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It's impossible to talk about debt management without saying something about credit card debt. Credit card debt is a real problem for many people in our society today. If I had my way, I'd cut up those credit cards and burn them, flush them, or do whatever it took to get rid of them.

I counsel more people in financial difficulty because of credit card misuse than any other single factor.

I realize that I can get into a rut on this subject. One day I decided to cut up all my credit cards. However, I soon found out I couldn't check into a hotel without one. So I ended up getting another credit card to use when I travel.

Owning a credit card is not wrong, but misusing it is. If you can't discipline yourself to use credit cards properly, you should cut them up. Otherwise, they're useful for reserving hotel rooms and renting cars; in fact, most car companies won't rent you a car without one.

If you do use a credit card, use it as sparingly as possible and always pay it off the first day you get the bill. It's not smart to pay 18 percent interest per year on credit card debt. At any rate, if you do have a lot of credit card debt, you need to get God involved in your finances so that you can start paying it off.

Finally, set aside about 3 percent of your disposable income for something I call giving to the Lord. This is giving that goes above and beyond the tithe. Use it to put some seed into God's good ground.

It's important that we always protect the 3 percent of our income as giving unto the Lord. Three percent is just an average. When God begins prospering you, the percentage will go up from 3 percent to 10 percent and 20 percent or 50 percent as God gives the increase.

Call The Creditors?
As you begin to prosper financially, start paying off greater amounts of debt. One thing that you may find helpful is to call your creditors and talk to them. Most people don't talk to their creditors because they don't know they should. Try calling your credit card company and telling them you're interested in paying off your debt.

Also tell them if you can't make a payment or if you can only make a partial payment. Let them know you're going to pay something every week or every time you receive a paycheck. Call them regularly.

As a matter of fact, I'd advise you to call them so often, they tell you to stop calling. Use a little reverse psychology, seriously. Call them every week and say, "How are you doing? I'm just reporting in to you that I'm sending you another dollar." Tell them you're interested in paying the principle off instead of just the interest.

Ask if they will lower your interest rate. What have you got to lose? Credit card companies will sometimes give breaks on interest rates, but first you have to ask.

Your creditors don't want you to go bankrupt any more than you do. They get nothing if that happens. So, if they know you're trying to make payments, they'll work with you. Talk to them in a responsible way, assuring them that you're working toward the complete payment of that obligation. They'll love it. They don't want to lose money.

Source: Simplifying Your Life by Mac Hammond.
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Mac Hammond
Web site: Mac Hammond
Mac Hammond is the senior pastor of Living Word, a large and growing church in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. He is the host of the Winner’s Minute, which is seen locally in the Minneapolis area on KMSP Channel 9 at 6:44 a.m. and 11:11 a.m. He is also the host of the Winner's Way broadcast and author of several internationally distributed books. Mac is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living.

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