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Tips for healthy credit practices in 2012

Feb 07, 2012 Philip Burgess

Average household debt in the U.S. is more than $15,000. While consumer debt dwindled in the years following the global economic collapse, credit volumes are expected to soar once again as markets continue to recover. Accordingly, consumers, lenders and debt collectors alike to need to prepare for the shift, accounting for mortgage debts as much student loans, credit cards and auto financing. Regardless of the size of your debt, it helps to start with a plan. If you're able to establish a consistent and reliable payment schedule then you're on your way to debt freedom. However, as Debt Help USA points out, this means being honest with yourself and realistically assessing your weaknesses. "If you are eating out too much, acknowledge it and cut back," the company suggests. "If shopping spending sprees are impulsive and out of control, either cut yourself off cold turkey or set a monthly budget as a precaution and do not exceed it. Simple lifestyle acknowledgements will allow you to tackle your debts more effectively." On the other side of the credit spectrum, lenders need to be careful as demand for credit climbs. Consider employing background checks and credit reports to assess borrowers' lending worth.