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How to safely manage your debt

In  recent study done by the Urban Institute, 1 in 3 Americans have been reported to a collection agency for unpaid bills.

At Consumer Credit of the Quad Cities, Teri Overton said people are coming in with different kinds of debt nowadays.

“At one point, everybody that came in here was strictly credit cards,” said Overton.  “Now we’re seeing more collections, payday loans, and delinquent accounts.”

Overton advised to not get stressed out about all the different bills that need to be paid, just group them into one big bill.

“When you’re dealing with collection accounts, a lot of times it’s just putting it into one monthly payment,” said Overton. “It can be really overwhelming dealing with collection agencies, they can be a little intimidating. We deal with them on a different level that might make it a little bit easier for the consumer.”

Overton said that once people are out of debt, they need to create a budget and stick to it. She said not to live outside your means and to always stay organized with your spending.

“If you get your credit card bill at the end of this month and can’t pay it off, okay, fine. Don’t use it next month, don’t use it until it gets paid off,” said Overton.

If you are in debt or in collections and need help from a credit agency, make sure you check their rating from the Better Business Bureau and use your best judgement.

For the Quad Cities Better Business Bureau, click here.

“It’s always a good idea to stay local, then if you have a problem you can walk into the office and talk to someone,” said Overton. “Also, make sure it’s a non-profit organization.”

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