Debt

Credit Card Debt – Five Signs You Should Seek Help

Credit Card Debt – Five Signs You Should Seek Help

The Average American has credit card debt balances that are quickly approaching ten thousand dollars. With soaring interest rates increasing the principal substantially, it is little wonder that more and more debtors are filing for bankruptcy every year. Fortunately, there are several debt relief alternatives to bankruptcy that can help you pay off your unsecured loans without taking such measures. Below, we’ve listed a number of signs that should show you are ready to enlist the services of these programs.

1.) Past due balances

Of course, failing to regularly make the monthly payment requirements on your credit card debt statements would be reflection of a need for debt relief.  There are numerous reasons to account for a failure to meet the demand – unemployment, divorce and medical bills are all prime examples of financial hardship, any of which can trigger a cycle of falling behind in payments which in turn makes it that much harder to get ahead.

2.) Late payments

Paying your credit card debts behind schedule hurts your credit score and raises the attention of debt collectors.  Getting behind on payments can also cause credit card companies to increase you rater of interest, making your ability to pay that much more difficult with every passing month, and invalidate some forms of debt relief.

2.) Minimum payments

Though you may find enough resources to barely come up with the monthly minimum payments required by your credit card debt accounts, just meeting the minimum does little to actually reduce your totals, particularly when considering the interest charges applied each month.  You’ll find that this pattern results in your principal increasing over time.

4.) Creditors are calling

As soon as you fail to meet the payment schedule for your credit card debt, you will likely begin to receive calls from your lenders, reminding and/or requesting you to pay.  This is an early sign that your credit card debt has exceeded your means.  Stepping up your efforts to regain debt relief control will become a necessary measure.

5.) Collections

Generally, a credit card debt that is sixty days overdue is only then assigned to a collections agency, but some companies will take actions as soon as a single payment is late.  At this point, if you are unable to manage the payment of the past due debts, it is highly recommended that seek the help of a debt relief service for guidance.

What’s next?

The longer you wait to address unmanageable credit debt, the more severe the problem gets.  Yet as dire as the situation may appear, it may not be necessary to go the lengths of filing for bankruptcy.  There are debt relief programs available that can help you manage your credit debt and pay off your lenders without the involvement of the court system.  The most effective new credit card debt relief option, debt settlement negotiation can be highly instrumental in lowering your debts to the extent that they could be eliminated in just sixty months.  Following a consultation – make sure you sign up with a firm that offers no cost consultations, estimating facts and figures up front and for free – a debt settlement professional will barter with your credit card debt lenders in the hopes of lowering your overall debt by as much as sixty percent, to be repaid through just a single monthly bill.


Save Money and Time: Why Being Single Isn’t So Bad for your Checkbook

I recently graduated college and most of my friends are already married or in the process of engagement. One particularly impatient friend has a baby on the way. And, being the selfish single lady that I am, I’ve noticed that their exclusive partnerships are causing problems for me. Most annoyingly, I’m struggling to find a roommate because all of my friends have relocated or have moved in with their significant others, which has left me alone eating Ben & Jerry’s out of the carton while watching late-night reruns of The Nanny on my parent’s couch.

Sure, I’ve dated; I’ve tried men in every variety: soccer players, car enthusiasts, photographers, frat boys, and even the editor of the university newspaper, but every man seemed to have a flaw. Men who ask for loans. Military personnel who are never in the States. Younger men with step-mothers your age. Older men with daughters your age.

No one seemed up to standard. I’ve been told I’m too picky and that I should settle, because, after all, I’m 22 and there’s still no ring in sight.

Songs, TV shows, movies, commercials, and even billboards are filled with messages that having a significant other will make you want to listen to Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One” on repeat and hurry home to your rose-petaled bedroom after a long eight hours of being away from your “other half.”

Even completely non-romantic products are marketed towards filling some kind of void. I’ve even been tempted to call Just Breaks because “they really do care.” If only finding Mr. Right were as easy as installing new break-pads.

I was so stuffed full of “get married” messages that I was beginning to vomit teddy bears, flowers, and diamonds. And last week after my mom pried Ben & Jerry from my arms and sent Fran flat lining into a screen of black, I decided it was time to stop being lonely and start being alone.

Lonely is always alone, though alone is not always lonely. And if I’m learned anything from Beyoncé and Jay Z , it’s that all the single ladies have it pretty good and having 99 problems isn’t so bad, as long as a bitch ain’t one. Before they were able to become the celebrity power couple they are now, Beyoncé and Jay Z had to become celebrities in their own right. I’m no celebrity (though I’m sure I have quite the blog following), but I know that to be happy, I’ve got to embrace being single.

When I think realistically about my married friends, they’re not constantly skipping through daisy fields and coming home every night to strawberries and champagne and bubble baths. They’re complaining. Complaining about how the other doesn’t clean the place-mats, complaining about in-laws, complaining about how they don’t spend enough time with their friends. But most of all, they’re complaining about money.

In fact, financial issues are the cause of a great many divorces. Yes, I’m single and I’m not living a fairy-tale romance and I don’t have someone to curl up to at night (though I do have a poodle who is just lovely). But being single also means that I don’t have to share; not my time, not my friends, and not my money.

The liberation of being financially independent is almost as intoxicating as the martinis I’ve taken to drinking with my girlfriends on Thursday nights. Each week we meet at the bar, order our drinks, and live out our clichéd fantasy of being single and loving it. And now that we’ve realized we can keep our money, our friends, and our lives and still keep men in our beds, we’ve just got one question for you: why be with only one Mr. Right when you can be with seven Mr. Right Now’s?

This is a guest post by Jane Tiluda. Jane Tiluda is a blogger and personal finance expert from Atlanta, GA, currently happily living the single life.  Stay tuned for installments in Jane’s ongoing series about finance tips for dating and living the single life.


What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You – 5 Bankruptcy Myths

What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You – 5 Bankruptcy Myths

In the course of my work as a Colorado bankruptcy attorney, I find that there are a lot of common misconceptions that consumers have about personal bankruptcy. Unfortunately, these misconceptions can sometimes cause consumers to make the wrong financial choice, resulting in needless expenses and personal difficulties. Here are the five most common “myths” I’ve found surrounding the topic of bankruptcy:

Myth #1: When someone files bankruptcy, they will lose everything. It’s a popular notion that bankruptcy requires consumers to hand over all of their assets to their creditors. However, most people keep all of their property after bankruptcy. This is because most states have a long lists of assets that are exempt from liquidation during bankruptcy. Common bankruptcy exemptions include home equity, vehicle, retirement account, family heirlooms (including jewelry), tools necessary for work, household goods, clothing, etc.

Myth #2: Bankruptcy is “bad.” Many consumers automatically reject bankruptcy as an option because of negative feelings they have towards the concept. While it might seem that bankruptcy is something our society objects to, the truth is that it provides much needed resiliency for our economy and its participants. This is perhaps most evident in the many famous people that have been bankrupt. Former U.S. Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Harry Truman were all bankrupt at one point in their lives, as was famous American author Mark Twain. Twentieth century business icons Henry Ford and Walt Disney also declared bankruptcy before going on to create two of the world’s most successful corporations.

Myth #3: Bankruptcy solves all financial problems. While it’s true that bankruptcy can help a consumer gain control of his or her finances, it’s not a cure-all solution for financial problems. While some consumers experience a once-in-a-lifetime event that causes them to file bankruptcy (such as a death in the family, a business failure, medical problem, etc.), other consumers are forced to file because they have bad financial habits. Bankruptcy is a tool that consumers can use to get their financial life back under control, but it’s not a cure for bad money habits or poor financial choices. filing bankruptcy, it’s important for consumers to recognize why they need to file in the first place.

Myth #4: Bankruptcy is a financial “trick.” Some people think of bankruptcy as some sort of financial trickery that businesses and consumers use to avoid creditors. However, I often find these people don’t know that bankruptcy is a right provided for by the U.S. Constitution. Much like freedom of speech and freedom of the press, bankruptcy rights are essential to a free society. Without the right to file bankruptcy, the founding fathers believed that banks and creditors would have too much power over consumers.

Myth #5: Filing bankruptcy ruins personal credit for years. It’s commonly believed that filing bankruptcy means that a consumer won’t be able to get credit again until seven years have passed. However, many people experience an increase in their credit score after filing bankruptcy. Additionally, many lenders and creditors specialize in working with people fresh out of bankruptcy, and it’s not uncommon for recent bankruptcy filers to receive credit immediately after their bankruptcy is discharged. Granted, these offers of credit may come at a higher interest rate than before bankruptcy, but they do help recent bankruptcy filers to get re-established.

Bankruptcy isn’t a magical cure for all financial problems, but it does often make sense for individuals in financial distress. If you or someone you know is considering filing for bankruptcy, be sure that they contact a bankruptcy lawyer to discuss their options. Only by educating ourselves about our legal rights can we make smart financial decisions.

About the author: Attorney Michael Wink is founder of Wink & Wink, P.C., a Denver bankruptcy law firm.


Useful Credit Card Debt Relief Tips

Useful Credit Card Debt Relief Tips

If you are battling with credit card debt then you are not alone and not all is lost. Here are a few tips on how to relieve your credit card debt. The first thing to do is to write down all your debts. This way you know what you owe. Where you are unsure, ask for records from all your creditors. Make a budget that includes the payment scheme of your debts and your basic needs. Eliminate all luxuries and extra expenses and use the extra cash in facing off the debt. Any windfalls or bonuses should also be used to reduce debt.

If you are paying the minimum balance on your credit cards, begin with those cards that have exceeded the 50% credit line. Cards that are maxed-out place the account at a risk of being closed unexpectedly, which can have dire consequences on your credit record. Find a way of paying more than the minimum balance. You can do this by getting extra cash from selling off personal belongings that you do not need. You can also get a part time job other than your normal daytime job. Use any extra money you get to pay off your credit card debt.

If you are still overwhelmed, you can visit a debt counselor or financial advisor to advise you on the way to go about solving your debt problem. Alternatively, talk to a debt settlement company instead. Most of these companies renegotiate with the creditors on terms of payment. This way, you can get reduced interest rates on the debt or increased payment periods. In some cases, if you are diligent in payment, the debt can be substantially slashed off. They can also consolidate all your debts so that you end up paying one debt altogether at lower interest rates.

Taking a loan to pay off your creditors is another option you can use to pay off these debts. Some people take these loans from their 401k while others borrow from the banks and other credit card sources. Whichever way you choose, ensure that the interest rates are reasonable in your situation. As soon as you pay off the credit card debts, concentrate on paying off the loan to avoid wallowing in debt. You can also borrow interest free loans from your family, friends or employer. Use all the money given to pay up the debts and make a solid plan on how to pay off these people as per agreement.

Having a debt in excess of US $ 10,000 makes you eligible for a debt relief of up to 60%. You will need to prove that you are incapable of paying off the debt, thought. You will need to contact a credit card debt relief service in your locality, who will tell you how to go about this.

If all the above do not work, you can check with an attorney or credit counselor to see if bankruptcy can help your situation. However, this should be done, while considering the effects of bankruptcy on your credit report. Stick to the payment plan and avoid getting into more debt. Change your lifestyle by spending money on necessities and using the rest to pay off the debts. Once you have cleared all your debts, try living without credit cards altogether.


Finance Benefits for Military Members – Know Them and Use Them

Finance Benefits for Military Members – Know Them and Use Them

Every veteran deserves to have a home – one that they own. They have served, protected, and sacrificed for our country, and they have undoubtedly earned their right to be called both patriots and homeowners. How can this be done? Through the VA loan program, which has helped over 18 million veterans achieve this dream.

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers government-backed loans to those who have served. With this secure backing, approved VA lenders can lend to a greater number of veteran borrowers as well as offer them great rates and benefits to help them save money. 8 in 10 veterans who have received VA loans would not have qualified for a conventional loan because of low credit or high debt to income rations. After all, they have given so much to our country, they should be helped in return.

Perhaps most importantly, VA loans save veterans money by:

  • Being one of the only home loan options with no down payment
  • Not requiring private mortgage insurance (PMI)
  • Offering interests rates typically .5%-1% lower than conventional loans

The VA loan qualifications require the borrower to have either served 90 days during wartime, 181 days on active duty during peacetime, 6 years in the Reserves or National Guard, or be the spouse of someone who died in service.

There are restrictions on what VA loans can be used toward. Home purchases must be the veteran’s primary residence, and VA loans cannot be used to buy either investment properties or land. VA loans can be used to buy a home, improve a home, or do both simultaneously. They can also be used to refinance both homes and VA-guaranteed or direct loans, and they can be used to purchase farm residences and single-family units in VA-approved condominium developments. In most areas in the U.S., there is a loan limit of $417,000, but the limit is raised in more expensive areas.

These benefits can (and do) save veterans hundreds of dollars every month. However, despite these huge savings, fewer than 10% of veterans have taken advantage of the offer. After graciously protecting the homes of so many, every veteran deserves their own home.


Is predicting that the US debt will increase over the next 10 years?

Is predicting that the US debt will increase over the next 10 years?

Author Bio: Joel Ohman is a Certified Financial Planner™ and the founder of a car insurance comparison website as well as a website for comparing insurance providers.

Guess how much the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is predicting that the US debt will increase over the next 10 years? 250% – from $7.5 trillion to more than $20 trillion! Yes, trillion with a capital T. Lest we forget, a trillion is a thousand billions. That is a ton of moola that Uncle Sam is borrowing.

While the prior couple of sentences are likely not something that should surprise you too much (sadly) since the astronomical US debt load is broadcast almost nightly on the evening news here are a few applications that we can all make for our own personal finances.

#1 Prepare for Good Times and Bad

It’s just the natural course of things that some times the money just seems to pour in while at other times its dryer than dry. For every real estate boom there is usually a corresponding correction. Make sure to prepare yourselves for the added burden and expenses that a job loss, car breakdown, etc can cause you by having your own war chest of money saved up. Don’t be like Uncle Sam and expect to be able to simply borrow your way out of every economic crisis or simply print more money.

#2 The More You Borrow the Harder it is to Borrow

There are certainly good times to borrow money as well as bad times to borrow money. Going into credit card debt just to buy a big screen TV is certainly a bad time while taking out a loan to start a business could end up being a smart move and end up increasing your net worth rather than decreasing your net worth.

Regardless of the reason for borrowing money one thing is for certain. The more money that you borrow then the harder it becomes to borrow more money at attractive interest rates. The more of a debt load you assume then the more riskier of a borrower you become to future lenders.

Lenders will be forced to compensate for this added default risk by either levying much higher interest rates or flat out refusing to loan you additional money (this is why if you enter the terms of almost any payday loan or cash advance loan into a payday loan interest calculator you can see the absolutely enormous APR’s that payday lenders levy on those high risk individuals who seek out a payday loan).

#3 It’s Easy to Lose Focus

Do you ever get the feeling that the government is simply not paying attention? It can be easy to get addicted to the lure of the fast cash and the “easy” money that comes from simply taking out a loan rather than saving or working for the money. Be very careful that you do not drift into the mindset of “Oh, I will just worry about paying it off later.” The focus should be on creating wealth for yourself by working hard, saving money, investing in appreciating and/or income producing assets, innovating, making short term sacrifices to enjoy long term rewards, etc. and NOT borrowing as much money as someone will lend to you to buy consumables.

What do YOU Think?

What other lessons can be learned from the enormous US debt load that we can apply to our own personal finances?

Do you think that Uncle Sam will ever learn from past mistakes and correct the United States’ reliance on debt financing?

What do YOU think is the best approach for the United States to downsize its appetite for debt?


Debt settlement services and attorneys based on debt solutions

Debt settlement services and attorneys based on debt solutions

Many debt settlement companies Debt Settlement Services partners are alike of closing of lacks of debt settlement process around America each and every month. There can be various terms to declare bankruptcy is anything.

Wouldn’t be great if you get a solution which will help you avoid 50 to 70 of your debt? There are many people who think that this prayer is answered when they find a debt settlement specialist. Moreover, their sweet dream turns to night mare when the debt settlement expert starts talking about their fees.

It’s cleared that you have to pay 20 percent of the total debt, just think if you had that much then you wouldn’t be searching for debt consolidation, hope I am right?

There are many debt settlement service sources who charge fees as a proportion of the total money saved. Well, they will fix the percentage randomly and then proceed to finalize the settlement deal.

The balance amount, whether optimistic or nonconstructive, will be accustomed once the actual settlement percentage is known. In both cases, certainly you may feel as if you’re paying a tons of money for debt relief. Of course, you do get away from bankrupt and all its destructive penalty


Debt Solutions Using Obama’s Remarks

Debt Solutions Using Obama’s Remarks

There we can see lots of people are trying to figure out how financial input services may positively and directly impact them. Well, as we know that Obama administration is giving lots of funds to the other financial companies, surely there must be another way that consumers can directly benefit.  One simple question to answer this if you are having debt in this present time, then you have the better option of getting out of it.

Let’s talk about best debt solutions and the way its inputs the money impact? Although the banks are aware of the situations, similarly other financial companies also put their hands in the well when the fund was being handed out. Something is there, Obama described and which has been for the new consumer based reach within the credit market.

The governing authority is presently getting after some of the debt relief.  Fast visit to the FTC’s sites, will show you that there is an invested endeavor in assisting consumers with there question. Other side you may read all about debt relief and find out more about things like debt consolidation and debt settlement kind of stuffs. Those people who have thousands of dollars of existing debt right now, debt consolidation and debt settlement are two ways that need to be on your head before it gets to late for you. Barak Obama and the federal government are providing their affirm for certain debt relief campaigns. They are trying to subsidize the credit markets and wanting creditors to settle pending debts with their clients as possible.


Debt under Obama budget

Debt under Obama budget

As the news arrived today in New York if 2011’s budget were come to affect as said, then the U.S federal Govt definitely put an approximated $9.8 trillion to the country’s accumulated debt for the coming decade. An agency approximated that by 2020, the debt would reach over $ 20 trillion or over 90 percent of GDP as compare from GDP 53 percent in 2009. This research done economist Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart.

The most one is the president’s proposal to draw out the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for the absolute majority of Americans. The second one is for the middle and upper middle class income families from delivering to pay the Alternative Minimum Tax also know as (AMT).

“It points out the unwillingness of the administration to raise the revenues to pay for the size of government being proposed,” said by Robert Bixby, an executive director of the Concord Coalition, a deficit watchdog group.

You can catch the full news @ money.cnn.com


Just trying to eliminate your debt?

Do you have a plan in trying to eliminate your debt? Are you tired of making the minimum payments on each bill and never being able to get ahead?I want to go through what debt stack is and how to manage money and eliminate your debt as quickly and realistically as possible. What’s even more exciting is that you can even  use the debt stacking formula to help create the retirement you’ve always dreamed of!

What is Debt Stacking?

I have discussed this in one of my previous post buts perhaps this is worth another look. Debt stacking is a simple principle of paying off all debts in a pyramid type formula. It works and it can be easy and you can eliminate your debt 2 to 3 times more quickly then you would have imagined.

STEP BY STEP PROCESS:

STEP 1: Make a list of all of your current debt. Rank each item from the lowest amount to the highest.

STEP 2: Establish an emergency fund in a savings account. The lowest amount you should have is $1,000. You just never know if or when you may need it.

STEP 3: Always pay the minimum amount each month that is required on all of your debt until the first one is paid off.

NOTE: If you typically pay extra on some of your debt each month, apply that extra amount to first item (of the lowest balance) on your list. (ie if you pay $200 extra each month on item number 3 switch that amount, regardless of interest to the lowest balance)

STEP 4: Once the lowest debt has been paid, apply that minimum monthly payment from the first debt and use it against the next lowest balance (the second one on your list). This will help speed up the amount of time it will take to pay off the second balance.

STEP 5: Repeat that same process to the next debt or until all have been eliminated. Remember you are not spending any more money and it will accelerate the process.

REMEMBER: For this to work effectively you must not create any new debt.

Let’s look at a typical example:

TYPE:                       AMOUNT:             REQUIRED MONTHLY INTEREST RATE:

PAYMENT:

Credit Card                $7,500                    $150                                     16

Car Loan                  $10,800                    $350                                    8.5%

Student Loan         $14,600                   $365                                    7.25%

Mortgage             $139,000                   $940                                    7%

TOTALS                $171,900                $1,805                                    —–

If you only made the minimum required payments:

It would take 32 years to be completely out of debt.

In those 32 years you would have paid $205,485 in INTEREST for a total of $377,385.

If you apply the Debt Stacking Formula:

It would take just 12 years to pay off that same debt.

In those 12 years you would have paid just $86,343 in interest for a total of $205,485.

It may seem too good to be true but this is a relatively simple process that works. You are not making any changes to your monthly payments just a different approach. Every situation is different but debt stacking works for anyone.

How Debt Stacking would help with retirement:

Once all of your debt has been eliminated, take the same total minimum required monthly payment of $1,805 and invest it. Do that every month for the next 20 years. You would have been paying that amount for 20 years anyway. If its invested at 8% you will have $1,179,533 in 20 years. Nothing in your lifestyle has changed.

In a nutshell debt stacking will dramatically reduce the amount of time it will take to pay off your debt and it will also reduce the total amount of interest you will pay AND it will help create the nest egg you have always wanted. That sounds pretty great doesn’t it?

The problem with debt is that you often don’t see results right away. It’s hard to stay focused and keep up hope when those large balances don’t seem to go away until the final few years. The key is to pay as little interest as possible so you will have more of your money in your bank account down the road. I hope this post helped you understand debt stack and showed you a little more about how to manage money.

Until next time,

Brandon Schmid

President

Angulus Marketing Ltd.

Huronia Rd, Barrie ON L4N 4G2

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