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Top 50 Books to Help You Get Out of Debt

If you’re facing an ever-growing mountain of debt, you’re not alone. Debt is becoming an increasing concern, especially for Americans. A number of factors have contributed to this concern including an unstable job market and inflated housing costs. The country’s financial instability has left many Americans struggling to maintain the quality of life they had grown up with. CBS News released an article reporting that nearly 30% of Americans have more credit card debt than emergency funds in their savings account. Although it can be daunting and difficult, it is possible to get out of debt if you have the proper financial education. We found 50 of the best books to help you get out of debt, so you can obtain the financial freedom you deserve. The books are in no particular order.

Basic Financial Education

The books listed in this section are great choices for people who feel unfamiliar with money management and financial terms. This is a good place to start if you wish to become financially savvy.

1. Debt Free: How to Manage Your Money and Get Out of Debt on Any Income (Finances, Money Management, Debt Free For Life, Debt Relief, Debt Management, Debt Cures, Debt Control)

Author: Julianne Peyo

This book offers fundamental advice and techniques for balancing your finances. It covers topics such as budgeting and creating a debt-free plan so you can start accumulating wealth.

2. Debt is Slavery: and 9 Other Things I Wish My Dad Had Taught Me About Money

Author: Michael Mihalik

Outlines 10 steps which the author personally used to climb out of debt. This book is recommended for college students and young adults who are beginning to build a financial future.

3. How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously*: Based on the Proven Principles and Techniques of Debtors Anonymous

Author: Jerrold Mundis

Details a formula proven to be effective for getting out of debt. This is a good choice for people who feel overwhelmed by debt and would like help beginning the journey to freedom.

4. Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom 2nd Edition

Author: Lynnette Khalfani-Cox

Gives expert advice on topics like reducing interest rates and cleaning up a poor credit report. Also gives insider information on your legal rights as a debtor so you stop getting harassed by bill collectors.

5. The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

Author: Dave Ramsey

This is the newest edition of the best-selling book authored by Dave Ramsey. It is designed to help you make a financial plan as well as recognize the 10 most dangerous myths about money.

6. The GOOD Book: get out of debt!

Author: Pam Young

This book offers a humorous spin on debt relief, providing tools and exercises that can easily be applied to your life. This book was written to entertain as well as educate its readers.

7. How to Legally Settle Your Personal and Credit Card Debt for Pennies on the Dollar: Without Filing Bankruptcy

Author: Martha Maeda

Gives a clear understanding of what to expect when settling debt yourself, and provides useful information on subjects like the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

8. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Getting Out of Debt

Author: Ken Clark

This book is authored by a Certified Financial Planner and outlines strategies to overcome any kind of debt including mortgages and student loans.

9. The ABCs of Getting Out of Debt: Turn Bad Debt into Good Debt and Bad Credit into Good Credit

Author: Garrett Sutton

This book not only provides key strategies for becoming debt-free but also covers topics like the psychological and health effects that can result from debt.

10. Zombie Economics: A Guide to Personal Finance

Author: Lisa Desjardins

Recommended for anyone who has a hard time reading traditional finance literature. This book compares debt to the zombie apocalypse and teaches you how to create a “basement full of ammunition” by saving money.

Advanced Financial Information

This section includes books that provide more advanced information about settling and negotiating specific debts. These titles are recommended for people who wish to enhance their understanding of common debts such as student loans and home mortgages.

11. How To Settle Debts Yourself

Author: Sandee Ferman

Provides a step-by-step guide to settling debts yourself, and even explains how to settle debts for less than you originally owed.

12. Negotiate and Settle Your Debts

Author: Mandy Akridge

Includes sample settlement letters while giving detailed instructions on how to settle debt yourself. Also covers important legal information on subjects like the Statute of Limitations and IRS Debt Forgiveness laws.

13. The Complete Debt Relief Manual

Author: John Oswald

This book explores almost every facet of debt such as bankruptcy, foreclosure, avoiding lawsuits and how to effectively negotiate with the IRS. Also includes sample letters and checklists.

14. How To Settle Your Debts

Author: Norman H. Perlmutter

Provides the basic groundwork for getting out of debt, and covers issues such as student loan and tax debt. Also contains useful information for business owners who may be facing bankruptcy.

15. Drop Debt: Surviving Credit Card Hell Without Bankruptcy

Author: Harvey Warren

Focuses specifically on credit card debt and is authored by debt-relief expert Harvey Z. Warren. This book also provides in-depth information about the credit card and collection industries.

16. ABC’s of Debt: A Case Study Approach to Debtor Creditor Relations

Author: Stephen P. Parsons

Originally written as a college textbook, this book offers basic paralegal training so you can gain a solid understanding of things such as secured transactions and the law of liens.

17. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: Keep Your Property & Repay Debts Over Time

Author: Stephen Elias

A guide that walks you through the process of filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This book is especially recommended for people who are considering hiring a bankruptcy lawyer.

18. CliffsNotes Graduation Debt: How to Manage Student Loans and Live Your Life

Author: Reyna Gobel

Focuses specifically on student loan debt and provides insight into evaluating your personal situation so you can effectively consolidate student loans.

19. Mind Your Own Mortgage: The Wise Homeowner’s Guide to Choosing, Managing, and Paying Off Your Mortgage

Author: Robert Bernabé

Explains how to intelligently shop for a mortgage, and also teaches you how to quickly pay off your existing mortgage so you can spend your retirement years in peace.

20. Live Debt-Free: How to Quickly Pay Off Your Credit Cards, Personal Loans, and Mortgages-And Build Real Wealth Today!

Author: Ted Carroll

Includes valuable tips on paying off personal debt, and also provides an appendix of living expenses in 20 different U.S. cities so you can calculate a realistic budget for your situation.

Budgeting Methods and Tips

Creating an effective budget is one of the most crucial steps to paying off debts and becoming financially free. This section includes books that can help you maximize the potential of your income, so you can live a joyous life while saving money for a stable financial future.

21. The Debt-Free Spending Plan: An Amazingly Simple Way to Take Control of Your Finances Once and for All

Author: Joanneh Nagler

Teaches the Debt-Free Spending Plan which helps you downsize expenses while accruing money in your personal savings. The plan is said to only take about five minutes a day.

22. Debt Free For Life: The Finish Rich Plan for Financial Freedom

Author: David Bach

This book teaches you how to pay down debt and gain control of your finances, and also covers essential topics such as home and car loans, credit card debt, and student loans.

23. The Only Budgeting Book You’ll Ever Need: How to Save Money and Manage Your Finances with a Personal Budget Plan That Works for You

Author: Tere Stouffer

Focuses on helping you create a “visual portrait” of your finances so you can expertly manage your spending while accumulating money in your savings account.

24. Rich On Any Income

Author: James P. Christensen

This book teaches you how to live a prosperous life while effectively budgeting. It is ideal for people who feel they don’t have enough monthly income to make a realistic budget.

25. How to Manage Your Money When You Don’t Have Any

Author: Erik Wecks

Teaches you how to create a powerful budgeting plan with your current income. Provides advice on maximizing your income and paying off debts even if you are living paycheck-to-paycheck.

26. 925 Ideas to Help You Save Money, Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire: So You Can Leave Your Mark on the World

Author: Devin D. Thorpe

This book is recommended for people looking for browsing material or a quick read. Contains over 150 personal essays and 925 ideas that can be utilized in everyday life.

27. Managing Your Money All-In-One For Dummies

Author: Consumer Dummies

An easy-to-understand guide for how to manage a household budget and boost your income for increased financial freedom. Also gives financial advice on life necessities such as car expenses and life insurance.

28. The Financial Peace Planner: A Step-by-Step Guide to Restoring Your Family’s Financial Health

Author: Dave Ramsey

Authored by Dave Ramsey, this book outlines a financial regimen for gaining control over your money so you can enjoy peace of mind.

29. Financial Basics: Money-Management Guide For Students

Author: Susan Knox

Recommended for college students who wish to balance their finances while attending school. Contains worksheets to help you develop a budget that suits your needs.

30. The Budget Kit: The Common Cents Money Management Workbook

Author: Judy Lawrence

Provides essential tools which can be used to expertly organize your finances while keeping track of monthly expenses.

Creating Extra Income

For most people, the biggest obstacle to getting out of debt is accumulating enough funds to pay it off. While budgeting your existing income is a vital step to becoming financially free, this might not yield results as quickly as you’d like. This section lists titles which can help you develop supplemental streams of income so you can pay off your debts faster.

31. The Income Stream

Author: Robert M. Goodman

Designed as a comprehensive guide for identifying and utilizing real estate opportunities. Teaches you how to turn real estate into a lucrative form of passive income.

32. Never Work Again: Work Less, Earn More and Live Your Freedom

Author: Erlend Bakke

Provides tips and suggestions for creating a virtual online business and increasing your monthly income. Also teaches you how to automate your business so you have more free time.

33. The Millionaire Mindset: How Ordinary People Can Create Extraordinary Income

Author: Gerry Robert

Helps get you out of a “debt” mentality and provides techniques for preparing your mind to actively pursue a lucrative income. Covers topics such as marketing, business development, and goal planning.

34. The Six-Figure Second Income: How To Start and Grow A Successful Online Business Without Quitting Your Day Job

Author: David Lindahl

Focuses on making a supplemental monthly income using online or virtual business techniques. The methods described are time-effective and can be worked around a day job.

35. Passive Income: How to Give up your Day Job and Put your Feet Up

Author: Ross Perry

Conveys a clear explanation of passive income and what it means for the average person. Teaches tips and tricks to make money even while you are asleep.

36. Top 5 Ways to Make Money Online This Month: A No-Nonsense, Practical, Step-by-Step Guide to Generating Online Income Now!

Author: Barb Asselin

Reveals 5 valid and realistic ways of making money online. Authored by best-selling author and college professor Barb Asselin.

37. 101 Best Extra-Income Opportunities for Women

Author: Jennifer Basye

This book is specifically designed for women and explains 101 ideas for turning hobbies or creative talent into a supplemental income stream.

38. If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?: A Guide to Investing Fundamentals

Author: Ben S. Branch

Teaches you how to maximize the potential of your existing income by intelligently locating profitable investments. Includes a list of do’s and don’ts, as well as an extensive glossary.

39. Running a Side Business: How to Create a Second Income

Author: Richard Stim

Includes helpful tips, success stories and legal information. This book also contains advice on picking a second-income opportunity that suits your personality.

40. The Monthly Income Machine – The One Best Investment Technique for Producing Monthly Income

Author: Lee Finberg

Details a systemic procedure designed to bring you a substantial monthly return from investments. Describes the methods used by the author for his personal investments.

Miscellaneous Information

The books listed in this section contain useful complementary information both for people currently struggling with debt and for those who have paid their debt but are still recovering.

41. Hidden Credit Repair Secrets: 3rd Edition

Author: Mark Clayborne

Recommended for people who have paid their debt but are still dealing with injured credit. Teaches you how to repair credit so you can buy new investments like a home or car.

42. Psych Yourself Rich: Get the Mindset and Discipline You Need to Build Your Financial Life

Author: Farnoosh Torabi

Lessons and stories about how to develop the right mindset and attitude to get out of debt and into wealth. She breaks down strategies into simple actions and attitude in manageable actions for both young professionals and the more seasoned alike.

43. Debt-Free U: How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching off My Parents

Author: Zac Bissonnette

Conveys the author’s personal story of how he succeeded in obtaining a traditional college education without using student loans. Recommended for both aspiring college students and their parents.

44. Debt-Free Forever: Take Control of Your Money and Your Life

Author: Gail Vaz-Oxlade

A unique financial guide designed by Gail Vaz-Oxlade. Teaches you how to clear consumer debt in three years or less, and provides tips on preparing for financial emergencies.

45. On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl’s Guide to Personal Finance

Author: Manisha Thakor

A financial guide specifically geared towards young women. This book will teach you how to become self-sustaining while avoiding credit card and personal debt.

46. The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke

Author: Suze Orman

This book is recommended for young adults who are seeking advice on making wise financial choices and building the foundation for a healthy financial future.

47. One Year to an Organized Financial Life: From Your Bills to Your Bank Account, Your Home to Your Retirement, the Week-by-Week Guide to Achieving Financial Peace of Mind

Author: Regina Leeds

This is a great book for anyone feeling controlled by their financial situation. Learn how to organize your income and expenses so you can enjoy greater peace and relaxation in regards to finances.

48. The Debt-Free Millionaire: Winning Strategies to Creating Great Credit and Retiring Rich

Author: Anthony Manganiello

Principles and teachings about how to spend money more wisely, get out of debt and retire rich. It teach about cash-flow management, using your credit wisely winning long-term in the financial game.

49. Pocket Your Dollars: 5 Attitude Changes That Will Help You Pay Down Debt, Avoid Financial Stress, and Keep More of What You Make

Author: Carrie Rocha

If you feel thwarted by a negative mental attitude towards money, this book can help you get the motivation and positive thinking required to complete a debt-management plan.

50. The Battle Scarred Guide to Small Business Debt Relief and Recovery: No-nonsense, Spill the Beans Lessons From A Turnaround Professional

Author: Ken Thomson

This book is a great resource for small business owners struggling with debt. Includes step-by-step instruction and personal stories about the author’s battle to rid himself of business debt.  

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  • Takes your existing debt and try to settle with your creditors for a lower amount. If you pay off the settled amount, your debt will be considered paid in full.
  • Negotiates with your creditors on your behalf.
  • Fee based on a percentage of your total starting debt or a percentage of the debt they save you.
  • Most settlement companies have you create a separate "escrow" account where you will make monthly contributions over a certain amount of time to contribute to your settlement. Once there is a substantial amount of funds to show your creditors, the settlement company will try to negotiate a lower amount of debt.
  • Combines all your debts and creditors into one monthly payment.
  • Allows you to pay one monthly payment to the consolidation company, instead of multiple payments to different creditors.
  • You no longer owe your original creditors; instead you pay one monthly payment to your consolidation company.
  • Consolidation companies can help negotiate lower interest rates on your debts and help lower your total debt payment in the long run. A lower interest rate will lower the amount you owe in the end.
  • Allows you to consolidate all your different debts into one personal loan that can be paid off over time.
  • Can offer borrowers a lower interest rate with a longer payback term (compared to high-interest credit cards or medical bills). This will lower the amount of money required to pay off the loan over time.
  • Personal loan debt consolidation can be an effective way to raise your credit score quickly (within 3-6 months).
  • Borrowers can receive funds from their loan within only a few days.


  • What is the most important feature when choosing a company to consolidate your debt? (Check all that apply)

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