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Acknowledgments

Acknowledgments

Over the years, thousands of readers have sent me their questions, concerns, and comments about their debts. Many laid bare the intimate financial details of their lives to help me better understand their anxieties, frustrations, and confusion about credit issues. I wasn't always able to help or even respond because of the volume of mail I receive, but I'm deeply grateful for every reader who made the effort to reach out. This tidal wave of information has profoundly affected the way I cover debt and, I hope, helped make this book a more relevant guide for all consumers, whether they're drowning in bills or just looking for a little guidance.

This book also benefited from the help of generous experts in various fields, including Gerri Detweiler of UltimateCredit.com, Diane St. James of ABC Mortgage Consulting, Michael O'Brien of financialaid.com, as well as the folks at Bankrate.com, CardRatings.com, Edmunds.com, and Cars.com among many, many others.

Some of the concepts that wound up in this book were first explored in my columns for MSN Money, and I thank my terrific editor, Richard Jenkins, for his help and guidance.

Applause is also due the excellent team at Pearson Prentice Hall who skillfully guided this book to publication, including Executive Editor Jim Boyd, Development Editor Russ Hall, Copy Editor Gayle Johnson, and Project Editor Christy Hackerd. I owe particular thanks to reviewer Cynthia Smith for her thoughtful comments and questions.

Finally, a big bouquet of thanks to my husband Will, the world's best cheerleader.

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