Not all New Year's resolutions are created equal. Without this one, none of the others are possible.

New Year’s Eve is Friday, and many of us will make resolutions to improve in the new year. These will be earnest as the clock ticks till midnight and the ball drops in Times Square. As the days pass, however, our resolve will dissolve.

As reported this time last year, only 8 percent of us keep our New Year’s resolutions. Those fall into two categories: health and money. So we resolve to lose weight and exercise more, just as we resolve to save more and spend less.

Sadly, 92 percent of us will fail. If you want to improve your odds, there’s one resolution you need to make, and it’s a simple one: Make a phone call.

It’s in the cards

I’ll make a bold prediction: No resolution can succeed if you’re drowning in credit card debt.

An NBC news reporter interviewed a financial expert in Portland, Oregon, recently. She offered five tips for keeping “financial resolutions” — and two of them were “build a cash cushion” and  “save for retirement.” Buried in the middle of the list was “pay down credit card debt.”

How are you supposed to save cash unless you pay down the credit cad debt first? The interest you make on your savings will be gobbled up by the high interest rates on your credit cards — which reports is averaging 15 percent on an average balance of nearly $5,500 per person.

So you need to resolve that debt before you can possibly meet your other financial resolutions. However, I’ll take it one step further: If you don’t lower your credit card debt, you won’t lower your weight, either.

How can I draw a straight line from credit lines to waistlines? Simple. In more than two decades of counseling individuals and families on their finances, I’ve seen debt wreck more than bank accounts. The stress of debt can lead to destructive coping mechanisms like overeating, drinking, and even depression. Practically speaking, if you’re in debt, you can’t afford to join a gym or even buy running shoes.

About that phone call

That financial expert who simply suggested “pay down credit card debt” is correct but not telling the whole story. How do you find thousands of dollars to pay off those credit cards? With those high interest rate and even higher penalties for missing a single payment, you’ll need to make the same New Year’s resolution for a decade before you catch up.

That’s why a call to is so crucial. We can introduce you to a certified credit counselor who will give you a free debt analysis. Depending on your circumstances, you might qualify for a debt management plan that reduces your total credit card payments by 30 to 50 percent, reduce your interest rate, and stop late fees.

So resolve to call 800-810-0989 and just talk. Do it today, and you can meet your New Year’s resolution before the new year even begins.

Howard Dvorkin is a CPA and chairman of, an educational resource for those who want to conquer all forms of debt in their lives.

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About the Author

Howard Dvorkin, CPA

Howard Dvorkin, CPA

I’m a certified public accountant who has authored two books on getting out of debt, Credit Hell and Power Up, and I am one of the personal finance experts for I have focused my professional endeavors in the consumer finance, technology, media and real estate industries creating not only, but also Financial Apps and Start Fresh Today, among others. My personal finance advice has been included in countless articles, and has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Forbes and Entrepreneur as well as virtually every national and local newspaper in the country. Everyone should have a reason for living that’s bigger than themselves, and besides my family, mine is this: Teaching Americans how to live happily within their means. To me, money is not the root of all evil. Poor money management is. Money cannot buy happiness, but going into debt always buys misery. That’s why I launched I’m glad you’re here.

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