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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book will not work for gamblers but will for people rational about debt
In 2005 Liz Pulliam Weston issued DEAL WITH YOUR DEBT: THE RIGHT WAY TO MANAGE YOUR BILLS AND PAY OFF WHAT YOU OWE. Eight years later the same author presents an updated version called DEAL WITH YOUR DEBT: FREE YOURSELF FROM WHAT YOU OWE. The talented Mrs Weston has in the interim produced several other books on personal finance, most notably YOUR CREDIT SCORE. Each of...
Published 20 months ago by T. Patrick Killough

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Basic
The strength of this book is its straightforward delivery of conventional wisdom. Everything from student loans to mortgages and debt consolidation is covered. The author provides tips and guidance in developing and implementing a debt management plan.

This is fine as a beginner's book with plenty of good, if mundane, advice. It is easy and uncomplicated and...
Published 18 months ago by Antigone Walsh


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book will not work for gamblers but will for people rational about debt, April 2, 2013
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This review is from: Deal with Your Debt: Free Yourself from What You Owe, Updated and Revised (Paperback)
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In 2005 Liz Pulliam Weston issued DEAL WITH YOUR DEBT: THE RIGHT WAY TO MANAGE YOUR BILLS AND PAY OFF WHAT YOU OWE. Eight years later the same author presents an updated version called DEAL WITH YOUR DEBT: FREE YOURSELF FROM WHAT YOU OWE. The talented Mrs Weston has in the interim produced several other books on personal finance, most notably YOUR CREDIT SCORE. Each of her books tries to be as up to date as possible, drawing on the best available recent statistics from reputable sources.

Most striking about Liz Weston, in my opinion, is how clearly and simply she makes her points. After this review, for instance, I will review another new book whose table of content gives readers no clear notion of what the book is about. Not so DEAL WITH YOUR DEBT. From Introduction through eleven chapters and the Index you know what this book is about. It is not an executive summary because the table of contents does not give all the major answers. But you know where the author starts you off and where she will take you. Bravo, Liz!

Some major theses of DEAL WITH YOUR DEBT:

-- Not all debt is bad, but even good debt has to be planned and managed.

-- Credit cards are dangerous, but so are student loans. Manage that paper work!

-- Mortgages are complex, but you wouldn't think so just watching most home buyers blunder into them.

-- There is a defensible case for NEVER buying a brand new car. Keep your eye on the market for two-year old autos.

-- Be wary of cashing in or withdrawing sooner than you have to from retirement plans. Leave your money in retirement funds unless compelled to do otherwise.

-- For heavens sake, do you know what you are doing when you co-sign a loan?

-- Apply to debt the old business maxim: "Plan your work, then work your plan!"

-- The first thing not to do when climbing out of a hole of debt is to make the hole deeper.

My only worry about DEAL WITH YOUR DEBT is that it won't be read by the people who need it most. I think of relatives and friends who make good money but consistently spend more than they earn -- for no defensible reasons. I think of a man who buys his son an unneeded new computer by taking out a loan against a family automobile on its last gasp. I think of acquaintances who treat debt to the IRS as a low-cost loan. And on and on.

Read DEAL WITH YOUR DEBT as a long check list of dos and don'ts that any rational personal money manager would do well to review from time to time.

-OOO-
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful information, but not necessarily new information, April 26, 2013
This review is from: Deal with Your Debt: Free Yourself from What You Owe, Updated and Revised (Paperback)
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This book really is no different than a lot of all-you-need-to-know books about finance. It hits all the points: auto debt, credit cards, mortgages, and student loans. It details what's good about these debts as well as what's bad. It also puts some things into perspective especially about credit card debt and student loan debt. I'm a grad student with student loans as well as credit card debt. It's hard to really know how to set up a plan to tackle this. There is a lot of great information on the do's and don'ts of paying off these debts especially advising you not to pay student loans with credit cards so you can file bankruptcy. It's illegal. To be honest I never thought of doing that but it's good to know. It's also good advice not to "overdose" on good debt. It also talks about the hidden cost of credit cards, which I found useful.

Other plans I have is to invest more in retirement and eventually buy a house. You hear so many things in the news about the housing market and jobs that it gets to be hard to know what's the truth. Weston has a chapter on myths about buying a house. One big myth is that a home is a great investment, but only if you plan to live in that house for a long time. Maintenance cost are expensive, and it's not easy to cash in on that investment quickly. All things I need to think about.

There's a lot of great information in this book, but what I love about it is that it makes you think about your debt in a different way. It explains debt so that it's not as scary as other financial guru's make it out to be. When I first moved out of my parents house my brother told me, "the minute step out of that door you owe people." He's right. Debt is sometimes a constant no matter how good you are with money, but there are ways to manage it so you get lost in it. There was a lot of very usual information that I can use to help me out.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get Your Inner Peace From Debt, June 26, 2013
This review is from: Deal with Your Debt: Free Yourself from What You Owe, Updated and Revised (Paperback)
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Both my wife and myself are facilitators of Financial Peace University (FPU), hosting two classes annually. As such, we like to keep apprised to other ways of thinking on managing debt.

Financial wisdom is something we tend to overlook in our everyday lives. As of the majority, most of us say that we already know this information, but do not implement it. Marketing and Impulse go hand in hand, and are usually the culprits for debt. Lack of self control, well we know where that leads to. But then again, life is full of setbacks too, from medical emergencies and crisis, disasters, scandals, marital disputes, etc...

This is a good book regarding debt, but as far as FPU, there is definitely conflict between the two. Mrs. Weston is more about boosting or creating a better credit score and eliminating toxic debt, where Mr. Ramsey doesn't care about credit scores (In Debt Score) one way or another and supports a more independent lifestyle through debt snowballing and investing.

I can definitely appreciate both concepts, and have respect for both parties. If it helps you get out of debt or manage your money better, it is a positive change in your life and helps you live that much better. Both promote inner peace, especially that of mind.

I highly recommend that you check both programs out for yourself and do a comparison as to which way you would like to go. However for myself, I will be sticking with the FPU plan, as I do believe that there is no such thing as good debt. Either way, start living and stop hiding, by taking control of your life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Basic, May 22, 2013
This review is from: Deal with Your Debt: Free Yourself from What You Owe, Updated and Revised (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The strength of this book is its straightforward delivery of conventional wisdom. Everything from student loans to mortgages and debt consolidation is covered. The author provides tips and guidance in developing and implementing a debt management plan.

This is fine as a beginner's book with plenty of good, if mundane, advice. It is easy and uncomplicated and blessedly free of magical thinking. While the scope is broad the depth is limited. It may be of most value to those not yet in debt or those contemplating advancing their education or making a large purchase. I really didn't find anything new here but still the information is valid and appealingly presented.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I was pleasantly surprised . . ., June 6, 2013
This review is from: Deal with Your Debt: Free Yourself from What You Owe, Updated and Revised (Paperback)
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. . . by a number of elements in this book. I've reviewed several books in this genre; I have children in the high school and college age range -- and it is certainly a different world than it was when my wife and I were in school.

Positive #1 -- "Revised and Updated" If a book in this genre is NOT "revised and updated" on a regular basis, it rapidly becomes useless. Laws, regulations, and tax codes change so frequently that updating is needed.

Positive #2 -- The recognition that there is a difference between "good" debt and "bad" debt. This is a point that many people seem to miss. Not all debt is inherently "evil" and this book helps the reader understand the difference.

Positive #3 -- Unlike virtually every book in this genre I've read or reviewed, this book actually discusses school loans; how to use them; and how to get yourself out of trouble if things go wrong.

Recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Calm and sound debt advice, May 24, 2013
By 
Neal Reynolds (Indianapolis, Indiana) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Deal with Your Debt: Free Yourself from What You Owe, Updated and Revised (Paperback)
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This isn't a spectacular book; rather, it's a very calm and collected guide useful to all. And while it is as I say, useful to all, there are those who truly need this book more than others. I'm thinking especially of college students since student loans have become such a big issue, easy to get and hard to pay off. I would say EVERY college student should read this thus helping you save a lot of grief in the future.

There are many stellar points in the book. Much is said especially to the car buyer pointing out that a person can get through life happily driving cars at least 2 years old. Or not buying a new car as soon as your present one is paid for. There's also good advice for a person who's fallen into the hands of a collection agency and how to deal with it fairly and honestly and painlessly.

This is indeed a book worth reading and heeding.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book on Debt, May 16, 2013
This review is from: Deal with Your Debt: Free Yourself from What You Owe, Updated and Revised (Paperback)
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This is a good book on debt, but if you already own some books on debt, there really isn't much new information here. Most books state the same strategies and advice, just in different ways. It's worth a read if you're just starting out with debt management, otherwise, save your money on this book and apply it towards your debt! I've found the most effective strategy for me is the snowball method. And try to save up an emergency fund so you'll stop relying on credit!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy To Follow Book On Dealing With Debt, June 24, 2013
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scesq "scesq" (New Milford, New Jersey USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Deal with Your Debt: Free Yourself from What You Owe, Updated and Revised (Paperback)
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This is an easy to follow book that explains debt issues by looking at common types of debt and how to address them. The end result is creating a plan that will get rid of the debt over time because attempting to do it all at once can be overwhelming and often impossible.

The two things I like about this book are the format and the easy to read language. The author is not trying to sound like she is some super intellectual but rather someone who has sound ideas of how to deal with debt.

The book first helps the reader look at his or her debt without being overwhelmed. Each debt is a distinct entity and how that debt is eventually addressed may be different from other debt. The reader is encouraged to think about a game plan.

The chapters then address common types of debt like credit card debt or mortgage debt or debt from an auto loan or debt from student loans. Each of these debts are different and the author helps the reader determine what order each need to be addressed.

The book then looks at loan options to pay of some debt and helps determine which are good options and which are bad. Borrowing from a 401(k) and other retirement plans are also addressed. Finally, dealing with creditors and collection agencies are reviewed.

The book ends guidance about creating and using a debt management plan. The plan has to be realistic for it to work and the ideas mentioned here are reasonable and workable.

This book is fine for people who are great with numbers. The ideas are practical and workable.

More importantly this book should work for people for whom balancing a ledger does not come easy. The author takes the mystery and fear out of debt and makes it manageable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Sound Advice with a Good Tone, June 22, 2013
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This review is from: Deal with Your Debt: Free Yourself from What You Owe, Updated and Revised (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As a business major and someone deeply interested in personal finance, I have looked at a lot of books about debt management, and this is my new favorite. I love Liz Weston's conversational tone and delivery -- it makes the book feel like a frank discussion about your financial situation versus attending a lecture on the nuances of credit cards, student loans and retirement accounts.

I feel like a lot of people who get into debt do so because they don't know a lot about managing their finances until the water starts to rise above their knees and they realize something has to change. While there are exceptions to this -- major emergencies such as cataclysmic medical issues and those who are addicted to spending -- many just need a basic primer on learning how to rise above a bad financial situation without making it worse or neglecting other key areas like retirement savings. Weston largely seems to follow this thinking as well as this book is written for those who need an education and the tools to move forward.

The fact that she began by acknowledging the fallacy in the commonly held idea that all debt is bad made me feel this book was different from the start and it maintained a tone throughout that kept it firmly in a modern world, where debt at some level is usually a reality and, at times, a beneficial financial planning strategy.

If you want to get out of debt or strategically plan the things you will finance, this is a good volume to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So Money Decisions, June 21, 2013
This review is from: Deal with Your Debt: Free Yourself from What You Owe, Updated and Revised (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is an interesting book that deals with the realities of modern life in a way a lot of financial advisors don't. There is healthy and unhealthy debt and times when paying interest does things like build up your credit score. And the other thing to remember, especially in these times, is that you have to remain flexible instead of built in. Liz Weston is not a financial writer I have ever noticed before but she makes a lot of valid and interesting points.

Seriously, at some point you have to look over your entire financial life and make decisions about where to put things and how. There were years when it was simpler to put a room addition and a Jeep on different credit cards. Almost no interest... until the boom of cheap credit crashed and suddenly it was not so simple anymore. If you are like me and just set your bill payer for a year, you need to take money more seriously and make plans and watch out for hardships. This book is filled with constructive and intelligent advice.
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Deal with Your Debt: Free Yourself from What You Owe, Updated and Revised
Deal with Your Debt: Free Yourself from What You Owe, Updated and Revised by Liz Pulliam Weston (Paperback - March 4, 2013)
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