Review: Master Your Debt: Slash Your Monthly Payments and Become Debt-Free

Are you tired of debt? Yes? I am too. So when I was given the opportunity to review Jordan E. Goodman’s new book Master Your Debt: Slash Your Monthly Payments and Become Debt-Free, I took it.

An Overview of Master Your Debt

Master Your Debt covers a lot of ground in 200 pages. From how the economy got so bad to a checklist of what you need to be doing at every age to stay on top of your finances, this book has a chapter for all your financial needs. The list of chapters is:

  1. How Did We Get Here? And Where Are We? – You’ll learn all you want to know about the economy. What went wrong. Why it went wrong. It’s a short, readable overview.
  2. Find Out Where You Stand – Chapter 2 takes you through the steps you need to follow to get an accurate picture of your financial situation. You can’t work on getting out of debt until you know exactly where you stand.
  3. Other People Are Grading You, Too – Find out how credit reports work, how to get a copy, and what to look for when it’s in front of you.
  4. Avoiding a Modern-Day Identity Crisis – You guessed it. This chapter is about identity theft; how to prevent it and what to do if it happens to you.
  5. Win the New Mortgage Game – This chapter is all about mortgages, refinances, and HELOCs.
  6. Mortgage Free in Five to Seven Years – This was a really interesting chapter about using your HELOC to help pay your mortgage off faster. I’d heard about this system before, but this chapter really clarified a lot of things for me.
  7. Credit Cards: Just Because It’s Called MasterCard Doesn’t Mean It’s the Boss of You – Find out how to master your credit cards. This chapter provides a good explanation of the new credit card rules, as well as giving an overview of credit and debit cards.
  8. Car Deals: Making Sure You’re in the Driver’s Seat – All about cars. Buying, leasing, new, used…it’s all here.
  9. An Education in College Costs – Should you take out a student loan? If you do, what kind should you get? And what about those 529 plans? Goodman covers it all.
  10. Don’t Let Bad Luck Derail Your Finances – How to avoid financial trouble in emergencies and what to do if you’re already in over your head.
  11. Surviving Bankruptcy – Exactly what the title says. It’s all about how to survive bankruptcy.
  12. Debt Strategies for Every Age – Lists of things you should be doing at different stages of your life. It covers teens to those beyond age 75.
  13. Permanent Mastery Going Forward – Final thoughts and a nice wrap-up.

Master Your Debt: The Verdict

Master Your Debt was an easy and informative read. As I mentioned above, the chapter on using a HELOC to pay off your mortgage more quickly was really interesting. I’m not sure it’s right for me, but the system finally made sense to me.

There’s a lot of sound advice in this book, and if you don’t know a lot about personal finance, you’ll come away with a good education. And there is a lot of information that is particularly relevant to today’s economic times.

I didn’t necessarily agree with the author on every point. For instance, Goodman advocates the use of credit cards with rewards, while I think most people in debt shouldn’t be using credit cards at all. And Goodman also likes HELOCs, whereas I’m not a fan of them.

Despite my differences of opinion with the author on some issues, Master Your Debt is an informative book that is relevant to the times we live in. If you can find it at the library, give it a read.

Disclosure: A copy of Master Your Debt was provided to me for the purpose of review. Affiliate links.


By , on Mar 25, 2010
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.


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  1. Hmm my advice on HELOCs is that their both the best thing that can happen and the worst thing that can happen. The easiest way to tell if a HELOC is good for you is “do you have debt (ex mortgage” if the answer is yes than it’s not for you.

  2. Pam:

    I have to say it’s refreshing to read an honest review. I think a lot of bloggers are scared to be completely honest and I felt like you were honest, but still respectful to the author.
    Diane – thank you for the recomendation for The Shrewd Christian. I just looked it up and it looks like a great read.

    • Lynnae:

      Thanks! That’s what I aim for!

      The Shrewd Christian sounds like an interesting book, too. I’m going to look it up.

  3. Diana:

    Hi, thanks for this review. I just read a book called The Shrewd Christian. I thought you might enjoy it as well if you’ve never read it. It’s definitely worth reading. It’s kind of like broke folk’s boot camp! Anyway, thanks for all you do.

  4. marci357:

    Thanks for the review…Tho I’ve already got it mastered, I’d be interested in reading the HELOC to pay off the mortgage deal….cuz to me a HELOC is just another form of mortgage… so I’d like to see what he says on it. It’s not a strategy I’ve heard before, and I would guess it depends on the interest rates between the two.

    One good thing about having a HELOC in place tho, even if not in use, is that it makes available the equity in your home – in case of emergency….instead of having all that money tied up forever.

    • Lynnae:

      He did mention having the HELOC available in case of emergency.

      Here’s a post Christian PF did about Money Merge Accounts (using a HELOC to pay off your mortgage). He links to lots of resources, if you really want to know what it is. It’s an interesting method, but at this point and time, it’s not for us. Maybe in a few years.

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