Finance, Loan, Debt and Credit.

October 4, 2017

Fair Debt Collection – Know Your Rights!

FAIR DEBT COLLECTION

If you use credit cards, owe money on a personal loan, or are paying on a home mortgage, you are a “debtor.” If you fall behind in repaying your creditors, or an error is made on your accounts,

you may be contacted by a “debt collector.”

You should know that in either situation the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act requires that debt collectors treat you fairly by prohibiting certain methods of debt collection. Of course, the

law does not forgive any legitimate debt you owe.

This brochure provides answers to commonly asked questions to help you understand your rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

What debts are covered?

Personal, family, and household debts are covered under the Act. This includes money owed for the purchase of an automobile, for medical care, or for charge accounts.

Who is a debt collector?

A debt collector is any person, other than the creditor, who regularly collects debts owed to others. Under a 1986 amendment to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, this includes attorneys who collect debts on a regular basis.

How may a debt collector contact you?

A collector may contact you in person, by mail, telephone, telegram, or FAX. However, a debt collector may not contact you at unreasonable times or places, such as before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., unless you agree. A debt collector also may not contact you at work if the collector knows that your employer

disapproves.

Can you stop a debt collector from contacting you?

You may stop a collector from contacting you by writing a letter to the collection agency telling them to stop. Once the agency receives your letter, they may not contact you again except to say there will be no further contact. Another exception is that the agency may notify you if the debt collector or the creditor intends to take some specific action.

May a debt collector contact any person other than you concerning your debt?

If you have an attorney, the debt collector may not contact anyone other than your attorney. If you do not have an attorney, a collector may contact other people, but only to find out where you live and work. Collectors usually are prohibited from contacting such permissible third parties more than once. In most cases, the collector is not permitted to tell anyone other than you and your attorney that you owe money.

What is the debt collector required to tell you about the debt?

Within five days after you are first contacted, the collector must send you a written notice telling you the amount of money you owe; the name of the creditor to whom you owe the money; and what action to take if you believe you do not owe the money.

May a debt collector continue to contact you if you believe you

do not owe money?

A collector may not contact you if, within 30 days after you are first contacted, you send the collection agency a letter stating you do not owe money. However, a collector can renew collection activities if you are sent proof of the debt, such as a copy of a bill for the amount owed.

What types of debt collection practices are prohibited?

Harassment.  Debt collectors may not harass, oppress, or abuse any person. For example, debt collectors may not:

l     use threats of violence or harm against the person, property, or reputation;

l     publish a list of consumers who refuse to pay their debts (except to a credit bureau);

l     use obscene or profane language;

l     repeatedly use the telephone to annoy someone;

l     telephone people without identifying themselves;

l     advertise your debt.

False statements.  Debt collectors may not use any false statements when collecting a debt. For example, debt collectors may not:

l     falsely imply that they are attorneys or government representatives;

l     falsely imply that you have committed a crime;

l     falsely represent that they operate or work for a credit bureau;

l     misrepresent the amount of your debt;

l     misrepresent the involvement of an attorney in collecting a debt;

l     indicate that papers being sent to you are legal forms when they are not;

l     indicate that papers being sent to you are not legal forms when they are.

Debt collectors also may not state that:

l     you will be arrested if you do not pay your debt;

l     they will seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or wages, unless the collection agency or creditor intends to do so, and it is legal to do so;

l     actions, such as a lawsuit, will be taken against you, which legally may not be taken, or which they do not intend to take.

Debt collectors may not:

l     give false credit information about you to anyone;

l     send you anything that looks like an official document from a court or government agency when it is not;

l     use a false name.

Unfair practices.  Debt collectors may not engage in unfair practices in attempting to collect a debt. For example, collectors may not:

l     collect any amount greater than your debt, unless allowed by law;

l     deposit a post-dated check prematurely;

l     make you accept collect calls or pay for telegrams;

l     take or threaten to take your property unless this can be done legally;

l     contact you by postcard.

What control do you have over payment of debts?

If you owe more than one debt, any payment you make must be applied to the debt you indicate. A debt collector may not apply a payment to any debt you believe you do not owe.

What can you do if you believe a debt collector violated the law?

You have the right to sue a collector in a state or federal court within one year from the date you believe the law was violated. If you win, you may recover money for the damages you suffered.

Court costs and attorney’s fees also can be recovered. A group of people also may sue a debt collector and recover money for damages up to $500,000, or one percent of the collector’s net worth, whichever is less.

Where can you report a debt collector for an alleged violation of the law?

Report any problems you have with a debt collector to your state Attorney General’s office and the Federal Trade Commission. Many states also have their own debt collection laws and your Attorney

General’s office can help you determine your rights.

If you have questions about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or your rights under the Act, write: Correspondence Branch, Federal Trade Commiss
ion, Washington, D.C. 20580.
Although the FTC generally cannot intervene in individual disputes, the information you provide may indicate a pattern of possible law violations requiring action by the Commission.

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July 21, 2017

Alabama Debt Relief

With the ever larger debt loads faced by Alabaman borrowers, it’s no wonder that so many of the citizens of our fair state have begun to examine the various alternatives to paying back their mortgages and credit card bills through more than traditional means. After all, considering that our current national financial struggles show no signs of improving over the coming years and more and more consumers find themselves out of work, there are increasing levels of desperation felt from all sectors of the economy, and borrowers are drawn to all aspects of debt relief. This modern world, it’s the easiest thing possible to wake up and realize you’ve somehow accumulated financial burdens nearly impossible to repay through traditional measures. With credit cards now so freely available to nearly every Alabaman that can sign their name and a topsy turvy financial structure that effectively enables spending more than our citizens’ earn as a cornerstone of expansionary economic periods, buying absent regret has become almost an instinct for our countrymen, and so many consumers land themselves in a revolving continuum of paycheck to paycheck cycles propelled by the very lenders they’re so desperate to pay that they fall prey to the most predatory of schemes.

Within this sort of economy, even the smallest life change can lead to grave repercussions. From marital problems to illness to a change of employment, any number of the seemingly inevitable consequences of modern life may impact your household budget beyond capacity, and this style of plate spinning domestic finance engenders desperate foolhardy solutions patched together at the last minute and fueled by purposeful ignorance on the behalf of the borrowers. Jumping from check to check with no room for error, unable to pay anything toward savings, ever harried by ceaseless payment due dates and expanding minimum obligations, the Alabama debtor attempting to carve out a life upon the turn of the twenty first century too often finds him or herself without hope and tragically susceptible to confidence schemes that, however technically legitimate the business and glossy the surrounding spiel, inevitably scavenge the debt relief wishes of those that can least afford false promises. Five years ago, for example, the Alabama legislature legalized the so-called payday loan services, but, even though this usurious practice has been made lawful throughout the state, this could only be considered debt relief in the most tragic sense. Ever since Alabama representatives passed that 2003 law distinguishing payday loans as a justifiable practice, people from all corners of Alabama have been misled into (searching from some short term assistance with minimum payments or sudden household needs) believing that the service may be some sort of debt relief when, in actuality, it only worsens the existing debt problems. Actual management of debts will be a long and difficult process that, while it may indeed require the help of external authorities such as debt settlement companies, demands exploration on the part of the borrower and a general understanding about the unspoken rules of debt relief.

Among these companies, probably the most well known sort of debt relief business for Alabama and the rest of the United States of America would be the Consumer Credit Counseling alternative. As most Alabama borrowers likely know by now, thanks to the industry’s seemingly never ending stream of commercials and advertisements, the Consumer Credit Counseling companies consolidate all unsecured debt (that is; debts not already attached to collateral liable for repossession or foreclosure or similar fates) in order to attempt to lower the accumulated interest rates toward something far lower. Alongside this clear benefit, which (for reasons we shall soon explain) can almost be guaranteed for near every Alabama borrower, the Consumer Credit Counseling professionals are also likely to clear away the former fees charged by the credit card companies for payments that arrived past their due date (twenty five bucks for a days’ postal delay) or accounts that were charged past their limit (thirty dollars for a few cents’ miscalculation), and, in what has become the Consumer Credit Counseling companies’ greatest motivating sales gambit, the new payments shall be far below the combined minimums of what the debtors had previously been striving to eke together each month. It’s an attractive debt relief presentation that the Consumer Credit Counseling specialists have put together, no small wonder that the industry has gained so much momentum through the last few years, but there are any number of drawbacks that their television commercials do not even dare to mention.

When entering one of the Consumer Credit Counseling storefronts – which, by this point, have popped up near every Alabama town and city of any size – you will be explicitly told about all of the benefits this service may indeed have to offer. One could hardly complain about lower interest rates or waived fees, after all; this is debt relief in its most superficial sense. However, the lowered payments end up for too many borrowers resembling a bittersweet privilege. For all of the temporary assistance recalculated payment schedules may bring Alabama households, the smart borrower should also realize that the lower the payment, the longer the eventual term of the overall loan and the more that they shall inevitably pay in compound interest. What use halving the actual rates when you’ll just up spending even more through terms that last twice as long? Further, the negative impact upon your FICO score and credit report is almost as bad as what you would see following declaration of a Chapter 7 debt elimination bankruptcy even though the debts remain with the Consumer Credit Counseling decision, and you’ll end up spending a pretty penny for the companies’ services before everything’s said and done. Actually, not only will you pay through the nose for the assistance of Consumer Credit Counseling professionals, but the debt relief specialists you work with will also request payment from the credit card companies as well. Remember, the conglomerates behind your credit card bills live in fear that the ordinary consumer might try their hand at bankruptcy protection – however disruptive recent congressional fiat has rendered that debt relief choice; any Alabama head of household that earns more the forty thousand a year probably would no longer even qualify for Chapter 7 debt elimination – and they want to make sure that their clients are locked in to an achingly slow system of debt relief that effectively forces the continual repayment of interest until the consumer’s death.

Now, debt settlement companies – superficially quite similar to the Consumer Credit Counseling debt relief alternative; both, after all, consolidate all unsecured revolving credit card accounts with an eye to eventual reduction of debt burdens – also maintain their own set of disadvantages. While less destructive to credit ratings, Alabama debtors that go through the program shall still see their FICO scores take a slight dip, and, once they are part of the debt settlement program, borrowers shall no longer be able to use past accounts nor take advantage of any new credit card opportunities sent in the mail or telemarketed or even offered from a trusted lending institution. Alas, much like the Consumer Credit Counseling option, debt settlement professionals do not work pro bono. They have their own fees that you’ll have to worry about – though, as with Consumer Credit Counseling, the brunt of the expense shall be extended over the course of the consolidation – but debt settlement companies do not ask additional money from the credit card companies that they have expressly pretended to be working against. Instead, the debt settlement
professionals assume a combative posture from their first talks with representatives of the credit card companies and do whatever’s necessary to ensure that your credit account balances are reduced. Alabama consumers that we have spoken with in the past year have reported that experienced debt settlement negotiators have eliminated as much as fifty percent of their overall balances through a mixture of carrot (sped up payment schedules that typically last less than five years) and stick (the still effective threat of personal bankruptcy which reps of the credit card companies are taught to avoid at all costs).

Now, much as we thoroughly recommend every Alabama borrower at least takes a close look at the debt settlement alternative, we cannot promise it shall be the right fit for each family. So much, after all, depends upon what your family can and cannot pay each month. Income, household expenses, the type and the complete amount of debts held (and even the specific corporation that holds each debt; some still refuse to negotiate debt settlement regardless of technique) mean so much when deciding upon a particular debt relief plan. After all, debt settlement does mean you will still have to repay the majority of your current credit obligations within a limited time period, and, we understand, that’s just not possible for all Alabama families. Furthermore, you will still have those secured debts, like car loans and home mortgages (not to mention tax liens or any governmentally assessed bills like alimony or child support) to deal with. The responsibility for effective debt relief still lands with the original consumer, and you must start taking charge of their finances before presuming any other company can just make things right. Talk to the lender representatives yourself before involving debt relief companies, and, even after you’ve chosen a debt settlement or alternative approach, make sure that you continue to talk with the creditors to ensure that the bills are being paid as originally agreed and that all fees and debts that were purportedly waived have, in fact, been erased.

In order to ensure that you will have the funds necessary to meet the debt settlement stipend each month as well as taking care of all additional burdens such as payments for the aforementioned secured loan, insurance, and all of the day to day expenses households require to run smoothly. Budgeting should be of primary importance for every Alabama borrower in need of debt relief (which, realistically, should be every Alabama borrower that finds themselves unable to easily pay their outstanding debts – home mortgage or investment excepted – within a few months). Proper management of income and expenses remains the backbone of effective debt relief. Alabama’s shown a steady increase in per capita income growth, hovering just under three percent per annum for around the past decade which lands us comfortably in the top echelon of states, and, even during this period of economic unrest, many borrowers and other members of their households should be able to find additional work or begin home based business to increase earnings. Greater income combined with an end to foolish spending – a serious and reasoned program of debt relief, in other words – should prevent this sort of thing from ever happening again in the future regardless of how much Alabama and the American culture at large accentuates and indulges our worst impulses toward shopping without remorse.

While the worst tendencies of the American economy over the past few decades, propelling our countrymen into ever greater debts so that such artificially spurred bouts of purchasing buoys otherwise shaky financial underpinnings, have led consumers into such dire financial straits, our system of commerce also encourages new markets and industries to develop which help unfortunate borrowers navigate their way amidst debt relief predicaments. Throughout Alabama and the rest of North America, Consumer Credit Counseling and debt settlement and the similarly motivated firms have proven that they can effectively diminish the stresses that accompany debt loads, alleviating borrower tensions while facilitating communication between the clients and the lenders, while taking the debt burdens upon themselves as the debt relief specialists negotiate more advantageous terms and force leniency towards the payment schedules. This alternative could not guarantee debt relief for every borrower, if needs be said, but a wide swath of Alabamans insist that the process has prevented their households from being swamped by out of control debts. No consumer should enter the professional debt relief arena without quite reasonable apprehensions regarding the potentially troublesome repercussions, but experienced and educated debt relief counselors may still effectively aid their clients whenever the need for such assistance arises.

Though social services continue to be cut during the national financial crises that currently plague the American economy, resources yet exist for every citizen, and, while these programs (whether subsidized by the state or through non profit charities) may certainly be of some use to the right borrower, the best sort of companies – even if they are technically non profit or organized by the state or federal government – do request at least some small stipend for the first discussion. Within Alabama, for example, the various counties have originated debt relief affiliations with some of the more established community banks to provide assistance for those borrowers suffering from out of control debts. Within such ventures, social workers and enlightened volunteers have been trained by debt relief specialists typically employed by the banks or debt consolidation firms to advise unlucky debtors that recognize their essential helplessness in relation to existing burdens and larger spending habits. Considering Alabama’s continual troubles with problem debtors – for the past decade, Alabama has been found near the top of per capita Chapter 7 bankruptcy declarations, sharing that unfortunate distinction with Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, and, in recent years, Utah – state officials have taken special care to help aid Alabamans understand and master debt relief from a blend of public and private counseling.

For most borrowers whose financial obligations have risen to the degree that they can no longer easily satisfy the minimum payments demanded by their creditors, involvement with one of the professional debt relief companies will sadly still be necessary. It certainly wouldn’t harm any Alabama household’s chances to avail themselves of the free (or, again, virtually free) state resources before choosing any specific course of action, but they will likely suggest eventual partnership with one of these specialists – consolidation with a debt settlement negotiation firm, say – for true and lasting relief from debts. This should not still be an easy decision for any Alabama family, and they should not feel that they are being rushed into any one approach. If bill collectors will not stop telephone or direct mail harassment, contact the consumer affairs section of the Alabama attorney general’s office (11 S Union, 3rd Fl, Montgomery, AL 36130; toll free phone number 1-800-392-5658) to report particular misdeeds. Alabama – along with thirty some other states – allows the consumers within the state to record phone conversations with all such collection agencies regardless of the bill collector’s notification or prior approval under statutes outlined by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and proof of harassment should provide more than enough leverage to guarantee the agency not only will leave you and your family alone but also close up shop to prevent them from ruining the lives of other Alabama households.

There’s no reason for any family to suffer through this sort of barely lawful aggravation, and Alabama has done as much as any state in the south to protect their citizens from collection agency persecution. Tho
ugh the process of debt relief demands swift and serious attention from all applicable consumers and all debtors facing consumer debt burdens should begin analyzing their predicament immediately, no Alabama borrower should allow him or herself to feel pressured into any course of action they do not thoroughly understand nor whose underlying foundations and eventual disadvantages they do not feel they will be able to comply with beyond question. So much of the relationship between a debtor and his or her debts remains impossible for an article such as this to accurately comment upon. Alabama, like all states, maintains special privileges for its consumers that should be fully investigated before consolidating past obligations.

Even the best debt settlement companies and associated professionals often ignore the less attractive debt relief practicalities with an eye toward ensuring the best potential credit reports and FICO scores. To take one of the more vibrant examples, Alabama features a statute of limitations (still ultimately dependant upon the lender’s initial written contract) upon consumer debts that can last no longer than six years and, for revolving accounts, may be as little as three years. Much depends upon the borrower’s state of residence when they took out the original loan and when the first delinquency was officially recorded, but this effective loophole should have obvious benefits. Many debt relief specialists, ever aiming to perfect their debtor clients’ overall situation (and, for some, pad the balances upon which they’ll draw a percentage of the total for their commission) will still urge complete repayment of all outstanding loans to better the borrowers’ credit ratings. Still, it may well be in the best interest of the more cash poor debtors to indulge the grace of Alabama’s statute of limitations upon such burdens.

All of which is not to say that debt settlement should be avoided or that debt settlement counselors are not to be trusted. The grand majority of such debt relief companies in the Alabama area or around the nation have earned sparkling reputations from a uniquely successful technique that genuinely can diminish payments and settle debts by as much as half of what the borrowers are currently bound to owe while eliminating all financial liabilities in only a matter of years and safeguarding home and hearth from seizure. Furthermore, in conjunction with Alabama law and the best wishes of the state to protect its citizens from future troubles with monetary burdens, these debt relief companies will also counsel borrowers on purchasing habits, budgeting, and organization of all consumer related difficulties involving the most beneficial payments to be made and how best to avoid succumbing to similar problems down the road. Curious borrowers should make sure to ask the Alabama chapter of the Better Business Bureau about any specific company that they are thinking about meeting with as well as contacting the federal Fair Trade Commission to ensure that there were no existing complaints upon record, but, still and all, for any Alabamans serious about debt relief programs, there’s nothing to lose by a process of discovery. It may take a while, it may be difficult for you and your family to suffer through the various deprivations that the program requires, but, with little more than will and effort and the desire to succeed, debt relief can be a reality for every Alabama household.

July 18, 2017

Using an Agency to Settle Credit Card Debt

Some people like to deal with their credit card debt all by themselves. However, some people do use credit card debt settlement agency. There can be various reasons for going for a credit card debt settlement agency. Some people use a credit card debt settlement agency because they are not comfortable in dealing with credit card debt settlement by themselves. Some go for a credit card debt settlement agency because they don’t have the time to do the research and evaluate options for credit card debt settlement. Others just want professional advice and hence they contact credit card debt settlement agency.

Whatever be the reason for employing a credit card debt settlement agency, a good credit card debt settlement agency would surely be of help. However, it’s important that you select a good credit card debt settlement agency. Do not fall for ads of credit card debt settlement agencies that promise to wipe off your debt overnight. No credit card debt settlement agency or anyone else can do that. You should select a credit card debt settlement agency which has verifiable credentials or a credit card debt settlement agency that you know has a good reputation. If some friend has been through this process previously, they might be able to recommend a credit card debt settlement agency to you. Sometimes you will find ads that promise impossible things and ask you to call a telephone number that’s a premium line. So beware, or else you might end up paying heavy phone bills that would just add to your debt. Some credit card debt settlement agencies might be having a very low fee but no reputation. These are again the credit card debt settlement agencies that you should avoid. However, once you find a reputable credit card debt settlement agency, do not try to hide debt related information from them, no matter how bad your debt it. That is another reason for looking for a reputable credit card debt settlement agency. If the credit card debt settlement agency is not a reputable one, you would not be able to trust them; and trust is very important here otherwise you will neither be able to tell them the full story and nor follow their advice. That said, it’s important to note that no credit card debt settlement agency will be able to help you if you are not ready to help yourself. So, follow the advice given by credit card debt settlement agency and practice good spending habits.

Some people like to deal with their credit card debt all by themselves. However, some people do use credit card debt settlement agency. There can be various reasons for going for a credit card debt settlement agency. Some people use a credit card debt settlement agency because they are not comfortable in dealing with credit card debt settlement by themselves. Some go for a credit card debt settlement agency because they don’t have the time to do the research and evaluate options for credit card debt settlement. Others just want professional advice and hence they contact credit card debt settlement agency.

Whatever be the reason for employing a credit card debt settlement agency, a good credit card debt settlement agency would surely be of help. However, it’s important that you select a good credit card debt settlement agency. Do not fall for ads of credit card debt settlement agencies that promise to wipe off your debt overnight. No credit card debt settlement agency or anyone else can do that. You should select a credit card debt settlement agency which has verifiable credentials or a credit card debt settlement agency that you know has a good reputation. If some friend has been through this process previously, they might be able to recommend a credit card debt settlement agency to you. Sometimes you will find ads that promise impossible things and ask you to call a telephone number that’s a premium line. So beware, or else you might end up paying heavy phone bills that would just add to your debt. Some credit card debt settlement agencies might be having a very low fee but no reputation. These are again the credit card debt settlement agencies that you should avoid. However, once you find a reputable credit card debt settlement agency, do not try to hide debt related information from them, no matter how bad your debt it. That is another reason for looking for a reputable credit card debt settlement agency. If the credit card debt settlement agency is not a reputable one, you would not be able to trust them; and trust is very important here otherwise you will neither be able to tell them the full story and nor follow their advice. That said, it’s important to note that no credit card debt settlement agency will be able to help you if you are not ready to help yourself. So, follow the advice given by credit card debt settlement agency and practice good spending habits.

June 29, 2017

Top 3 Debt Relief Solutions

Debt relief for over leveraged consumers has become bigger than ever. There is over $13 Trillion of consumer debt, with almost $2 Trillion of that amount in revolving debt. With rising interest rates and exploding debt levels, what does this mean for the American family? It means you better either be debt free, have rising income levels, have equity in your home… or start looking around for debt relief.

There are as many forms of debt relief out there as there are ways to get into debt. You’ve probably heard terms like debt consolidation and credit counseling, but have you heard of debt resolution, debt settlement and debt roll-up? Since there are so many debt relief alternatives, it is important to learn about all of the options and then assess what your primary needs are – so that you can pick the debt relief option that best fits your needs.

When evaluating debt relief, the four primary concerns for most consumers are: i) monthly payment, ii) time to debt freedom, iii) total cost, and iv) the credit rating impact of the consolidation program. Be sure to evaluate each program, relative to your prioritization of these factors.

Credit Counseling

Credit counseling, or signing up for a debt management plan, is a very common form of debt relief. There are many companies offering online credit counseling, which is essentially a way to make one payment directly to the credit counseling agency, which then distributes that payment to your creditors. Most times, a credit counseling agency will be able to lower your monthly payments by getting interest rate concessions from your lenders or creditors. So if your primary concern is to lower your monthly payment a little bit, then evaluate if credit counseling is your best form of debt relief. It is important to understand that in a credit counseling program, you are still repaying 100% of your debts – but with lower monthly payments. On average, most online credit counseling programs take around five years. While most credit counseling programs do not impact your FICO score, being enrolled in a credit counseling debt management plan DOES show up on your credit report… and, unfortunately, many lenders look at enrollment in credit counseling akin to filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy – or using a third party to re-organize your debts. So if your credit profile is a concern for what debt relief program you select, be aware of how your future lenders will perceive credit counseling.

Debt Settlement

Debt settlement, also called debt negotiation, is a form of debt relief that cuts your total debt, sometimes over 50%, with lower monthly payments. Sound good? For most people, saving money with a low payment meets their debt relief needs. Debt settlement programs typically run around three years. It is not a perfect debt relief solution, however, and it is important to keep in mind that during the life of your debt settlement program, you are NOT paying your creditors. This means that a debt settlement solution will negatively impact your credit rating. Your credit rating will not be good, at a minimum, for the term of your debt settlement program. However, debt settlement is usually the fastest and cheapest way to debt freedom, with a low monthly payment, while avoiding Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. The debt relief trade-off here is a negative credit rating versus saving money.

Debt Consolidation Loan

Many people think first of a debt consolidation loan when seeking debt relief. This option typically means a second home loan (or home equity line of credit) or refinancing your primary mortgage. In a debt consolidation loan, you exchange one loan for another. The most frequent form is taking out a mortgage loan, which carries a lower interest rate and is tax deductible, to pay off high interest rate credit card debt. It is important to be aware that shifting unsecured debt to secured debt can create a volatile situation, if there is ever a chance that you cannot afford the new mortgage payment you are now putting yourself at risk of foreclosure! This means that debt consolidation, as a form of debt relief, can actually cause a bigger problem than what you originally had. In the case of a debt consolidation loan, most mortgages are 30-year loan, which means that the total cost and the time to debt freedom could be very high… but the monthly payment will be lower than other options and there is no credit rating impact. So if you are a homeowner and your credit rating is your primary concern, then debt consolidation may be the best form of debt relief.

Net-net: while there are many forms of debt relief, many people with good to perfect credit who own homes should look into debt consolidation loans, while consumers with high credit card debt and poor credit may want to explore debt settlement or debt negotiation. However, each consumer is different, so find the online debt consolidation option that fits for you.

Regardless of the form of debt relief that you select, it is equally important to find a reputable provider. Make sure the company you select is a member of the better business bureau (www.bbb.org) or evaluate their history and legitimacy by doing reference checks and make sure that your program will be as successful as the sales story you will hear on your consultation. Also, make sure that education information and advice is free of charge… they should be getting you debt free, not charging you for what should be part of the program. If you need help evaluating alternative providers, Bills.com makes it easy for you to find a provider, by following this link: https://www.bills.com/debthelp/debt/

So look around, evaluate your own concerns, and then pick a debt relief provider that meets your needs.

Source: http://www.bills.com/debt-relief-article/

June 15, 2017

Debt Consolidation – How to Know if I Am Eligible or Not?

Filed under: Debt — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 12:46 pm
Debt consolidation is not for everyone, there are some debt situations that should not be solved via a debt consolidation program because the benefits that debt consolidation provides are not applicable to every form of debt. Learn how to find out whether you will be able to take advantage of a debt consolidation program or not.

Before contacting a debt consolidation agency you need to make sure that by consolidating your debt you will be improving your financial situation. Otherwise you will need to resort to other forms of credit and debt repair. Since debt consolidation is mainly based on debt negotiation, you have to make sure that the type of debt you have is suitable for this method of debt reduction.

Pre-Payable Debt And Negotiable Debt

In order to be suitable for consolidation debt has to be susceptible of being prepaid and negotiated. This is an important issue because if your debt does not have either of these characteristics, you will not be able to obtain any benefit from a debt consolidation program. Let’s analyze these factors separately first.

When you prepay your debt, you are modifying the repayment schedule by paying part or the full amount of the money owed in advance. According to the contract, debt can assume three forms when it comes to prepaying: Prepaying can be authorized either explicitly or implicitly (if the contract says nothing about the issue), prepaying can be authorized but penalized with a prepaying penalty fee or prepaying can be forbidden. If prepaying your debt is forbidden the only form of debt consolidation available is negotiation and resorting to a debt consolidation loan is not feasible. If there are penalty fees, you need to ponder the fees in order to see if consolidation would be to your advantage or not (you may end up paying even more).

By negotiating your debt, you agree with your creditors new terms for repaying your loans and other forms of debt. Not all debts are negotiable and non-negotiable debt cannot be consolidated unless you can repay the debt in full (by means of a debt consolidation loan). Generally speaking, secure debt is non negotiable. This is due to the fact that since secured debt provides the lender with a real estate guarantee, he can always recover his money through legal means knowing that his money is protected with the property used as collateral.

Consequences Of Both Characteristics

If your debt is mainly composed of either of these types of debt or worst, a combination of both, chances are that consolidating your debt will became undoable. Non-negotiable debt can be consolidated via a debt consolidation loan (which implies repaying your debt and taking new debt under different terms) if debt is pre-payable. Non pre-payable debt can only be consolidated through debt negotiation as long as it negotiable.

Any non-negotiable and non pre-payable debt becomes an inevitable obstacle against debt consolidation. If a high proportion of your debt falls into this category you will need to consider other options because debt consolidation is not for you. Otherwise, you can both consolidate through debt negotiation or debt consolidation loans and you will be able to reduce your debt and monthly payments.

May 30, 2017

Debts / Pinjaman

Filed under: Debt — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 12:47 am
ng>Debt / Pinjaman

Debt is that which is owed; usually referencing assets owed, but the term can cover other obligations. In the case of assets, debt is a means of using future purchasing power in the present before a summation has been earned. Some companies and corporations use debt as a part of their overall corporate finance strategy.[citation needed]

A debt is created when a creditor agrees to lend a sum of assets to a debtor. In modern society, debt is usually granted with expected repayment; in many cases, plus interest. Historically, debt was responsible for the creation of indentured servants.

Payment

Before a debt can be made, both the debtor and the creditor must agree on the manner in which the debt will be repaid, known as the standard of deferred payment. This payment is usually denominated as a sum of money in units of currency, but can sometimes be denominated in terms of goods. Payment can be made in increments over a period of time, or all at once at the end of the loan agreement.

[edit] Types of debt

A company uses various kinds of debt to finance its operations. The various types of debt can generally be categorized into: 1) secured and unsecured debt, 2) private and public debt, 3) syndicated and bilateral debt, and 4) other types of debt that display one or more of the characteristics noted above.[1]

A debt obligation is considered secured if creditors have recourse to the assets of the company on a proprietary basis or otherwise ahead of general claims against the company. Unsecured debt comprises financial obligations, where creditors do not have recourse to the assets of the borrower to satisfy their claims.

Private debt comprises bank-loan type obligations, whether senior or mezzanine. Public debt is a general definition covering all financial instruments that are freely tradeable on a public exchange or over the counter, with few if any restrictions.

Loan syndication is a risk management tool that allows the lead banks underwriting the debt to reduce their risk and free up lending capacity.

A basic loan is the simplest form of debt. It consists of an agreement to lend a principal sum for a fixed period of time, to be repaid by a certain date. In commercial loans interest, calculated as a percentage of the principal sum per year, will also have to be paid by that date.

In some loans, the amount actually loaned to the debtor is less than the principal sum to be repaid; the additional principal has the same economic effect as a higher interest rate (see point (mortgage)).

A syndicated loan is a loan that is granted to companies that wish to borrow more money than any single lender is prepared to risk in a single loan, usually many millions of dollars. In such a case, a syndicate of banks can each agree to put forward a portion of the principal sum.

A bond is a debt security issued by certain institutions such as companies and governments. A bond entitles the holder to repayment of the principal sum, plus interest. Bonds are issued to investors in a marketplace when an institution wishes to borrow money. Bonds have a fixed lifetime, usually a number of years; with long-term bonds, lasting over 30 years, being less common. At the end of the bond’s life the money should be repaid in full. Interest may be added to the end payment, or can be paid in regular installments (known as coupons) during the life of the bond. Bonds may be traded in the bond markets, and are widely used as relatively safe investments in comparison to equity.

Corporate finance

Working capital management

Cash conversion cycle

Return on capital

Economic value added

Just In Time

Economic order quantity

Discounts and allowances

Factoring (finance)

Capital budgeting

Capital investment decisions

The investment decision

The financing decision

Sections

Managerial finance

Financial accounting

Management accounting

Mergers and acquisitions

Balance sheet analysis

Business plan

Corporate action

Finance series

Financial market

Financial market participants

Corporate finance

Personal finance

Public finance

Banks and Banking

Financial regulation

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Accounting debt

In national accounting, debts are added according to those who are indebted. Household debt is the debt held by households. “National” or Public debt is the debt held by the various governmental institutions (federal government, states, cities …). Business debt is the debt held by businesses. Financial debt is the debt held by the financial sector (from one financial institution to another). Total debt is the sum of all those debts, excluding financial debt to prevent double accounting. These various types of debt can be computed in debt/GDP ratios. Those ratios help to assess the speed of variations in the indebtness and the size of the debt due. For example the USA have a high consumer debt and a low public debt, while in eastern European countries, for example, the opposite tends to be true.

There are differences in the accounting of debt for private and public agents. If a private agent promises to pay something later, it has a debt, and this debt is enforceable by public agents. If a public body passes a law stating that it’ll pay something later (a kind of promise), it keeps the right to change the law later (and not to pay). This is why, for instance, the money governments promised to pay for retirements does not show up in the public debt assessment, whereas the money private companies promised to pay for retirements do.

Securitization

Main article: Securitization

Securitization occurs when a company groups together assets or receivables and sells them in units to the market through a trust. Any asset with a cashflow can be securitized. The cash flows from these receivables are used to pay the holders of these units. Companies often do this in order to remove these assets from their balance sheets and monetize an asset. Although these assets are “removed” from the balance sheet and are supposed to be the responsibility of the trust, that does not end the company’s involvement. Often the company maintains a special interest in the trust which is called an “interest only strip” or “first loss piece”. Any payments from the trust must be made to regular investors in precedence to this interest. This protects investors from a degree of risk, making the securitization more attractive. The aforementioned brings into question whether the assets are truly off-balance-sheet given the company’s exposure to losses on this interest.

Debt, inflation and the exchange rate

As noted above, debt is normally denominated in a particular monetary currency, and so changes in the valuation of that currency can change the effective size of the debt. This can happen due to inflation or deflation, so it can happen even though the borrower and the lender are using the same currency. Thus it is important to agree on standards of deferred payment in advance, so that a degree of fluctuation will also be agreed as acceptable. It is for instance common[citation needed] to agree to “US dollar denominated” debt.

The form of debt involved in banking accounts for a large proportion of the money in most industrialised nations (see money and credit money for a discussion of this). There is therefore a relationship between inflation, deflation, the money supply, and debt. The store of value represented by the entire economy of the industrialized nation, and the state’s ability to levy tax on it, acts to the foreign holder of d
ebt as a guarantee of repayment, since industrial goods are in high demand in many places worldwide.

Lendings to stable financial entities such as large companies or governments are often termed “risk free” or “low risk” and made at a so-called “risk-free interest rate”. This is because the debt and interest are highly unlikely to be defaulted. A good example of such risk-free interest is a US Treasury security – it yields the minimum return available in economics, but investors have the comfort of the (almost) certain expectation that the US Treasury will not default on its debt instruments. A risk-free rate is also commonly used in setting floating interest rates, which are usually calculated as the risk-free interest rate plus a bonus to the creditor based on the creditworthiness of the debtor (in other words, the risk of him defaulting and the creditor losing the debt). In reality, no lending is truly risk free, but borrowers at the “risk free” rate are considered the least likely to default.

However, if the real value of a currency changes during the term of the debt, the purchasing power of the money repaid may vary considerably from that which was expected at the commencement of the loan. So from a practical investment point of view, there is still considerable risk attached to “risk free” or “low risk” lendings. The real value of the money may have changed due to inflation, or, in the case of a foreign investment, due to exchange rate fluctuations.

The Bank for International Settlements is an organisation of central banks that sets rules to define how much capital banks have to hold against the loans they give out.

Ratings and creditworthiness

Specific bond debts owed by both governments and private corporations is rated by rating agencies, such as Moody’s, Fitch Ratings Inc., A. M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The government or company itself will also be given its own separate rating. These agencies assess the ability of the debtor to honor his obligations and accordingly give him a credit rating. Moody’s uses the letters Aaa Aa A Baa Ba B Caa Ca C, where ratings Aa-Caa are qualified by numbers 1-3. Munich Re, for example, currently is rated Aa3 (as of 2004[update]). S&P and other rating agencies have slightly different systems using capital letters and +/- qualifiers.

A change in ratings can strongly affect a company, since its cost of refinancing depends on its creditworthiness. Bonds below Baa/BBB (Moody’s/S&P) are considered junk- or high risk bonds. Their high risk of default (approximately 1.6% for Ba) is compensated by higher interest payments. Bad Debt is a loan that can not (partially or fully) be repaid by the debtor. The debtor is said to default on his debt. These types of debt are frequently repackaged and sold below face value. Buying junk bonds is seen as a risky but potentially profitable form of investment.

Cancellation

Short of bankruptcy, it is rare that debts are wholly or partially forgiven. Traditions in some cultures demand that this be done on a regular (often annual) basis, in order to prevent systemic inequities between groups in society, or anyone becoming a specialist in holding debt and coercing repayment. Under English law, when the creditor is deceived into forgoing payment, this is a crime: see Theft Act 1978.

International Third World debt has reached the scale that many economists are convinced that debt cancellation is the only way to restore global equity in relations with the developing nations.

Effects of debt

Debt allows people and organizations to do things that they would otherwise not be able, or allowed, to do. Commonly, people in industrialised nations use it to purchase houses, cars and many other things too expensive to buy with cash on hand. Companies also use debt in many ways to leverage the investment made in their assets, “leveraging” the return on their equity. This leverage, the proportion of debt to equity, is considered important in determining the riskiness of an investment; the more debt per equity, the riskier. For both companies and individuals, this increased risk can lead to poor results, as the cost of servicing the debt can grow beyond the ability to pay due to either external events (income loss) or internal difficulties (poor management of resources).

Excesses in debt accumulation have been blamed for exacerbating economic problems.[2] For example, prior to the beginning of the Great Depression debt/GDP ratio was very high. Economic agents were heavily indebted. This excess of debt, equivalent to excessive expectations on future returns, accompanied asset bubbles on the stock markets. When expectations corrected, deflation and a credit crunch followed. Deflation effectively made debt more expensive and, as Fisher explained, this reinforced deflation again, because, in order to reduce their debt level, economic agents reduced their consumption and investment. The reduction in demand reduced business activity and caused further unemployment. In a more direct sense, more bankruptcies also occurred due both to increased debt cost caused by deflation and the reduced demand.

It is possible for some organizations to enter into alternative types of borrowing and repayment arrangements which will not result in bankruptcy. For example, companies can sometimes convert debt that they owe into equity in themselves. In this case, the creditor hopes to regain something equivalent to the debt and interest in the form of dividends and capital gains of the borrower. The “repayments” are therefore proportional to what the borrower earns and so can not in themselves cause bankruptcy. Once debt is converted in this way, it is no longer known as debt.

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May 28, 2017

Not All Debt is Bad

Filed under: Debt — Tags: , , , , , , , — admin @ 12:47 am
So you are in debt-who isn’t these days? We live in a society that encourages people to go into debt. Credit card commercials tell us that a trip to Jamaica is just what we need, regardless of whether we can afford it. (That’s what your gold card is for, right?)

Loan brokers want us to borrow up to 125 percent against our home equity. Even the federal government just had its first balanced budget in a generation and now faces the enormous task of paying off over trillions of dollars in debt.

Yet not everyone is in debt. Many people know how to deal with money. Their debts are manageable, and they have money in the bank. That sounds nice, doesn’t it money in the bank? That is what you deserve. In order to get there, however, you are going to have to change some of your thinking about money and learn a few new methods of dealing with it.

Why Are You in Debt?

People who are not in debt think about and treat money differently than the rest of us. They know a few things about money and debt that escape the rest of us. Let’s call them the “financially literate.” If you can begin to relate to money as they do, you will be well on your way to a life that is not only debt-free, but also prosperous. What we hope to do in this book is to show you some of their secrets so you can adapt a few of these ideas and tools to help you get out of debt.

Do not feel too badly if you are not good with a dollar, a lot of people aren’t. Money literacy is not taught in schools, and too often parents are too busy trying to dig themselves out of their own financial hole to help much either. Yet, unfortunately for many of us, we learn more about money from our parents than anywhere else. The good news is that learning how to get out of debt and become more financially literate is not all that complicated.

The first step in the process is to figure out how you created so much debt, because if you don’t figure out how and why you got yourself into this pickle, you might get out of debt, but you certainly won’t stay out. So the first question to ask yourself is: Why did you go into debt in the first place?

Sometimes going into debt is unavoidable, but often it is not. When money is tight, you have several options; going into debt is just the easiest. Instead of choosing more debt, you might have decided to work overtime and make more money, or possibly you could have tightened your belt and spent less money. Debt was not your only choice.

There are many reasons people go into debt: some are good reasons, and some are bad. It doesn’t matter. Did you buy luxuries you could otherwise not afford? Did an illness or a divorce set you back financially? Was debt your way of dealing with some other sudden, unexpected expense? When you look at the reason why you went into debt, the important thing is to notice whether your spending habits follow a pattern. If you can see a pattern, you need to address that pattern as much as the underlying debt.

Consider Mark and Diane. They both make a good living: he’s a psychiatrist, and she’s a psychologist. They have two kids to whom they are devoted. They send both to private school, which costs a total of $15,000 a year, and both kids go to summer camp. This expense adds up.

Mark and Diane don’t buy luxuries, they don’t travel much, and, except for the kids’ expenses, they are very frugal. Yet the only way they can pay for everything is by going into debt. They use their home equity line of credit and credit cards to stay afloat. Although they would like to move to a less expensive neighborhood, they can’t because they have no equity in their home, so they are stuck.

What are they to do? If they are going to get out of debt, something in their lives is going to have to change. The private school is going to have to go, camp may be out, or they are going to have to start making more money. The same is true for you. If you want to get out of debt, you are going to have to identify why you went into debt and change that behavior or pattern.

Good and Bad Debt

Debt in and of itself is not a bad thing. Both of us (the authors) were able to start our own businesses because of debt; Steve began his own law practice, and Azriela began her own entrepreneurial consulting business. So we understand what debt is and why some debt is great debt.

Debt allows you to do things you otherwise normally could not do, such as start a business, go to college, or pay for a home. Debt constructs buildings and funds investments and entire corporations-even the government is funded by debt. The trick is to foster debts that help the cause and banish the ones that don’t. Not all debts are bad debts.

Good Debt

Debt that helps you, enriches your life, is manageable, and is not a burden can be called good debt. For example, student loans are good debt if they enabled you to get through school and further your life goals. They are bad debt if you dropped out of medical school after one year to become a writer. A good debt helps; a bad debt hinders. We want to help you get rid of that bad debt.

Other examples of debt that may be considered good include:

1. Home loans. A mortgage can be a great debt. Not only does it permit you to own your own home, but it also allows you to build home equity. People who are financially savvy earn interest and equity. People who are not financially savvy pay interest and create money for others. For example, charging groceries means that you will pay about 17 percent interest on items that will be consumed within a week. A financially literate person would never do that.

2. Car loans. A car loan can be a fine debt because you get something long-lasting out of the debt. If you need a nice car for your job (if you are a real estate agent, for example), a car loan may be considered good debt because it helps you in your career. However, a car loan that you cannot afford is a bad debt because it detracts from your life.

3. Business loans. If you can service the loan, and it helps you make more money, the loan is good debt, but if the loan is nothing but a source of problems for you, the debt is bad.

4. Credit cards. Credit cards are fantastic. They are convenient and easy. They can help finance a business or even medical emergencies. The problem with them, as you probably know only too well, is that it is too easy to fall under their siren spell and get in over your head before you know it. That’s when they begin to hurt your life more than help it.

Bad Debt Blues

How do you know if your debt is good debt or bad debt? Easy. Bad debts cause stress. You sleep poorly because of them. They cause fights and foster guilt. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell was once asked to define obscenity. Hard-pressed to come up with a definition, Powell uttered the famous line, “I know it when I see it.” The same could be said for bad debt: You know it when you see it, and it certainly can be obscene.

Bad debt seems impossible to pay back. You create bad debt when you charge things you don’t need or when you borrow for things that you consume quickly, such as clothes, meals, or vacations. The things quickly disappear, but the debt has a nasty habit of sticking around, seemingly forever. Bad debts can become very bad debts because of interest and penalties. For example, if you buy a CD player for $200 and don’t pay it off by the end of the year, and your credit card company charges a usurious 20 percent APR (20 percent per year), you owe $220 by the end of the year. If you do this with five items, you owe $1100, and that’s a lot of money.

Money Talks

Tight for money? Here are some simple ways to save a little extra: Don’t use ATMs at other banks and avoid $2 user fees; cancel your movie channels on cable and save about $20 per mo
nth; put all of your change at the end of the day in a jar and save about $50 a month; hold a garage sale and make about $200; cancel your cell phone and save $50 a month.

You can create bad debt when you agree to pay these crazy interest rates that some creditors charge, because the debt seems to grow exponentially. Credit cards are the prime culprit, but they are by no means the only one. High interest can also come with personal loans, business loans, or unpaid taxes.

You know what the bad debt dance looks like, anyone reading this book does: New bills are coming in before you’ve cleared out those from last month. You’re surprised to find that the phone bill is still unpaid. Somehow the dentist was never sent his check. You know what past-due notices look like. Your Visa and MasterCard bills include late payment penalties. The hardware store sends a letter telling you you’re past due and requests that you send a check at once. There is more month left at the end of your money, and payday seems far away. Worst of all, these things don’t surprise you anymore.

Avoidance is a common coping mechanism to deal with a budget that doesn’t balance. The problem is, it can create even more problems than you already have:

Your property could be repossessed. The finance company can come take your car. The electronics store can come take its TV back. You could get sued. If that happens, your wages could be garnished, or your bank account could be levied upon. Imagine your surprise when you go to get that $1,000 out of your checking account to pay your mortgage and you find that it has been seized by one of your creditors.

A lien can be placed on your real estate. Failure to pay a bill now means that a creditor can get a judgment against you and force you to pay it later when you sell your house, only then you will pay it with 10 percent interest per year.

Loss of services. You could lose your insurance or your utility services if you avoid paying those bills.

Yet, as much as you have been avoiding the problem, the truth is that your debts are neither crushing nor hopeless. They are simply a problem-one for which there is a solution. But no one ever eliminated a problem until he or she recognized and admitted that there was a problem. You began to do that the moment you read this articles. As you read it, you will need to begin to formulate a debt-reduction plan that will work for you. As you do, you need to determine which debts are necessary and which are not.

Debts You Want to Keep

Steve, one of the authors of this book, is a bankruptcy attorney. One day, an old acquaintance named Bill came into his office and said that he needed some help getting out of debt, but he also wanted to avoid bankruptcy if at all possible. They talked, came up with a plan of action, and Bill went on his way. About four years later, Steve ran into Bill again and asked how things were; Bill relayed the following story.

Bill had $30,000 in credit card debt and was behind two months on his mortgage when he left Steve’s office. That day, Bill finally decided that something had to change. He wanted to pay everyone back, put some money in savings, and keep his house. His mortgage was his largest, and favorite, debt because he loved his house.

Bill’s first order of business was to prioritize his debts. Wanting to save his house, Bill called his lender and found out that it had a program that would enable him to roll his mortgage arrears onto the end of his loan. He was therefore able to keep his most important debt and focus his energies on getting rid of the debts he didn’t want anymore.

Bill put together a credit card repayment plan. He started living a bit more frugally, making some extra money by moonlighting, and paying more on his credit cards than the minimum. He was diligent, but not always perfect. Although it took him several years, he finally did get out of debt. He also kept his house and even created a little nest egg. Bill did it, and you can too.

Debts to Get Rid Of

If you want to prosper financially, there are plenty of debts that you will want to wipe out. The most obvious are those where you are paying high interest and penalties, things such as credit cards, lines of credit, taxes, or any other debt that is much higher than inflation. In this articles, you will see how to formulate a plan that will enable you to get out from under these burdensome debts. But as you contemplate this plan, you also need to prioritize certain debts and pay them on time:

1. Rent or mortgage. Make paying your rent or mortgage a top priority. Payments on a home equity line of credit or second mortgage are also essential because you can lose your house if you don’t pay.

2. Car payments. Make the payments. If you don’t, the car will be repossessed.

3. Utility bills. These services are important, and the bills usually have heavy late payment penalties.

4. Child support or alimony. Not paying these debts can land you in jail.

5. Taxes. Taxes may be put off for awhile if necessary, and we show you how to do so later on in the book, but if the IRS is about to take your paycheck, bank account, house, or other property, you should set up a repayment plan immediately.

The First Rule of Holes: Stop Digging!

The goal of this articles is to help you get out of debt within the context of making your life work. You will not be asked to make radical, unreasonable changes in your life because doing so rarely works. Instead, important, sometimes gradual, small but significant changes can make a big difference.

If you are going to start getting out of debt, you have to stop going into debt. One way to start is to begin to wean yourself from the credit card teat if you think that is part of your problem. You don’t have to cut up all your credit cards; that would be impractical and unreasonable. Start slowly, but build up to it and get strong. You can do it. The only way to stop going into debt is to stop going into debt. You might as well start now because the sooner you start, the sooner you will get out of debt. The longer you wait, the longer it will take.

We will show you how to easily trim your budget (well, almost easily) so that you need not incur more debt to stay afloat. But begin now. You are going to have to stop sooner or later. Down the road you will see that this is one of the most important steps you can take in getting out of debt. You will thank yourself for this gift. Remember the first rule of holes: Stop digging!

Long-Term Goals

Now is the time to begin to think about your long range financial vision. What is it you hope to accomplish by getting out of debt? Changing some habits?

Paying off your MasterCard? Probably what you really want is a less stressful life, one that’s free from money worries. But you can have even more. Getting out of debt is one thing, but prosperity is another thing altogether.

You have read this once already, and you will read it again in this book: If you don’t begin to do some things differently, to change the way you think and treat money, you might get out of debt, but you won’t stay out of debt. If you do make some simple changes to your thinking and your behavior, not only will you get out of debt, but you also will get ahead. You will get what you deserve: a life of abundance.

The Least You Need to Know

1. Going into debt for essentials makes financial sense; doing so for nonessentials does not.

2. Not all debt is bad debt.

3. You may want to keep debts that enhance your life and get rid of the rest.

4. Stop adding to your debt right now.

5. Cultivate a long-term plan of action.

www.Citicredit.asia offers comprehensive guide to credit reporting, including information on repairing or rebuilding your credit history.

 

 

 

 

 

May 27, 2017

Are you getting the right debt advice?

Filed under: Debt — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 12:47 pm
Struggling with debt can be a difficult and stressful situation, and it’s easy to feel like you will never be able to find a way out.

More and more people are getting into trouble with debt these days, yet many are unaware of what help is available. In reality, even people with severe debt problems can get help from a professional debt adviser.

Importance of good debt advice

If you ever find yourself having problems with your debts, then you should contact a professional debt adviser as soon as possible. Since the interest on debt often means it grows very quickly, putting it off can result in you paying a lot more overall.

How can a good debt adviser help me?

General debt help

In a lot of cases, simple debt advice is all it takes. If you have trouble managing your money, you’re not alone – many people have this problem, and it’s not unusual for it to lead to debt problems.

Your debt adviser may be able to recommend a few changes in your spending that could help you to get back on track. Equally, they may help you to set up a budget, so you can make sure you’re aware of how much money is needed for each of your commitments, and how much you have left to spend as you wish.

If the situation has become more serious, and your debts are becoming unmanageable, then your debt adviser may recommend a debt solution that could help your situation.

What debt solutions are available?

There are a number of debt solutions available that can help people in various situations. Your debt adviser can help you to decide which (if any) is best for you.

Debt consolidation loan

A debt consolidation loan is typically for people who have relatively manageable debts, but would like to simplify their finances and/or reduce their outgoings. It is essentially a new loan that pays off your existing debts, ending your ties to your original creditors and consolidating those debts into one convenient monthly payment.

Many people with a debt consolidation loan choose to reduce the amount they pay each month by spreading their repayments out. If you choose to do this, be aware that because you will pay interest for longer, you may end up paying more overall.

However, it’s still possible to save money if you consolidate high-interest debts, such as credit cards. So long as the interest on the debt consolidation is lower, you could save money, although a longer repayment period may limit the amount you save.

Debt Management Plan

For debts that have become unmanageable under the existing terms, a debt management plan is an informal arrangement with your creditors that can allow you to repay your debts at a more manageable pace.

As well as reducing the amount you will pay each month, you may be able to negotiate a reduction or freeze in interest and other charges, which can prevent the debt from growing – or at least slow down the rate at which it’s increasing.

However, be aware that repaying any debt more slowly will take longer and can cost more, as it’ll have longer to attract interest. This is why it’s important to work closely with a debt adviser to ensure that your repayments are affordable, while still allowing you to repay what you owe.

IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement)

If your debts have become so unmanageable that you don’t think you will ever be able to repay them in full, an IVA could help you to avoid bankruptcy by agreeing to pay a set percentage of your debt to your creditors, after which the remaining debt will be written off.

You will make monthly payments to your Insolvency Practitioner, who will subsequently distribute it among your creditors as agreed. This will usually continue for five years, and on successful completion you will be legally debt-free.

There are some things to consider before entering into an IVA, though. You may be expected to give up a portion of any increase in income earned during your IVA (including pay rises and bonuses), and if you are a homeowner, you may also be expected to release some of the equity in your home in the 54th month of the IVA.

Although an IVA is typically considered preferable to bankruptcy, there are some cases in which bankruptcy is the more beneficial option. Your debt adviser will offer advice on the best choice for your particular needs.

May 20, 2017

Credit Card Debt Consolidation: Finding The Right Program – Advantages And Disadvantages

You never know when and who would need help from a credit card debt consolidation program. Sometimes unexpected circumstances can lead to financial difficulties which in turn would lead you to consider debt consolidation. Some of these circumstances are loss of job, loss in business, death of an earning member and so on. If you are finding it hard to pay off your credit card loans, then it is wise to consider debt consolidation. This is much better than bankruptcy. This article will help you with steps in finding the right credit card debt consolidation program, make you aware of the advantages and disadvantages of debt consolidation so you can decide whether credit card debt consolidation is the best option for you or not.

Basics of Debt Consolidation

Debt Consolidation is a big loan that will pay off your credit card loans. There are several ways these debt consolidation programs work. The most popular way is to take one lump sum amount of money from you (the borrower) and distribute it to your credit card companies (the lenders). All your loans will be consolidated into one payment usually withdrawn directly from your bank on a fixed date every month. These programs make the card holders life easier.

As a general rule, if you have many credit cards from different companies with high interest rates, then debt consolidation can help you manage your debt with only one bill and much lower APRs. These debt consolidation companies negotiate a lower interest rate for you and this can save a lot of money in the long run. This will work out in your favor if you have credit cards with APRs of around 30% because the debt consolidation programs can reduce these interest rates to between 12% – 18%. These programs require a monthly administration fees, which is usually around and this will come off your savings. Remember if the admin fee does not come off your savings, then it is not a good idea to sign up for a debt consolidation program.

So it looks like everything about the credit card debt consolidation is positive. Well, it is not always the case. There are a few advantages and also disadvantages of debt consolidation programs. You have to find a balance between them. The fact is that credit card debt consolidation companies do help you in paying off your debt. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of these programs.

Advantages

1. Decreased payment amounts: The monthly payments will be less than what you were paying before debt consolidation because you are paying off the loan over a longer duration.

2. Simpler to manage: After you signup in the debt consolidation program, you will have a relief from reading your credit card statements, deciding how much to pay for each credit card and then making the payments one by one. Usually, the company will withdraw the money directly from the bank and you will not have to be concerned about late payments.

3. Decreased interest rates: This is one of the major advantages for many credit card owners. Some of the debt consolidation companies bring down the interest rates much lower than the current ones. This can save lots of money for you.

4. Debt Management tips: Many of the good debt consolidation give lots of free tips on managing your debt. They draw out a plan on debt management. These tips are invaluable. They even mail out booklets on debt management.

Disadvantages

1. Lower FICO scores: Many experts debate that debt consolidation does not have any effect on credit (FICO) scores the fact is that debt consolidation has a negative effect on the credit scores. Enrolling into debt consolidation will always be reflected in your credit history. Most credit repair companies mention that it is difficult to increase your credit score if you are currently working with a debt consolidation program. Your credit scores can be raised after you have paid off the loans and are not currently in any debt consolidation program. Even if you can remove one credit card from the debt consolidation program that can help you increase your credit scores.

2. Higher Payment: Since your payments are made over a longer duration of time i.e. in more number of the years, then you will end up paying more in the long run. One way to prevent this is – if your financial situation has improved, then you can pay off larger sum of money. Most of times there will be no penalty for paying off the debt sooner than the agreed number of months. Before enrolling in a credit card debt consolidation program, you can confirm if there is a penalty or not for paying off the debt sooner than the agreed number of months.

3. Credit cards inactivation: If a credit card payment is enrolled in a debt consolidation program, then that particular card account will be inactivated. i.e., that credit card can no longer be used.

4. Negative Impact on Future Loans: Once you have enrolled in a credit card debt consolidation program, this will remain in your credit history. So, all future loan requests (new credit card applications, home loan, car (automobile) loans etc.) will involve references to your debt consolidation. i.e., the lender will have knowledge about your participation in debt consolidation program. Some people are very uncomfortable about this but it is up to you decide. Your credit history is a private record and will be provided by credit score companies only on a need-to-know basis. If you apply for home loan, then the chances of getting rejected is higher and if you get accepted, then mortgage broker will ask for explanation. Again all these conversations are kept confidential.

So, the question is – when should you consider a credit card debt consolidation? If you are paying high interest rates around 30% on a credit card, you have many credit cards, you are unable to make payments or your are barely able to make just the minimum monthly payments, you are finding it difficult to manage all the payments etc., you must consider signing up for a credit card debt consolidation program. After reading through the advantages and disadvantages mentioned earlier, make decision about signing up or not signing up for credit card debt consolidation program.

How to find a good debt consolidation program / company?

Signing up with the right debt consolidation program is critical for saving money and successfully consolidating your debt. There are a good number of scams in the debt consolidation business so it is in your best interest to proceed cautiously to prevent being victim of a scam. Here are some very good sources of finding the right debt consolidation program.

1. References from friends and relatives: It is best to ask your trusted friends if they have any recommendations for reliable credit card debt consolidation program i.e., if they have enrolled in one of these or know of anyone who enrolled in one and is satisfied. As mentioned before, there are many scams and so with this option, you can feel safe. This should be your first option.

2. Television advertisements: Most of big and established companies run advertisements on TV. These are companies that have a lot of experience and have been successful with debt consolidation. But it is a wise thing to research the company. Look for their website and check for their standing in Better Business Bureau (BBB) and must have been in existence for a few years. Also, search http://ripoffreport.com website for this company – this website where victims of scams post their experiences.

3. Mails: When you are unable to payoff debt on time, you will receive mails from some companies that will offer help with debt consolidation. These companies have permission to access some of your basic information. The good thing here is that your fit their profile of enrollees and that is why you received a mail with their credit card debt consolidation services. As mentioned earlier, research these companies using the same methods described above.

4. Telemarketing phone calls: Typically, telemarketing phone calls that you get is because your debt situation is such that it fits the requirement of their enrollees. If you receive a phone call, remember to never enroll in the first phone call. Note down all the details of this company such as the websites, contact person and phone number to call. Research the company extensively as mentioned above.

5. Online Research: Research the internet for good credit card debt consolidation companies both non profit and profit companies. Once you create a list of possible companies, research the companies extensively. Talk to these companies until you are comfortable about enrolling with them.

For a few months or years, if you can handle the disadvantages of credit card debt consolidation programs, then enroll in a program. Debt consolidation can get you out of your current debt problems and save you a lot of money by lowering your interest rates but if you do not spend judiciously, then you will be back into the same debt problems and this cycle will never end. So the long term solution to debt problems is to change your spending habits and live slightly below your means. Remember you need to manage the money / debt and NOT let the money / debt manage you.

The author Lokesh Kumar is a business owner, investor and has very good financial knowledge. Visit Best Credit Cards and Debt Consolidation website and blog for quality information about credit cards, debt consolidation, credit (FICO) scores and honest reviews of 500+ credit cards.
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