Debt is the longest-lasting economic curse, the most heinous financial plague, and the least recognized form of modern slavery afflicting Americans this millennium. Debt keeps you up late at night. Debt drives you to drink, fight with your spouse, have anxiety and experience a host of other miseries that you never imagined. Can’t figure out why you’re always depressed on the morning after payday? It’s because the only ones celebrating your payday are your creditors, since 40% of your paycheck is going to towards your ever-growing debts.
Despite that paycheck you’re receiving, you don’t feel like you’re really getting ahead, right? You probably feel more like you’re drowning in debt. And even for those of you who don’t owe a dime on any credit cards, my guess is that you still feel financially insecure. Whatever category you fall into, read on, because Zero Debt can help you move from financial anxiety to financial freedom.
When you come home and see that pile of bills in your mailbox, many of you wonder: “What have I gotten myself into?” Admit it: How many times have you received an American Express bill in an over-stuffed number 10 envelope? Felt like you were in Zero Debt the middle of a B-horror flick, didn’t it? But the movie wasn’t called “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” It was more like “I Know What You Blew Your Hard-Earned Money On Last Month.”
Not Getting Ahead?
Are You Robbing Yourself?
The Zero Debt Philosophy
Join the Zero Debt Revolution
Deprivation Doesn’t Work
I Don’t Have Debt – So This Book Isn’t For Me
Who Is In Debt and Why?
How Long Could You Last without Credit?
Take The Zero Debt Path to Financial Freedom
Want To Be Better Off a Month From Now?
Having Excellent Credit – And “Good” Debt
I’ve Been Deep in Debt Too!
Overview: We’re A Nation of Debtors
- Generational Debt
Consumer Debt On The Rise Internationally
A Few Words to Over-Spenders
If It’s So Simple, Why Doesn’t Everyone Do It?
All The Motivation You Need
Diagnosis: You’re Suffering From The Debt Disease
Day 1 Stop the flood of credit card offers
- Trends In Credit Card Marketing
A Sweeter Offer?
The Truth About Credit Card Companies
Are You Playing The Blame Game?
One Easy Phone Call Can Help
Opting Out By Mail
End All – Well, At Least Most – Junk Mail
Day 2 Make a resolution to “stop digging”
- Why We Spend
Day 3 Put all your debts in writing
- Why Torture Yourself Listing All Your Bills?
A Wake-Up Call: How Much Do You Owe?
I Debticate Myself to Being Debt-Free
Day 4 Order your credit report and FICO? score
- What is a FICO? Score?
Fact Vs. Fiction About Credit Scores
What a FICO? Score Considers
Is Credit Scoring Fair To Minorities?
Little-Known Ways Your Credit Impacts You
The “Big Three” Credit Bureaus
Are You Eligible For a Free Credit Report?
The Credit Report You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
Day 5 Call your creditors & negotiate
- You Have Leverage
Six Things To Ask For
The Biggest Myth About Credit Card Cos
Getting Your Creditors To Work With You
What’s The Impact of a 16.9% Interest Rate?
But What If You Had A 5.9% Interest Rate?
What’s The Best Time To Negotiate With Creditors?
13 Negotiating Strategies To Lower Your Interest Rate, or Eliminate Late Fees and Over-The-Limit Charges
Day 6 Switch cards if necessary
- The Benefit of Comparison Shopping
Warnings About Obtaining New Credit
Day 7 Always exceed the minimum payment due
- “Minimum” Payments Now Really Equal Maximum Payments In the Long-Run
A Guaranteed Investment Return
But I Don’t Have the Money!
Day 8 Dispute any inaccuracies in your credit file
- How Accurate Are Credit Reports?
How Do Mistakes In Your Credit File Occur?
Credit Errors Can Cost You Mone y And More
Fixing Errors & Cleaning Up Your Credit File
Raising Your FICO? Score
Improve Your Credit Score in 3 Days – Legally
Day 9 Educate yourself about your legal rights
- 10 Rights Protecting Consumers
Day 10 Stop collection agency harassment
- “Cease Contact” or “Cease and Desist” Letter
Using the U.S. Post Office
Day 11 Prevent identity theft to protect your credit
- Tips To Avoid Identity Theft
Identity Theft In The Workplace
Scams Affect Workers And Those Looking For Work
Identity Theft Insurance
What to Do if Your Identity is Stolen
Day 12 Set up a good filing system
- Being Organized Helps Your Finances
Creating An Effective Filing System
What To Keep – And What To Throw Away
Maintaining Your Filing System
Day 13 Face the truth about your situation
- Your Finances & The Laws of Cause and Effect
In What Condition Is Your Financial House?
How Does Your Score Compare To Others?
Day 14 Create SMART financial goals
- The Importance of Written Goals
Consider Your Short, Medium and Long-Range Goals
Your Retirement Aspirations
Day 15 Figure out the $69,000 question: Where will you get the money to pay for your goals, such as slashing your debt?
Day 16 Scrutinize your spending
- How I Got Out of $100,000 in Credit Card Debt
Being In Debt Denial
Downsizing Hits Home
Gaining Perspective on Your Spending
Day 17 Make a realistic budget
- Causes Of Cash Flow Problems
4 Simple Steps To Stop Blowing Your Budget
Day 18 Find 10 ways to cut your spending
- Saving Money Doesn’t Have To Be A Big Hassle
Day 19 Adopt five lifestyle changes as strategies to save more money.
- When shopping, never pay full retail price
Become a frequent library patron
Take advantage of free/low-cost attractions and events in your city
Eat out less often
Walk, instead of driving, to any place that’s within walking distance
How to Look Like a Million Bucks (Without Spending a Fortune)
Day 20 At work, adjust your W-4 withholdings if you receive a refund
- Refund Checks Show Poor Financial Planning
A Quick Fix Via Your Human Resources Department
Day 21 Sell or donate stuff you don’t want, use or need
- Holiday Giving All Year Round
Day 22 Find a way to generate additional income
- Is a Second Job, or Part-Time Work In Your Future?
Turn a Hobby Into Cash
The Small-Office Home-Office Solution
The Ideal Part-Time Enterprise
Leverage The Internet
Day 23 Apply for a home equity loan or equity line of credit
- What’s the Difference Between a Home Equity Loan and a Home Equity Line Of Credit?
Need A Mortgage? Credit Re-Scoring Can Help
What Are Reverse Mortgages?
The Pros and Cons Of Reverse Mortgages
Day 24 Refinance your auto loan
- The Capital One Advantage
Online Lenders Dominate Auto Refinancing
Beware Of Extending Your Loan Length
Day 25 Pick a “Pay Down Your Debt” priority strategy
- The goal is to attack your area of pain
What This Technique Does & Does Not Accomplish
Day 26 Weigh the pros and cons of entering a debt management program
- Credit Counselors: Friend or Foe?
Traditional Credit Counseling On the Decline
The Financial Ties That Bind
How Debt Management Programs Work
Do’s and Don’ts of Debt Management Plans
Day 27 Evaluate your existing insurance coverage
- Five Types Of Insurance That You Don’t Need
Day 28 Draw up a will
- Get the Will to Draw Up A Will
Day 29 Open a “hands off” account and set up an automatic savings plan.
Day 30 Prepare yourself to become a positive financial role model
Day 31 Address any other money woes, credit issues, or special financial circumstances
- Bankruptcy: Your Last-Ditch Option
Delinquent Taxes: What To Do About Them
Helping Aging Parents With Their Finances
Payday Loans: ‘Credit’ You Must Never Accept
Appendix A: Credit Bureaus
Appendix A: Debt Counseling Firms
Appendix B: Sample Settlement Letter
Appendix C: Sample Cease & Desist Letter
Appendix D: The 30-Day Zero Debt Challenge!
Appendix E: Consumer Resources