Credit Card Debt

5 Easy Tips to Get Out of Credit Card Debt Fast

There are a few good things that you may have wished to do in life, but you can’t achieve these wants due to your debt. When you’re paying a certain portion of your income towards meeting interests, it actually affects your peace of mind.

Few good methods that all debtors must follow:

Use the snowball method

The snowball method is a method that you can use to cope with your debt by dealing with a credit card that depicts the lowest balance first. Just like a snowball gets bigger as it rolls, this debt repayment method is about meeting the lowest balance first and then attacking the next higher balance. It gives you a lot of confidence as you set yourself free from one debt to another. Paying off each bigger balance will continue adding more to your confidence level till the time you get debt free.

Automate your payments

Do you count upon every little earning? By setting up your account, you may allow your credit card dues to be debited from a bank account automatically. Then you may consider as if the money was never yours. By choosing to meet your credit card balance manually, you may consider repaying only the minimum balance in order to make way for your other prioritized expenses. You might feel as if you didn’t ever have any extra money once your credit card payments get automated. It’s in your best interest to repay the entire balance every month instead of bearing extra charges.

Track all expenses

A lot of people that require free money tend to consider credit cards as an option. They find it much easier to swipe a plastic card and then put their signature over it. Things change the sooner the billing statement comes. Then, you find yourself looking around your home for extra cash to meet your dues. You may consider setting an individual category for your credit card expenses. You may track your expenses and check where your funds are moving. You won’t find it tough to understand how you’ve used your credit card and racked up in purchases. By keeping a track of your expenses, you’ll be able to keep all of your debt at bay.

Opt for balance transfers

A number of banks can help you by consolidating all credit card debts into a single debt. To achieve the very best of balance transfers, get all of your balances transferred from a single account with a higher rate of interest to another with the minimum rate. You’ll end up saving a much higher amount. You must understand the fact that there’s nothing as free money. The credit card interest rates will remind you of the high-interest rates.

Use a portion of your savings

Creating a fund for handling emergencies lays the foundation of personal finance. An electronic fund will certainly help you meet your emergency expenses beyond everything. You may set a lump sum payment of a portion of this emergency fund when you have some investments, a partner that earns a successful living, a steady flow of income or when the emergency fund yields other benefits.

Achieve your financial freedom

You’re bound to enjoy a stress-free life the sooner you achieve zero debt. You’ll be using a certain portion of your money towards paying off debt. But once you’ve paid a card back in full, you can use that money towards enjoying a short trip along with your loved ones. Alternatively, you may even let that money grow by investing it somewhere and use it later for achieving other financial goals like that of making the down payment for your new house.

You’ll regain that life free of financial worries once you’ve succeeded in paying off all of your credit cards subsequently.

 


How to keep a check on your credit card debt

Carrying a debt forward is a natural habit with most of us. A debt might appear in various forms like home equity credit, mortgage and student loan. It isn’t bad to carry your debt forward and at times it becomes absolutely necessary. At the same time, you must keep your debt under control; if you can’t, you’ll find yourself in crisis.

In case you aren’t careful, you may end up experiencing creditor calls, late payments, and high credit card balances.

In order to keep your debt under control, you’ll need to pursue a few good steps –

1) Know and accept the actual cost of credit

Do you really need to pay much when you use your credit card for meeting bills on purchasing a pair of sunglasses or having your dinner at a restaurant? Not considering the actual cost of credit is one of the primary causes of concern when you find yourself under the debt burden. Know and accept the actual cost of credit. You’ll be paying more than the initial cost of purchases till your monthly credit card balance is paid off consistently.Credit_Card

2) Meet your card balance each month

Emergencies compel us to use credit cards, although we may try to remain committed about not using credit cards. Once you receive a new credit card statement, pay off your credit card in full after you’ve utilized it for meeting unforeseen expenses like sudden tire replacement.

3) Track your expenses

You might need to spend some time for keeping a track of your expenses. Take notes and carry it with you regardless of whether you’re meeting your expenses with credit or cash. You may try this out for a month or at least for a couple of weeks. The entries shown in your notebook ought to be reviewed. You’ll be in for a surprise when you check out the irrelevance of some of the items that you pay for.

4) Check your impulses

Curbing your impulses isn’t that tough and you don’t need to worry. Your budget planner won’t be able to save you if you make impulsive buys. You must draw certain lines to avoid them. Keep track of your rising debt as much as possible. Although it may seem impossible, it is actually possible. You mustn’t raise your hands in despair, if you can’t manage things on your own. You may start all over again if you remain committed to the path of hard work and honesty.


How Your Credit Score Is Determined

credit scoreLike income taxes and 401Ks, credit scores can be mysteriously difficult to understand. With the overwhelming majority of the population being affected by them, one would hope there would be a simple method for individuals and families to calculate their own scores. Of course, the same could be said for taxes and retirement plans, but we know how that story goes…

Although the specific calculations are convoluted, and typically hidden from the public, the commonly accepted and standardized scores used by lenders are made up of five primary factors listed below, in order of highest percentage of impact to lowest:

35%:  History of Payment

If there is one question lenders want answered, that question is: Will payments be made on time, and in full? Above all else, this single fact determines worthiness and reliability in lending. More than how much money is in an account, more than how much income a household makes in a year, this is the key: if a history of paying the proper amounts on time can be shown, the most important base has been covered.

Although an occasional late payment is a rather common accident amongst American families, credit scores don’t react nearly as badly to one late payment as it does consecutive or patterned late or non-payments. Do not panic if a single payment was accidentally missed; the scores looks for repetition.

30%:  Amounts Owed

This factor can be initially misleading, in that people tend to assume that the higher amount one owes, the lower their score must automatically drop. However, there is a critical difference to be made: the significant amount is the ratio of available credit that is being used. Simply put, the lower the percentage of available credit, the lower the score.

The reason creditors care more about percentages and ratios than raw amounts is that when an individual is using a large percentage of their available credit, they are considered financially over-extended, and carry a higher risk of not paying on time. Again, paying on time and in full is so important, that not only is payment history the strongest credit score factor, but the next strongest is simply trying to show lenders if people will pay on time in the future.

15%:  Length of Credit History

Another factor that is commonly misinterpreted, having a longer credit history does not necessarily translate to a higher score. If poor credit is shown over a long period of time, that will have a proportionately negative effect on a score as having good credit for the same length of time would yield a positive effect.

Yes, lenders are certainly more leery of rookie or inexperienced credit users, but a score is not automatically low just because an individual or family is new to credit. In fact, only a few months of reliable credit payments actually yield quite a high score, but to get a score to prime levels, it does require good behavior shown over a longer duration.

10%:  Types of Credit

With the wide variety of credit cards, loans, installments (monthly payments), mortgages, and other types of credit available, more is not always better. Results seem to show that the two most noteworthy conclusions to draw from this section are 1) lenders prefer users who have managed credit cards properly, to those who have not managed them at all (meaning using a card is probably worth your while), but 2) do not open a credit card or other form of credit unless you intend to use it.

Paying monthly installments, a mortgage if one is in use, and a responsible credit card is more than enough to boost this portion of the credit score.

10%:  New Credit

The myth that simply opening a line of credit will drop your credit has been exposed; this is simply not the case. However, a dangerous red flag to lenders is when a household opens up multiple forms of credit in a very short amount of time, particularly if that household is not already an established, trusted credit user. When getting started, avoid rapidly opening multiple accounts.

Written by Clif, a freelance writer for SereniCare Corporate Marketing, a Phoenix-area franchise opportunist. For further questions about credit scores, you can find more in-depth explanations at myfico.com. I hope this post was an enjoyable and worthwhile read for you.


Eliminating Credit Card Debt: How to Do It Smartly?

 

While a good credit score and a strong financial history is what everybody, under the sun, loves to have, it is all the more important to put yourself in a solid financial position in a scenario of economic uncertainty. And one of the most effective ways to do that is to reduce your credit card debt as soon as possible. While some of the people still don’t have credit cards, those who have typically carry a balance. And an organized, disciplined approach can definitely help you out in getting rid of the credit card debt no matter if your balance is $3,000 or $30,000. Here are some of the most effective tips that will help you reduce your credit card debts easily

  • Consider your financial condition – Before you plan anything for reducing the debts, it is important to know where you stand and what exactly is your financial condition. It is simply impossible to hit your target unless you know exactly where it is. For instance, you might think that you have got a debt of $9,000, while in reality you may have a debt of $11,000 or $14,000. Hence, it is advisable to check out your standings thoroughly and be perfectly honest to yourself. Take out all the cards you have, note down the debt and the interest rate and then, make a plan about paying them off gradually.Credit_Card
  • Track your costs – Check out how much you spend on all your regular and committed expenses like utilities, mortgage, car payments, insurance, phone bills, minimum credit card payments, cable connection, gym memberships etc. Next, track what are the variable expenses like entertainment, restaurant meals, travel etc. This will act as a foundation to the budget that you have to create. Take the credit card bills and the bank statements of the last year to get an accurate view of your monthly spending and make it a point to keep track of each and every expense that you will make, using a notebook or financial software.
  • Improve the interest rates – One of the quickest ways to save large amounts for your credit card bills is to negotiate and manage a lower interest rates. If it is possible to shave off even one or two percent on the rate, it will help you save hundreds and thousands while paying off the debt. You never know, may be a simple phone call and some polite requests will do your job absolutely. Even though your credit score plays a significant role in determining if you get a rate cut or not, it is not the only factor, because every lender treats this issue personally and therefore, you should definitely give it a try.
  • Create a budget – Now this is what you need to do most carefully. The central key to do this job successfully is to be absolutely realistic and check out what are the sacrifices that you can make. Consider the services that you can cut back immediately and plan the expenses accordingly.

Ways to Improve Your Financial Situation

financial adviceHow nice it would be if we could just have enough money to do exactly what we want, when we want? To not have to worry about any more debt?  We all dream of that financial freedom, but unfortunately it is very difficult for some of us to achieve.  But it can be done. Credit card debt consolidation is the perfect way to start reducing your credit card debt, for example.

Take a hard look at your Situation

The first thing you can do to improve your financial situation is figure out how much is going where.  Get your data together and figure out what items are producing income, and what items are draining income.  You want to see more production and less draining.  Positive income production items are:  Having an IRA, having a second job or home-based business, maximizing all tax deductions, having investments, stocks, bonds or mutual funds.

What can be a financial strain is:  Too much credit card debt, no emergency funds, high mortgage, casual spending, or no savings plans or investments.  After you have a good idea of what your financial strengths and weaknesses are it’s time to begin eliminating the burdens and increasing the cash flow.  You will need to know what works, and what doesn’t.

Take the Uphill Climb

There are so many things one can do to improve their savings and take care of what is financially draining.  For starters, if you are in any sort of credit card debt, look into joining a credit card debt consolidation program.  This is a good way to change the interest rate, or even reduce the overall debt that you have.  Credit card debt consolidation is not like bankruptcy and is better for your credit overall.    After you have an idea of what your monthly payments are going to be through the credit card debt consolidation program, you can take a look at what else you can do to save money.

Taking a look at your vehicle use is another potential way to save on money.  See if you can get better gas mileage, and make sure repairs are up to date.  If you are on medications, inquire about getting into a prescription drug program discount plan.  Many pharmacies offer these types of programs now.  You can look into your utility companies to see if you can save money, or switch satellite or cable providers.  For your banking needs, try not to use the ATM outside of your network.  That can easily save $3 a transaction. Hopefully these tips will help out your financial situation.

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Jake Alexander is a free lance writer who enjoys writing about finances. Follow him @JakeAlexander17.


How to Take Control of your Credit Card Debt

How to Take Control of your Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt is one of the single biggest issues affecting people in the UK, as people are often tempted by the benefits of a credit card but then struggle to pay the necessary monthly repayments. From May 2012, the average amount of unsecured household debt in the UK was £7891, showing that there has been a substantial increase on the level of debt on 2011 and the 5 year period before 2008.

Usually it is the convenience of credit cards which makes them more appealing to use when the cash flow is running low. Unfortunately for those who use them, there is a high rate of interest associated with them that can be difficult to repay over time.

Not only do these reasons suggest why credit card debt is so high in the UK, they also make it extremely difficult for individuals to repay their liability. With many more people unemployed or being made redundant, it is clear that those in credit card debt don’t always have the disposable income to pay off the debt on a regular basis. It is only those with a proactive and determined approach to saving that will be able to overcome credit card debt in the future.

Consolidate your debt

If you are in debt with a number of credit cards, it can be even more difficult to accept more than one individual liability, and make multiple repayments when your money is tight. When managing your debt, try to pay off each credit card one at a time and once you have settled the account, close it down. Alternatively, you could also transfer your balance onto one credit card to ensure that you can manage your money in one place.

Try to shift your debts onto a 0% credit card and either pay it off before the 0% term expires, or shift the balance to another card before the interest kicks in. If you can’t get approved for a 0% card, a low-interest card (5-10%) will still be lower than the APR on most debts.This will help to create one clear goal for you as opposed to trying to pay off debt on many credit cards. By working out the APR of each credit card you will be able to see which card needs to be paid off first.

If you are struggling to pay off any of your debt you could always contact the CCCS (http://www.cccs.co.uk/) and see if they can help as they can sometimes arrange for debts to be frozen or consolidated into a single manageable monthly payment.

Only spend what you can afford

Although credit cards can offer financial support and tend to be convenient for the user, they can encourage you to spend money you don’t have. A more effective solution to the problem of limited cash flow is to budget your levels of disposable income, and ensure that every penny you spend is accounted for and necessary. If you commit to only keeping cash, you will know exactly how much you are spending as opposed to feeling like you have an endless amount of money to spend on your credit card.

Make sure you can afford your repayments

If you are trying to pay too much on your credit card monthly bill repayments, you will soon find that you may be getting yourself into further debt. By implementing a strict budget each month you will know how much disposable income you have each month, as well as how much you have to repay your debt. Make a list of your income outgoings as well as a list of essential and non essential spending in order to see how much you can pay each month towards your credit card debt.

If any creditors call to ask about your debt, you will then be able to explain what capacity you have to make the repayments each month. Committing to manageable repayments will help you to regain trust with your creditors and as well as helping yourself to feel more confident with your saving methods.

Obviously, it is great if you can pay more on your minimum monthly repayments as this will help you to reduce your credit card debt much quicker, helping you to feel more relaxed and carefree about your financial situation. By dealing with your debt in this logical way, it is likely that you will learn from your experience and be more careful next time you are tempted to open a credit card.

This article was written by Debt Free Me; specialists in debt consolidation and financial management. Visit www.debtfreeme.co.uk for free advice on managing credit card debt and your finances.

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How to Make Money through Credit Cards

How to Make Money through Credit Cards

Credit cards are rather helpful for those who are able to understand how to use them. It is even possible for credit card owners to earn money while spending money with their credit cards. While this may sound a bit daunting, it is possible to pocket extra cash while buying ones basic everyday needs.

Credit card companies have been known to send out multiple cards to families; offering to make their lives easier. True, credit cards can help with paying off bills and purchasing personal belongings. Some people keep a credit card just for emergencies. However, there have been cases of families going into debt because they could not keep up with their credit card payments.

Pick the Right Card

Cash Back credit cards reward the buyer with a percentage amount made from purchases in the form of cash, instead of rewarding high flyer miles or store credit points. The best way to make money with a cash back credit cards is by picking a card with the least amount of fees that offers the best possible reward rates.

Some banks and credit card companies suggest owning more than one cash back credit card per family. By doing so, it is possible to get more cash back with great discounts on commonly purchased items.

Always Use It

Sometimes the fine print doesn’t cover all of the items that can pay owners back, so wherever shopping is done the bill should always be paid with the card. Cash back credit cards will not only pay back the user for their basic purchases, they can also help centralize a balanced check book.

Be warned, for if one has a history of not being able to keep a budget, the credit card debt will build up. When earning cash back for shopping it is almost impossible to compete against building interest. More money will be lost than gained if credit cards cannot be paid off in a timely manner.

Know the Fine Print

Big spenders who use their cash back credit cards bundling up on their cash back rewards need to know when their rewards expire. Another important rule to know is if there is a cap for how much cash can be rewarded for shoppers. To maximize the amount of money earned from using credit cards the owners should only use cards that have no reward limit.

More than half of the cash back credit cards have a maximized cap for how much the users can earn. This can hurt some owners who have a trigger finger for spending. If the point is to make money with their credit cards, why bother owning card that puts a limit to how much can be used?

There are many ways to fall into debt using credit cards, but there are more ways to earn money while shopping with a credit card. Credit card owners should speak to banks and card companies and learn the policy of their cards so they can benefit from the best cash rewards possible. So get out there and start making money while paying off bills.

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The post is shared by George Martin. George is well aware of types of credit cards available in the market. He has great knowledge of low interest credit card that proffer best low interest, rewards and cash back guarantee.

 


Top 5 ways to consolidate your debts

In the current financial climate a huge number of us are lumbered with a range of debts that, quite frankly, we could do without. Whilst there is little that we can do about actually having to repay the debt, many of us are able to make debt repayment a little easier on ourselves by looking at consolidation as a means of reducing the number of creditors we pay and even reducing the amount that we are paying.

Debt consolidation is where you pay off a number of smaller debts by taking on one larger debt. Whilst this may seem as though it is pointless, it can actually benefit you in a number of ways. Consolidation could reduce the hassle and time involve with debt repayment by reducing the number of creditors that you have to pay. It can also reduce the amount that you pay on your debts each month, thus easing the strain on your finances.

There are a number of options that you can look at when it comes to consolidating your debts. This includes:

Credit card transfers: If you have a number of high interest credit cards with outstanding balances on you could benefit hugely by transferring all of these credit card debts onto one interest free 0% balance transfer credit card. This would enable you to enjoy a generous period of interest free credit within which to clear the transferred debt. If you feel that you need longer to repay the combined credit card debt you can consider a low interest life of balance transfer card instead, which will enable you to enjoy a very low rate of interest on your transferred debt until it has been paid off. By doing this you can get rid of your variety of high interest cards and have just one low interest or interest free credit card debt to deal with

Secured loan: If you are a homeowner and you have some level of equity in your home you may be able to borrow against your equity and use the money to pay off your existing debts. You will then have one secured loan to pay off rather than a range of smaller loans, credit cards, overdrafts, store cards, etc.

Unsecured consolidation loan: For those who are not homeowners or do not wish to borrow against their home, an unsecured consolidation loan could be another option. You will generally need to have a good credit history in order to get an affordable unsecured loan, particularly in the current climate. However, if you are able to get a competitive personal loan this could be an ideal solution to wrap up all of your smaller debts into one larger one

Speak to creditor if your debts are with one creditor: If you have a range of different debts with one creditor, such as your bank, it is worth speaking to the creditor to see whether they can suggest a suitable and affordable solution whereby you can consolidate your credit cards, bank loan, and overdraft into one. If you have a good credit status and you have been with your bank for a long time you may well be able to get a good deal on a consolidation loan

Friend or family member: Of course, not everyone will be able to consider solutions such as consolidation loans from banks or interest free credit cards. In fact, those with damaged credit will struggle to get any form of consolidation loan in the current climate. Another option is to see whether a close friend or family member can help you out by lending you the money to pay off your debts and accepting monthly repayments for you until you have repaid them.

Esther blogs regularly about personal finance and consumer issues. She also writes about working from home and financial issues affecting freelance workers, from managing taxes to setting up an umbrella company


The Coming Credit Card Debt Apocalypse

At the worst possible time for millions of Americans struggling to feed their families and maintain their residences amidst a still stifling post recessionary economy — much of the United States still besieged by ruined markets and bleak financial indicators — the multinational banking conglomerates effectively controlling credit card debt accounts within this country have embarked on a massive roll back of borrowing opportunities.  According to experienced analysts with knowledge of the consumer finance industry, the recent dramatic about turn of corporate emphasis will impact not only new applicants (whether hoping to get approved for their very first credit card or merely trying to land an additional line of credit) but also those existing borrowers in good standing who may see their balances abruptly cut without warning.

“The banking community enjoyed such incredible profits around the turn of the twenty first century, that — there’s no other way to really say it — they just started to get a little cocky,” explained financial correspondent and credit card debt relief blogger Harold Jamison.  “Across the board, we would see eligibility qualifications dip lower and lower as all sorts of borrowers were deluged with pre-approved card offers.  We’re talking about folks who wouldn’t have had a shot at being even considered for an unsecured line of credit back in the early 1990s, and, now, all of a sudden, the banks are just opening up the flood gates and saying that they basically trusted each and every consumer willing to sign their name to a lending contract?

“I think a lot of us knew there was bound to be trouble down the line,” Jamison continued.  “All you had to do was step back and think: ‘really, a twenty year old still in college without any credit history and no job is going to be able to treat ten grand worth of credit card debt seriously and responsibly?’  All the same, I don’t think anyone realized the problems would appear this quickly or be quite so severe.”  The gravity of the current lender circumstances is hardly in dispute, as loan balances continue to default in ever greater succession and the number of accounts charged off by the creditors for corporate tax benefits — an intrinsic safety net that formerly safeguarded lender balance sheets when appearing in reasonable numbers but, in such extreme bursts, can’t hope to stem the fiscal bleeding — has scaled historic heights of economic unease.

Although the lending community has yet to spiral toward the most pessimistic estimates, financial prognosticators generally believe the associated credit card providers could this year charge off as much as one hundred billion dollars (around ten percent of the entirety of all credit card debt owed by United States households), and commentators fret that we’re far from the eye of the storm.  “You look at the old debt relief methods that the average Joe Six Pack used to depend on when times were tight, and they’re just not there anymore.  Because of the credit freeze, consolidating everything onto one card is no longer a realistic possibility unless you have out of this world FICO scores, and, in terms of a credit card debt relief equity loan on the home mortgage, that industry isn’t even still in existence.  Unless they can somehow manage to convince the lenders to barter down an affordable debt settlement, you’re going to see a ton of men and women who just can’t avoid bankruptcy protection for their bills.  Things are going to get a whole lot more complicated just to erase the sins of the past.”


Dancers and Credit Card Debt Relief

As with individuals of all vocational backgrounds, dancers face the potential threat of credit card debt. Whether accrued as a result of irresponsible spending, budgetary dependency or just unfortunate life circumstances in general, debt can become a significant barrier to financial independence. Although individuals facing credit card debt may have to have missed multiple successive payments in order to qualify for such programs, debt relief options offered by credit card companies are available for any individual facing an unmanageable amount of debt, or those who are simply unable to make minimum monthly payments to their creditors. Dancers, like other entertainers, are not only individually responsible for their own financial recordkeeping and accountability for income, but face unique circumstances under which it may be difficult to provide the documentation necessary to enroll in credit card debt relief programs.

One of the most important things for dancers to take into account when evaluating their financial situation is their standing as a non-traditional employee,  viewed by the IRS as an “independent contractor,” or a person who provides services to a business that, although resemble those provided by salaried employees, are not rendered in exchange for per-hour or salaried pay. Rather, dancers, like other entertainers and independent contractors, are required to file their taxes (specifically income and expenses) in the same fashion as a sole proprietorship or, to a lesser extent, a small business.  Unlike traditional employees who are considered taxable recipients of workplace compensation, most dancers do not file W-2 forms when paying their taxes, but rather, 1099 forms required for independent contractors. This means that unless dancers consistently file their taxes in this manner, allowing them to produce documented proof of income if necessary, many will have a difficult time obtaining loans, refinancing and, subsequently, the debt relief offered by traditional sources (credit card companies, lending banks, etc.).

Another factor that dancers should take into account when seeking out programs that provide credit card debt reduction services is the issue of personal financial accountability, or more specifically, whether or not the income generated by dancing is predictably consistent enough to qualify for a debt relief program. This may include calculation of average income generated over a given number of shifts, predictability of such income and incorporation of any additional sources of income into the equation. Although debt relief programs are designed with the intention of providing a reduction of one’s debt and, subsequently, lower payments and interest rates, most (if not all) of these programs will require proof of income, verifying the ability to make payments required by the specific deft relief plan in which they are attempting to enroll.

Although documentation of anticipated income over a given amount of time may technically count as legitimate (in terms of ability to be applied to any relief programs provided by creditors), such income is not the same as that received by on-payroll employees who are able to provide pay stubs and other “official” documentation of income. Thus, Dancers enrolling in debt relief programs should expect to be asked for slightly higher monthly payments than those requested of traditional, salaried employees who file standard W-2 tax forms. Further, dancers should not only file 1099 forms that are able to serve as documentation for income generated as a regularly-scheduled independent contractor, but they should also keep reports of any and all sources of income from which a case can be made that they are able to make the minimum monthly payments required by their creditors. Still, the circumstances that dancers face in nearly every aspect of financial accountability should be recognized as such, and it is never a bad idea for dancers to obtain a minimal amount of W-2 taxable employment so that at least some verifiable income can be presented to creditors offering debt relief programs.


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