Americans are working hard to reduce individual debt burdens. In some cases, unfortunately, we are simply swapping one liability for another, data from the Federal Reserve show-cutting, say, credit card debt while adding education debt. Still, overall our burden is in decline. Consumers have cut debt by $100 billion in less than a year, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
That's undeniably positive for the personal balance sheets of millions of households. But too often families that cut debt feel they've done enough. It's equally important to manage what debt remains. On an obvious level, that means continuing to pay off loans in a timely way—targeting the highest rates first and not lapsing into unnecessary credit spending.
But there is much more to consider, says Consumer Advocate Eleanor Blayney[, CFP®] at the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. She offers five keys to family debt management. Read more >
June 20, 2012