Improve Your Finances with Consumer Credit Counseling

Oct 10, 2013 by

consumer credit counseling can help protect your money

Like many Americans, you may have high credit card debt. This situation is not unusual, so you don’t have to feel ashamed of it. There is help out there, and it’s called credit management.

You credit situation is very important to many aspects of your life. If future employers ask to do a credit check before you can qualify for a new job, a low credit score could prevent you from gaining the position. When you apply to rent an apartment, the manager will also do a credit check. If the report shows that you have several negative entries, it may be difficult to find someone who will agree to rent to you.

The Point of Credit Management

You could benefit from credit management if you fit into the description above. You may have heard that you can obtain a free credit report every year from each of the three major credit bureaus, but you may not know what you need to do with these reports. Your counselor will start by showing you how to obtain these reports.

After you get your credit reports, you also need to know how to read them. A consumer credit counseling plan from a place like CreditGuard is instrumental in helping people understand what is written in these documents. There may be errors that are driving your scores down. Once you learn whether or not this is the case, your counselor can help you correct them.

Learning What Your Rights Are

The credit industry is regulated by the government, and there are laws that protect you and your rights. If you are having a problem in any area and someone is violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act, your counselor can inform you of this fact and help you ensure that others are reporting the correct information about you.

Discovering How to Increase Your Credit Scores

Entering into consumer credit counseling is one way you can learn how to improve your credit score. Your counselor will help you set up a budget that allows you to establish a good payment history. With this accomplished, your credit scores will begin to rise.

read more

Credit and Debt Management

Sep 27, 2013 by

Many people carry debt, and debt management is a skill that most of us have to learn as we go forward in life. Whether you’ve acquired your debts in service of your education, to pay for medical emergencies, auto repairs or simply to pay for necessities like groceries, you may need a little help managing it all. If after consideration you feel that you could use some help to pay down your credit cards faster or get lower monthly payments, debt consolidation might be the solution for you.

What is Debt Consolidation?

According to companies like CreditGuard, as a debt management program consolidation is one of the lowest-risk options that still provides a sizable reward in terms of savings over time. By consolidating all of your monthly payments into a single low-interest payment, you save thousands of dollars in interest over the terms of your loans. Some consumers have reported paying off their credit cards and other debts much sooner than they would have otherwise done.

Debt consolidation is NOT a new loan. Remember that if a company asks to take out a new loan, it might not be in your best interest. New loans could lead to credit score reductions. Instead of taking out a debt consolidation loan, what you want is a debt management company that will make payments to your credit cards and other unsecured loans each month on your behalf.

You only have to make the single monthly payment, which is often less than or equal to what you’d otherwise have to pay. The difference is that more of your money is going toward the principal, letting you pay down your debts that much faster. This will subsequently improve your credit score that much faster.

Managing Your Debt Permanently

While debt consolidation programs offer a way to get out of your current debt more quickly, there are permanent debt management strategies that you can learn through credit counseling. Many organizations offer consolidation and counseling under the same roof, with the aim being that consolidation is for the present while counseling is for the future. Counseling will give you the tools you need to make budgets, save for the future, invest wisely and develop five- and ten-year plans to ensure your financial security.

read more

How You Can Get Out Of Debt

Aug 28, 2013 by

save money and get out of debt

Non-profit debt consolidation programs are the way to go if you have debt problems and need to fix them quickly. Sometimes, debt piles up due to unforeseen circumstances – medical bills, car troubles, emergency home repairs or family emergencies. If just making the minimum payments concerns you because of the time it will take to pay off your debts, consider debt consolidation.

A debt consolidation service will significantly reduce the amount of time it will take you to pay off your debts. You can also save thousands of dollars in interest fees by consulting with non-profit debt consolidation programs. All you have to do is get started.

How Debt Consolidation Works

Debt consolidation can help you get out of debt save you money because of the unique nature of the service. They will use their clout to negotiate with creditors to lower your interest rates, waive fees and reduce minimum monthly payments. On top of that, they will pay all of your outstanding personal loans and credit cards on time. All you have to do is pay the consolidation provider an affordable payment every month. This ensures that not only will you not miss a payment, but your credit score will go up, making you eligible for even lower interest rates over time.

Debt Consolidation and Credit Counseling

In addition to giving you the immediate relief that comes with lowering your debt service payments, non-profit debt consolidation programs like CreditGuard of America also help you get out of debt by providing credit counseling. A counselor will sit with you, go over your financial situation and help you construct a budget outlining your monthly expenditures. Your counselor will show you where your money is going and give you practical tips for how to be more frugal and live within your means.

Credit counselors will also help you learn how to read the fine print in credit card offers. While ideally you will not need to use credit cards, you should also be able to tell the difference between offers you can temporarily afford and ones that you should run away from at all costs.

Consolidation and credit counseling are two sides of the service provided by non-profit debt consolidation programs. These programs offer you a way to get out of debt and stay out of debt. As long as you follow their suggestions, you will be in good financial shape.

read more

Debt Consolidation Programs for Payday Loan Debt

Jul 30, 2013 by

Payday loans were meant to help keep you out of financial difficulties, but they can have the opposite effect and create a much more difficult financial hole for you. If you obtained a payday loan that you couldn’t pay back on time, you may have taken out another one to pay back the first. If you continued on this cycle, you may have several payday loans that are impossible for you to pay back.

What Debt Consolidation Programs Are Not

You may have heard of debt consolidation programs for people in credit card debt, but you can enter into these programs with payday loan debts. First, you must understand what debt consolidators cannot do.

Debt consolidators are not lawyers, so they will not be able to give you legal advice. They also are not part of a collections agency, so they will not purchase your debt. When you hire a debt consolidator, you will not meet with her on a regular basis.

Debt consolidation programs with a non profit company like Credit Guard are not debt consolidation loans. Your debt consolidator will not suggest that you take out a home equity loan and will not assist you in this area if this is what you decide to do. If you determine that the only option for you is bankruptcy, your debt consolidator will not be able to help in this arena either, but you may be able to obtain a referral to a good bankruptcy attorney.

Debt consolidation programs are also known as debt management programs. Your consolidator will not settle your debt for a lower amount. Consolidators can reduce the balance by asking your creditors to waive late fees and penalties, but they will not ask your creditors to accept an amount of money that is lower than the amount that you owe. However, your consolidator will seek to lower your payments by asking your creditors to lower your interest rates.

What Is Possible on a Debt Consolidation Program?

Debt consolidation programs offer people the help of useful credit counselors who will seek to eliminate your debts and also offer you money management advice. In your first meeting with a debt consolidator, you will find out if the program is right for you. If so, the consolidator will make a new offer to each of your creditors for an amount that you can easily pay each month. They do this by asking for a lower interest rate on your debts.

The Benefits of Debt Consolidation Programs

Once you find that your monthly payments are lower and easier to pay every month, you will immediately begin to enjoy life again. You will save a lot of money on interest over the years, and it will take much less time for you to re-pay these debts in full. If you were receiving calls from collections agencies, these will stop. You may even begin to save money so that you will never need to take out a payday loan again.

If you take out a debt consolidation loan, you will not eliminate your debts quickly. A better solution is the debt consolidation program that will reduce your debts to zero in less time than you could have imagined.

read more

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.

read more