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New Year's financial resolution: working to get out of debt

By Gray Hall - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – It's a New Year and of course that means resolutions. A big one every year is people working to get their finances straight. We talked to a financial expert about what consumers should keep in mind as they tackle their finances.

Working out is not the only New Year's Resolution. Many people are vowing to shape up their finances. Financial specialist, Andrew Grasso admits, like losing weight, getting yourself out of debt is not easy.

"It's tough and it's a long road but it has to be something you want, it's just like loosing weight. I battle with that everyday but it something that you have to want," he said.

Difficult or not, people promise themselves they can handle the challenge.

"I am going to spend less and make more," said Colleen Quinlan. 

The beginning of the year is always the busiest time for Grasso, and his team of credit counselors at Clear Point Financial Solutions. They help people get out debt. He says no matter how bad it looks, don't throw in the towel.

"The debt is not going to go away unless you pay it off. Never give up. There are always options. You have options available, sometimes you just need to seek to try to find out what those options are," Grasso said.

Some important steps -- create an action plan, make a budget and start cutting back on the luxuries. Grasso says ask yourself, "Do I need all the extra cable channels, you know, do I need texting? Do I use these things? How can I bring my bills down?"

Grasso says most of his clients get into debt due to a reduction in income, then end up turning to the plastic.

"Murphy's Law strikes, what can go wrong will go wrong. And we really find those credit cards come in handy for car repairs, for house repairs just the incidentals and if you supplement that for a long time it can add up to a lot of debt," he said.

Financial expert say there is no magic remedy. You have to be disciplined. Also, if you are looking for advice there are free services out there, but you have to do your homework and watch out for scammers. If you have questions about a credit counseling business contact the Better Business Bureau. To contact Clear Point Counselors and more financial relief tips you can head to their website http://clearpointfinancialsolutions.org/

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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