debt advice

Dealing With Debt: How To Finally Climb Out Of The Money Pit

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If there’s one thing that just about all of us have to deal with during our lives, it’s debt. Debt is one of those things that you’re just going to have to get used to once you enter the adult financial world. The modern economy is almost entirely built on debt, paying off debt is the most effective way to secure a decent credit score, and it’s practically impossible to buy a home or car without some getting into some kind of debt for many people. However, there’s a big difference between the kind of debt that most of us will deal with throughout our lives and the kind of debt that can cause serious problems in your day to day life. That kind of debt can lead a lot of people to get into pretty serious trouble that can feel very difficult to pull yourself out of. However, it’s not impossible. With that in mind, here are a few ways to get yourself out of debt without having to start working seven days a week.

Consolidation

One of the toughest things for a lot of people is dealing with the sheer volume of debt that they have. Many people find themselves paying off various different things, and it often piles up to be pretty overwhelming. One of the very best ways to deal with this is to consolidate all of your existing debt into a single monthly payment. Not only will this make life a lot easier for you when it comes to keeping track of all of the money that you’re paying, but it can often reduce your payments overall. If you’ve been paying off your debts, then you’ve probably taken a decent chunk out of them, this means that if you take a single loan to pay them all off, then you can get yourself back to square one and start paying that loan off from a much more stable financial position. Of course, this isn’t always an option for many people, but it’s certainly something that’s worth considering.

Short term loans

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Of course, if you’re dealing with some debt that isn’t exactly taking over your life but is very difficult to break away from then you might be better off taking out a short term loan so that you can pay it off. That way you can get out of the pit that you’re in and then start to manage your finances more effectively. You can visit Captain Cash for more information on these kinds of loans. Of course, one thing that you should always remember is that these are far from the ideal solution if you’re dealing with something larger that would require long term repayments. You should think of these kinds of loans as short term cash injections. As counter-intuitive as it might seem to take out a loan to pay off debt, it can often be the perfect way to get you back onto stable financial footing.

Saving

Of course, if you want to start paying off your debts in a more secure way then it might be time to start thinking more long term. It might not be the most drastic method out there, but there are few ways to deal with debt better than to start saving your money a little more carefully. Now, you might be thinking that if you’re in debt, then you’re not going to have any money to save in the first place. Well, the truth is that most people actually have more money to save than they generally assume. The truth is that you’re probably spending more than you realise on things that you simply don’t need. If you cut out all unnecessary spending and instead put that money in a savings account, you’ll be able to accumulate enough money to start paying off your debt bit by bit far more quickly than you might expect.

Careful budgeting

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Do you have a clear budget for your household income and outgoings? If not then you need to do that right now! If you don’t have a clear household budget, then you’re never going to be able to keep track of exactly how much you’re spending on a monthly basis. This can make it much harder to keep track of your debts as well as any other spending that you’re doing. By creating a clear budget, you may actually be able to find plenty of instances where you’re paying far more than you need to. Whether it’s things like your internet, your phone bill, or simply your grocery shopping, having a budget that you can look at easily can make cutting back on things and saving money far simpler than you might expect.

Reaching out for help

A lot of people mistakenly feel as though debt is something that they should be ashamed of. This often comes from the idea that if you don’t have money, then you’re inherently worth less than someone who does have money. Because of this a lot of people tend to hide their money troubles from those around them for fear of being judged. However, the reality is that sharing those problems with people around you can be incredibly helpful. For one thing, talking to the people in your life can ease a lot of the stress that debt can cause. Not only that but there are plenty of organisations that are entirely dedicated to helping people get out of debt and supporting them along the way. Sure, the hard work is always going to have to be done by you but having someone else at your back supporting you can be just the boost that you need to finally climb out of that money pit.

It’s easy to hear the word debt and assume that you’re never going to be able to do anything about it, but it’s important to remember that it’s far from the life sentence that it’s often made out to be. Even if you’re really struggling with debts there are always ways to deal with them; you just have to know where to look for them.


Debt Consolidation: A Few Pros And Cons Explored

The decision to opt for student debt consolidation should be factored on several crucial points. Financial experts often opine that it is better to steer clear of this method of debt management since (even with the smaller repayments) you end up paying much more than what you are paying on the several loans that have been consolidated in to one single payment. The repayment period is generally longer in case of debt consolidation and as such you end up paying more in the long term. On the other hand, since you’re down to one single consolidated debt from several ones, it becomes easier for you to keep track of your repayment.

Let us learn more about the merits and demerits of this phenomenon. However, even before delving into further details, it’s wise to remember that even if you’re opting for consolidation, you should take due care in going through reliable Services review in order to determine which debt consolidation program you should opt for.

Merits

If you have loans with multiple lenders or creditors and it becomes difficult for you to keep track of the payments to be made by you, you can resort to consolidation that helps you bring all your debts under one umbrella loan (for which you are answerable to only o5025164562_6af1ac753c_nne lender). Therefore it becomes easier for you to keep track of your payments.

Since the repayment period is longer, you can repay smaller amounts.

You can look forward to reinstating all your loan benefits like eligibility to apply for financial aid, deferments etc after you have made satisfactory arrangements for loan consolidation. Actually most of these benefits are removed once your debts are placed in default- but after opting for consolidation (i.e. when you’re placed out of default) you can look forward to the reinstatement

There generally are no application processing fees or prepayment penalties

The money that you’re saving up each month can be used for paying up other important dues like utility bill, rent etc- in short—- there is substantial improvement of cash flow with all your debts being consolidated

Demerits

There are chances that you might not qualify for the same deferments on your consolidated debts as those which were applicable on original loans

If you are including Perkins loans in the consolidation then you might end up losing the chance to qualify for certain forgiveness programs

As already mentioned above, a longer repayment period would eventually mean that you are paying up more in the long term

Conclusion

Its important to weigh the pros and cons carefully before opting for a consolidation program. Consolidation- it’s often opined – should be your last resort. If you’re struggling with your existing debts then you should first have a word with your bank or credit union. Find out if your family can chip in with help or not and then consider seeking the aid of consolidation.


Prioritizing Your Debts: It’s Why And How

The citizens of the United States of America are working really hard to fight their present debts. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the overall burden is plummeting with debt reduction around $100 billion in less than a year. This, without a doubt, is a positive sign. However, it should be noted that your responsibility does not end with the cutting down of debts. You should be able to manage your remaining debts in a proper fashion. Your debt prioritization should include calculative measures such as:

  • Making your repayments on a timely manner
  • Targeting your higher rate debts first
  • Avoiding unnecessary expenditures as much as possible

However, borrowers are often confused about which loans to pay back first. This acts as a stumbling block in the way of getting rid of these debts. But fret not! Here are some effective ways to prioritize your debts or paying off your loans in a smarter way.

debt problemsHow can you prioritize your debts?

The loans (handled by you at present) which are to be paid first are called “priority debts.” These loans are not necessarily the ones which carry high rates of interest. Think what you’re going to lose if you don’t pay up the loan. If you are not keeping at par with your mortgage loans then you’re likely to lose your home. If you haven’t paid your fuel bills you might as well find your electric connections cut off. Non-payment of some debts might even result in court summons as well.

Here’s how you should arrange your payments

  • Mortgage or any debt obtained against your home
  • Council tax
  • National Insurance, Income Tax
  • VAT
  • Child maintenance
  • Electricity bills
  • Council tax
  • Court fines (if any)

You might as well opt for a reliable debt consolidation service in a bid to bring all your debts under one umbrella debt. The rate of interest applicable on the remaining debt would be less than that what you were paying before. It not only aids you secure lower rate of interest but also lets you track your loans in an easier fashion. But, exercise due prudence in consulting the top ten reviews of the debt consolidation service providers before settling for one of them.

One of the most effective solutions in this regard would be to turn to a financial advisor as you find that you have been consistently unable to pay your debts off. Don’t wait until you lose your home or are compelled to declare yourself a bankrupt.

Conclusion

Make sure that you’re adopting a methodic approach towards your financial responsibility. Even if you are turning to professional debt relief or consolidation services, you yourself should sit down with all your statements, receipts, and dues in order to calculate how much you’ve paid and how much you owe. Consider the rates of interest and late fees on each of your debts. This will help you estimate whether at all you are paying up lower rate of interest after opting for consolidation or not. Additionally, you would be able to get an idea of if you would be able to repay them or not.


Raise Your Credit Score Fast -Add 100 Points By 18 Months!

Today let’s focus on the best ways to increase your credit score. Without wasting time lets jump right into it.

1. Improve the “Utilization Rate” on your Credit Cards and Unsecured Loans. Then continue to use your credit cards, pay them off in full each month and consistently increase your credit limits.

Your credit score will increase as you reduce the balances on your credit cards.  Your credit score is based on a number of different factors, but one of the most important aspects of your credit score is the utilization rate factor. In other words, how much of your credit limit are you using on each of your credit cards?

It is a best practice rule to use no more than 30% of your credit limit.  If you use more than 30% of your credit limit on any one of your cards, that could lower your credit score. An example would be if you had a $10,000 limit on one of your credit cards, you would want to always keep the balance on that card below $3,000.

After paying each of your credit cards off in full, now you must continue to use them, but only charge what you can afford to pay off when the bill arrives.

Don’t leave any balance on your credit cards. This will also save you money in interest!

After practicing this perfect payment pattern for 9 months straight, it is now time to ask that your creditors raise your credit limit by 20% of whatever it is now.

 

Example:

If you have a $10,000 credit limit today, after 9 months of using your cards and paying the bill off in full each month, ask that the bank increase your limit to $12,000. Your long-term goal should be to have high credit limits on all of your accounts.

2. Eliminate debt collection marks that are showing up on your credit report.

This next tip will clear 50% of your debt collection marks that are over 2 years old. So if you have more than 10 old collection marks on your credit report, this will get rid of at least 5 of them right away. A professional debt relief company can assist you with any remaining debts that you are unable to clear up on your own.

Here is how you eliminate debts or remove them from your credit report on your own.

Get your free credit report. For less than $10 you can get a membership at freecreditreport.com. Review your credit report and score there.

Anything negative on your credit report that is more than 2 years old, simply dispute. With freecreditreport.com they give you the ability to dispute marks on your own. Just go to the membership section and click on where it says “dispute center”. Select the reason that best fits your situation, in regards to why you are disputing the mark, and then click submit! Like magic, you will notice that most of the old marks that you have remaining on your credit report, disappear after disputing them.

After you dispute the mark, now the debt collection company has only 30 days to verify and validate that the debt is yours. Most of the time if you have a debt collection mark on your credit report that is more than 2 years old, the debt collection agency who owns that account, will no longer have all the documentation necessary to prove the debt is yours.

If they cannot prove that the debt is yours, then it cannot stay on your credit report, according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

3. Ask your mom, dad, husband, brother, friend or anyone that trusts you, to add you to their best credit card as a favor. What you will be doing is piggy backing on their perfect payment history, and this will raise your credit score fast!

Make sure that they add you as a “joint user”. This way you will be credited for their perfect payment history. Sometimes if you get added as only an authorized user, they will not report the payment history. Obviously make sure that you trust this person, and make sure that whatever card they add you to, has less than 30% of the credit limit used. This means that if they have a $10,000 credit limit, and a $5,000 balance, don’t get added to that card.

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Paul Paquin is the CEO at Golden Financial Services, a credit card debt relief company.


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.


Things to Avoid When Strapped for Cash

Things to Avoid When Strapped for Cash

If you’ve hit rock bottom financially your thoughts will most likely turn to finding ways to get quick cash. But when stressed with mounting bills, creditors’ calls and a continual sinking feeling you may not make the wisest choices on how to stem the tide of debt. Life’s troubles naturally ebb and flow, so if you’re in a down spot – no matter how dire it seems – there are some things you should really think twice about before doing. Here are a few…

DON’T:

Sell or Pawn Things You Love

No matter what the item, from your grandma’s furniture to that cheesy beer lamp that makes you smile, do not get rid of the things you really love unless it’s a life or death situation. That doesn’t mean you should avoid streamlining your life and simplifying. But it does mean that pawning or selling something that has great sentimental value will most likely never get you as much money as the item is worth, or that you need. Plus once the tide turns in your favor you will greatly miss those things that resonate with you. Before ever thinking of selling family heirlooms or the like first consider getting a part-time job or reeling in some of the other expenses you incur.

DON’T:

Keep Borrowing Money

Being in debt can be a very slippery slope that soon sinks you into a very dark hole. In addition to the psychological turmoil it causes it’s also just plain bad business because of exorbitant fees and interest rates. It’s especially bad news when one borrows from one source to then pay toward another (unless you are consolidating a loan and possibly getting a better rate on paying back on it all). Stop the cycle of borrowing and instead find ways to limit expenses and make more money. It’s like a financial diet where you eat more wisely and work out more the decision to stop the cycle of borrowing money is crucial if you hope to free yourself from debt.

DON’T:

Resort to Stealing

You may think that this is a given, but when people are strapped for cash they sometimes do crazy, desperate things. No matter how bad things get do not compound your problems by taking things that don’t belong to you. And yes that includes supplies from your place of business. Adversity of any kind will show you what you’re made of so don’t squander this opportunity to take the high road, because when things eventually look up (and they will) you can look back and be proud of keeping your integrity intact.

DON’T:

Keep Living Large

When you find that you just can’t make the bills in a consistent and timely manner then you know your life needs to change. Is your paycheck spent before you’ve even received it? Do you continue to charge dinners and nights out on the town, even when your bills aren’t getting paid? If so, you need to stop and take a candid look at your spending habits.

Remember that life is like a series of waves, where you’ll experience numerous peaks and dips over time; it’s the natural order of things. And while you can work to safeguard yourself from future financial troubles try not to add to your problems by doing things you’ll regret down the road.

Written by Erin Nolan. Ready to speak out against payday loans? Look here: www.doomsdayloans.co.uk


8 Great Apps for Managing Personal Finances

8 Great Apps for Managing Personal Finances

Spending money is easy. Keeping track of the money in our accounts is the hard part. In today’s digital world, much banking is done online. Many people take advantage of banking technology by having their paychecks automatically deposited into their accounts each month. Others sign up for automatic bill pay for all of their monthly bills. These modern conveniences make it easy to keep up with our finances. However, if we don’t always see the cold, hard cash leave our wallets, it can be too easy to overspend or not be aware of all our purchases. With tax season approaching, many people are flailing to gather receipts and account for yearly spending. Get your finances in order with the help of one of these apps for your smartphone.

Mint

This free app for Android, iPhone and iPad devices lets you keep track of your entire financial life in one spot. Receive alerts when bills are due, track your monthly budget, or create savings goals. Easily access your financial information in graph form.

Pageonce

Pageonce is a versatile app, available for all smartphones including Android, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Windows Mobile. View your finances on user-friendly graphs and charts, receive alerts when bills are due, or program the app to warn you when you are about to overspend.

EasyMoney

EasyMoney is an app for Android users only. It features a wide range of tools to keep your entire financial life in order. You can track all of your spending by category. It has the ability to photograph receipts or check registers, allowing you to keep them organized with the rest of your finances. You can try it free for 30 days.

Pocket Money

Pocket Money works with iPhones and iPads. This thorough app leaves no financial stone unturned. Enter every amount spent, or you can set it up to track those monthly expenses that never change. Purchase the Photo Receipts plug-in to easily input your miscellaneous spending. Desktop versions are also available for Mac, Windows and Linux.

MoneyStrands

This app for the iPhone allows you to set up a budget and helps you stick to it. You can view all of your accounts in one place and set it up to receive alerts when bills are due.

Gift List Budget Shopper

This iPhone app is for those who love to shop. The app will help you budget for gifts you intend to purchase, plan shopping trips, and help you search for products via the Internet. There is even a feature for tracking greeting cards.

CheckPlease Lite

CheckPlease Lite is a simplistic app for iPhones. The app can divide the guest check evenly when you are dining out with friends and calculate the tip. It is available in four languages and currencies.

BillMinder

This app organizes all of your monthly bills in calendar format so you can easily see what’s due, how much and when. Use BillMinder for iPhone or iPad to always be on the same financial page as your spouse or other household members. The app will sync with multiple devices, so you can all access the same up-to-date information.

Smartphones open up all sorts of new possibilities for managing and handling your personal finances. Take advantage of these to stay organized and save money. Visit billeater.com four more helpful Money-saving tips.


Do You Need to Make a Financial Change?

Do You Need to Make a Financial Change?

Do you feel like you need to make changes? Is your budget just not working out? You might not feel comfortable with your income and expenses, or be unsure how to approach money. If you need a change, here are some questions that can help you get on track and find your way.

Where Am I?

Evaluating where you currently stand is essential before any other financial steps that you are considering. Even on a small scale, this is true; how would you compare car insurance rates without first evaluating what type of car insurance you need? Take the following points to get you started:

  • What is your debt situation? Take a look at your debt-to-income ratio, how your debt is spread out (i.e. in credit cards or personal loans, at a variety of interest rates?), and so forth.
  • Consider your savings goals. Do you have certain financial goals that you wish to meet? Are you on target to meet them?
  • How do you organize everything? Do you have an efficient system for keeping your budget, accounts, and important documents in order?

Note that some ways to improve your finances are complementary to one another. In the last point above, simply changing the way you budget can help you get more organized, and in turn produce financial results.

What Do I Do First?

Rome wasn’t built in a day. While it might take time to conquer debt and get a truly comfortable hold on your finances, there are always ways to take small steps to your goals.There is one tip that doesn’t involve anything special: it begins with your budget. Once you start devising your budget, take a step-by-step look at your finances and where there is opportunity to save money. By keeping up to date with your insurance options, credit card choices, and your general living expenses, you can take a systematic approach to managing your money.

Look at your familiar problem areas, and also any that you haven’t addressed in some time. If you haven’t, for instance, taken the time to compare car insurance rates in the past –or just haven’t done it recently– then perhaps there’s an opportunity to find a lower premium if you look around. From saving to investing money, you might be able to identify relatively simple ways to help right your financial ship, so to speak.

“Can I Do That Myself?”

Yes, you usually can! It’s often a matter of motivation. There are some poor personal finance habits that are caused by a lack of financial know-how. Maybe disorganization and a poor memory are to blame, in part or in full, for other financial woes. Both these problems can be remedied if you apply yourself to picking up the skills you need. Consistency and motivation make up one of the most important dynamic tandems in personal finance. Keeping yourself on track and moving forward is very important for success.

Spend some time on a complete overhaul of your finances. Look at ways to save money, get out of debt, and make your money work for you with term deposits or other savings and investments. At the end of the day, your success will come down to organization and execution. You need to stay motivated and consistent, and simply keep working toward your goals one step at a time.

What will it take to improve your finances? Whether you think you need an extra job, or just a tweak to your budgeting methods, what needs to change? Start asking yourself some financial questions to figure out your way forward.

Citations:

This article is by personal finance blogger Brian Neese, who shares his car insurance comparison tips and term deposit rates updates online to help ordinary people save and make money.


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