Consumer Credit Counseling Makes Debt More Manageable

Jun 28, 2013 by

Being in debt is no walk in the park. People experience financial troubles for all sorts of reasons that are out of their control, and it’s often frustratingly difficult to break the cycle of debt.

With debt consolidation help from an experienced, trustworthy credit counseling service, you can simultaneously shorten your debt repayment schedule and accrue these important benefits.

Lower Interest Rates and Smaller Monthly Payments

Many programs and services that claim to reduce your interest rates and monthly payments actually do just the opposite. Some demand that you sign for expensive loans that can take years to repay and accrue thousands of dollars in interest charges; others require you to put up your home as collateral. This is a risky move that can have many unforeseen consequences.

Choose a debt consolidator that negotiates directly with your creditors in good faith. A reputable provider can secure lower interest rates from each of your creditors and consolidate your debts into a single monthly payment that all parties can accept. With the right debt consolidation help, you’ll pay less interest over time and have more money left over in your monthly budget.

Powerful Knock-On Effects

Reduced interest rates and a simplified monthly payment plan are sure to reduce the financial stress that you feel. A more sustainable budget will give you the breathing room that you need to tackle the other debts you might be facing. Use your debt consolidation savings to pay down your mortgage a little faster or tackle those stubborn student loans that have been accruing interest for years. With the right partner, you’ll never have to deal with debt on your own.

Credit Score Protection

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If you’re dealing with lots of unsecured debt or worry that you might run into financial difficulties in the future, you might be considering a number of different options. Unfortunately, some supposed solutions to debt troubles have dramatic side effects. Avoid too-good-to-be true plans that promise fast relief from debt without any trade-offs at all. Since such plans can cause serious long-term damage to your credit score, they may have unintended consequences that aren’t explained upfront.

Money Management Advice That Lasts a Lifetime

Although it can often feel like you’re up against the world, a nonprofit credit counseling organization like Credit Guard will always have your best interests at heart. In addition to negotiating with your creditors to secure favorable interest rate reductions, fee waivers and repayment terms, a reputable outfit can give you top-notch financial advice that you’ll carry long after your debts are gone. You’ll receive a free call and consultation, ongoing money management advice, and a wealth of information about long-term saving and planning. With these tools in hand, you’ll have all the confidence you need to put your debts behind you.

If you need debt consolidation help from a reputable source and can’t afford to take on additional loans, choose a credit counseling service that works hard to improve your financial health and help you reach your long-term goals.

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Attacking Student Debt

Jun 21, 2013 by

With student loan debt nearly doubling over the past decade, many newly graduating students are feeling the financial pinch. If you’re overburdened with student loan debt, there are several ways to attack it head on, including lengthening the repayment period, changing the repayment period, getting a deferment, getting the loan forgiven or debt consolidation.

Most graduating college students are on a basic repayment plan to repay their students loans within 10 years. Overall, you’ll pay less with the interest compounded for a shorter period of time than with a longer repayment period. However, the monthly payment for a 10-year repayment plan is often too high for many. In that case, it may be better to extend the repayment plan even through it will cost you more in the long run. In order to qualify for an extended repayment plan, you must have more than $30,000 in student loan debt.

If you don’t qualify for an extended repayment plan, you may be able to change the dynamics of repayment. There are different agencies that offer the option of starting out with low payments that gradually increase every two years. This option works well for some who are in low paying jobs but will earn more in the future. These income-based repayment plans are offered for 10 or 25 years and are based on income, family size and state.

Deferment and Forgiveness

If you just can’t afford to pay off your student loans, you can request a forbearance or deferment. This delays the time in which you have to start repaying the student loan. Typically, payment is postpone for up to a year. Deferments are allowed for unemployment, national service, enrollment in school, military deployment and economic hardship. Deferments are also allowed for specific internships, such as dental or medical. Federal student loans can be forgiven with certain kinds of volunteer work. Just keep in mind that private student loan providers may not offer this option.

Debt Consolidation Help

Debt consolidation help is another effective strategy when paying off student loans is a real hardship. Often, college students graduate with several loans at various rates. With debt consolidation, you can lump all of your student loans together and usually grab a low interest rate. The biggest advantage of federal student loan consolidation is that monthly cash flow improves right away. With a low interest rate, you can reduce a student loan payment of $600 a month to $200 a month. Not only do you have a doable payment, the interest rate is locked in. It’s also worth mentioning that student loan interest payments may be tax deductible.

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Attain Good Financial Health with Good Credit Management

Jun 15, 2013 by

Having a good credit score is essential to your overall financial health. A good credit score can enable you to get that home and car that you’ve always dreamed about at good interest rates. It can also help you get lower insurance rates and even that job that you’ve been wanting. It’s amazing how many consumers get blindsided not knowing that prospective employers and car insurance companies keep a careful watch on their credit scores. If you’re struggling with multiple forms of debt like medical bills, auto loans, credit cards or utility bills, it’s important that you take action to maintain a good credit score.

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Get Help from Your Lenders

Don’t be afraid to contact your creditors if you’re falling behind on your financial obligations. Many creditors are more than happy to help resolve your financial problems. You can call your creditors and ask to speak with a financial representative, and just explain your circumstances. They may be willing to be flexible on terms and even readjust the due dates for payment. The point is to call and ask. You won’t know what your options are unless you try.

Credit Counseling Services

There are also non-profit agencies that offer credit counseling services for credit management. Many of these agencies do not charge any upfront fees and can assist you with developing a monthly budget or structuring a repayment plan that is doable. If you need further assistance with managing your debts, the financial counselors at these agencies may help you with debt settlement or debt consolidation. With debt settlement, financial counselors negotiate with your creditors for a lump sum settlement. For example, if you owe a creditor $15,000 a counselor may be able to settle on an agreeable payment of $8,000 to eliminate the debt.

If you opt for debt consolidation from a place like this website, all of your debt can be lumped into one payment and distributed among your creditors. In this situation, your financial counselor will work directly with your creditors to eliminate penalty fees and to negotiate a lower interest rate. Not only are you likely to get an affordable monthly payment, it’s a lot easier to pay just one loan than multiple ones. All around, you’ll be on the road to good credit management, a good credit score and financial freedom.

You’ll also find that many credit counseling services also offer educational programs for money management, budgeting and tips on how to stay out of debt. Taking advantage of these educational programs is one of the best ways to stay out of debt, so you don’t wind up with financial problems again.

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Credit Card Debt: 5 Tips for Avoiding a Problem

Jun 12, 2013 by

Many consumers fail to consider the pitfalls of credit card debt until they’re already in trouble. After all, high schools may teach students how to find the area of a triangle and the folly of Seward’s Alaskan purchase, but they explain little when it comes to real life finance. This means that many young people get their hands on a thousand-dollar credit line before learning how to responsibly handle that kind of power. Predictably, this has led to record highs in consumer debt, leaving millions to look for a way out of the minimum-payment cycle. If you want to avoid this scenario, here are five tips you should remember.

Create (and Follow) a Strict Budget

Financial advisors often recommend living beneath one’s means, but perhaps no other piece of advice is so ignored. There are a few reasons for this, but the main one is that most people have no idea where their means begin and end. To know, you’ll need to create a strict budget based on your income and avoid straying from what you’ve calculated.

Pay Off Balances Quickly

Keeping and using a credit card can improve your credit rating and expand your options when it comes to making big purchases such as a car or a house. That said, carrying around a significant balance for months or years at a time does you no favors. Because of compound interest that balance will grow over time, becoming a little harder to pay off with every passing month.

Watch the Rewards

One of the easiest ways to accidentally get caught up in credit card debt is through the use of reward cards. It’s difficult to refuse the lure of prizes and rebates, but be cautious as you chase those rewards. Many cards hide fees and sudden interest rate hikes, putting their customers in a difficult spot down the line.

Ask for Lower Rates

If you have a good credit record, you might consider asking your credit card company for a lower interest rate. In many scenarios, customer representatives would rather shave a point or two off the rate than lose a customer. If they aren’t willing to play ball, consider looking for a card with lower rates to which you can switch.

Beware of Introductory Rates

Many companies attract customers with the use of introductory rates. There’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of such an offer, but make sure you know exactly when your introductory rates expire. If possible, pay off any balance you are carrying before that time comes.

Even with all of the good intentions in the world, you may find yourself struggling with credit card debt after only a single mistake. If so, don’t panic. Credit consolidators can provide access to counseling and debt elimination programs to those in need. Do what you need to do to get your head above water and go back to the tips above to prevent it from happening again.

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