Are you having trouble paying your bills? Are you worried you won’t qualify for a home loan?

If you want to buy a home, poor credit and mountainous debts won’t get you far. Blowing your budget, paying some bills late and skipping out on others won’t help either.

To get your credit in home-buying shape you’ve got to take decisive action. Start by getting your budget under control. Write down every cent you spend, from the $3 cappuccino to the beer after work with the guys. Start eliminating extras until your budget is in balance.

Next, contact your creditors. Explain your financial situation and ask them to stop charging you interest and work out a payment plan. They may agree – especially if you’ve talked to them before your account has been turned over to a collection agency.

If nothing works, seek out a credit counselor at a free or very-low cost non-profit agency. Your creditors might be willing to accept reduced payments if you’re in a debt repayment program with a reputable firm.

Finally, if you need more help, call (888) 527-DEBT for a free copy of the Federal Trade Commission’s booklet, Getting Back In The Black

Oct. 23, 2004.