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Poor debt management is avoidable

Many people living in Massachusetts carry heavy debt loads. Unfortunately, while most of these individuals would like to reduce or eliminate their debts, they make self-defeating mistakes that can make debt management difficult, if not impossible. Financial education, combined with better spending habits, can often provide relief.

While it is true that many people go into debt for reasons that are beyond their control, such as high medical bills, many others rack up debt due to poor spending habits and overuse of credit cards. Many financial experts note that the very act of shopping and spending money can affect brain chemistry, giving the spender a temporary "high." Unfortunately, this means that some people spend more money than they can afford on items that they don't genuinely need.

To counter this, financial professionals advise using cash whenever possible and delaying non-essential purchases for at least one day. By using cash, consumers avoid racking up additional debt, and delaying purchases gives the shopper time to consider whether the purchase is both affordable and needed.

Another mistake that many debtors make is poor prioritization of debt repayment plans. In many cases, it may be wiser to pay off high-interest credit card debt more quickly than other loans. By reducing the high-interest debts first, debtors can save money over time.

Another issue that often creates problems for debtors is a refusal to seek help. In some cases, debtors don't seek help because they are ashamed of their financial condition. Yet, many people struggling with high credit card debt may benefit from speaking with an experienced attorney. The lawyer may be able to review the client's case and make recommendations regarding appropriate strategies, including Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

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