Tips and Tricks to Help You Destroy Debt

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When I was asked to write my first personal finance book more than 20 years ago, choosing the topic was easy. It’s in the title: Life or Debt.

At the time, I’d been a nationally syndicated money reporter for about 10 years, and had seen firsthand the number of lives destroyed by debt. To this day, it seems like nearly everyone has a debt story to tell: getting in over your head, then the threatening calls, followed by months and years of digging out.

As far as I’m concerned, debt in this country is a national disgrace. I’m not so much mad at the folks roped in by debt, although it’s true people should accept responsibility for using credit irresponsibly. What gets me riled up is the way credit is peddled. The credit industry has sold it like it’s crack cocaine.

When I was in college, nobody was handing out credit cards or car loans to unemployed students. These days, if you can fog a mirror, you can get credit. You’re encouraged to borrow to buy clothes, cars, vacations — anything and everything.

This is insanity.

Here’s my philosophy: There are two ways to achieve financial freedom:

  1. Make more money than you can ever spend. Tough to accomplish.
  2. Don’t owe anybody anything. Not quite as good as option No. 1, but it’s possible for anyone to do.

That’s what this week’s “Money!” podcast is about. We’re going to talk about the fastest ways to destroy your debts forever. If one of your goals this year is to end it paying less interest than you did when it started, you’re about to get a bunch of great information and great motivation.

As usual, my co-host will be financial journalist Miranda Marquit. Listening in and sometimes contributing is producer and novice investor Aaron Freeman.

Sit back, relax and listen to this week’s “Money!” podcast:

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