Debt Help Menu

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Benefits of Debt and Bill Consolidation

Debt and bill consolidation is the same. When a person owes more than he makes, his stress levels rise, the collection agencies pester him, and he usually ends up running a world of emotional delusion to escape. It seems we can never win in a high-paced world, but the fact is debt consolidation has helped thousands around the world to reestablish their lives. 

One of the most important tasks debtors must carry out to achieve in debt consolidation is keeping away from complications. When debtors have bills that are behind merely because they didn't have the cash to repay the debts, then their stress will build. Some people may go on a binge, spending instead of paying their bills, and procrastinating instead of working to restore their credit. 

These people may believe that after three, seven, or ten years the problem will end since the credit reports remove any pending debts after seven years and any bankruptcies after ten years. The fact is, the problem doesn't go away the problems only get bigger. Yes, it is true: after three years, if you manage to pay off a debt, then the debt is removed from your credit report. In addition, yes, it is true if after seven years you failed to make payments the debt is removed in most instances from your credit report. 

Furthermore, it is true that in many cases, after ten years, bankruptcy is removed from your credit report. If you have the patience to wait this long, can tolerate the hassling phone calls and letters, and don't mind worrying about going to court for this long, then by all means procrastinate. 

Bills and debt consolidation is optional, however, bill and debt reduction is your best bet. You can do this by start paying as much every month on your bills as possible to reduce your debts.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Budgeting For Emergency Funds?

Emergency funds are considered to be a necessity as far as financial security is concerned since it can provide one with financial resources that one can resort to and depend on when an emergency arises such that when one is sick and have the burden of paying huge medical bills, or unexpected home or major car repair. 

When one has no emergency fund, one can be obliged to acquire debt on your credit card that might take several years to repay with interest that would later cost so much more.

However by putting an extra thirty to fifty dollars every month in an individual “emergency savings account” one can be secured with what emergency the future may bring. In doing this, it is recommended that one regards the emergency fund as an additional bill, to be punctually paid each month.

Yes, one can and should budget and allocate the extra money for an emergency fund, as this is very significant when one refers to his “financial future”. Here, the goal is to create savings from budgeting your income; the emergency savings should ideally be equal to at least three months your living expenditures. 

What's important is that you should steadily put a certain amount of money aside, and only use it for real emergencies. 

Not like an investment, the success of one’s long-term savings funds does not really count on the amount of return or interests but on placing a fixed amount of money away constantly and steadily so as to have immediate access to it at all times.

In spite of one’s financial status, the initial step in the process of constructing an emergency fund is by knowing where your money is presently being consumed or spent. 

When one recognizes and determines where one’s earnings are spent, then it will be easy for one to choose and make a decision where to trim down expenses. In other words, the budget.

Budgeting is putting or setting aside money for anticipated and unanticipated future use.  It is here that one sets up a goal so as to save.  So set an emergency fund as your goal.

Checking, savings, money market accounts, and “certificates of deposits”, are great places to keep one’s cash that might be needed on quick notice. 

The amount saved from budgeting can either go to your savings goal, emergency fund, or both.  One could utilize the money saved from budgeting financial expenses by saving half of it to your savings account and half of it for emergencies. This way, you achieve your goals in savings and at the same time put in funds for emergency use.  It’s your choice.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

The Debt Fight – Ways Avoid Bankruptcy

It’s not hard to do.  One day you feel like you have all the money and financial security in the world.  And then it happened, maybe not too quickly either.  You may have had a family emergency, you may have been injured, you may even have got carried away over the years, and regardless it happened.

Debt can creep up on you and you may not be able to catch it until it’s too late.  Many think to themselves, “How did this happen?”  Well, the answer to that isn’t so easy to explain.  The average household is somewhere around $9000 in accumulated debt.  Sometimes, if anything, this debt can seem to be a huge emotional burden as well.  Debt can break families apart; debt can make it seem hopeless for any sort of a future.

There is a practice that anyone can start doing to avoid debt and bankruptcy.  Many people do not realize that debt can so easily be fixed and they can enjoy good credit again.  That is probably because there is no “easy” way.  For starters, even if you aren’t in debt, it is of utmost importance that you start to build a budget or financial plan.  This plan should involve goals for erasing your previous debt.  These goals should be time related and specific.  You must always have a plan to accomplish any goals in life.  

How does financial planning save you from debt?  Well, for starters, it is a plan to keep you from going deeper into debt.  Not only that, but you should also make a plan that you can “live” with that will slowly reduce your debt over time.  You may think of things to include in this plan such as keeping only one credit card.  This will keep you from paying annual fees and only pay the interest off of one single card instead of many.  Another idea to add to this plan could be to pay your credit card bills each at maybe twenty-five dollars over the minimum payment and to always pay ten days early.  These are practices that will not only help you get out of debt and avoid bankruptcy and worry, but they will also help build your credit score at the same time.

If you are to the point that you can’t even afford to do this, there are other financial options and institutions to help you with your debt problems such as debt consolidation and consumer credit counseling services.  Debt consolidation is the process of combining or “consolidating” all your debt into one single monthly payment at a lower interest rate.  You may want to also visit a debt negotiator who will work with the credit card companies to lower your actual owed balance.  Debt consolidation and debt negotiation are two basic options to avoid bankruptcy.  

Another option to avoid bankruptcy is Consumer Credit Counseling.  Consumer credit counseling is usually a non-profit consultation service by creditors that can work to help you get out of debt in numerous ways.  They will also be able to pull up your credit report and work to see just how you got into debt in the first place.  If you have a spending problem or budgeting problem, they may be able to offer solutions to help you fight debt and rebuild your credit.

Either way, you decide to fight debt it is always important to take action none the less.  Always start with a financial plan and that will give you an idea of what you need to do to stay debt-free.

Deciding On A Credit Counselor

Generally, you will find that there is more credit card debt help available than is actually needed. Just flip through the newspaper and you would be surprised by the number of advertisements related to credit card debt help. Every now and then, there are articles on credit card debt and credit card debt help. 

Television channels are full of ads related to credit card debt help. There are websites and magazines that are dedicated to credit card debt help. You also hear about the topic of ‘credit card debt help’ being discussed in parliament. 

There seem to be policies/laws being formed for credit card debt help. All kinds of suggestions seem to be floating for credit card debt help. Everyone, even some of your friends, have a piece of advice related to credit card debt help. All banks seem to offer credit card debt help in terms of various loan types (generally short term loans) at low rates.

So, credit card debt help is readily available and in fact, even unwanted credit card debt help or advice will flow into your ears. However, not every one offering credit card debt help is proficient enough to be able to provide proper credit card debt help that will suit you. 

So you do need to understand some basics about credit cards and credit card debt, before you actually go looking for credit card debt help or before you start helping yourself out with your credit card debt. So you should try and understand how the credit card suppliers bill you, how the interest is calculated on your credit card balance and how your credit card debt grows. Understanding all about APR goes without saying. 

Even if you think that you had gone through all this stuff at the time of choosing your credit card, you should revisit these concepts to make sure that you still know them. If you decide against going for professional credit card debt help, you will need to understand these concepts in even more detail. 

All these concepts will become handy when you are comparing various balance transfer offers (for example). Moreover, the knowledge of these concepts will also be helpful in making the discussions with credit counselors more fruitful. 

So credit card debt help really starts with developing a better understanding of credit cards and other concepts related to credit cards (irrespective of whether you go for external credit card debt help or not).

Money Savings on Food

Thinking of cutting down your expenses on food? Then you should read the following tips. They will surely help you in reducing your food expenses. They are by no means comprehensive but they will be very useful. 

For coffee drinkers

It is a good idea to re-use the grounded coffee once. Using coffee grounds two times or more will not greatly affect the taste of the coffee. It is highly encouraged to do this using a filter that is permanent and avoid the paper variety. Keep the grounds refrigerated until using it the following day. 

For bread lovers

Grocery stores sell bread that was made the day before at a much lower price. There is nothing wrong with eating bread that was made the day before since it still is good to eat. If you have a lot of space in your refrigerator, store a lot for bigger savings. If you will eat the bread, you can defrost it using your microwave oven. Re-heat it every 30 seconds to prevent the edges of the bread from getting too hard.    

When buying from the grocery

Before going to the grocery, you should have already made a list of all the things that you really need. Prioritize basic goods and avoid buying things that you do not really need. Observe the prices indicated on the displays. Remember, branded products cost considerably more than store brands. It is also a good idea to keep the receipt of your previous trip to the grocery and make it a basis for your purchases on your next trip. To have higher savings, buy more of the product. You can always store it in your refrigerator or in the house to minimize your trips to the grocery store.

When eating outside

If you are going to eat in a pricey restaurant, the best time for you to go there would be during lunch. Food during lunch usually costs less and this will be to your advantage. When staying at the hotel on your trips, it is a good idea to check if they also include breakfast in your total room charge. You should also find out where the locals eat. Chances are, they will eat where the food is great and the price is even better. When going around, carry with you some snacks. A chocolate bar, chips, and cookies will go a long way while strolling around. 

Eating cheaply does not necessarily mean eating bad food. Look around and you will be surprised at the options you can choose from. Take time and consider your choices so that you will not only eat a lot but save some money also.       

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Is There Such Thing As Free Debt Consolidation?

Free Debt Consolidation?

Free debt consolidation - yea right! The fact is, nothing in life is free, which is exactly why you should be dubious of any advertisements that claim to offer "free" debt consolidation. In most instances, you can get a free quote or else a first-time counseling session. And in most instances, the first-time counseling session is to lure you into the company's agreement. 

Debt consolidation is a procedure that can take years to hash out. In most cases, people with bad credit or current debt problems often believe there is no way out. They may go online and find a source that will help reduce their debts, believing that the amount of their debts is lower. Since few companies will lead many to believe this is true, it is important that you know that the debt consolidation companies are only reducing your rates of interest.  

If you own a home and want to use the equity to refinance, you may want to understand that a good number of the Home Equity Loans will actually land you deeper in debt. Once you are bound to the contract, you will find the complications are more frustrating than when you first applied for the loan. 

I brought this up because many homeowners will refinance their homes without looking into the details first, believing they are consolidating their bills. They may feel they are getting something free since the amount on the mortgage appears reduced. However, if you take out a loan to consolidate your mortgage, you are only stepping into another debt. 

Be advised that some mortgage contracts stipulate that if you refinance your home during the contract agreement, you may face penalties, which may include paying off your first home, your second home, and the interest rates included. Therefore, if you are considering debt consolidation, consider the entire picture first-and don't ever fall for the bogus claim that any debt consolidation will actually be free.

Divorce and Credit Card Debt

Divorce and Credit Card Debt

When a marriage comes to an end, it’s always a tragedy.  Of course, the rending of the family unit and the difficulty for the kids is the hardest thing about separating at divorce.  But the difficulty of separating one house into two can be difficult and tedious, to say the least.  You have to go from one checking account to two, two homes instead of one, and separate accounts for everything from credit cards to utilities.

The is an additional overhead to how to handle a divorce situation if, in addition to splitting your assets, credit card debt that may have been a part of the shared family financial picture also must be split up.  To the credit card company, that family credit card is the property of that shared entity which was the marriage.  So when the union splits up, the transition from a financial point of view of your accounts separating is not overnight.

So one of the many issues to be discussed and a plan made for is how to separate that credit card debt.  Whoever continues to hold the family accounts will continue to get those bills and be expected to pay them.  Now the least preferable way to handle the debt is to build the payments into any forced settlement agreement such as child support.  So at the time the divorce is final, the amount of the debt and the payments that must be made could be calculated and half of that put into the amount that the income-generating partner must provide.

But that leaves the management of those credit card debts to one partner and the other one just has to pay a set amount.  And if the credit cards get used by either partner, that legal amount would have to constantly be changed and that would prove to be a constant headache of administration.

If the divorce is a shared responsibility so each spouse can work with the other to adjust the financial picture in an advantageous way, then how to separate the credit card debt should be part of that planning.  Part of that planning is how to use shared assets to pay down that debt.  You may have a home that will be sold, retirement accounts, or other assets that were set aside for the future of the marriage.  Before you sell those things,   close those accounts, and distribute the funds, look at using the outcome to retire that shared debt.

But it’s likely some of that debt load will live on past the divorce.  In those cases splitting into two individual accounts may be the way to go.  In that way, if the family was carrying $10,000 in debt if each marriage partner walks away with $5000 of the debt, that is at least fair and equitable and how each individual handles that debt is up to them.

There are two ways you can go about splitting the credit card debt.  If the debt is with a carrier with whom you can negotiate and conduct a dialog, getting a meeting, or having a conference call with the managers there would be productive.  The credit card company would far rather negotiate with you how to handle this debt load then deal with it chaotically after the fact.  So they may be willing to set up separate individual accounts and split the debt for you.

But you can always use the method many of us have used to manage credit card debt up until now.  Each of you can set up some new separate credit card accounts.  You no doubt have dozens of credit card offers to come in that you can use to kick off this process.  Almost always part of the set up offers for these accounts are balance transfers.  So if you take out individual accounts and use the balance transfers to move each partner shared part of the debt to those accounts, that would be a clean way to split the debt up.

There may be adjustments to be made to the 50-50 split idea based on who is the primary breadwinner and maybe who ran up the debt and on what.  But by negotiating the terms of how you are going to separate the credit card debt when you separate the marriage, that will be one more than that you are handling in a mature and responsible manner in the middle of a very tough situation.

A Little Goes a Long Way: Smart Secrets to Budgeting

Budget Secrets

There’s nothing more we want than to be able to efficiently manage our money. After all, the money that we want to manage is money that is oftentimes, hard-earned. This is where a budget comes in. A budget executed properly, should help you see where your money is going, get more utility out of every buck, and help you save some extra for future use. 

The first smart secret to a budget is to set a goal. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to correctly appropriate your income into bills payments? Do you want to put an amount aside for a big purchase or a huge investment? By having a goal, you will be able to shape your budget to best serve your interests. 

Secondly, you would want to take note of where your money usually goes. This includes bills, major but regular purchases (like grocery costs, healthcare costs, and the like), and everyday miscellaneous purchases. Only when you list down where you know your money usually goes will you be able to identify which expenses you can do without. Once you’ve identified these regular expenditures, take into consideration what you can cut back on. How much do you spend on your daily caffeine fix in the morning? How much do you spend on newspaper deliveries to your front door? The measly $2 or $5 of these small purchases cumulatively translates to more than $3600 a year! Instead of buying your expensive latte or reading the newspaper on print, put aside the amount you would usually pay for these small routine purchases in a small container. You will be surprised at how much you’re saving out of your older budget.

Being indebted is a vicious cycle on its own. You’re talking about continuous payments, not to mention huge interest rates. The best way to deal with this is to pay the minimum on all of your debts in order to avoid paying extraneous late fees. Whatever cash excesses you may have, you can opt to add on to the payments you make in your biggest debt. This way, you are concentrated on getting the biggest debts first that cost you the greatest interest rates. Doing this progressively, you’ll be amazed at how much you’ll get off your huge debts.

The last and most important step is to jot down the amount you earn the sum you spend. You can make use of computer cash management programs, or make database sheets of your own. Make a system that works for you and will help you keep track of your monthly budgeting progress.

Credit card debt management

Credit Card Debt Management
Credit Card Debt Management

Though a lot of people are comfortable with going forward with credit card debt management all by themselves, not everyone is. 
There are people who don’t really want to tread into the territory of financial issues (credit card debt management included). Such people generally prefer going to debt assistance companies for advice on credit card debt management or for getting the credit card debt management done through them. 

However, even before we talk further on this topic of credit card debt management, it’s imperative to understand that any external person or agency can only do a proper credit card debt management for you if you strictly follow the advice/guidelines that they formulate as part of credit card debt management. These credit card debt management guidelines are generally related to controlling your spending (which basically means perseverance and contentment). 

Going to a credit card debt management company or a credit card debt management advisor/professional is not meant only for people who are foreign to financial topics but is sometimes fruitful for other people too (who are going with credit card debt management all by themselves). 
This arises from the fact that these credit card debt management professionals (as any professional) would have more knowledge in that field than anyone else that is not from that field/profession. So, firstly, you wouldn’t know all the tips and tricks that the credit card debt management professional would know (and in fact, this is something that you cannot read and learn overnight). 
And secondly, it will save you a lot of time; because the person who practices credit card debt management as a profession would know about all the latest offers, etc that are available in the market e.g. balance transfer offers, etc (and hence you don’t need to go looking for all this stuff all by yourself). 

All in all, a credit card debt management professional can help get you a better deal that might more than compensate for the fee charged by that professional. If you look around you will find that there are hordes of companies and professionals offering credit card debt management services. However, the key here is that you choose someone whose credentials are already established (or who can prove his credentials to you). 

One good way of selecting a credit card debt management company/ professional is to check with a friend or someone from your family if they have used any such service in recent times. 

After all, references are the best way of building trust.

Alternatives To Bankruptcy

Avoid Bankruptcy

When you’re in a financial bind, bankruptcy is not the only
way out. There are many alternatives to bankruptcy if you
are willing to put out the time and energy. It could save
you much unnecessary hassle.

Bankruptcy is a difficult decision to make so it is best if
there is another solution out there for you.

Begin by calling your creditors. Most are willing to work
with you if you explain to them your situation. Tell them
you are considering bankruptcy.

In many cases, creditors are willing to work out a
different payment plan with you. Don’t hide from them
either. Be straightforward and open about your financial

Before filing bankruptcy, take a good long hard look at
your finances. Get organized and begin writing out a
budget. Start with your monthly income and deduct your
monthly household expenses.

Understand how you are spending your money and seek out
where you can make cutbacks. Perhaps buying groceries in
bulk, or cutting back on phone services or cable services.
Every little thing helps.

Next, you will want to take a look at your credit cards. You
may be able to take the balance from one with a higher
interest to a lower interest one. Then get rid of those
high-interest credit cards altogether.

Stay away from paying off credit cards with credit cards.
Other things you can try are refinancing a car loan or a
mortgage. Or perhaps you have some family members or
friends who are willing to pitch in to help pay off high
rate debts and avoid bankruptcy.

But remember, this is a loan so when you are in a better
the situation, do make sure to pay back those who were kind
enough to help you out.