Stand Out From the Crowd to Get Out of Debt

Whether or not we like to admit it, following the crowd is part of human nature. When we're babies, we learn to walk and talk just like Mom and Dad. Growing up, we want the same toys, clothes, and eventually cars as our friends. As adults, we try to keep up with the Joneses by acquiring the latest gadgets and accessories.

Sometimes we imitate each other without even realizing it. Take me, for instance. I've always liked to think of myself as an original - someone who follows her gut, who doesn't bow to peer pressure, who marches to the beat of her own drummer. Until I realized I was a total lemming in one important area of my life - my finances.

My family and friends have always been heavily reliant on credit cards. So, of course, I followed in their footsteps. Up until a few years ago, I basically had a mini-credit card museum in my wallet. Nordstrom, Macy's, Best Buy, Target, you name it. If I shopped there, I had a card.

I also had a lot of debt.

But I just kept telling myself not to worry. Everyone else used plastic and it worked just fine, right? Well, not exactly. The more I relied on credit, the more debt - and the more interest - I accumulated. That damaged my credit rating and, in turn, inched my interest rates even higher. I didn't know what to do, so I started looking to my friends for guidance - and for the first time, I noticed the negative effects of too much credit.

None of my friends had houses (they couldn't qualify for loans), all of them were living paycheck to paycheck and many were fending off harassing calls from creditors. I realized then that I needed to lead, not follow - and I started by putting away my cards and paying off my debts.

It's easy to blame others for our behavior because it gives us an excuse to do nothing. But where does that get us? If you dream of a life free from financial worries, it's time to take matters into your own hands. Not sure how to get started? Consider bankruptcy - it's one of the most reliable ways to discharge debts and get a fresh financial start. When you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, your house will be legally protected from foreclosure while you pay off remaining debt in affordable increments.

Wondering if bankruptcy is right for you? Just fill out a form for a free personal debt analysis with a DebtStoppers attorney in Atlanta or Chicago. Forget following the crowd - becoming debt-free will put you ahead of the crowd.

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