Author Deborah McNaughton shares her own personal experience with debt in The Get Out of Debt Kit . She owed $300,000, and soon after canceling her family's medical insurance, her daughter needed emergency brain surgery. After much stress and worry, she triumphed over the bills by negotiating with creditors and is now eminently qualified to share common sense advice on what to do when you feel overwhelmed by debt.
The Get Out of Debt Kit deals mainly with credit card debt, because Americans owe about $700 billion on their charge cards. The book includes worksheets for recording expenses, budgeting and keeping track of credit card balances. McNaughton advises paying off low-balance cards first and explains how to deal with harassing creditors. McNaughton isn't anti-credit. In fact, she strongly recommends having two or three open accounts in your own name, even if you are married. Just don't use them if you can't pay off the balance when the bill comes. "Remember the ideal is to have credit without debt," she says. An important concept that's easy to forget.