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Emily's list: $1 billion debt edition
When most of us find ourselves so incredibly deep in debt -- credit card or otherwise -- there's not much we can do. If we're lucky, our creditors will work with us to make a deal and lower our interest rate or give us more time to pay off what we owe. Rarely is debt ever just forgotten or canceled -- that is, unless you are an impoverished country.
It's been announced that a group of countries are canceling about $1 billion of debt that Afghanistan owes them. In March 2009, Afghanistan's public debt was estimated at $2.1 billion; half of that is owed to the Parish Club, which, according to CNN, is "an informal group of creditor governments from major industrialized countries that meets monthly in Paris with debtor nations on restructuring their debts."
The club is forgiving the debt partly because of Afghanistan's involvement in the program Heavily Indebted Poor Countries. About $441 million of the debt is being forgiven due to participation in the program, while creditors are simply writing off the remaining $585 million. In exchange for the assistance, Afghanistan has pledged to use what would have been their debt repayment money to fund U.N. programs.
Don't you wish someone would just swoop in and help you out with your debt? Unfortunately, it just doesn't work that way. But here's a little help: Check out the best of the personal finance blogosphere from the past week below to learn how you can take control of your own finances and debt before they overtake you. Sure, it's not a bailout the size of Afghanistan, but it's a start!
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