you get motivated and work on your debt problems, that is great. However, some of the advice is misleading. We don’t always decide to get into debt. A sudden illness, major unexpected expenses, loss of job can through anyone off their program. Much of the advice in the book is available for free and online.
Bills.com provides you articles about getting debt free, choosing the best debt relief option, taking a mortgage, collection laws, and many more topics.
Debt Free For Life - Start with Small Steps
Apply any practical advice that is appropriate to your situation. However, focus on your situation. Don’t live beyond your means is fine, as Bach’s noted, he does not have the answer for everyone. Your tough debt problems need to be dealt with and not brushed away.
Start by looking at your debt problem and finding the best debt relief solution for you, whether it is paying off your loans quicker, loan consolidation, debt management, debt settlement of bankruptcy. Sometime a do it yourself approach is appropriate, and sometime you will need professional help.
Instead of building sand castles or looking for buried treasure, start by looking at your situation. Bills.com Debt Coach helps you match your financial situation and goals to the most appropriate debt relief solution.
In addition to reading Bills.com articles, use these Bills.com tools:
- Budget Guide - to help you prepare your personal budget.
- Saving Machine - to show you ways to save each month.
- Minimum Payment Calculator - to help you optimize your payments.
- Refinance Calculator - to help you determine if refinancing is a good idea.
Most importantly, be proactive. Making a goal to get debt free is great. Remember, if you are struggling to make your payments, or overwhelmed by debt, start by taking the small steps that will bring your debt relief and set you on the road to being debt free for life.
Mortgages, credit cards, student loans, personal loans, and auto loans are common types of debts. According to the NY Federal Reserve total household debt as of Q4 2022 was $16.91 trillion. Housing debt totaled $12.26 trillion and non-housing debt was $4.65 trillion.
According to data gathered by Urban.org from a sample of credit reports, about 26% of people in the US have some kind of debt in collections. The median debt in collections is $1,739. Student loans and auto loans are common types of debt. Of people holding student debt, approximately 10% had student loans in collections. The national Auto/Retail debt delinquency rate was 4%.
Collection and delinquency rates vary by state. For example, in Idaho, 14% have student loan debt. Of those holding student loan debt, 6% are in default. Auto/retail loan delinquency rate is 3%.
While many households can comfortably pay off their debt, it is clear that many people are struggling with debt. Make sure that you analyze your situation and find the best debt payoff solutions to match your situation.