Taking Stock Of Your Complete Financial Situation - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/27/07-Tyler

Taking Stock Of Your Complete Financial Situation

When the credit card bills come in the mail, there's going to be some shock -- and the thought... "How can I pay off all those gifts?"

That's important, but so is looking at the big picture all of your finances.  

"I just hate to see the debt picture getting bigger and bigger and it seems like it has in the past few years," says certified financial planner, Don Cutler of Focus Financial Group in Tyler.

As the new year approaches, he says people must know what they have and what they owe, acting now to protect themselves.

"We're going to look at debt.  Some debt has different color to it -- some of it is [tax] deductible, some of it is not deductible."

Credit card debt needs to be tackled first.

"That is one of the worst things that the credit card companies can give you is the minimum payment.   People think for the most part, 'That's all I have to pay,' and then it comes back next month," he says.

Paying the bill isn't the only "must-do."

"It's been our experience that more people will spend more time maintaining their car then maintaining their credit scores," he says.

Getting a copy of your credit report can stop identity theft before it ruins your credit or ruins your life.   An estimated four percent of Americans fall victim every year.

"Technology has become our enemy.  [Criminals] can wirelessly intercept names, addresses, numbers, and they then can create an account and start illegally doing transactions."

Cutler says folks should make it a New Year's resolution -- one everyone can keep.

Morgan Palmer, morganpalmer@kltv.com

 

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