Six steps to get you out of debt

February 27, 2009 4:49:30 PM PST
Michael Finney and Jordan Goodman outline the steps to get you out of the debt.

Step 1: Monitor your credit situation with a website like where you can see your credit report and score at any time and be warned if you have been hit by fraud or ID theft.

Step 2: Remove derogatories from your credit report with a website like that can help you challenge accurate or inaccurate marks of your credit report that are hurting your score.

Step 3: If you have a lot of credit card and other unsecured debt, consolidate it at a reputable national nonprofit credit counseling agency such as Cambridge Credit Counseling at 800-897-2200 or where all of your debts will be consolidated into one payment at a much lower interest rate -like 5-7% or even 2-3% in the case of hardship-allowing you to get out of debt years sooner than you could on your own.

Step 4: Refinance to a lower mortgage rate, now about 5%, with an Automatic Rate Cut (ARC) loan mortgage which you can find out about at 800-ARCLOAN or The rate on the ARC loan falls every six months if overall mortgages rates fall by at least a quarter point but the rate never rises after that.

Step 5: Pay your mortgage off in 5-7 years using the mortgage equity accelerator concept. The best website to find out more about this is You convert your existing fixed rate 30 year mortgage into a home equity line of credit (HELOC) and put your income and paycheck into the HELOC and then pay your expenses out of it. The end result is that because you are paying down principal from day1, you will pay off the mortgage much faster than you ever thought possible.

Step 6: Modify your mortgage if your house is worth less than your mortgage or your credit is impaired and you can't qualify for a refinance. Go to and they will work with you to prepare a good case to show the mortgage lender what you can afford to pay and then get you a lower interest rate and payment that you can afford so you can stay in your house.

About Jordan Goodman
Jordan Goodman, known as America's Money Answers Man, has been giving helpful, practical financial advice to millions of Americans for over 30 years. He is a regular contributor to national and local TV and radio shows around the country on personal finance topics. His website,, is one of the most popular destinations for personal finance advice on the Internet. He hosts the weekly Money Answers Show on the VoiceAmerica Business network, part of, the largest Internet radio broadcast network in the world. He does a weekly "Road to Riches" commentary on Public Radio International's "Marketplace Morning Report" show. He appears frequently on CNBC, MSNBC, CNN and Fox Business Network. He also comments on a weekly basis on many radio stations around the country including KMOX Radio in St. Louis, WLW in Cincinnati and KFNN Radio in Phoenix. Jordan was on the editorial staff of MONEY Magazine for 18 years, rising to become their Wall Street Correspondent. He is the author of 12 best-selling books on personal finance, including Everyone's Money Book, the Everyone's Money Book Series of 6 books on Credit, Real Estate, Retirement, Financial Planning, College and Investing. He is also the author of the Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms, which has sold over three million copies. He also wrote Master Your Money Type: Using Your Financial Personality to Create a Life of Wealth and Freedom. His latest-best seller is Fast Profits In Hard Times, 10 Secret Strategies to Make You Rich in an Up or Down Economy.