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Smart Money Debt Pay Off

Where do you find the best financial advice for you and your situation? Valuable information is out there to help you manage your finances and keep your head above water in these troubled times. Too many people got in over their heads, especially in the housing department.

They could buy houses they could not afford. Then those identical houses depreciated, and the people who owned them could not sell them and could no longer afford their payments. Lots of people went into foreclosure because of this.

Very few were able to withstand the bursting of the housing bubble, and the ones who did were well diversified in the investments they held. How do you think they got there? They found the best financial advice for their situation, that’s how.

Good information is always of value and comes in many different varieties; you may have some difficulty getting started. Start in the most logical place, the library. You can check out books and read magazines to help you gain the knowledge you need to help yourself, or you can start with the telephone book and call all the brokers and financial planners listed to have them help you out with your investments.

I think there was a whole generation that was misleading about money and how to handle it. How is it possible that so many people could get into such trouble? One reason may be that we were not taught to prioritize our obligations, and once again, you enticed us to start spending money we did not have. I believe this is the same thing that happened when the big stock market crashed in 1929. People were living on credit, and that type of lifestyle is unsustainable.

Did we learn from our mistakes? I do not think so, and history is destined to repeat itself, which it has, a couple of times in the recent past. How do things get fixed? People go back to the basics and stop spending money they do not have. There is no more false sense of security. Security is found within one’s own family and within the means of that family.

The most significant answer to managing your finances is to learn to prioritize and learn to budget. Set goals and start with the minor bills and work up to the most significant accounts. Do not eat out as much, and try to drive a little less by consolidating your shopping trips. Do not be running all over creation every day—plan to visit several stores all at once in one day to save gas. Map out your route to minimize the gas you use, also.

The best financial advice is to create a budget you can live with, stick to it and avoid using credit for those things you could pay cash for. Letting credit get out of control can cause a significant big headache and completely ruin your credit score for things you may need in the future, like a house or car. Use it wisely, or better yet, not at all.

Best Debt Reduction Methods

Let’s be blunt…debt sucks! While that word may not be the most professional, it certainly sums it up nicely. The sad part is that being in debt isn’t really your fault. You had every intention of paying what you owe, but then something happened. Perhaps you had a medical emergency, or you lost your job. Whatever the case may be, you are now looking for the best debt reduction method for your situation.

That’s an important thing to keep in mind: it’s your situation. Therefore, what may have worked for somebody else may or may not work for you. Their level of debt may differ, they probably have a different financial profile, and their money habits most likely vary from yours. Of course, their method could work, but you should consider it carefully before you jump into it.

That being said, just about any type of debt reduction can work. The only thing that differs is the person trying to follow it. With that in mind, here are a few options for you to consider.

1. Debt consolidation. This is where you combine all of your various debts into one enormous debt. On the surface, that may sound like you are only creating one big problem for yourself, but there’s more to it. Consolidating debt is such an attractive option because you can get a lower overall rate, and you will also have one payment to deal with instead of several. The downside is that you have to be disciplined enough to run up your debt again with your money. If you can keep from doing that, then this may be an excellent choice for you.

2. Balance transfers. If you have many credit cards with high interest rates, then transferring the balances to lower rate cards could be your best debt reduction option. However, it would be best if you were careful to read all of the fine print. For example, some credit cards will charge you a fee for making a transfer to their card. Others will charge a low introductory fee, which will go up after a set amount of time. That doesn’t mean the offers are bad, but it means you need to understand all of the terms and conditions before making a transfer.

3. Debt settlement. If you have fallen way behind on making payments and your debt is spiraling out of control, then debt settlement may make more sense for you. You can do this yourself or hire a qualified agency to do it for you. You (or your representative) will deal directly with each of your creditors to get them to lower how much you owe. It’s typical to save 25% to 50%, and that really adds up. Again, this is the best debt reduction for those who are far behind on their payments, as your creditors will take a minor loss on what you owe if they think you otherwise could pay nothing at all.

Best Saving Accounts What Must You Look For

Most people begin their financial journey by opening a regular account for nothing more than depositing and issuing checks. The version they are opening now is an instrument of savings. Many of these people allow money to remain in these accounts until it reaches a particular amount, and then they begin looking at options for saving accounts.

It is needless to mention why people would want the best saving accounts they can get at this stage because their financial life is almost on the verge of or already has become stable.

Probably you are contemplating opening a saving account too. If you are doing that, there are certain things you must look for. One of the first things you have to remember is that the bank where you have your regular account is not necessarily the bank with the best saving accounts. With a saving account, the stakes are higher because banks have to pay you interest on the deposits that you make. Naturally, the bank that can provide you the best rate of interest will be the best saving account bank for you. But there are some other considerations to make here.

Here we list the four essential points you have to look at when scouting for banks that can provide the best saving accounts.

  • (i) The first thing you have to look at is naturally the rate of interest. Since it is the bank that will pay you the good, you have to select the bank that provides you the highest interest rate. This should be one of the primary points that you should be looking at, but certainly, it should not be the only point.
  • (ii) The second thing you need to check is the amount that the bank requires you to deposit to open the account. Different financial institutions have other limits here, and hence you need to ask them personally or check their written brochures.
  • (iii) Since these are savings accounts, you will need to keep some amount in the bank each month. This amount is called a minimum deposit. It acts as a kind of security for the bank and helps you to save that amount of money, adding more meaning to the concept of savings accounts. But you have to see if you can afford to keep this minimum deposit with the bank because if your total deposited amount goes more minor than this, you will have to pay an additional charge.
  • (iv) There may also be a limit on the number and the number of withdrawals you make from the savings account. See if that meets your needs. With some banks, you can make more withdrawals than the number that they allow, but you will have to pay an additional charge for that.
  • (v) One more point that you have to check is the notice period before you can make a withdrawal, which is typical of most savings accounts. If this period stretches out too long (in some banks, it could be as many as three months), the report may not be suitable for your needs.

Hence, choosing the best saving accounts is not a very easy task because there are several things that you need to consider. But being aware of what you need to look at, you are liable to make a better decision.

Bill Consolidation Loans - Should You Get One

Bill consolidation loans can seem like the answer to your prayers if you struggle with making your monthly repayments. But if you take one out, what is the total cost of the bill? Consolidations loans are the same as any other loan when deciding whether or not they are suitable for you.

It sounds great the way the banks and loan companies promote bill consolidation loans. Just one small monthly repayment covers all your outstanding debts. In some cases, that is very true, but every case is different, and you have to do your checking to make sure you will be better off.

It is important to remember that you are taking the existing balances of your bills and spreading them over the new loan term. So you need to sit down with pen and paper and work out how much will add to the interest. Will it be worthwhile saving that you make each month on your existing repayments over how much you pay in the long term.

Of course, suppose you are consolidating bills from credit cards. In that case, you will probably find that the lower interest rate will make a considerable saving in both the monthly repayment and the overall cost of the loan. Just don’t make assumptions, though. Check it out carefully. It’s your cash that we are talking about here, and no one will take care of it better than you.

Another thing for you to keep in mind is that you should shop around for the best deal. And don’t hesitate to haggle a bit with the banks and loan companies. Play them off against each other. No matter how good their offer sounds, always tell them that you will need to think about it.

That not only does that make you sound financially responsible, but it allows you to go back to other lenders and say, hey, I’ve been offered this by ABC Bank. Can you beat it? Of course, if they tell them you will get back to them and go back to ABC Bank and say XYZ Bank has offered me this, can you beat it?

Think they won’t go for it? Don’t be so sure. There’s still plenty of room for negotiation in bill consolidation loans.

Business Debt Reduction

Business debt reduction is something a lot of companies need to take seriously and take action on. It’s one thing for a business owner to say they understand the importance of having less debt and a healthier bottom line and another for them to take the steps needed to make it happen.

Let’s face it; many businesses carry some debt; it’s almost impossible not to. However, if that debt gets out of control or too much of it is being taken, it can affect every aspect of business operations. For one thing, it can make you more of credit risk, so any new debt you have to take on–no matter how temporary–will cost you that much more. To put it in its simplest terms, the less obligation you have as a business, the better.

But what about using debt as a write-off on your taxes? That’s a fair question, but the answer isn’t as easy as most people assume. Yes, you may be able to get a tax break if you have debt, but that’s only if you look at the smaller picture. Business debt reduction is about looking at the big picture, which means figuring out all of the numbers.

It would be best if you considered all of the ramifications of having business debt. How much will your business credit rating suffer? How much higher will your tax burden be if you do pay off your debt? For what else could you be using the money that’s currently tied up in debt? Could you invest that money in other ways and have a more significant return? Will, all of this be enough to offset any tax savings you may realize?

Now the truth is that it may be possible that your business could be one of those rare cases that come out further ahead if it has a certain level of debt. It would be best if you only made this decision after going over all of the numbers very carefully. However, the chances are good that you will be among the majority that can benefit from business debt reduction.

You can start to reduce your business debt by contacting the people you owe money to. See if they are willing to reduce the amount you owe. Now, you should do everything you can to pay the principal because the place you are in debt to is in business to make money, too. However, if there are any late fees, finance charges, or other penalties, those are good negotiation points.

The next step is to reduce unnecessary expenses. Keep in mind that you do have a business to run, so you need to be careful about trimming costs. Marketing and advertising are the lifeblood of any business, so be especially cautious when cutting any expenses related to them. Of course, there could be overlapping costs, and those would be safe to get rid of. Look at all aspects of your operations and be smart about any business debt reduction you do.

Can Credit Repair Programs Help

Credit repair programs can be inexpensive, or they can cost $1000 or more. Much of the cost difference depends on which schedule you choose and how much debt you have. If you’re very far behind, a program could cost a couple of thousand dollars. Yet, some credit repair programs can cost very little, especially those used by specific creditors.

When you’re trying to decide if you should look into a credit repair program, consider how hard it will be for you to get out of debt. A credit repair program may fix inaccuracies on your credit report, or it could help you with a system of repayment.

Some credit repair programs are designed for people who are struggling with crushing debt. These people may need someone to negotiate with their creditors for lower balances, lower interest, or more.

Some programs can arrange for you to pay only a little more than half of what you owe. Other programs help settle your debts for less and may also negotiate for no more interest on what you owe. Some programs may combine smaller balances and no or low interest, which can help you get your debts paid off.

If you really can’t make your payments on time or feel that you’re slipping under, a program could work for you. If you can keep up with your payments and keep paying the balances down, then that’s your best option. Any other options like credit counseling or credit repair programs do leave dings on your credit.

That’s because credit counseling programs may require the cards to be canceled. Several canceled cards with outstanding balances can hurt your credit score. And arranging smaller proportions through programs for credit repair can hurt your credit because the charge-off amount will show.

Credit repair programs can help you in the long run, however. It’s better to have a charge-off than months of late payments and missed payments. Also, if you’re unable to make your payments on time, your amount of available credit is probably shrinking as the late fees add up.

When your credit cards reach their limit, and you have less and less credit available, your credit score will suffer. When you have debt that equals too much of your available credit, it’s known as a bad debt/credit ratio. It can even make the interest rates on cards you do pay on time go up.

If you have many canceled cards at once, it leaves you with a lot of debt and no available credit. This is why credit counseling is not always a good option for your credit score.

It would be best if you did everything you can to resolve your credit problems on your own. But if you can’t, it’s better to get help than keep missing payments or making them late. This will hurt you more than anything in the long wrong.

Each late payment is another month your credit score can’t start to improve. Look into credit repair programs before you do more damage.


Credit Card Debt Services

Many credit card debt services are available, most of which are designed to help you cope with your credit card debts and get them back under your control. Depending on your level of debt, check what kind of credit card debt services you require before you sign on for any program.

You should also be aware of the services you’ll be getting and how much you can expect to be charged for those services. Be sure that you’re applying for the right credit card debt services for your situation.

Credit Counseling Services

Financial credit counseling is perhaps the simplest form of credit card debt service. Certified counselors are trained to look at your financial situation and then help you find ways to adjust your current budget. They’ll also work with you as you learn how to take control of your financial obligations responsibly.

In many cases, credit counseling could be the perfect solution for many people because you’re not just learning how to reduce your debt effectively and adequately. Still, you’re also learning valuable financial literacy that can help you avoid getting into the same financial mess again in the future.

Debt Consolidation Services

Many debt consolidation companies offer credit card debt services in the form of consolidation loans. They aim to refinance your current credit card balances and roll them into a consolidation loan often charged at lower interest rates. Your old repayments stop, and you only have one easy refund to think about each month that is usually much lower than your old payments.

While it appears that all your credit cards have been paid out and your payments have been reduced, it’s essential to look at your overall level of debt. Many people who apply for debt consolidation loans through credit card debt services find that they owe more than they did after the loan is established.

This is usually because some of your old creditors may have added penalty interest or overdue fees to your balances. Still, it may also be because the company you’re working with may have also added their costs to your debt balance. While you might feel that you’re paying less each month, you may have increased the amount you owe. Always check how you will pay the company you’re working with.

Debt Negotiation Services

Credit card debt services exist for those clients who haven’t made any payments on their credit cards for several months. If this sounds like you, then you might consider applying for a debt negotiation program.

Companies offering debt negotiation, or debt settlement, work with you to negotiate with your creditors on your behalf in an attempt to get the lender to settle for a smaller amount of money as payment in full for your outstanding credit card debt balances. This works best on unsecured debts like credit cards, and you should be able to show the company that you haven’t made repayments for at least a couple of months.

In many cases, credit card debt services using negotiation as a tool to reduce your debt can often get your creditors to agree to accept 40-50% of the original debt amount. This can be a significant debt reduction for many people.

Credit Cards - Switch and Save

With today’s high cost of living, consumers are looking for ways to cut corners. Switching to low-interest rate credit cards is an excellent way for consumers to increase their buying power while saving money. Here’s how.

Interest Rates

If you plan on carrying a balance on your credit card and who doesn’t get it these days then the interest rate associated with that card becomes extremely important. The higher the speed, the more you will have to pay for using the card for your purchases.

Think about it; when you purchase a $1,200 TV using a credit card with a 24% APR, you will spend $576 in interest if you pay off that purchase over two years. If you purchase that same TV with a low-interest credit card that has an APR of 11%, you will spend just $264 in the same period. That’s a savings of $312. Now, apply that savings to all of your large and small purchases, and you can see how low-interest rates credit cards can save you money.

Balance Transfers

You can also save money with a low-interest credit card if you use it for balance transfers. A balance transfer is when you use your low rate card to pay off your high-interest rate credit cards. This can save you big money depending on the rate of the card that you are paying off. As demonstrated by the above example, cutting your APR in half can drastically cut your interest paid overtime.

Credit cards with low interest not only save you money in the long run, but they can also free up cash every month.

Minimum payments are based on a percentage of the total you owe on the card. A lower interest rate and a resulting lower balance equal lower monthly payments each month.

Pay Off Debt Faster

Low-interest credit cards make it easier and faster to pay off your credit card debt. As previously mentioned, you can use credit cards to complete balance transfers. When you transfer balances from your high rate cards, your debts will get a lower interest rate. So if you continue to pay the same amount each month that you were paying under the higher rate cards, you will pay your debts in full much faster.

For example, say you had a $1,000 balance on a 21% APR card. Minimum monthly payments for that card were $40; making just the monthly payments would mean that it would take you seven years and 11 months to pay off the card. If you were to do a balance transfer to a low-interest credit card with an APR of 9.9% but continued making the same $40 monthly payment, you would pay off the debt in 6 years instead. That’s paying off the debt almost two years earlier while still saving big money.

So, what are you waiting for? Get rid of those high-interest rates and start saving!

Credit Clean Up: Make a Plan for the Future

Credit clean-up can be a daunting task, especially when you do not know which direction to go. Once you have taken on paying off debt, adding excellent accounts, and disputing the incorrect information on your credit report, the time sets a plan into action for the future to avoid getting yourself into the same financial mess.

A project can be a simple as giving yourself some ground rules around spending and money management or as intense as hiring a money manager or freezing your credit cards. You need to think about the methods it will take to get you into a habit and practice of spending smart and efficiently.

You should respect money; after all, you work hard for it, and you should enjoy life with it, within reason.

Many people live above their means and often have such a hard time reeling back in after a financial crisis, but planning for the future does not mean depriving yourself of all the things you love or time out with your friends; in fact, it shouldn’t.

If you deprive yourself of dieting, you are more prone to failure than if you learn a more healthy approach.

While you were working through your debt pay-off plan and other aspects of debt management, there should have been a period when you kept track of your daily spending to see where your money was going and how you could conserve and pull from that to pay off the debt.

You should remove this list out now and take a look at it in a different light. Before, you were living from the list, taking everything for granted, and during your pay-off time, you lived without any extras and incomplete deprivation; now is the time to find balance.

Through iniquity, you should have to build a more solid sense of what is essential and what is not. Do you need to spend $7 a day on an iced mocha when trying to lose weight? No way, you are sabotaging yourself and wasting money. Even if you don’t drink coffee, you understand the point.

Go back through the list and star the unnecessary things and that you have learned to live without and highlight the little things you missed. If the items you missed are still hard on your monthly budget, then look for ways to cut them down a bit.

If you can’t live without a salon visit for hair and nails, instead of going once a week, go once every two weeks instead. Stylists and nail technicians all know ways to make your cut and manicure last longer. Take advantage of this and save a little money.

Now that you know what areas you can survive without and how to make your money stretch so that you live within your means, you can relax a little and continue on your journey toward a brighter financial future.

With a few minor changes and some self-discipline, you can find a way to start new healthy spending habits and get rid of the old. This will round out your credit clean-up work and help you to avoid falling into the same situation in the future. Plus, wouldn’t it be great to save for that dream vacation?

Credit Clean Up: Paying Off Debt

Cleaning up your credit can seem a little daunting and overwhelming when you are first looking for a way out from under your debt. Before embarking on your journey of debt recovery, there are some things you need to know to make the process easier and more successful.

One of the critical ways to cleaning up your credit is to pay off your debt. A debt payoff plan is the best way to start working toward a future without obligation. A few steps toward forming a debt payoff plan can make the process a good one. Those steps are as follows and should be considered when putting together your payoff plan.

Step 1: The first things you need to do are get a grasp of your debt level and face it head-on. You need to order and print them out. You can call them on the Equifax and other credit reporting agency websites, and then you can print them out. Printing them is the best way to handle it because you can then spread everything out in front of you and get a good look at the items on there.

Also, pull all your recent statements and bills and put them on the table or work surface with your credit reports. If you are more about computers, use Excel to create the following list and formulate a cell for a total at the bottom or top of the list.

The list should include the creditor, creditor contact information, due date, monthly payment, interest rate, and current balance. Cross-check the data you pull from your bill pile with that from your credit reports to make sure there are no doubles and that the information is the most up-to-date as possible. 

Step 2: Next, you need to highlight or star the accounts with the highest balances (top five) and the highest interest rates. These are your most detrimental accounts. These are the accounts you want to focus your extra money and attention on.

Remember, though, that you still need to pay the minimums on your other bills while concentrating on the larger accounts one at a time. This will keep you from defaulting further and getting more into trouble.

Step 3: You should always attempt to negotiate and pay off companies if you have the resources. If you have access to a lump sum or have close to the balance of the accounts, you need to get on the phone, negotiate down the debt with them, and offer them a settlement. This can get rid of debt quickly while still saving you money. If some of your creditors are unwilling to budge on balance, ask for a lower interest rate.

These are all ways to help you find the best way to pay off your debt, and when used together, you can have the best success in forming a debt payoff plan that you can stick with and find success with.

Paying off debt is a big task, and it will take tenacity and strive to see it through to the end, but when you get there, the push and drive will be replaced by pride and relief and hopefully a renewed sense of respect for credit and the money you make.

Smart Money Debt Pay Off

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