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September, 2009:

Control Your Credit Card Debt to Control Your Life

Credit card debt is becoming more and more prevalent, especially for those who are struggling to make ends meet. And, the more they use them, the deeper they bury themselves in debt.
Even though credit cards can be convenient to use, they must be used with care. It is all too easy to get into trouble with them. They are essential in building a good credit history, but you should be controlling your credit card use; it should not be controlling you. When you are over your head in debt, using even more credit can be the worse thing you can do. Gain control over your life by controlling your debt.
When you are trying to pay of a card, it is important to not charge anything more on it. The interest alone will make it difficult to pay off. And, never, never be late on making payments. Late payments will add another $30 to $50 fee to your owed amount. You will also have your interest rate raised if you are late with payments. Unfortunately, even just one late payment can cause a credit card company to raise its interest rate. This, in turn, makes it more difficult to pay off. Late payments will also be detrimental to your credit score.
You should have a plan for paying your bills. If you have a bill paying plan, you know exactly when each bill needs to be paid so that you are never late with a payment. Everyone needs to set up a budget; not just people who are deeply in debt. Look at your income and balance it with your expenses. First, be sure that you have enough money to make the minimum payment for each credit card. Once you have the basic payment schedule set, put aside any extra money to pay on ONE of the credit cards. When that card is paid off, take all of the money you were paying on that card and apply it to the next one.
There are software and spreadsheet computer programs that can help you decide which credit card you should pay off first. Normally, it is best to pay off the one that costs you the most money – the one with the highest interest rate. Just make sure that you are paying the minimum on all of the other debts that you owe. And, don’t forget about your day-to-day expenses like rent and food.
When you are trying to get out of debt, you will have to cut down on other expenses. Dinners at fancy restaurants and things like book club memberships will take money away from your main goal: to get out of debt. Use your common sense in deciding what is REALLY a necessity and what is not.
Pay attention to your credit card statements. The company could be charging you additional fees for owning the card (a membership fee) or for credit protection. If you are being charge these fees, cancel the card. Yes, you can cancel it even if there’s a balance owing. The company will keep the account open until it is paid off but other fees (except interest fees) will be discontinued.
Talk to your creditors and tell them if you are having trouble making payments. Ask them to lower the interest rate. They might just say “yes.” After all, they want to get paid. Not all companies will do this but you won’t know unless you ask. Remember, the lower the interest rate, the quicker the card will be paid off.
Take control of your credit card debt. You will also be taking that first step in taking control of the rest of your life.

Get Debt-Free with Debt Consolidation

Within this short guide you’ll find the most important online financial options available for you. There are financial products for every credit situation and this guide will explain all you need to know before you start your search.

Consolidate your debt with a Loan
There are many loan options for those who want to consolidate their debt. If you own a home you can consolidate by applying for an equity loan. The equity you’ve build on your home will provide all the finance that you need to cancel your outstanding loans and other debts. You can also refinance your home mortgage for a larger amount than the outstanding mortgage loan and use the extra cash to cancel the remaining loans, bills, credit card balances and other debts.
Though harder to qualify for, you can also apply for an unsecured loan. This kind of loans let you consolidate your debt by using the money to repay credit card balances, loans and bills without having to use an asset as collateral avoiding the risk of repossession.

Debt Consolidation Agencies
There are also certain agencies and professionals that can negotiate with your creditors so as to lower the interest rates, extend repayment schedules and sometimes, even cut a considerable percentage of your debt that can reach up to a 60%.
Usually this companies and professionals charge a small fee for their services, considering the large amount of money they will be helping you save, it’s not such a big sacrifice. Besides the fact that you’ll get a cut in the interests you pay for finance, the most important thing is that you’ll be paying down the loans principal and thus, reducing progressively your debt till you become debt-free.
Consolidating Debt will provide fresh air to your credit situation and will solve the problem of harassing calls from debt collectors. There are many alternatives for debt consolidation but as any other financial decision a lot of thinking must be done and rushing in is not a wise choice.

Mary Ann Wise, a professional consultant with more than twenty years in the financial field, is currently committed to helping people in the process of securing personal loans, mortgage, refinance or consolidation loans and preventing consumers from falling into the hands of fraudulent lenders. In one of her websites: http://www.badcreditloanservices.com you will find more useful tips and interesting articles on this subject and other financial related topics.
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Easy Steps to Rebuild your Credit With Debt Consolidation

You want to eliminate debt and you are considering a debt consolidation personal loan. You should know that getting this type of loans is not easily achieved. Your credit rank and credit history may compromise your ability to get a loan. In fact a small number of people do qualify for this kind of loans. There are however ways to eliminate debt with fewer requirements.

Unless you suddenly come across a legacy, there are not many chances that you will be receiving a large amount of money out of nowhere. You could of course ask for a home loan or refinance the mortgage on your home if you have already done so but there are many fees involved in this kind of transactions and you may not end up with the kind of money you were hoping for. Home Equity Loans

A smarter option would be to seek a Home Equity Lender. Home equity loans are easier to qualify for, the interest rates are also low and the lending process is faster too. An increase on the value of your home or simply the continued payments of your mortgage might have build equity on your home. You can turn this into fresh money by applying for this kind of loans. Moreover equity loans have very low fees or are even fee-free, which makes this definitely a better option compared to refinancing your mortgage.

The difference between the overall value of the property and the remaining of your mortgage debt is called equity. The amount of money you can borrow when you request a home equity loan depends on the equity on your home. And you will be able to get as much money as you need up to this limit. Pay Off And Avoid New Debt

In order to reduce your debts you can use the cash you get from a home equity loan to cancel your credit cards debt, pay bills, pay store cards, etc. Paying is the best way to rebuild your credit and remember to avoid getting into more debt and increasing your spending once you get the relief from this new sum.

Moreover, the monthly payments of the loan you request to consolidate your debt will contribute to raising your credit score as they will be recorded into your credit report. If you avoid missing payments or paying late, there soon be no stains in your credit history and you will recover your ability to get finance with lower interest rates, larger amounts and longer repayment programs. Budgeting

You should always follow a budget and make sure your income-spending ratio stays on track. Otherwise you will find yourself worst than at the beginning of this process and you may be seriously risking bankruptcy, ruining your credit for many years.

Melissa Kellett is an expert loan consultant who has worked for twenty years in the financial industry and helps people to repair their credit and get approved for home loans, unsecured personal loans, student loans, consolidation loans, car loans and many other types of loans and financial products. If you want to learn more about <a href="http://www.speedybadcreditloans.com/unsecured-debt-consolidation-loan.html” rel=”nofollow”><a href="http://www.speedybadcreditloans.com/free-online-debt-consolidation.html” rel=”nofollow”>Debt Consolidation Loans and <a href="http://www.speedybadcreditloans.com/free-online-debt-consolidation.html” rel=”nofollow”>Debt Consolidation you can visit her site http://www.speedybadcreditloans.com/
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How To Be Debt Free Within 5 Years

Although debt is nothing new, increasing numbers of people are finding themselves in this predicament which causes a great deal of stress. It is now possible for special finance companies to arrange an emergency debt relief loan which combines all outstanding loans into one with a lower monthly repayment. Companies that set themselves up this way also help with the payments to lenders as high interest rates and charges mount up and provide other options to help with the situation.
The sooner this situation is rectified the better because the money owed will continue to mount and it could reach the situation where the only option left is bankruptcy which will make repairing a persons credit history that much harder. As a rule, those individuals that approach emergency debt relief companies are likely to be the high risk people that tend to overspend and may have a poor credit history. Often the problem is just one of spiraling interest rates which cannot be controlled by the person in debt.
Once these emergency debt relief agencies are involved they can assist with negotiations with credit card companies and other debtors, sometimes helping to lower the amounts owed, thereby reducing the overall burden. Educational programs based around finance and improving personal financial management are also run to help people not repeat past money problems. These debt relief systems are designed to get the debtor and the creditor talking so that a resolution to the situation can be found which benefits both parties normally by organizing a single repayment.
Personal information security is always a concern but there should be no cause for concern as each individual’s personal data is protected by state laws. Becoming debt free does not come easy but if a person follows the proper procedure and works at the emergency debt relief program then they should become free of money problems within a few short years. By canceling the credit card and finding another card with a lower rate of interest, savings on monthly payments can be made; providing the credit card is not used and cash only purchases made, it will help maintain the monthly budget.
Each person knows exactly how much money is due for payment each month so must learn to keep a check on this spending then when spare cash is available, a little extra can be paid off; ensuring early payments to creditors are made wherever possible. You really only need one credit card so if you have more, cancel those with the highest interest rates, then eventually you will only have one monthly amount to pay. This situation can take anything up to five years to clear but can be reduced if you are meticulous in your desire to end the debt problem and rebuild your credit history thereby putting an end to being in debt.

Leo Jones has been researching how to relief debt at any time of life. For further information on how to free yourself from debt visit:

http://debtfree4u.wordpress.com/debtrelief
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Get Rid Of Debt Problems

Being in debt seems to be a constant companion of most people these days and sometimes it may feel as if it will never end but there are ways to eliminate debt that almost anyone can pursue. However, emergency debt relief is an option that many people now face where their debts are consolidated into one which should mean that monthly payments are lowered. With only one loan to pay, this can be a lifeline to the millions now faced with this situation; lowering the amount they pay out regularly each month.
It is important to address the money problem before it escalates out of control, damaging your credit history and possibly leading to bankruptcy as well. Often the problem has been caused by overspending over a period of time, making an emergency debt relief loan the only viable option left if they want to retain their credit rating. Rising interest rates can also cause this situation where previously the debts were able to be paid comfortably.
A number of emergency debt relief services can be provided which can help with reducing the payments made to credit card companies and other loans you may have. Courses are also run for people in financial trouble to help them deal with their finances in the future by enabling them to set themselves financial targets that are more realistic. Counselors who work on debt relief programs are usually able to act as an intermediary and arrange for the loans or credit cards to be paid and stop any further interest rate rises.
To ensure that a person’s details are not sold to non-authorized companies and organizations, each state is governed by a fraud act which forbids divulging personal information. Do not think for one moment that any of this is an easy option because there will be challenges to face and emergency debt relief only comes to those who are at the end of their tether; but it does mean that you have the chance to reclaim your financial well-being back in a reasonable time frame. By canceling the credit card and finding another card with a lower rate of interest, savings on monthly payments can be made; providing the credit card is not used and cash only purchases made, it will help maintain the monthly budget.
Each person knows exactly how much money is due for payment each month so must learn to keep a check on this spending then when spare cash is available, a little extra can be paid off; it is always a good habit to pay early and not wait for the final reminder each time. You really only need one credit card so if you have more, cancel those with the highest interest rates, then eventually you will only have one monthly amount to pay. It could take up to five years to repay your debts which obviously depend on individual circumstances but think how good you will feel when this finally happens!

Leo Jones has been investigating the relationship between debt and its affect on people’s lifes. For further information on how to free yourself from debt visit:
http://debtfree4u.wordpress.com/debtrelief
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Breaking the Debt Spiral of Credit Cards

If you’re struggling to pay credit card debts, you’re probably feeling that you should never have started using credit cards, and that you’re somehow a bad person for getting over your head in debt. You’re not a bad person, and credit cards themselves are not bad.

One of the first things you’re going to have to do, in order to get out of your debt spiral and get your life back on track, is to understand that you are not a horrible person. It’s important that you understand this, so you can get out of your depression and despair enough to move forward and start getting yourself out from under all of this debt.

Almost everyone uses a credit card these days. No one intends to get in trouble. You, like everyone else, just allowed things to literally spiral out of control. Whether your credit card problems were caused by impulse spending, an emergency or a decrease in income, what caused it doesn’t matter.

At this point, you need to start looking forward and identify some ways that you can break out of the pattern of behavior you’re in.

Diagnosing the problem is the first step. Can you pay all your bills, even if it’s a struggle? Are you paying only the minimum on credit cards? Are you paying off credit cards with other credit cards? You need to understand how serious the problem really is, before you can know what to do about it.

If you’re able to pay all of your bills, but it’s a struggle, you may qualify for debt consolidation, or some credit counselors may be willing to help. Others will not speak to you until you’re a month behind on at least one payment. If you’re behind on your credit cards, cancel the accounts, cut up the cards, and seek credit counseling if possible.

Whether you work with a credit counselor or not, your first goal is to cancel all your accounts so that you don’t incur new debt. The next step is to make a plan for paying your creditors, and send them a letter explaining what you will be paying until the debt is cleared.

Many debt reduction experts suggest putting 20% of your income toward your debts, giving each creditor a proportional payment. When you pay one off, you add that money to the other payments.

While creditors will not like being told that they’ll receive an amount less than the minimum on your statement, many will not take you to court, as long as you do what you agree to do. They may put this on your credit record, but at this point, your credit record is not a big problem. The goal here is to get out of a growing mound of credit card debt and begin to get your life back on track.

The important thing to understand, in trying to get out from under crippling debt, is that you have to take care of yourself and your family, too. You can’t live on nothing. You need to create a plan that gives a portion of your income to your creditors, because you do owe the debt. But make sure you’re taking care of your own needs first, because your health and your family come first.

Breaking Out of the Debt Spiral of Credit Cards

If you’re struggling to pay credit card debts, you’re probably feeling that you should never have started using credit cards, and that you’re somehow a bad person for getting over your head in debt. You’re not a bad person, and credit cards themselves are not bad.
One of the first things you’re going to have to do, in order to get out of your debt spiral and get your life back on track, is to understand that you are not a horrible person. It’s important that you understand this, so you can get out of your depression and despair enough to move forward and start getting yourself out from under all of this debt.
Almost everyone uses a credit card these days. No one intends to get in trouble. You, like everyone else, just allowed things to literally spiral out of control. Whether your credit card problems were caused by impulse spending, an emergency or a decrease in income, what caused it doesn’t matter.
At this point, you need to start looking forward and identify some ways that you can break out of the pattern of behavior you’re in.
Diagnosing the problem is the first step. Can you pay all your bills, even if it’s a struggle? Are you paying only the minimum on credit cards? Are you paying off credit cards with other credit cards? You need to understand how serious the problem really is, before you can know what to do about it.
If you’re able to pay all of your bills, but it’s a struggle, you may qualify for debt consolidation, or some credit counselors may be willing to help. Others will not speak to you until you’re a month behind on at least one payment. If you’re behind on your credit cards, cancel the accounts, cut up the cards, and seek credit counseling if possible.
Whether you work with a credit counselor or not, your first goal is to cancel all your accounts so that you don’t incur new debt. The next step is to make a plan for paying your creditors, and send them a letter explaining what you will be paying until the debt is cleared.
Many debt reduction experts suggest putting 20% of your income toward your debts, giving each creditor a proportional payment. When you pay one off, you add that money to the other payments.
While creditors will not like being told that they’ll receive an amount less than the minimum on your statement, many will not take you to court, as long as you do what you agree to do. They may put this on your credit record, but at this point, your credit record is not a big problem. The goal here is to get out of a growing mound of credit card debt and begin to get your life back on track.
The important thing to understand, in trying to get out from under crippling debt, is that you have to take care of yourself and your family, too. You can’t live on nothing. You need to create a plan that gives a portion of your income to your creditors, because you do owe the debt. But make sure you’re taking care of your own needs first, because your health and your family come first.

Read the blog http://www.zero-out-my-debt.com for the latest tips and information on debt reduction and how to get out of debt.
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BJB: A Rule To Rule Your Debts

It is essential that you get in control of your finances from an early stage – but does that mean not having any debt? When is it right to take out a new loan?

Quite often when I speak to people in debt I find that they didn’t know what they should or shouldn’t borrow money for. They could benefit from this simple but very powerful rule for their personal finances. It allows them to plan, feel in control and not resent their debts. Quite often it is the feeling of not being in control that gets people down.

This nice simple rule has worked for me for years and helps to decide what you can and cannot afford, when it is right to borrow and when it is not.

It draws from my economics background and my professional accountancy training – but despite that it’s very simple!

Accountants talk about things such as “amortisation” and “useful economic lives”. This means that if you buy an asset such as a building or piece of equipment the cost gets spread over several years – over its “useful economic life”.

Economists have a different language (you may have noticed!) and they talk about ‘utility’ – ie the satisfaction you get from consuming a particular product or service.

But what has this got to do with debts and loans?

Well my simple rule comes from both of these concepts combined.

The result is what I call the rule of “Benefit-Justified Borrowing”!

Of course being an economist at heart, I shorten this to the “BJB” rule.

So what does it mean? Quite simply this: only borrow money to fund something that will continue to give you some satisfaction or benefit over the life of the loan that is funding it.

In other words borrowing should only be justified by the benefits that will flow to you in the future from what you have purchased.

Think of it like this – you are buying a reservoir of satisfaction, benefit or enjoyment that will last for several years and this is the reason that you can justify a loan to fund it. To the economist you are deferring your consumption and you are deferring the funding of it. A perfect match!

That’s all a bit abstract – so let’s look at some examples:

Buying a house – it’s unlikely that you can pay cash for it – so you have a mortgage. This fits the BJB rule because you will derive benefit from living in the house over the life of the debt.

Furniture – let’s say that a piece of furniture will last you for 10 years and you fund it by a loan. Again this fits the BJB rule very well. The next question is how long the loan term should be. You could choose to have a loan over any period up to 10 years, although in reality you would probably want it to be less than 10 years – as it would be sensible to take into account what the furniture might be worth in the future. If it was likely to be worth nothing after 5 years then this would be the sensible maximum term of the loan.

Vacations – this is a great example. Many people go on vacation and thoroughly enjoy it but then have expensive credit card debts for months afterwards. This is where the resentment can kick in – you get to a point where you are desperate for the next vacation but can’t afford it as you are still paying off the last one! This is depressing – and cancels out the original enjoyment!

If you follow my BJB rule you will never fund a vacation with debt because when you are paying off the debt you are no longer getting any satisfaction or benefit from the purchase you have made – the vacation is over.

This is where good old-fashioned discipline comes in – save up first for things that do not have a future benefit.

Imagine you have followed the BJB rule. You are going on vacation, knowing that it is all paid for, with cash in your pocket in accordance with the budget you have set. You can go away with a clear conscience to enjoy a relaxing break – and then when you come back there is no debt hanging over you to pay off!

The last example is your usual day to day living costs. You will hopefully realise that this would not meet the BJB rule! It should never be funded by debt. If you are building up long term debt to fund your day to day food and living costs then you urgently need to address this issue and should seek some help and advice without delay.

So does this rule mean never use a credit card? Not at all – short-term loans can have their place – but it does mean only use it when you understand how you will pay off the debt.

So like all good rules the BJB rule has this one exception. Occasionally it is necessary to use short-term debt such as a credit card to get over temporary and short-term cash-flow difficulties. Life rarely goes according to plan and you may just be a month away from having completed your savings plan.

A good example is back to the vacation – clearly it would be ridiculous to cancel it because you were short of savings by one month! Using a credit card means that you don’t have to have saved up every last penny before packing your cases.

However using a credit card should be in the context of a solid plan to pay off your debt within a couple of months of your vacation. You have already mentally spent that money for the next month or two.

Clearly this exception to the rule is about a small shift in timing and is quite different from building up medium to long-term debt that is not benefit-justified!

So from now on follow the “Harper BJB rule” and match the debt to your enjoyment and you shouldn’t resent a debt again!

Copyright (c) 2006 SimplifyLoans.com

Learn How A Personal Debt Consolidation Loan Can Do For Your Financial Situation

It’s all too much. You’re so deep in debt you don’t know what to do about it. Have you considered a personal debt consolidation loan? No matter how bad things seem, as long as you have a job, you can consolidate your debts and reduce your monthly expenses. If you are trying to juggle a number of credit card payments every month plus other personal or consumer debt, you’ll certainly understand how stressful a large debt burden can be. A personal debt consolidation loan could provide you with a reasonable solution to a whole lot of trouble.
Apart from the very real personal difficulty of high debt cost, a very real challenge faced by people struggling under its burden is sheer embarrassment. You need help, but you don’t know who you can trust. You certainly don’t want your private business discussed over other people’s dinner tables. This fear can leave you in limbo; needing to take action but too afraid to do it. A personal debt consolidation loan could be your personal door to financial freedom – and no-one needs to know.
Having said that, however, if you could relax your guard a little and allow yourself to trust someone (let’s say, a financial or debt counselor) you might be able to get some much needed help to improve your circumstances. A good debt counselor could help you find the best personal debt consolidation loan to suit your individual circumstances. Additionally, once the much needed rescue operation has been finalized, he or she can help you create an effective short term budget and long term financial plan that will support you in improving your financial position over the long haul.
It must be said, however, that a personal debt consolidation loan should not be considered in isolation. If you consolidate debt but do not cancel your credit cards once their balances are paid out, you are asking for trouble. Be strong, and cancel your credit cards to avoid future problems and just make sure that your budget includes savings for emergencies. You might just have to become very creative in how you find money when the credit card option is not available to you. But hey, in the long run you’ll be the winner!
A personal debt consolidation loan will be able to help you improve your financial circumstances if you are burdened by multiple debt payments, but only if you are prepared to do the required personal work on yourself. You did not become embroiled in the sticky tentacles of debt as an unwilling victim of fate. No matter what the catalyst, you made decisions that created your current circumstances. Unless you are willing to admit your own part in your financial meltdown, how do you expect to change your future? This means that unless you are willing to admit your mistakes and change the way you deal with things, you are probably going to repeat the same mistakes in the future.
You can solve your immediate debt burden with a personal debt consolidation loan, but in the long run you will have to change your financial behavior if you want a better life.

A Debt Consolidation Loan: Smooth Out The Financial Rough Spots

Most people have times in their lives where their income just doesn’t meet expenses and they need to find ways to get through those tough times. One of the most stressful times in someone’s life is when they find themselves out of work for any reason or if available hours at work are reduced so they have far less take home pay. If you are one of these people, take heart. While you are looking for a new job, there are actions you can take to reduce your expenses and keep more money in your pocket to help you and your family survive. If you are like most people, you will have debt and if so the most helpful thing you can do for yourself is to combine your debts into one debt consolidation loan at a low interest.
When times are hard it is very important to keep as much of your income as possible to cover necessary expenses. Debt repayments can rob the family of food, clothing and even a roof over their head. It is vitally important to get this financial craziness under control and the first step in doing this is to take out a debt consolidation loan.
While you cannot cancel your debt unless you opt for bankruptcy (and if things are too bad, you may have to consider it if your family’s survival is at risk), you can certainly reduce your monthly debt costs just by shopping around for a low interest debt consolidation loan. If you don’t have the time or ability to do this for yourself, there are many debt consolidation services that will be able to do it for you.
By consolidating all your non-mortgage debts into one lower interest debt consolidation loan, your monthly payments will decrease and you will have more (sometimes a lot more) disposable income every month. This extra money can make the difference between your family’s survival or failure under the sort of financial pressure unemployment or underemployment can cause.
There are a number of debt consolidation loan options available to you including a home equity loan, an unsecured personal loan and a low interest credit card. Home equity loans and unsecured personal loans are two of the best options because they have lower interest rates than most credit cards and consumer loans while at the same time offering a fixed term at the end of which you will be debt free. Other more flexible options do not guarantee you will ever pay you debt off which doesn’t improve your future prospects.
Once you have found the best debt consolidation loan for your needs, you need to take proactive steps to avoid getting into another future financial mess. Cancel any credit cards or lines of credit still operating after the balances have been paid out. If you keep them ‘just in case’ of an emergency you will probably use them and your debt will begin to climb again and your monthly payments will increase. You don’t want to undo the benefit of your debt consolidation loan.

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