Living Debt Free

August 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Debt & Credit Tips

There is an increasingly widely held impression in society today that in order to get by, you have to get into debt at some time or another. This is actually untrue, but because for many people the alternative seems to be a fairly boring life, they feel that it may as well be the case. However, it is possible to live life debt free if you follow some rules and bear in mind that, eventually, you will find a way to make the best of it and actually enjoy your life. Knowing that you can live a life without debt collectors writing, calling and even knocking on your door really makes a difference.

It will require you to make and stick to a budget. This may sound dull, but when you think about the alternatives – debt collectors generally do not tend to be particularly courteous people – it is something worth doing. When you have money paid to you at the end of the month, write down what you will need to spend. Food, rent or mortgage payments, transport and general housekeeping, as well as bills for electricity, telephone and other necessities – these are essential outgoings. What you have left over is disposable income.

By doing this monthly you will before long arrive at a point where you know automatically how much money you have. Treating yourself or others need not be a thing of the past. Indeed, without monthly credit repayments to meet, you will have more scope to do this. It is a more serene way to live.

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How To Build Good Credit

August 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Debt & Credit Information

Credit comes with pitfalls. We are told this regularly and for many people it seems to be all they ever hear about the process of paying with credit. However, if managed to your advantage, you can make credit cards work for you. Bear in mind that banks and lenders are quick to add charges to accounts when they feel that there is an opportunity to do so – and don’t give them the chance to do it. Do you believe that it costs them that much to administer to your late payment? Of course not – so make sure you are in the driving seat.

To do this, it is a matter of using credit in ways that the bank won’t recommend. The “monthly” payment on your credit card will usually be set at a small percentage of the balance, and the bank will be happy for you to only ever pay that, because you will pay off more than you ever borrow. Interest, plus any charges, will amount to as much money as you borrowed in the first place. However, you can pay more than the monthly payment, so here is how to make it work for you.

When you take out a credit card, use it as you would use an ATM or debit card. Pay for groceries with it when you get your wages at the end of the month, and then instantly pay the balance off in full. For a while, live off credit and use the money that goes into these costs to make payments to your card. Your credit rating will soar. Your bank will offer you better terms. You’ll be in the driving seat.

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How To Turn Things Around

August 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Debt & Credit Information, Featured

It is a very rare kind of person that does not have money problems at some point in your life. It is important to realize in the circumstances that missing a single payment on your credit card does not make you a bad person, a financially reckless individual or a debt risk. This is not because it is fine to miss a credit payment – ideally, it won’t happen to you – but because there is a way back from credit problems. You need to be concentrated on finding that way back and taking it – but as long as you keep a clear head, this is more than manageable.

Missing one credit card payment is unlikely to strip you of a positive credit rating in one fell swoop. What you need to keep in mind is that there are very good reasons to treat your first missed payment as a warning sign. If you fall into longer term problems with debt, it will be much harder to escape them. For this reason you should focus on that payment and tell yourself that it won’t happen again. Pay attention to making the payment when you can, and meeting the next one when it becomes due. By sticking to this promise to yourself you will make it far more likely that the one missed payment was an aberration. If you think that you will have problems making payments going forward, look for alternative solutions such as consolidation or debt management, rather than letting the problem grow.

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Sometimes Counseling Can Help

August 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Debt & Credit Tips, Featured

The word “counseling” is one that can trigger some pretty extreme reactions in people. Given its long association with people under the effects of depression or other mental stresses, it is viewed by many people as being something with a stigma attached to it. However, the simple fact is that counseling can be extremely helpful, and applying yourself to a course of it need not be an admission of weakness – more that you had the strength to admit you needed help. Counseling exists today for far more things than mental stress – although it tends to be used in situations which can be enormously mentally stressful.

Debt counseling is a process that people are using more and more these days, in recognition of the fact that finding yourself unable to make your monthly payments can be an extremely stressful situation. There are many different approaches to debt counseling, a lot of which center around your reasons for ending up in the situation where you have major debt to deal with. If you can address these problems, with the help of a qualified specialist, then you can put yourself on the right track to get rid of your debt once and for all.

Look around for the counselor who you think will help you best, who will understand your reasons for falling into debt and who you think can provide common sense answers to your problems. The situation of having to pay off serious debt is something that can have unreasonable effects on your mental and physical well being. Don’t let it drag you down.

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A Debt Management Plan Could Be Your Salvation

August 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Debt & Credit Tips

Although we as a society have become used to the potential pitfalls of irresponsible lending and borrowing, there are still countless people who have to face a situation where they are placed under extreme pressure to make repayments because unforeseen circumstances interfered with their ability to keep up with the account. If it appears that you are going to be among them, debt management can be the answer – however it is important to be able to differentiate between the debt management plans that work in your favor and those which are out to make a quick buck.

Debt management should, if done correctly, be a way of reducing the debt that you are required to pay by getting in contact with the credit lender and negotiating a stop to interest being placed on your account – along with an agreement not to place late payment fees. Additionally, this process can be paired with a concerted policy of credit repair where an expert will go through your credit file to find the unfair penalties applied and look to overturn them. This means that with time you may be able to borrow again in a situation where it becomes necessary.

Debt management is not ever going to be the most simple process. Banks are tricky to deal with when they feel that they are going to be able to get money out of you one way or another. Think before choosing your debt management partner. The right one can be your pathway to financial security – the wrong one could leave you even worse off.

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Unsecured Credit – You Still May Lose More Than You Gain

August 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Debt & Credit Information

Although there are obvious pitfalls to taking out a mortgage or a new car loan which are not a problem with unsecured credit, there is no doubt that unsecured borrowing can still be a very risky endeavor. Just because the lender cannot repossess your possessions to make good on the loan, this does not mean that you cannot be put in a very risky situation financially. The first thing that will happen when you miss a payment on a loan or credit card is that you will go into the company’s “collections” file and they will pursue you for payment.

As well as entering the collections department, you will find that your credit record will contain the information of your missed payment. There are certain kinds of borrowing that are available to people with perfect credit ratings, including loans that have extremely low interest rates. A black mark on your credit rating will be enough to disbar you from ever qualifying for such lending, and will mean that any credit you do get will be very much on the lender’s terms.

Borrowing money can be the solution to a problem in a number of situations, but it is important to realize that without the continued means to pay the money back you will be placed in a very troublesome situation. Sometimes the best way to deal with the pitfalls of unsecured lending is just not to borrow at all. It may make for a difficult situation, but it will be one without unpleasant letters and phone calls.

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Secured Loans – The Pitfalls

August 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Debt & Credit Free, Featured

Taking out a loan for a small amount to pay for a purchase that is just outside your usual spending power should be quite a manageable situation. If you take the loan out at a reasonable rate of interest over a decent term then you should be able to make the repayments even if you find yourself out of work for a period. However it is a different story if you take out a mortgage to pay for a house, or a car loan. These forms of credit are often “secured” on your purchase, which means that, should you default on the loan, the lender will be able to reclaim the property from you as a way of making their money back.

Secured credit has such pitfalls because, without the possibility of reclaiming their money in this way, banks would need to charge higher rates of interest and keep the term of the loan much shorter than they currently are. This would put the purchase of a house or a new car far outside the range of most people. It is, however, vitally important to be sure that you have a contingency plan should you suddenly lose your job. In such cases, becoming unemployed can also mean becoming homeless.

Further to this, a default on a mortgage can stay on your credit file for some time, meaning that another mortgage any time soon will be an impossibility for you. Take into account all the perils of taking a mortgage before you sign any documents, because the drawbacks to secured credit could be prohibitive.

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Is a Loan the Way To Go?

August 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Debt & Credit Free

In the society in which we live, we all see from day to day people who have possessions which we would like to own for ourselves. Unfortunately, budgetary concerns make this impossible, in some cases. To overcome this situation, more and more people are looking at taking out personal loans as a way of raising the money to fund their purchases. Of course, there are other reasons for taking out loans. Some people take them for business purposes – in order to raise the capital for an acquisition. Others, indeed, will take out loans to consolidate their debts into one big debt with more favorable repayment terms.

Whatever the reason for taking out a loan, it is important to bear in mind that repayments will stay at the same level for the duration of the account. It is important, then, to be completely sure that the amount you pay to a loan will be covered for the life of the loan. Many loans have attached insurance policies (the cost of which is attached to the balance) and if you are unable to work through ill health these can cover the monthly payment. However, you should read the small print on the terms of the insurance policy, because many insurance companies will try everything they can to avoid paying out.

If you are unsure that you will be able to keep up payments, it is essential that you look for other ways to raise the capital you need. As well as seriously infringing upon your daily solvency, poor credit history will affect your ability to get credit in the future.

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Is Life Fantastic With Plastic?

August 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Debt & Credit Free

We in society have become used to using plastic cards to pay for our purchases, because it promises convenience, speed and reassurance about our situation. While today we may not have the money to pay for that stereo or that holiday, a quick call to a bank can be all it takes to allow you to make the purchase one day and worry about paying it off in the future. When used correctly, credit cards can be beneficial for the user, as they allow a situation where you can control the cost of living. They are, it should be said, best used as a kind of progressive weapon against delays. The problem comes when one is used as a shield against debt. The thing they simply fail to offer is thinking time.

With a credit card, you can make a purchase and not have to worry about the money not being there. It is there, it just isn’t yours. As long as you can replenish that money within a suitable time period, no-one will get angry. However, there is no way of the vendor knowing that you will be in a bad position to actually pay for the purchase, and indeed they have no reason to care. It is the bank who will have something to say about it when you fail to make payments that they were expecting you to make. And the thing about that is that banks have a way of making their displeasure very clear indeed.

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Where The Banks Have Gone Wrong

August 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Debt & Credit Free

It would be very simplistic to place the blame for the global financial crisis at the door of one financial sector, or at the feet of any organisation operating within that sector. The reason why the finances of so many major countries are now unstable cannot be pinned down to one thing, but part of it is certainly attributable to unwise lending by banks and other financial institutions. While it could not securely be argued that this was what caused the financial crashes we have seen, there is no doubt that it hasn’t helped.

Quite apart from anything else, there is a sense that risky lending looked like a good idea for the banks and risky borrowing looked like a great idea for the customers up until very recently. For the banks, the idea was that the risks would bear greater rewards as money made more money and for the customers it seemed to be a case of all their Christmases coming at once. As it turned out, there were big warning signs that everyone ignored – leading to the banks having tons of bad debt on their books and the customers being hamstrung in a place where they suddenly had greatly reduced means and a raft of payments to meet.

There are other reasons for this crash, of course, and no-one would try to deny this. But the upshot for most of us is that banks will not be so free with their money, so borrowing from now on has to be extra diligent.

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