Debt Solution

Easy Steps You Need to Take to Get Out Of Debt

If you are in debt then you will understand that the pressure you are under is enough to really make you dread even talking about money. Of course, if you have never been in debt before and this is your first time then there are a couple of things that you can do about this. The first thing that you will want to do is look at your expenses so that you can try and find out if you can cut back. This could include any magazine subscriptions that you have and it could also include any payments that you make to charities, phone contracts and more. When you have a clear idea of your finances and how you can save money, it is then very easy for you to get out of debt.

Stop Borrowing Money

This may sound obvious but if you want to get out of debt then it is very important that you stop using your debt to fund your own lifestyle. You need to stop signing up for any credit cards and you also need to stop even looking at things you don’t have the money to pay for. This will work in your favour if you opt for a bill consolidation or if you decide to go down a similar route.

Debt Calculator

Emergency Fund

You may be thinking that an emergency fund isn’t important when you are so much in debt. After all, you may feel as though you are paying absolutely everything out of your bank and that not much is going back in. The truth is that when you get a bonus from work or even when you get some money from a friend, this should go into your fund. If you use your credit card to fund all of your emergencies then this will cause real problems for you and you may even feel as though there is nothing that you can do to get out of debt. By saving whatever you can, you can then be prepared for life’s emergencies at all times.

Emergency Funds

Create a Budget

When you develop your own budget, you can then track your expenses and this is very crucial if you need to get out of debt. When you have a budget, you can easily find out how much money is going out and you really would be surprised at how much money you can save by doing this. If you are struggling to make a budget and stick to it then you may want to start using an app or anything else of the sort as this can really help you to track your expenses while you are on the go and it is a great way for you to make sure that every little thing is accounted for, so make sure that you keep that in mind. Of course, if you have any concerns about your budget then work with your partner to find out if you can plan out your wages according to your house needs.

25 Quick And Clever Ways To Save Money

Many claim that saving becomes more and more difficult due to the high cost of living. This may be true in a sense, on the other hand, saving money seems impossible at times because of how we treat money. We allow money to easily slip through our fingers sometimes without giving it a moment of thought. Then we find that saving is not an option right now and that is how the act of saving money seems challenging. Saving does not depend on your income or your expenses, here are ways to help change the way you handle money in future:

A green button with the words Erase Debt on it 1.       Stop Making Debt

Often you might say or hear someone say “Saving is not an option for me now, I have way too much debt”. But the very next day we get ourselves further into the very situation that is believed to obstruct the act of saving money. Refrain from using any credit facility to make purchases, even if it means cutting up all your credit and store cards. The less debt you have the more opportunity there would be to save money.

2.       Don’t Pay Interest Unnecessarily

Debt prevents most people from saving money due to high interest rates that consumers are obligated to pay as a result of buying now and paying later. Small purchases made on credit is reason why many consumers fall under the debt trap to begin with. Purchasing an item worth R200 on credit with a payment plan of 12 months on an interest bearing account is one example of paying unnecessary interest.  Save for a couple of months to buy the item cash instead to spare yourself from paying interest for an entire year for small purchases. The money that you would have contributed towards interest could have been saved for future purchases.

3.       Settle All Debt

Compile a list of all your debt related expenses such as accounts, store cards, credit cards, personal loans etc. Work on a strategy to decrease the amount of debt you have. One way to realistically do this is to focus on one account at a time until it is settled. Select the account with the lowest balance as a starting point to slowly change the way you deal with debt. Make it a priority every month to pay double the total due amount, for example a store account with a 12 month payment plan can be settled in 6 months by using this strategy. As soon as the account is settled follow this process with the next account until eventually all your debt is squared up. The freed up money you find yourself with after having no debt can go towards saving.

4.       Consider Debt Consolidation

For those battling to keep up with debt repayments should apply for debt consolidation. It has its pros and cons, but at the end of the day you have more of your income at your disposal each month allowing you to cope with living expenses as well as making it possible for you to focus on saving money.

5.       Purchase an Investment

The only justifiable interest bearing purchase is an investment such as purchasing a house. A home loan is considered an investment because it is one of your assets. Therefore, investing in property is a great way to save money as opposed to renting. Think of it this way: the money that you spend on rent over 10 or more years could have been used to pay almost half your bond.

6.       Pay Extra on Your Home Loan

By ridding yourself of all insignificant debt obligations, you now have a lot more funds at your disposal. A smart manner to make use of the additional funds is to commit to paying extra on your home loan instalment each month. This could reduce your payment term noticeably, depending on how committed you are in settling your home loan. Also the amount of interest you pay drops, saving you money long term.

7.       Open Multiple Savings Accounts

You save money to accomplish various things and one savings account is not enough. Have a savings account for each goal you want to achieve for example, one savings account for that holiday you planning, another to renovate your home and not forgetting the most important savings account: your emergency fund. This is a useful way to save as it allows you to monitor how you progressed in reaching each goal. Set up the amounts you want to deposit into each account depending on whether it is a short or long term goal and the total amount you need for each occasion.

8.       Save First Then Spend

We often determine the amount we are able to save by first calculating all our expenses then allocating what is left over to a savings account. It should be the other way around, you first need to reserve money for saving before deciding what you should spend your money on. Never leave saving as an afterthought, it should be your main concern.

save-money-using-home-depot-coupons9.       Budget for Saving Money

List saving as an expense when doing your monthly budget and be sure that it takes priority over entertainment. Working it into your budget is one way to ensure that you save dutifully and you would see growth in no time.

10.   Deduct Savings Deposit from Your Salary

Many times we open that savings account and make deposits for the first couple of months and thereafter we find other ways to use that money. Allow your savings account to debit the specified amount from your salary. This way you are guaranteed that you regularly contribute to your savings and the habit of saving is forced upon yourself.

11.   Not Spending Money Equates to Saving Money

One of the easiest ways to save is to simply not spend money. By deciding against making an unimportant purchase you have already saved money. A fancy savings account offering the highest interest rates is not the only solution to saving money. Sticking your money in a jar is also a means of saving and to make sure that it stays there for longer is to just leave it alone instead of finding reasons to spend it.

12.   Justify Each Purchase

Before making any purchase ask yourself if it is needed or wanted. And classifying the purchasing of coffee every morning before heading to work as a need is not justifiable. Drink water instead because it is healthier and free. If there is another solution that involves spending less or no money then the purchase is not justified. Choosing the less expensive option allows you to save money.

13.   Always Negotiate

The ability to drive a good bargain is a useful skill to have especially when making big purchases. Seize any opportunity to negotiate with the seller to lower the price. Target independently owned shops and stalls, most times they are willing to negotiate to make a sale.

14.   Purchase Second-Hand

Before heading to the store, try and find want at a second-hand store. You can get it almost for half the price compared to purchasing it brand new. Just make sure that it is worth the bargain and in good condition before buying anything second-hand as you would not receive a warranty.

15.   Generic Brands

Keep your eye on the price rather when shopping and opt for generic brands as they are always the less expensive option. It never hurts to choose the less popular brands that looks and functions the same as the household brand names. When trying to save money it pays to be oblivious to name brands.

16.   Find a Substitute for Money

Thinking of purchasing a relatively expensive item? Hit the classifieds or trading websites to find someone who is willing to make a swop for an item that you have of the same value. By swopping you kill two birds with one stone as you get rid of the item you don’t want and receive the item you want at the same time without it costing you a cent.

Or maybe someone you know has something to sell that is of interest to you. Instead of buying it cash, think of something that you could do as payment for getting that particular item. The less you spend on purchases the more you are able to save money.

6953588530_6a2339de6c_n17.   Sell Unwanted Goods

When in the business of saving money you should never just throw away items of value that you no longer need or want. Use the classifieds or trading websites to sell your goods to put a few hundreds back into your pocket.

18.   Join Loyalty Programs

Be rewarded by merely shopping or making use of a service. Loyalty programs are exceptionally helpful in assisting consumers to save by issuing coupons or vouchers to use against future purchases. These rewards allow you to save hundreds or sometimes thousands on grocery shopping annually.

19.   Do Not Get Lured into False Bargains

Be aware of promotional offers that trick you into buying things that you do not need or in excessive quantities all because it is a special offer. This is where your justifying purchasing skills come in handy when deciding the worthiness of the offer. Many people try and justify pointless purchases by claiming that it was an offer they could not refuse. You are not always the winner when buying 5 items for the price of 4 when you really only need 1 of it.

20.   Quit Habits That Cost Money

Start by quitting cigarettes, it is an expensive and unhealthy habit. Many smokers will finish a packet of cigarettes a day. A packet of the average brand of cigarettes costs about R21. As a smoker, you are literally blowing close to R600 a month. Money which could have contributed to your savings account or even to settle some debt.

Non-smokers are not off the hook, there are many other habits that people indulge in that cost quite a bit on a monthly scale. For example, buying fast food for lunch every day. A reasonably priced meal costs about R30, which also amounts to R600 a month spent that could have been saved by making the effort to pack in lunch instead.

21.   Generate Extra Income

Rent out a room or turn your hobby into a small business to supplement your income. Deposit the money straight into a savings account or use it as additional payment on debt.

22.   Share Costs

Share daily costs with family, friends and colleagues by clubbing for various purchases and making use of the goods or services together. For example, find someone to share a gym membership with on one of those 2 for the price of 1 contracts that are on offer. Or start a lift club to share the cost of travelling to and from work every day. As a result you spend a fraction of the cost for things you would have paid full price for had you done it alone.

23.   Review Your Banking Methods

Inspect your bank statement to check that you are not paying more than you should on banking fees. Find a method of banking that is suitable for your needs as well as cost effective. Cheque accounts usually work best to manage your salary. Open a cheque account if you do not already have one and choose one that would complement your monthly banking transactions.

24.   Review Car Insurance Options Annually

Every year the value of your car drops, make sure that you are not paying too much on your car insurance premiums. Get quotes from different insurance companies annually to find the best deal.

25.   Start Life Insurance Early

Applying for life insurance later could cost you. See that you are covered to dodge the high premiums you would have to pay each month. Getting life insurance at your earliest convenience helps you save thousands of rands.

Danielle van Reenen is a senior writer at, one of South Africa’s leading financial advise portals.

6 Ways to Relieve the Perceived Hopelessness of Insurmountable Debt

6 Ways to Relieve the Perceived Hopelessness of Insurmountable Debt

Do you feel as though you are drowning in debt, that you will never see the life preserver out there, let alone be able to reach it? If so, you are not alone. Not even close, actually. The world has seen a very different financial climate in recent years. Even the strongest economic areas have felt some of the pain it has brought with it.

Chances are if you are not facing a mound of debt, then you probably know someone who is. So, I am going to share some ideas with you on how to best survive these times, and build yourself back up to get back on track.
The most important thing to know here is that this does not have to be permanent.

1. Be Realistic

The first thing you need to do is take a realistic snapshot of your finances. This will help determine if you can do this on your own, need assistance, or should file bankruptcy. If you make enough money to pay your bills, but have struggled to do so due to lack of discipline, or temporary hardship, you might be better off doing this on your own.
However, there is help out there for those of you who are struggling a bit more than the average person, such as when the ‘temporary setback’ is turning out to be much longer than the bills can handle. Debt consolidation is one avenue you might consider.
This is where you typically pay a fee to a company that goes to bat for you in consolidating your debt, often cutting this debt down significantly. With the right company, you could get out of debt quicker, and pay less…even when factoring in their fees. Do a little research online to learn about your options, as well as get debt help, and advice.
The last option would be bankruptcy, which will affect your life for years to come. More people are going through this than ever, and will be just fine someday. So, if you have no other option, don’t beat yourself up over it.
Regardless of which route you go, the next few tips should be carefully considered as a lifestyle change, to help prevent this from happening again…and to get back on your feet quicker, which is what is most important.

2. Downsize as Best You Can

Take a look around to see what you can do to downsize. Of course, some of these choices might be difficult. If you have more cars than you need, sell one…or two. If the house is bigger than you can keep up with, sell and move to something more realistic.
Most households have more than one TV, game system, and more clothes than they could possibly wear in any given season. Have a garage sale, and then apply what you make to some of your debt. I’m not saying you have to get down to bare walls and a skeleton closet, but we all need to live within our means, even if that ‘means’ changes unexpectedly.
Bottom line is, if you have boat that you only used 3 times the entire boating season, sell it.

3. Lower Your Bills

Of course, we need to live…and not sit in the dark twiddling our thumbs. So, let’s take a look at what we can do to lower our bills, rather than shut them off completely.

  •     Mortgage – refinance, if you can, to get a lower rate. This will not only lower your monthly payment, but also lower the overall amount you pay in the long run.
  •     Utilities – Shop around for the best price for things such as cable, Internet, and phone. If you can’t, or don’t want to switch companies, call them to see what you can do to lower your bills. Most companies will work with you, rather than see you leave.
  •     Usage – Turn off what you are not using, including lights, water, and appliances. Turn the heat down or air up if you are not home. Even if you are, put a sweater on in the winter, or wear shorts in the summer.
  •     Insurance – Call your agent to see what you can do to lower rates. Again, they will want to work with you, rather than lose you. If not, look elsewhere.
  •     Food – Save money by getting creative with leftovers. For example, our local market has these wonderful cooked whole chickens for under $6, which can turn into at least 2 meals if you make a soup out of the leftovers.

Take a look at your bills, one at a time, and ask yourself how you can lower it. There are ways to lower most everything.

4. Set a Budget

Don’t just talk about spending less…set a budget to make sure you do. There is software available to put this all online, which will make it very easy for you. Keep track of every dime you make and spend, as well as receipts to make sure you are entering everything in…and I mean everything. If you buy a pack of gum, enter it.
You might be surprised at how some of your money was spent.

5. Pay off One Debt at a Time

The bills that can…and should be paid off, such as credit cards should be organized by how much you owe, and what the interest rate is. Paying one bill off at a time will help you pay down your debt quicker, than trying to pay it all off…because you will end up paying minimum payments and more interest in the end.
So, if you have 3 credit cards to pay off, try paying off the smaller one first. Then, take that payment (that you no longer will have) and apply to the next one you target. As long as you don’t keep charging, there is an end in sight.

6. Think Positive

Finally, think positive, as difficult as that might be for a while. If you are taking steps to relieve your debt, your day will come. If you let it get to you, it will make things worse. Depression can easily set in when struggling financially, and can lead to a lethargic state of mind and physical condition. When that happens, it makes it difficult to get out of anything, including bed.
Keep your chin up and keep looking forward. Learn from this, make some lifestyle changes, and you will be fine.

About the Author

Kathy Barber is a freelance writer, who writes on topics such as medical, online business, and home brewing. Her latest series was inspired when talking to others about on how to reach financial freedom. She did most of her research online and found very helpful. Kathy lives in Michigan with her husband and son. When she is not working, she enjoys time with the family, cooking, entertaining, music, and photography.

Why should you Borrow to get ahead when using Debt Leverage?

Why should you Borrow to get ahead when using Debt Leverage?

People borrow money for every reason. Whenever they need money, they look towards banks, friends or financial institutions to help them. However, the reason for the loan is not always justified. People take loans for all sorts of crazy reasons – a party, an outing and other unnecessary expenses. These reasons might be unjustified; however, there are some really genuine reasons that call for one to go under debt.

Debt looks unnecessary, but there are cases where there is no way out but to take a loan. Some of those conditions are given below, explaining when and why you should borrow money to move ahead in life.

To Save Your House

A great number of houses are mortgaged in the US. People are living in the fear of losing their homes to their lenders. This is one thing that scares all home owners. If you are facing the risk of foreclosure, then taking out a loan to paying back your debt is a good option.

However, this is not the only option that one has in such situations. One should always seek help from a lawyer who specializes in such cases to find the best option out of this situation. One more thing to remember is not to make the same mistake of putting another property on the line to save one property, as it will not do you any good.

Almost, all the banks will require some kind of collateral to give you a loan; however, some companies or lenders might be willing to give you a loan to save your house on certain conditions. This option should be used when you are sure that you will not end up in trouble.


If an investment opportunity comes your way that can benefit you, then taking out a loan is a good idea. Risks are important in life and one can never move ahead in life without taking risks. However, one thing that is important is to minimize the risks involved. This isn’t easy but one should be able to do it before opting for loan.

Foresightedness is required as these are very major decisions and cannot be made in haste. You can consult a professional or your friends to make sure the step you are taking is worth it. Not every investment gives the desired returns and can at times put you in serious financial trouble.

One more thing that you will need to do is find the difference between the profit you will earn out of the investment and the interest you will pay on the loan. If the profit isn’t more than the interest, then the option is pointless and something that should be totally avoided. However, if good returns are guaranteed then this is the best thing to go for.

Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation to pay down higher interest rate loans is a good reason for taking out a loan, especially if you are sure you can manage it well. If you are already burdened with a loan that required you to pay huge interest, it is a good option to take a loan from a friend or a bank that is giving it at a lower interest rate so that your burden is reduced.

However, it should be managed well as it can, like any other loan, cause problems. Also, when you go for this option, make sure the terms and conditions of the second loan are friendlier than the former one, because if they are the same then going to another lender will not be a good idea as it will not help you in any way.


Loan for education is usually acceptable; however, it depends on many factors. Firstly, consider whom you are going to sponsor for education, and if the person is worth it. There is no point in taking out a loan for someone who isn’t good at school, as the person probably will have difficulty finishing college, graduating, finding a job and then paying back the loan. However, this is very difficult to conclude due to the desire and importance of getting educated.

Many institutes and colleges have their own debt programs that are often interest free to promote education. This option should be considered as it can be of great help.

Why we need to know things related debts and financial difficulties?

Why we need to know things related debts and financial difficulties?

They say there are two things best not discussed in pubs, politics and religion.  I’m here to tell you of a third thing not to disclose or discuss, don’t tell anyone you are a debt adviser.  If you are one and disclose it, the response you will usually receive is, “do I need to talk to you”.  And that my friend, is the end of a quiet pint and reading the paper.

As a debt adviser, or should I say senior debt adviser, that sounds much better, I get asked a lot, who should I go to for advice, advice on my debts and finances?  Where can I get help with my debts?

There are many companies out there offering advice and assistance for those in debt or financial difficulties.

A starting point for many people is to phone the bank or credit card company that has the account, explaining that they are either going to be late with a payment or just cannot pay at all.  For many bank or creditors, they may not really be able to do much of anything for you; they just want you to pay what is owed and that is that.  Some creditors may refer you to an outside agency, but it would be the same if you were to find an outside company as well.

Next there are some charities set-up that state they can help people with their debt issues and personal finances.  I can only share my experiences with what some of these charities can offer.  Some may have qualified personnel who are experienced and trained in not only what options are available to someone in debt, but also what the ramifications are of each of these options and how they would relate to that person’s unique situation, however this is not what I have found.  I would place these in the minority, and not the majority of these services.

It is not just enough knowing the options a person may have with their debts, but those options may need to be tailored for that person’s situation as there can be different aspects for everyone, and there can also be negative aspects of an option to be explained and/or avoided.

Something interesting and factual, as in it happened quite a few times, was a few different charities phoning me asking me for advice for their client.  There are two things wrong with this scene, one is the charity may not have all the needed information for me to properly “help” them with this, as they are not trained in knowing what to ask, and secondly, why would the person who is seeking the advice not just contact me directly?  Granted they may not know how to contact me, but the charity could simply say here is Jon’s number, he is a professional debt adviser and financial counselor, ring him.

So lastly that brings us to the debt advice organizations and debt management firms that are out there assisting people with debt issues on a daily basis.  Many of these companies have qualified people to help you in finding a solution for your debt or financial problem.  And all should be licensed by the OFT/Office of Fair Trading, which has put into place guidelines for all debt companies to abide by.

But the best advice I can really give anyone seeking debt advice, is to find someone you feel comfortable with.  A person or firm that not only listens to you, but also gives you impartial advice, not pushing you towards one programme or service.  They listen to your situation and what you want to accomplish, and then advise you on what all the options are, and why those options will or will not work for you, and what the hazards may be for you, based on your circumstances, if you were to chose a particular option.

I would say when you find this person or company, this is who you want to work with for your debt advice and what services they have to offer.

Jon Emge is Senior Debt Advisor and Financial Counsellor and has been working in the personal finance industry since 1987, and has been advising people of debt solutions and providing bankruptcy advice in the UK as well as ROI, America and worldwide, since 1996.

How To Get Out Of Debt – Fast!

How To Get Out Of Debt – Fast!

Are you hopelessly in debt? Have you maxed out your credit cards and feel like you have nowhere to turn to? Is your net worth now in the negative? Don’t despair. There is a way to change your current situation. You can still turn things around and make it better. Let me reveal to you 4 steps on how to get out of debt – fast!

First, plug the hole. If there is a leak in your tub no matter how much water you put in, it can never be full unless you plug the leak. In the same way, in order to get out of debt find out why you are in debt in the first place. Track down your expenses and determine where the bulk of your money has been going. Has it been going to shopping sprees, eat outs or expensive vacations? Figure out where you are putting your money and take control.

Second, cut back. You are in debt because of one simple reason: you are spending more than you earn. No matter how much you earn your expenses will always be in proportion to your income. The solution to this is to live beneath your worth. Do not overspend. Cut back on unnecessary expenses. If you have been going to an expensive gym then opt to go jogging instead. If you have been eating out 3x a week then cut back to once a week. If you enjoy going to movies every weekend chose to watch dvd’s at home. It is the little things that matter and these will make a big difference on your bottom line.

Third, cut down your credit cards. You do not need 3 or 4 credit cards. You only need one. So if you own 4 cards cut the other three in half and just leave one for emergency use. Credit cards are not evil. They are neutral. But in the hands of undisciplined people they can be dangerous. If you are not careful they can be the cause of your financial downfall. One disadvantage of using a credit card is that it makes spending much easier. Why? Because you don’t see money disappear. It’s a lot harder to hand over a thousand bucks than your credit card. That is why it is much harder to control yourself when you go shopping with your card. To minimize temptation always buy in cash.

Fourth, save at least 10 % of your income. When it comes to money it doesn’t matter how much you earn. What matters is how much you keep. So every month put away at least 10% of your salary. Never touch it. The only time when you can touch that money is when you are going to invest it. This will allow your money to grow and will provide you with the knowledge that you will never run out of money.

Amy C. is an interior decoration aficionado and online marketer.  She also likes testing and trying new home and office decorating themes.  In addition to being an interior decoration hobbyist, she enjoys designing calming solar fountains and glass art.  Amy invites you to browse her delightful collection of glass vases

Wedding Planning In The Age Of Debt Relief

Although societal mores have seemingly conspired to escalate the costs of weddings with each successive generation, the financial problems and overwhelming credit card debt totals of United States citizens have finally started to alter perceptions toward a more practical approach.  Not that we’ve entirely done away with Disney princess themes or hand carved ice sculptures costing exorbitant amounts for prospective spouses barely living paycheck to paycheck, but cultural commentators agree that a new spirit has taken hold.  “More and more, new couples are looking back to the age of their grandparents for ideas about how to manage a ceremony without breaking the bank,” says Moira Stannich, wedding planner, internet guru, and author of “Not Always For Poorer: Wedding Debt Relief”.

“Nowadays,” Stannich continues, “with so many brides and grooms as worried about having to avoid bankruptcy as having to dodge divorce in their first couple of years together, there’s been a real sea change concerning just how young Americans come to look at the whole presentation of betrothals.  You can see it in the number of soon to be spouses opting to wait out a formal proposal until they finish their own debt settlement negotiation.  It’s slowly but surely ticking back to the time in which a man would never dare ask a lady’s hand in marriage until he had a good, solid fiscal footing upon which to care for a family.  From the wedding planning community, we’ve been counseling extended engagements since virtually day one, and, speaking for myself, I couldn’t be more delighted to witness a return to the old traditions.”

What are these old traditions?  While, of course, the trend seems to be dominated at first glance by fashion — specifically, a simplified form of the classic wedding dress, brides often preferring to buy vintage ensembles from specialty boutiques — the surrounding philosophy has filtered down toward an overall transition that embraces uncluttered and realistically oriented affairs that keep one eye focused on credit card debt relief while abandoning none of the romance (and, perhaps, even enhancing some elements).  Half a century ago, the ordinary American wedding was conducted within a church or household parlor for little more than a few handfuls of relations and well wishers.  There would have been food served, but nothing more exaggerated or costly than what would have been expected from a normal Sunday afternoon party featuring a number of guests.  Those halcyon days, the price of the average ceremony was roughly ten percent of the current eye popping estimates, and, not only did the concept of credit card debt relief barely exist, the statistics for divorce within the first year of marriage was nearly imperceptible.

“Although the traditional strategy does eliminate some of the pageantry every young bride — and many of the grooms, as well, more than they’d like to admit — may dream about, in her heart of hearts, there’s something so welcoming and earthy about a simple ceremony within the bosom of close friends and family.  Leave aside the needs for debt relief, even the most well to do couples are now gravitating toward this idea, and, though their great rooms and backyards may be that much grander, the notion’s the same.  Scaling back costs and plans concentrates the energies of everyone involved upon wishing the best for the blessed union and reminding all invested parties of the undying bonds to be forged through the marrying of two souls.”

Don’t Get Into Hot Water With Your Energy Bills

Our debt advisers here at Debt Advice Group get a really good feel for what’s going on in the debt world, simply because of the number of people in personal debt that they see each week, but even they were surprised by the findings of a Facebook poll by our sister company Moneyextra, which posed a few debt questions on the topic of energy and mortgage purchase.

Over 7,500 people took part in the poll and a staggering quarter of those surveyed said that they pay their gas, electricity or mortgage on a credit card, at least sometimes (12%) and in 13% of cases pretty much all the time.

The reason for the raised eyebrows is that this is a really dangerous thing to do, in financial terms.  For a start, it implies that a person might be struggling to make the required payment in the first place, as the interest that would accrue on a ‘purchase’ of any of these items would significantly add to the cost to the purchaser.  If they can pay the amount off when it comes to paying their monthly credit card bill, fair enough, but many people just can’t and are using the card as a last resort to keep the gas pumping through to the oven and the lights on in the house.

The snowballing effect of leaving such debts on a credit card account is probably something that many of those needing debt advice recognise as an all too familiar scenario.  Before you know it, it’s not just this month’s mortgage or this quarter’s energy bill that you’ve not been able to pay off the credit card, but the following payment too, and then the next and the next.  The debt grows like Topsy and sooner or later you will meet or exceed your limit.  What happens then?  There’s every likelihood that your credit limit might be reduced or your credit stopped altogether, if you then can’t make the card payments, and the whole situation has just turned around and bitten you again.

The important thing that many people with personal debt problems and in need of debt counselling tend to ignore is the issue of interest rate.  When you are in debt, our debt advisers know full well that desperation leads you to cover up that little bit about the rate of interest that’s tucked on the bottom of your credit card bill.  It almost seems irrelevant sometimes, as it’s often Hobson’s choice and your only means of paying what you owe.  Unfortunately, many people feeling like this end up with enormous debt issues and have to get debt management plans or IVAs in place in order to get them out of the hole that paying for energy or mortgage on a credit card has caused.

14% of the people who took part in the poll said that they are in arrears with their water, gas and electricity bills.  This should also set alarm bells ringing, as the Utilities have a lot of power when it comes to getting their money out of you – after all, they control your access to heat and energy and can really force you to make that a priority payment, even if other people are ahead of them in your debt queue.

So how do you tackle that debt queue?  You can’t go on borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, so you need to find some fairness in to the equation and pay each creditor what you can afford to pay, according to what you owe.  This is where our debt advisers come in.  They can help you make draw up such a debt management plan or, if you qualify for an IVA, negotiate completely with the people in your queue on your behalf, taking away all the attempts at queue jumping, hollering louder than the next creditor and stalking you at the metaphorical ‘bus stop’.  They can stop your creditors calling you at times when you don’t have the energy and at times when you do.  They can fuel you with more power to negotiate and put you back in the driving seat again, in control of your finances and not running on empty.  That’s what debt advice; debt counselling and debt solutions provision is all about.

Rising fuel costs are the reason given by 25% of people when it comes to naming the cause of their debt.  If you are one of them, don’t shy away from sorting the situation out.  24% of people are shopping around for cheaper energy, but you may have already done that and found that the saving is a drop in the ocean.  It’s easy not to think about heating and energy in summer, but don’t make the mistake of leaving it too late to sort out your finances before the winter comes.  Scottish Power’s gas tariff hike isn’t waiting for winter – going up 19% as from August 1 – and electricity is going up by 10% on the same day.  This is just one example, so ask yourself if you can really afford that extra 19% or 10% and where it’s going to come from, if your card is already maxed out.

Debt does drain your energy, but don’t let it completely destroy your life.  Help is on tap from an expert team of debt advisers at Debt Advice Group, so plug into it, let them analyse your current situation and get things sorted out, before you are in too much hot water to save your financial situation and possessions.

Please feel free to get in touch for advice on general debt issues such as bailiffs and we’ll provide the necessary information.

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