financial tip of the week...

by Genya Harley 

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Have you reached your debt ceiling?

Hello All
Thank you again for reading my tip of the week. I appreciate all of the feedback and questions I have received in recent weeks. Please continue to pass along my information to your family and friends, as I hope it continues to be informative.
Ok, so unless you have not turned on the news in the last 2 weeks, all we have heard about is the "US Debt Crisis or the US Debt Ceiling Debate etc.", without going into an elaborate explanation about what it is and who's going to do what, let's just sum it up as the US will have to raise its debt ceiling or we run the risk of defaulting on our bills and interest rates will rise and the world markets will start going crazy. That is it in a nutshell. We, common folk, will be impacted with our credit card interest rates going up, as well as, mortgage rates will increase, stocks, pensions, 401k may be impacted because of the markets etc. 
Not a good situation all the way around for everybody!

My subject this week is simply DEBT..Your Debt! We all need to take a really good look at our finances. What are you spending? On What? Why? Where?
Here are a few things you can do to start taking care of your own debt:
1. List all of your debts: mortgage, rent, personal loans, credit cards, car loans, utilities etc.
2. Categorize your debt: Good, Neutral and Toxic
3. Develop a plan to start paying it off.
Your plan should include calling your creditors and negotiating for lower interests rates.  You should start your plan by focusing first on any "toxic" debt. Toxic debt is credit cards, payday loans  or title loans. These loans usually have very high interest rates. Get rid of them quick!
Your next focus in your plan is the "neutral debt", such as car loans, personal loans, student loans and  bill consolidations. Pay as much as you can. Try to pay over the monthly minimum amounts due, you will pay the debt off sooner. ie. your minimum credit card payment is $25, you should pay $ 35 or $40 instead.
The last focus is the "good debt" ...this could be credit cards if they have low balances and low interest rates. The goal here is to maintain a good credit history with the lines of credit you have open, but you are able to fully manage these lines and put money in savings.
You have to start freeing up more cash and saving it!
Ultimately folks, pay attention to what is going on, try to get rid of as much debt as you can and do not add any more.  We all need to start acting like ANTS that SAVE UP THEIR FOOD FOR  THE WINTER!!!! WINTER should be EVERYDAY FOR US!
I am not in any way crying, "The sky is falling", but I do want all of us to heed the warnings!!!!
If you have any questions or comments or want someone to assist you in putting a financial plan/budget together, please call me or email me. I want to help you and your family.
As always, be safe and use wisdom!

If you would like more information or if you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please call me or email me at 773-251-1865 or, or

Genya Harley
Financial Consultant
Mutual of Omaha
19255 Everett Lane, Suite C
Mokena, IL 60448

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