The panel included Rod Griffin: Senior Director, Consumer Education and Advocacy, Experian; Christina Roman: Consumer Education and Advocacy Manager at Experian; Forbes Advisor; Beverly Harzog: Credit Card Expert and Consumer Finance Analyst for U.S. News; Paulina Likos: Investing Reporter at U.S. News; KeyBank; Alicia R. Hudnett Reiss: CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™; Todd Christensen: Education Manager at Money Fit by DRS; Alexandria White: Credit Cards Reporter at CNBC Select; Emily Pandise: Producer, Business/Tech/Media Unit, NBC News; Sara Rathner: Credit Card and Travel Expert, NerdWallet; Molly Ford-Coates: Founder, Ford Financial Management; Patrina Dixon: Certified Financial Educator; Take Charge America; Bob Haegele: Personal Finance Writer & Blogger; Leslie H. Tayne, Esq: Founder and Managing Director of Tayne Law Group, P.C. (f/k/a The Law Offices of Leslie H. Tayne, P.C.); Emily Pandise: Producer, Business/Tech/Media Unit, NBC News; and Ryan Luke: Personal Finance Blogger.
Q1: What are some steps to getting out of debt?
Q2: How do you create a budget when money is tight?
Q3: What are some tips for those who may be struggling with separating needs versus wants?
Q4: Are there resources or services you can use to help you get out of debt?
Q5: How do you decide which debt repayment strategy is right for you?
Q6: What should you do when you are behind on your bills or payments?
Q7: What are some things to do when you’re struggling to make ends meet?
Q8: How do you build an emergency fund on a tight budget?
Q9: What are some easy ways to start investing with little money?
Q10: Any last-minute tips on getting out of debt when you’re broke?
A1: Consolidated American household debt is in the trillions and has increased in 2020.
The best way to get out of debt is to budget. Don’t underestimate the power of planning.
Listing your expenses and making incremental adjustments can make a huge difference. #CreditChat
— Paulina Likos (@Paulina_Likos) July 22, 2020
A2: Creating a budget may seem daunting, but it isn’t as difficult as you think! And once you put the work in upfront, it’s easy to manage. There’s no better time to #budget than when money’s tight – gather info on your income, expenses & debt. https://t.co/DpeXRiKaps #CreditChat
— Alexandria White (@awhite_credit) July 22, 2020
A3: Waiting 24 hours before making a purchase is a good general rule. Weigh your options and look into lower-cost alternatives to the item you want. #CreditChat
— Leslie H. Tayne, Esq (@LeslieHTayneEsq) July 22, 2020
A4: A nonprofit credit counseling agency is a great resource to help you get out of debt. A credit counselor can help you come up with a budget and a plan moving forward on how to tackle your debt. #CreditChat
— American Consumer Credit Counseling (@ACCC_TalkCents) July 22, 2020
A5: The best debt repayment strategy is one that makes you feel empowered and motivated. Forget what’s the most “optimal” — choose the one that truly works for you so you stick with it. #creditchat
— Sara Rathner (@SaraKRathner) July 22, 2020
A6: Some banks will be willing to work with you if you call them and let you know you are having a difficult time financially–especially with COVID. Ask if they have a grace period or can set up a payment plan that better suits your income. #CreditChat
— Bob | The Frugal Fellow (@thefellowfrugal) July 22, 2020
A7: A side hustle can be a great route for people who want to earn more money, start a business, or follow a passion. Just be sure you’re able to dedicate yourself to your side hustle, which means having the available time & energy so it can truly pay off. #CreditChat pic.twitter.com/bqyrEklBFq
— Financial Beginnings USA (@finbeg) July 22, 2020
A8. Start small and be consistent and disciplined. Even saying $10-$15 from every paycheck will start to add up. Do not dip into those funds unless it’s a true emergency. #CreditChat https://t.co/jK2BuHtyTu
— Take Charge America (@TCAsolutions) July 22, 2020
— Beverly Harzog (@BeverlyHarzog) July 22, 2020
A10. Along with all the great advice given today, a support system is crucial for you! Friends and family that you trust that will be there for you, helping you along, lending an ear to listen. You can do it! Stay strong! #creditchat
— Ford Financial Management (@swansystemhome) July 22, 2020