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No. of Recommendations: 15

Welcome. You've come to the right place. And you are overlooking another solution. In fact, its *the* only solution, which I'll get to in a minute.

Actually, none of the 4 things you've suggested are a solution at all. #1 and #3 are moving debt around, they are not paying it off. Your debt moves or shifts, but it is still there. They *can* be strategies within a greater plan if used properly, but they are not solutions.

#2 can only help you do what you can do just fine on your own, and that's only if they're legit. And #4, as you well know, is no solution at all.

You've build up debt, and there's only one reason for that. You've spent more than you make. Period. Now, there may be many reasons, or situations, or things that you may have spent on, but nonetheless, its the simplest of math. Your spend more money than you make.

So the only solution, which may be obvious by now, if you need to spend less than you make. Period. Thats it. That's all there is to it. You can do it by making more, or spending less, or some combination of the two. But that's the only way to get out of debt.

You didn't get into debt overnight, and you won't get out of it overnight. But you need to start.

First thing you need to do is stop using the credit cards. Period. Put them away, lock them up. Many people recommend freezing them in a block of ice (no, not kidding) - that way you have them, but they're so darn hard to get that you're not doing to use them in an impulse. But whatever you do, stop using them? Why? As is often said around here, the first rule of getting out of a hole is to stop digging.

Second, is you need to figure out what you're spending money on. How much on rent, how much on groceries, how much on food, how much on gas, how much on clothes, how much on insurance, how much on utilities, how much on coffee, how much tv, internet, how much on entertainment, electronics, etc. You need to track every penny (or at least as close as you can).

When you know how much you're spending, you can compare that to what you make, and decide where you need to cut back. $40K may seem like a lot - and, indeed, it is - but people here have dug out of a lot.

Oh, and if you're willing, you need to share these numbers with us. Your bills, your minimums, and your list of expenditures. No one can dig into those numbers like some of the people around here. And once you're willing to follow some of the suggestions to give yourself a more secure life going forward, you'll be on your way.

I hope this helps, and I hope you follow through. We're here for you.
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