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How to Get Out of Debt in the New Year

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The New Year has begun, and millions of Americans have resolved to get their finances in better shape for 2014. But if you're trapped under a mountain of debt, it's hard to conceive of building up a big investment portfolio until you pay off everything you owe.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, gives some tips on how to get out of debt in 2014. Dan points out that the first step is figuring out how much you owe, which you can find out by getting a copy of your free credit report from annualcreditreport.com. Then, find out how much in interest you pay on each of your debts. Dan notes that typically, credit cards will have the highest rates, followed by mortgages and student loans. Finally, Dan suggests talking to credit card companies about lowering your rates. With 0% interest rates from Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) , Citigroup (NYSE: C  ) , and American Express (NYSE: AXP  ) among others, there's enough competition in credit cards to give you some leverage. Dan concludes that if you want to get out of debt in 2014, you can -- just by following these simple rules.

Getting out of debt is your first step toward financial independence
Once you've figured out how to get out of debt, your next step is to start regularly investing in the stock market. In our brand-new special report, "Your Essential Guide to Start Investing Today," The Motley Fool's personal-finance experts show you why investing is so important and what you need to do to get started. Click here to get your copy today -- it's absolutely free.


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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On January 06, 2014, at 3:13 AM, puil wrote:

    Many of us would prefer to read information you wish to impart to us. I for the most part am disappointed when I see a video and no transcript. You are losing your audience when you only provide a video. I ask that you please provide transcripts for your videos.

  • Report this Comment On January 27, 2014, at 4:27 PM, DebtSolutions1 wrote:

    Your how to get out of debt information should really help me as well as other in 2014.Thanks for sharing such valuable information.

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Dan Caplinger
TMFGalagan

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world.

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