Calling Your Way Out Of Debt
Debt is a four-letter word we all want to avoid. However, the cost of living alone is so demanding that debt follows us wherever we go. We have to pay bills, pay for clothing, food, gasoline, taxes, rent, mortgage, car payments, college, etc, that sometimes it is next to impossible not to find yourself humming this four-letter word.
The best way to solve debt is to sit down and find solutions. Solving problems is the first step you will need to take to find a way out of debt. Once you start to see you have options, you can find it easier to cope with your stress and debts. If you cannot find new ideas to help you find ways out of debt, visit your local library and look for debt solutions and guides that walk you through steps in getting out of debt.
Having many resources can help you to pull up new ideas that lead to solving problems. Rather than allowing problems weigh you down, take action now and find solutions that will reduce your stress and your debts.
If you have access to the Internet, search the engines to find relevant links that guide you into debt relief. Stay away from companies that offer to get you out of debt for a high monthly fee. The concept of getting out of debt is to relieve self of extra burden, such as a new bill. For the most part, you can call your creditors and make payment arrangements. The creditors are often glad to hear from you. Rather than have the hounds from hell hunt you down, the creditors would rather keep you as a friend, since they want you to pay your debt and incur future debt with their company.
You have recourses when it comes to finding ways out of debt. Debt elimination is not an option, since when you get rid of one debt another will follow. You get the point. The solution is getting out of the past debts you owe, set a budget and avoid spending more than you can afford. Pay off one debt at a time, until gradually you find relief.
To avoid incurring additional debt, stay away from credit cards. Only use your credit cards to pay bills, and payoff your credit card as soon as possible to avoid high interest rates. Stay away from payday loans also, unless you see that you can avoid late fees and can payoff the loan right away. Keep in mind however, that payday lenders often attach a steep fee.
The above tips are just some of the many ways to keep out of debt and manage the debt that you already have. If you can manage your debt effectively you can save a massive amount of money over the years in interest.
Expert Tips On Choosing A Credit Counseling Agency
With the debt levels at all time high, credit counseling agencies are reaping on the boom. However, as a consumer, it is in your best interest to choose a credit counseling agency wisely. In generally accreditation is helpful and an accreditation with either the National Foundation for Credit Counseling or the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies is recommended.
When you have narrowed the list of credit counseling agencies you want to work with, it is a good idea to call up your local Better Business Bureau and see if any complaints are filed with them. If a credit counseling agency has many complaints filed against them, you are better advised to move on with other companies.
It is also important to understand what is being offered by a credit counseling agency. A reputed credit counseling agency will offer you a range of services including a certified personal counselor, personal financial budget calculation worksheet, DMP (debt management plan) details, work with creditors to lower interest and a lot of free resources and credit counseling information.
If a credit counseling agency offers erasing your credit history, it generally indicates a red flag. Credit history cannot be erased. Accurate information about your credit accounts will stay on record for 7 years.
Credit counselling fees:
A reputed credit counseling firm will offer budget services for free and charge you for DMP (debt management plan) or other premium services you seek. As a consumer look out for a reputed credit counseling agency that will charge you between $15 - $30. $50 can be considered at the high end of the spectrum when you are totally comfortable with the services they offer.
Try to gather further information on credit counselors. Ask what kind of training is given to credit counselors. Ideally look for companies that offer training as well as accreditation by an outside source. Additionally ask how the credit counselors are paid? If they are paid a commission, they might pressure you into accepting a DMP.
I hope all the above listed information will be helpful in selecting the right credit counseling agency for you. Any research before selecting a credit counseling agency will be time well spent.
Debt Consolidation Lenders Getting Help With A Debt Consolidation Service
When you seem to be drowning in debt, turning to debt consolidation can help you get back on solid financial ground. By reducing your interest rates and making your monthly payments more manageable, you can eliminate your debt faster. You will also have additional breathing room in your monthly budget.
Benefits Of Debt Consolidation
Not only does debt consolidation reduce paperwork hassles, it also saves you money. With lower rates on your debt, you have the choice of reducing your debt faster or spending the extra money in other needed areas.
Refinancing your debt also gives you the option to select more favorable loan terms. So you may decide to extend your loan period to further reduce your monthly payment. Or you may want to shorten your loan schedule to get out of debt faster. It is up to you.
Number Of Financing Options
Depending on your finances, you have a number of ways to consolidate your debt. For the cheapest loan, use your home equity. With your equity securing your financing, you get approved for some of the lowest rates and can qualify for tax deductions.
If a home equity loan isn't an option, consider applying for a personal loan. Rates will usually be five to ten points less than credit card rates. There are more limits with a personal loan, such as caps at $25,000 and maximum five year loan periods.
Other option is to transfer credit card debt to a new account. Usually when you open a new credit card, you qualify for especially good deals on balance transfers. In some cases, you don't have to pay any interest. This can give you a chance to really cut your principal.
Be A Smart Credit Shopper
Make sure you get the best deal on financing by being a smart credit shopper. Look at recommended financing companies and ask about loan quotes. Compare these with other offers before signing any contract.
Debt consolidation helps you make your money go farther and get out of debt sooner. Make it part of your larger financial goals to get on track.
Powering Down Debt
Don't let what happened to me, happen to you. Getting my finances in order required reading my credit card statements and repayment agreement closely. I discovered in the event of default, my credit card company had the right to increase the interest rate (which they had done). I thought default meant I must have submitted payment late or missed it completely (which I knew I didn't do). Upon closer inspection, I learned that one of the conditions of default was to exceed the monthly limit. I had a $5,000 credit limit, spent $6,000 one month, paid it in full the following month, but I was still considered in default on the entire $6,000. Don't let credit card companies trap you.
Along with the lowest savings rate in the industrial world, the United States had the highest consumption rate. We save the least and spend the most. Debt is the vehicle by which greater consumption is made possible. As the ratio of debt goes up, society adapts and says it's OK. For example, as homes go up in value, many people refinance their homes to afford vacations, pay off credit cards, etc. This leads to big problems if you first don't learn how to curb your spending. I know many wealthy people that have played this game to their detriment. Instead of doing something wise with the money, too many people pull equity out of the house and use it to spend more, increasing debt. The stock market and real estate market don't solve the problem because we don't pause long enough to reap the benefit that's inherent in those booms
Should I Consolidate My Credit Card Debts
Unlike general debt where the answer to problems is rarely to consolidate, the consolidation of credit card debt is often worhtwhile. Credit card debt consolidation is regarded by many ias being the first step toward card debt elimination. But, before you taking the initial step towards consolidating your credit card debt, you need to understand that consolidating credit card debt (or using balance transfers) is an action that is being taken to eliminate your credit card debt. Consolidation of your credit card debt is not simply a mechanism for putting the problem away for a while.
Credit card debt consolidation is a good option for more than one reason; not only do you get relief from the increase in the amount of your credit card debt, but you may also get other benefits. Many card issuers make offers to new users who transfer in ther existing balances that can be very attractive indeed.
Almost all offers for consolidating credit card debt/transferring balances have an initial period with a low APR often as low as 0%. This is, in fact, one of the main reasons why consolidating your credit card debt is an attractive option.
As well as low APR, offers for balance transfer often include benefits such as 0% interest on any purchases made during first few months after the balance transfer. This is another thing reduces the rate at which your credit card debt increases. Of course if the purpose is reduction or elimination of debt then new purchases are not the highest priority! These are the two most significant benefits that credit card issuers offer to attract new clients into consolidating their credit card debt with them.
After these main benefits there are other benefits such as additional reward points on the issuer's reward. These reward points can be redeemed for other attractive goods/rebates/rewards etc, but thioer purpose is to encourage you to spend more money and increase, not decrease your debt!
Sometimes, the new credit card might be one that caters better to your current spending needs both in terms of credit limit and the way that you might use your new card. For example, the new credit card might be co-branded by an airline that you frequently use. The credit card you are consolidating to might open up discount offers to you. But usually these offers all encourage additional spending.
The most important thing to remember when consolidating your credit card debts is the reason for doing it. If the purpose was to reduce debt and manage payments then you can and must ignore any offers that will increase your indebtedness. Balance transfers are not offered by card issuers to make it easy for clients reduce their debt - the opposite is true! As a credit card user you must use the tools offered by card issuers to YOUR benefit, not the bank's!
Good luck reducing your debt through disciplined credit card consolidation and balance transfer.
Debt Consolidation Refi Loan Refinance And Get Out Of Debt
Before mortgage interest rates begin to rise, homeowners must take advantage of low rates and refinance their mortgage. Refinancing serve many useful purposes. Aside from presenting the perfect opportunity to lock in at a low rate, many homeowners are able to borrow against their equity and use the money to become debt free.
What Are Debt Consolidation Refi Loans?
Consolidating debts has become an effective means for reducing and eliminating debts. Many people have more debt than they can handle. Some have discovered quick ways to get out of debt. Yet, millions of people struggling to pay minimum fees continue to search for a strategy.
If you own a home, there may be a practical answer to reducing debts. Debt consolidation refinance loans are extremely popular - and for good reason. Your home is literally a cash machine. In order to tap into the equity, most people choose to sell their homes. However, if you select a refinance, it is possible to receive cash from the equity, while continuing to live in the home. The money can be used to consolidate debts and improve credit score.
How Do They Work?
The concept of a debt consolidation refi loan is very simple, and doable. To begin, homeowners must agree to create a new mortgage loan. This involves applying for a new mortgage with a new lender or your current lender. Most people apply for a new loan in order to get a lower rate, etc.
In addition to obtaining a better rate, homeowners who have built a large amount of equity in their homes have the option of borrowing money from their equity. This is termed a cash-out refinancing. By doing so, the new mortgage principle will be higher than the previous. Once homeowners obtain their money at closing, the funds may be used to payoff their debts. This is a smart maneuver for individuals hoping to raise their credit score.
Comparing Refi Lenders
Although your current mortgage lender will be more than happy to assist you with a new mortgage, it is important to shop around and compare offers from other refi lenders. Comparison shopping is very essential if you have poor credit. The easiest way to compare different lender rates is online. Many mortgage sites offer online comparisons and instant quotes.
9 Steps To Get Out Of Debt Part 9
Step 9 - Investing
This is the last article in our series on how to get and stay out of debt. So far you have learned the impact of debt, how to analyze your debt, reduce your interest rates, free up some extra income, pay off your debt, avoid falling back into debt, and insure yourself against unforeseen circumstances. This final article will show you how to invest financially into your future.
So far, businesses have been making money off of you by lending you their money, now is your chance to turn this relationship around and make a profit off of them by lending them money. Welcome to the world of investing. There are many things people invest for, but by far the most popular is retirement.
We'll start with the bad news, figuring out how much you are going to need for retirement. First, you'll want to estimate how much you are going to need, or want in order to get by when you are retired. Granted, your expenses will most likely be lower because your home and other most other major expenses will hopefully be paid for by this season of life. I can't give you a simple guide to tell you exactly how much you will need in this article, so I will leave it to you to estimate.
Now that you have this number, multiply it by fifteen, this is the amount you need to save. The reason for this is so you can live off the interest only, which will allow you to support yourself for the remainder of your life. This will also allow you leave an inheritance for your children. This will probably seem like an unachievable number, but don't abandon hope yet; it isn't as difficult as it first seems.
The reason this isn't as difficult as it first seems is because of the magic of compounding interest. If you were to start investing $100 each month at the age of 20 at 10% return per year, by the time you are 65 you will have approximately $780,000. However, it's very important to start as soon as possible. If you start at the age of 30 investing the same amount each month, you'll only have $294,000. You're not out of hope though, you'll just have to invest more. If you start at the age of 30, you'll need to invest approximately $260 a month to have the same $780,000 at the age of 65. As you get older the amount you'll need to invest goes up significantly, but typically so does your income.
Where to invest your money is something you should really talk over with a financial advisor. I'll provide some very basic tips, though. First off, never put all of your money into a single investment no matter how good you think it is. Nothing is guaranteed, and many people have lost everything by investing in a single company. You should always diversify. I would suggest five different investments, minimum.
Typically the higher paying investments are often the riskier investments, also referred to as aggressive. If you are close to retirement, you should avoid these and go with something much safer. If you have several decades until retirement, you can afford to ride out the ups and downs in the market and will usually come out ahead by investing in more aggressive stocks, early on. As you get closer to your retirement age, you should gradually start moving your money into more stable investments.
I hope you have enjoyed this article series and it has helped you to get your finances in order. If this article series has helped you, please pass it on to your friends and family so it can help them as well. For more advice, consider finding a personal financial advisor.
Debt Management The Essentials
It is sometimes necessary to approach experts for some advice on right debt management. This is why there are many non-profit management organizations found in the United States that are ready to offer you advice on debt management. These companies have good debt management programs that will help you to get out of debt.
With certain programs, efficient counselors will meet you to provide advice on how to handle your debt. You will have to give them all your financial information and they will approach your creditors to negotiate on lowered interest rates and perhaps a lowered loan amount as well. You then have to make a single payment to this debt management program through which the company will pay all your creditors.
You will be provided debt management programs where you will be advised to consolidate your numerous loans with a single large loan. This way, you will only have to make a single payment to the debt management company, as they will pay your creditors. This consolidated loan is usually of a lower interest rate, thus leading to lowered monthly installments and will consequently make some savings.
With a home equity loan, you can replace your multiple loans and make only a single payment to the bank. Whatever advice the bank gives, it will be through the counselors who visit your house to assess your financial situation.
One-on-one counseling sessions are carried over the phone, internet or in person. Certain companies are a good choice if you need advice on budget and credit counseling. There are many non-profit debt consolidation companies in America, offering effective management programs to get out of debt.
Federal student loans in the United States are consolidated differently. It's important to note that federal student loans are guaranteed by the U.S. government. Existing loans are purchased and closed by a loan consolidation company or by the Department of Education (depending on the type of federal student loan the borrower holds). Student loan rates can fluctuate from the current low of 4.70% to a maximum of 8.25% for federal Stafford loans, 9% for PLUS loans.
In modern times, there have been several raised concerns about the use of consolidation loans. Many individuals worry about the temptation to consolidate unsecured debt into secured debt, usually secured against their home. The monthly payments may be lower, but the total amount repaid is often higher due to the long period of the loan.
Americans In Debt
Debt is a fact of life in America, making debt relief a national obsession. A search for "debt relief" on Google pulls up over 34 million pages; on Yahoo and MSN, the total is over 12 million pages.
The average American household has $9,300 of credit card debt, but the share of income going to lower credit card debt has fallen to 0.3 percent.
The increase in personal debt can't all be blamed on overspending. After adjusting for inflation, wages have been flat for the past five years while the cost of essential goods and services like housing, food, medical care and transportation have risen over 11 percent according to the Federal Reserve Board's most recent Survey of Consumer Finances.
Based on this study, the Washington Post recently reported that,
The debt of the typical American family earning about $45,000 a year rose 33.1 percent from 2001 to 2004, after adjusting for inflation ... Housing debt has climbed notably because home prices have risen and people have borrowed against the equity in their homes. From 1989 to 2004, for example, the median mortgage debt more than doubled, from $46,900 to $96,000.
This refinancing trend is one of the main strategies for debt relief. It takes several forms: first mortgage refinancing, second mortgages, debt consolidation loans and home equity lines of credit. These mortgages can be either fixed-interest or adjustable-interest loans.
Many websites keep abreast of current interest rates and offer a free mortgage refinancing application that matches potential borrowers with the best loans based on factors like credit history, FICO score, type of mortgage and size of loan. www.LowOwe.com is typical of sites that help clients reduce the monthly cost of home ownership through refinancing.
Debt Consolidation Loan
A debt consolidation loan converts a passive asset
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