Create Your Own Economic Recovery When You Eliminate Debt

Economists have spent weeks pointing to signs that the recession is over, but many Americans are having a hard time believing it.

Despite a pickup in retail, real estate and the stock market, foreclosures are still on the rise, increasing 5 percent just since summer. Unemployment - right now at a 30-year record of 9.8 percent - continues to edge upwards. The cost of living, as always, is outpacing our salaries. And we're more in debt than ever. The economy might be starting to expand on paper; in real life we're still feeling its effects - and might be for some time.

But despite all that, there's good reason for optimism. First, understand that some of the bad news can be attributed to a lag effect. People are still out of work because employers don't want to rush into spending money until they can confirm the economy is recovering - or they may not have the money to spend, period. And when folks aren't earning money at work, it's awfully hard to make their mortgage payments - meaning foreclosures will naturally go up for awhile. In short, just because an expansion isn't obvious right away, doesn't mean it's not there.

Second (and probably more importantly) realize that most folks can improve their financial situation whether the economy recovers today or tomorrow. You don't need to wait for the end of the recession to have a clean slate! Your financial freedom rests in your hands.

Now, I realize you might not feel that way when your boss announces you've been laid off or you're struggling to pay a medical bill for a totally unexpected illness. But while you can't control life's twists and turns, you can control how handle them. And one of the easiest ways to make your finances more flexible is to get rid of that nagging debt burden and the interest that goes with it. For many Americans, it's actually debt - not just the recession - that is forcing us to live paycheck to paycheck. Creditors have us trapped. With most minimum payments just 2 percent of our balance, we can pay our bills on time and not cover much more than interest - meaning our debt continues to grow as we use our cards.

When our debt becomes overwhelming, we make excuses. We blame the economy, our bosses and even ourselves because feeling angry or guilty is easier than fixing the problem. But I'm here to tell you that if you can make it through the worst economic slowdown since the Great Depression, you can handle anything - including overcoming debt.

The best part is that you don't have to do it alone. At DebtStoppers, we'll recommend a bankruptcy plan that can reduce or eliminate your debt and protect you from creditors - even stop foreclosure. To find out if bankruptcy is right for you, sign up for a one-on-one debt analysis with one of our Chicago bankruptcy attorneys - it's 100% free. If economists say the recession is over, why not use this as your chance for a clean slate? Make your own economic recovery - bankruptcy is one of the most effective ways to do it.

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