The first stage is to get your finances in order, as follows:
Tip #1. Don’t panic!
This process is not going to be fun, but getting completely wigged out and running around won’t help. Being as calm as you can and approaching things methodically can make most of the problems more manageable.
Tip #2. Stop using your credit cards as much as possible.
Most people don’t have a good idea of what it costs to use their credit cards. If you’ve $10,000 of debt and you’re getting an 11.99% interest rate, you’re spending $100 extra every month in interest. It’s difficult to survive without at least one credit card—try buying something online without one!—but you should use them with caution and care. Dump the ones you don’t need and look for credit cards that will offer you a better interest rate and pay them off as fast as possible. You may even be able to get a better interest from your own company; phone them and ask. There are pitfalls when shopping for credit cards and consolidating your debt but there are advantages, too. Google “reducing credit card debt” for details on what to do and how to do it. (The two best tactics for this are to always pay more than the monthly minimum payment and reduce your highest interest debts first.)