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I Need Help to Manage My Debts

Debt is one of the fastest growing social problems in the developed world and can affect the overall health and well-being of everyone with money worries but there are ways to end this situation. One way out of the predicament is the use of lenders that specialize in emergency debt relief by consolidating loans into one much more manageable loan. These companies can help almost anyone experiencing this problem because there is only one debt to pay which will usually be less than the combined debts previously.
This domino effect of financial worries needs to be addressed quickly lest bills snowball into an ugly bankruptcy situation, forever destroying your credit. this may be the result of a long term problem which has just got out-of-hand. Although there are occasions where the rise in interest rates cause the problems, which then of course are outside the control of the person in debt.
There are emergency debt relief programs available to help people who find themselves in this predicament of having loans and credit cards they can no longer pay. You can get involved in educational program services that will teach you how to both manage your expenses wisely and set realistic financial goals. Counsellors 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.
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. No-one in this situation should view emergency debt relief as a quick get out of debt measure but with some lessons learned the financial worries should come to an end. if possible, a person should discipline themselves to pay cash for their purchases instead of using plastic. One of the first things to do is arrange a lower interest rate credit card and learn to pay for goods and services with cash as this is a sure way to see just how much money is leaving a bank account.
Paying more than the minimum required can be done by carefully examining where your money is spent each month so it should be possible to find a little extra to help pay off outstanding amounts,not forgetting to pay bills early and not until the last minute. One of the hardest but most sensible things to do is cancel all but one of the credit cards as only one is actually needed and will save a great deal each month on interest payments. 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.

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Choosing the Correct Debt Management Service For You

When going about choosing a debt managment service, there are probably several different questions that might be running through your mind as you endeavour to get on top of your finances. If you’re able to see past the fear of being in debt, then the questions you should be asking yourself are, which companies are not scams? How much are the fees? Are there hidden costs? How do I check out the authenticity of a debt management company? Can I cancel at any time and what will my payments be? What if I can’t pay?
Here are a few tips on how you can help keep yourself from being scammed and paying too much.
First and foremost, you should look to find any charities or government organsisations that offer debt advice for free. For example in the UK, The Citizens Advice Bureau [CAB] would be a good port of call. The CAB offers a phone, online and a drop-in service. The CAB is manned with helpful staff who will do what they can to advise you on your best course of action.
You can find details of the CAB in your local telephone book as well as other companies that can help you with your debt. Put together a list of potential companies that you might do business with. From here, use the internet. Type the name of the company in and look at the results. You should also look into the FCC and the BBB to see if the companies are legitimate, non-profit and complaints that have been filed against them. If you do not have the internet, the public library usually has internet connections available to the public. You may have to join the library though or take some ID with you. Check some of the consumer websites in your country and find out what others are saying about local or national debt management companies.
Debt management is not binding as is filing a bankruptcy notice. At any time you can discontinue the agreement and begin to work on your debt without any assistance. However, when you do agree begin working with a debt management company, they will begin by doing a few things for you. First, they will call your creditors and notify them of your financial hardship. From here, they will make arrangements to pay a smaller amount of money. Usually, he or she will ask for a smaller interest rate or even remove the interest rate altogether. It should be noted that the debt management company will most likely only deal with your non-priority debts. Also, most debt management companies do not give benefits advice or financial advice so you may lose out on important information about your finances. If you’re fortunate enough to have a family member or a close friend who is a financial adviser then seek their advice as soon as possible.
In most situations the creditors prefer to work with the debt management companies, simply because they are more apt to make the payments on time every month. They are also more willing to lower your payments when you are working with a debt management company.
After the debt management company has completed the negotiations with your creditors, they will then give you a new monthly amount to pay. This will be a lower single payment each month. This payment goes directly to the debt management company. Usually, they require a certified check or to have an automatic withdrawal out of your bank account.

Alexander West holds the Financial Planning Certificate. One of his passions is learning and teaching people about finances. You can read the rest of this article, and join others and join others getting on top of their finances at Click Here
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Debt Consolidation Loans: Paying it All With One

The dream of anyone who is buried in debt is to get rid of all those bills and credit card balances. However, though debt can not magically disappear, you can improve your situation by obtaining a consolidation loan, repaying all your debt and ending up with a single lower monthly payment easily afforded that can save you money and hassles.

The idea is simple, you get a single loan for a fair amount with which you repay all your outstanding debt and obtain all the benefits associated with this procedure. Not only the process is simple but also the requirements needed to get approved for a debt consolidation loan are definitely easy to achieve.

Benefits Of Debt Consolidation Loans

Debt consolidation loans can easily reduce the number of payments you have to do each month. Since the money obtained from a debt consolidation loan is used for repaying all your outstanding debt, then, the only debt left is the consolidation loan which implies a single lower monthly payment each month instead of the multiple payments that you had before which combined were surely a lot more expensive.

The interest rate charged for the money you will owe on your consolidation loan will be significantly lower than the overall average rate charged for your credit card balance payments, cash advance payments, unsecured personal loan payments, etc. Thus, the resulting monthly installments will be significantly lower.

In the long run, a lower interest rate reduces the overall interests paid for your debt. Thus, by consolidating, you will be saving thousands of dollars over the whole life of the loan. If you destine these savings to repaying your debt, you can get debt-free sooner and with less hassles than if you decided to repay your debt as it was.

Requirements And Approval

The approval process for debt consolidation loans is fairly simple. You just need to fill some online forms as most lenders have online sites featuring their financial products. After you submit your application, it will be considered and in a matter of minutes, a response will be sent to you as to whether you have been pre-qualified.

Then, you will be required to submit some documentation backing up your application statements like copies of your pay checks, tax receipts, etc. With this documentation the final loan review will take place and you will be contacted as soon as the loan has been approved. The money will be then made available either in cash or by depositing it into your bank account.

However, if you work with a consolidation agency, they will retain the amount and proceed to cancel all your outstanding debt with it. This is due to the fact that consolidation agencies want to make sure that the money is used for the purpose it was intended to and not for incurring on other expenses.

As to the requirements, you need to have a fair credit and income. Some credit delinquencies can be overlooked but the income requirement is essential. You need to prove that you will be able to meet the monthly payments on your consolidation loan without sacrifices. Moreover, in most cases, to get a low interest rate on your consolidation loan you will need to have equity available on your home in order to secure the loan.

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="” rel=”nofollow”>Fast Christmas Loans and <a href="” rel=”nofollow”>Loans for Bad Credit you can visit her site
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20 Way’s to Decrease Your Debt

1. Pay your bills first: It’s important to put the money aside to pay your bills as soon as you get paid. That way you will be sure to have enough money to pay them. Don’t go out and buy things, not even groceries until you’ve put the money aside for your bills. Most of your day to day expenses are likely to have some flexibility in them, you can limit how much you spend on coffee a day or buy a less expensive cut of meat, but the power company wants all their money.

2. Make your payments on time: Every late payment can hurt you, and in more than one way. Many utility companies report your payments to the credit reporting agencies, so ahistory of late payments can hurt your credit score. It also costs you more if you pay late. Late fees may be small but when you’re working on reducing debt, every dollar counts. Three dollars a month in late payment charges on three bills works out to over a hundred dollars a year.

3. Write down what you spend: Managing and paying down debt is all about taking control of your money. You can’t control what you don’t know, so it’s important to keep a journal of how much you are spending and what you’re spending it on. Do it before you make your budget and you’ll be able to see what you really do spend money on, rather than guessing and coming up short because you forgot to account for something when you wrote up the budget.

4. Know your credit report: Your credit report is your scorecard in the fight against bad credit. If you don’t know where you stand it’s hard to move forward. Most countries let consumers see their reports for free at least once a year. Take advantage of this, you might find a debt on there that you already paid which wasn’t reported to the agency. Reports of unpaid debts can really hurt your credit, so it’s important to make sure those are accurate.

5. Pay creditors who report to agencies first: Some creditors report each payment you make to credit reporting agencies, while others only report information if they send your debt to an outside collection agency. If you have to postpone one of your bills past the due date, it’s always better for your credit score (all else being equal) if you pay the one that reports regularly as it will have the biggest impact on your credit score.

6. Pay your bills when you have the money: don’t wait until the due dates: A lot ofpeople think the due date on a bill is the day you are supposed to pay it, not the day by which the creditor wants to have received the money. Paying bills as soon as you get paid removes the temptation to take some of the money back to spend on something else. Once it’s gone, so is the temptation to take the money and spend it elsewhere.

7. Ensure your creditors notify credit agencies when bills are paid: If you do have unpaid bills, it’s important not only to pay them but also to make sure those payments are reported to the credit agencies, otherwise those payments won’t help repair your credit. Talk to the creditor about this, and if necessary don’t hesitate to follow up with the credit reporting agency yourself.

8. Always pay something: Even if you can’t pay all of your bills at one time, always make a payment of some kind on each bill. This not only shows your good faith to the creditor by proving that you are not ignoring the debt, but it also reduces the amount you’ll have to pay when the next bill comes due. If one month is hard to pay now, two months will be harder to pay in future. Making partial payments helps reduce the effect of late payments piling up on each other.

9. Make a budget: Budgeting is an important part of controlling your money. It helps you see the big picture and gives you a plan with defined steps to focus on. It moves the what of reducing your debt and improving your credit into a plan of attack. Budgeting is the how of debt reduction, it’s where you write down the plan you’re going to follow to get your finances under control. You have to start somewhere, and budgeting is a good place to start.

10. Save your pennies and other coins: It’s amazing how much money we carry around as loose change in our pockets, and it’s money we often don’t think of as money. Half the time it gets spent on a candy bar because we’re bored rather than anything one needs. Turn it into an asset by dumping your change into a jar every night once you get home. It’s amazing how fast it will add up, and that’s money that can be used for emergencies, or to pay down a debt that suddenly jumped to the top of the pile.

11. Communicate with lenders: This is one many debtors ignore. Your creditors only want your money, and most of them are more than happy to work with you so long as they get their money in the end. The catch is that you have to keep them in the loop. Telling them what’s going on and offering payment plans helps convince them that you’re not planning to default on the debt. Yes they want their money, but that doesn’t mean you have to put them in an adversarial role.

12. Know your rights: Both debtors and creditors have rights, but creditors are usually much more aware of their rights than debtors are. Knowing your rights gives you as a debtor a way to deflect harassing collection calls and a measure of control in the situation. It also lets you tell when an overzealous collection agent is making threats they can’t back up.

13. Set goals: Every task needs milestones, something to let you feel you’re progressing and prevent the enormity of the situation from becoming overwhelming. Repairing yourcredit and reducing debt is no different. Setting manageable goals like paying off one credit card within a year will help keep you focused and moving forward on debt reduction. If you’re looking to build credit, getting a credit card within a year is a good goal. It doesn’t matter what the goal is so much as making sure it’s attainable and working towards it.

14. Leave some money for extras: No matter how much debt you’re carrying, always make sure to put some money in the budget for extras and entertainment. Yes there are free alternatives to entertainment, but never having money for treats such as a five-shot Mocha, a night at the movies or a new book or CD is sure to frustrate you and get you off your budget. Put in some money, not a lot, but enough so that you can treat yourself on occasion and it will be a lot easier to stay on your budget.

15. Pay cash: Don’t buy things with the swipe of a card if you can avoid it. Pay cash before using debit or credit. The thing about debit and credit payments is that the expenditure is invisible so you don’t really notice how much you’re spending. If you pay cash you have a much better feel for how much money you are spending which lets you keep more control of your money.

16. It’s not a good deal if it’s more than you can afford: How many times have you gone into a store and seen a ten-pound bag of something at only twice the price of the two poundbag? It may be a great deal, but it’s not always a good buy. Remember, you’re still spending more money, and that has to come from somewhere. Also, if you’re not going to use it all before it goes bad you might find you’ve bought ten pounds and thrown away eight- and then you’re wasting money. Buy based on your needs, not just how good the deal looks.

17. Pay off high rate cards first: If you’ve got two credit cards that you need to pay off, take the one with the higher interest rate and pay it off first while making the minimum payment on the other card. Interest is lost money, so the faster you pay off the card with the higher interest the more debt you’re losing for the same amount of money spent. Even a 2% difference in credit card interest rates can make a huge difference.

18. Consolidate your loans: Loan consolidation is a great tool if you have access to it. If you can get all your debts combined into one monthly payment you’ll often find you’re paying everything off much sooner. Not only will a bank often give you a lower interest rate than credit cards, which means more of your money is going to reduce the debt rather than just service it, but making a single payment is usually cheaper than writing out half a dozen checks every month.

19. Cut up your credit cards: An important part of getting out of debt is making sure you don’t incur more debt, and this is where cutting up your credit cards comes in. You can’t cancel the account before you pay it off, but cutting up the card makes you that much lessable to use it, especially if the CVN on the back isn’t on your statement. Then you won’t even be able to use it online. Part of taking control is reducing temptation.

20. Ask to have your credit limit lowered: Credit cards are useful to have, but it’s important to stay out of trouble when using them. One way to keep control of your credit card spending is to keep a low limit like $500 on the card to make it that much harder to get into trouble. If you get a card with a high limit and are concerned you’ll run it up and not be able to pay, call the company and see if you can get the limit lowered to something you can keep ahead of.

Stephan Clingman: writer, webmaster, knowledge seeker. I’ve been on the web for a number of year’s and have learned valuable SEO lesson’s thru trial and error. The web is an ever evolving entity that you must keep up with if you are going to survive.Pay Off My Debt
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Credit Card Debt Information and Help

You’ve probably heard the frightening statistic that the average American owes more than $8,000 in credit card debt. Fortunately, that statistic isn’t completely accurate. Here are true credit card debt info and statistics.

Average Credit Card Debt The average credit card debt is actually around $2,200. This is still a lot of money when you consider that the average income is $48,600, but it’s not a dire figure.

However, only 45% of Americans have credit card debt. 23% of Americans don’t even have credit cards. The remaining 32% pay their credit cards in full every month. 8.3% owe more than $9,000 on their credit cards.

If you carry a balance on your credit cards, you can become one of the 32% who doesn’t. Although it seems challenging with rising fuel and food prices, resolving to cut back on your spending can make a real difference in your ability to pay debt without truly restricting your enjoyment of life.

Total Consumer Debt Info You may be wondering how these statistics are derived. They’re derived in part from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, which is conducted every three years.

As of June 27, Americans had a total of $2.46 trillion in consumer debt, but this figure includes mortgages, auto loans, student loans, and other non-revolving debt. Revolving debt, which is usually credit card debt, was only $904 billion. While this figure is still high, it’s not the devastating figure you’re more likely to hear on the news.

What Can You Do? If you’re one of the people with revolving debt, you might be wondering how you become one of the people without it. It’s not easy, but it can be done. The key lies in learning to control your spending. American society doesn’t make that easy because our economy relies on spending, but if you have the willpower to do what’s right for your personal finances, you can do it.

There are three basic steps to controlling credit card use:

Avoid buying things you want, but don’t actually need. Food is a need. Dinner in an expensive restaurant is not. Shoes for your children are a need. $200 designer sneakers your child will grow out of in three months are not. Transportation is a need. Unless you live up a steep, unpaved road, a $40,000 SUV is not. Impulse purchases are usually wants, not needs. Wait at least two weeks before buying anything. If you still want it after two weeks, it might be a need, or it might simply be something you really want. If it’s something you need, buy it. If it’s something you really want, buy it only if you can afford to pay cash without limiting your ability to pay off debt or save for retirement. If you’re still paying off your credit cards, avoid buying things you want, no matter how much you want them. Once you learn to control your spending and differentiate between needs and wants, you can pay off debt more quickly. Soon you’ll be one of the 45% of Americans who pays off their credit cards every month, and you won’t be contributing one dime to the $904 billion in revolving debt.


Justin has more than 5 years experience as a financial adviser, his key areas are loan consolidation, debt relief, mortgages etc.
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Credit Card Debt Solutions

Most people have credit card debt for one simple reason: they spend more than they earn. However, there are other reasons why you might have credit card debt, such as a medical emergency, a one-time emergency expense, rising costs, or impulse control. No matter how you got into debt, there’s a solution. Review the situations below to find the right credit card debt solutions for you.


If you spend more than you earn, the first step is discovering why. It could be because your mortgage has recently shot up, leaving you with little money for other expenses. It could also be because you make a lot of impulse purchases on your credit card. If you have high fixed costs, you should consider scaling back on luxuries like cable television, movie rentals, and eating out.

If you spend too much because you like to buy stuff, then you need to learn to ask yourself if it’s something you really need. Wait two weeks before making any purchase. Chances are you won’t really want it anymore. Once you control your spending, you’ll have an easier time paying off credit card debt.

Large One-Time Expenses

If you have credit card debt because of a large one-time emergency like car repairs, your first goal is to pay off that bill as quickly as you can by reducing spending in other areas. Once that’s done, use the extra money to build an emergency fund. Tap the fund for true emergencies, like car repairs or emergency room visits, so you don’t have to go into debt again.

Extended Medical Emergency or Illness

If your family is experiencing a major medical emergency or long-term illness, sometimes credit card debt is the only way to get by, especially if the primary earner is the one who is sick. In this case, your best bet is to negotiate with the doctor or hospital to reduce the medical bills. If the bills are more than you can ever reasonably pay, you may have to consider bankruptcy. Medical bills are the reason for 50% of all bankruptcy filings.

Extended Job Loss or Other Financial Hardship

Many people find themselves relying on credit cards to pay basic expenses after they lose their jobs. If you’re one of them, your first step should be to reduce every possible expense. Cancel cable, cut back on clothing and food purchases, don’t take vacations, do whatever it takes to cut your spending. If you have student loans, apply for forbearance. If you have a mortgage, find out if your lender can also extend a temporary forbearance. If you still can’t pay off your credit cards, consider contacting a credit counseling service for help. They’ll review your finances and may recommend a debt management plan, debt negotiation, or bankruptcy.

Once you get back on your feet, dedicate as much money as you can to debt repayment. You should also establish an emergency fund and continue to spend wisely so that you never find yourself deep in debt again.

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Justin has 5 years of experience as financial adviser; his key areas are consolidation, debt relief, mortgages etc. For more free articles and advice visit
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Debt Settlement Vs. Debt Consolidation – Which Option Is Better?

Both debt settlement and debt consolidation can reduce and eliminate your debt. But each will have different consequences on your credit score and future financial options. Before choosing either option, educate yourself on the pros and cons of each.The Benefits Of Debt SettlementDebt settlement means that part of your debt is immediately wiped out by your creditor. You will find instant financial relief in your monthly budget. And the rest of your debt payments are much more manageable.You will also find that you can start rebuilding your credit from this point on. Instead of juggling late payments, high debt loads, and other factors, you can focus on managing your credit better.The Downside Of Debt SettlementThere are a few downside to debt settlement. The biggest one is the immediate affect on your credit score. Debt settlement is seen much like a foreclosure; your score will be 500 or lower. And while you can improve your score, for the next two years you will have to work with sub prime lenders.You will also have to deal with the tax implication of a write off. The IRS sees debt settlement like receiving a cash gift or income. Depending on where you live, you may also have to pay additional state taxes.The Benefits Of Debt ConsolidationDebt consolidation can also help you get out of debt. With consolidation, a company negotiates lower rates with your creditors. You make one monthly payment to the debt consolidation company, and they handle paying all your accounts.They also deal with any paperwork hassles, canceling fees, and closing accounts. Usually, you can be out of short term debt in five years or less.The Downside Of Debt ConsolidationDebt consolidation will have less of an impact on your credit score. Most lenders will temporarily put a hold on extending you more credit until they see you are making regular payments. You need to still monitor your accounts to be sure the debt consolidation company is making on time payments.Picking The Right OneThere is no perfect solution for getting out of debt. Debt settlement can help you see an instant improvement in your finances, but at the cost of your credit score. Debt consolidation simplifies the process with minimum affect on your credit, however it does take time.

Debt Consolidation- Is it Right for You?

As the bills continue to pile up, and money seems to run thin you don’t know what to do. Being in debt can be frustrating and overwhelming. Sometimes it feels like it will never end, and getting out of debt on your own is very challenging. Creditors and collectors make it difficult to get out of debt. They want you to be in debt, because that’s how they make their money. However you don’t have to do it alone, there are options on how to get out of debt.

Debt consolidation is a great way to customize your payment options. By using debt consolidation, which is done through a third party, you are taken out of direct contact with the creditors and collectors. Debt consolidation combines all your debt in one monthly bill. The debt consolidation organization takes over the payments from your creditors, and you pay one monthly payment of an agreed amount to the debt consolidation organization. Most credit card companies prefer working with debt consolidators because they are more confident that they will get their money back. By using a debt consolidator you take yourself out of the heated and stressful situation.

You will be required to cancel your credit card accounts, this is highly beneficial since you will be forced to change your spending habits. This will make it easier for you to watch where your money goes and you will be focused on buying only what you need. You will be able to drop the mentality about paying it off later.

You can’t let debt consume your life. You have to be able to ask for help, because sometimes you just can’t do it alone. Asking for help is most important step. Not only do debt consolidation organizations help you to reduce your debt, but they can give life altering information on how to budget for your lifestyle, and money saving tips. Most debt consolidation organizations are non-profit and are only there to assist you in time of financial difficulty.

Debt consolidation is not for everyone, however it is an option that works for many. When one becomes serious about getting out of debt, they should sit down and clearly write out all the solutions that could help get them out of their debt solution and pick the one that fits best for them. As well, there’s always the option of calling upon a credit counselor that is trusted and have them suggest some options to getting out of debt. These are only suggestions, so it doesn’t hurt to continue to do researh to help you in your steps to over coming your debt.

Understanding Debt Management Services

When some people become overwhelmed with debt and find it hard to pay their bills, they often turn to a debt management service. These services can often be found through credit counselors, and you should only use a service that you’re comfortable with. This service should be more concerned with helping you than with making a profit.

What Do Debt Management Services Do?

The debt management service transfers payments from their clients to the creditors. In return, they may take out a commission from the transfer or will receive fees from the lenders. While debt management services may work with a wide variety of different loans, they usually focus on debt that is unsecured. They are different from credit counseling services. Those with auto loans or mortgages are usually not referred to debt management companies.

Consolidation of Your Debts

Many debt management services offer debt consolidation loans. All of your bills and outstanding debts are combined into one bill. Once this has been done, it is up to the debtor to make the monthly payments on the loan. If the debt management service reduces the interest or balances on your loans, this can effect your credit. Many lenders will view you as being a high risk client when looking at extending future credit. Despite this, the effect on your credit is less than things such as continuous late payments. A debt management service is also an excellent alternative to filing for bankruptcy.

What’s In It For Them?

It is common for debt management companies to earn up to 10% of the money transferred from their clients to the creditors. This along with the fees paid to the debt management companies from the creditor can lead to very large profits. As can be expected, some companies will try to abuse their power by persuading clients to sign up for a service which is driven by profits instead of helping them manage their debts.

Save Some Pennies For Those Rainy Days

Because many people find it hard to adapt to a debt management service, emergencies may come up where money is needed. It is important to find out what will happen if you miss payments before you commit to using the service. Each company is different, and some companies may have large penalty fees for customers who don’t make their payments on time. With the rise of debt management services, people have often been advised to look for institutions that are non-profit. The idea was that organizations for profit would focus more on profits than with helping clients manage their debts.

Profit or Non Profit?

Despite this, many debt management services that are for profit will advertise themselves as being non-profit. Using a non-profit organization doesn’t guarantee you will get better service than you would from a for profit organization. It is best to use services that are accredited with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Accredited services are not likely to charge outrageous fees or attempt to take advantage of their clients. Before you look at a debt management service, you should call your creditors to see if they can lower your interest rate.

Getting a Cheaper Rate

Many credit card companies will lower your interest if you call them and inquire about it. It may also be possible to use a standard lender as opposed to a debt management service. Under some circumstances it may be necessary to file for bankruptcy. You could also get an unsecured loan to pay off all your debts if your credit is good.

You should also be wary of debt management services which are late making your payments. If this occurs you should immediately call them and get an explanation. Your credit can be damaged if they make your payments late, and if they are charging you high fees you should cancel their service and look at other options.

Joseph Kenny writes for the Personal Loans Store and offer more information on debt consolidation loans and other loan topics available on site.
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Debt Management Tips To Help You Get Out Of Debt

When you’re paying back debts, a little strategy can make a difference of hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The best strategy is simple, but effective.

List Your Debts.

Write down a list of every debt you have, how much it is, and what the interest rate is. You might have trouble finding this information, but it’s worth getting it all together in one place and writing it down. You can’t manage your situation strategically if you don’t even know it, can you?

Remember to include your credit cards (with the different rates and balances for purchases and cash advances), other cards, loans, mortgages, and even money you’ve borrowed from friends and family. Every bit of debt counts and you’re trying to get it down to absolute zero.

Bad Debts and Good Debts.

Go through your debts and mark them ‘good’ or ‘bad’. You might think this is odd, but some kinds of debt are nowhere near as bad as others. A mortgage, for example, is an investment in a house, paid over a fixed term – there’s no real risk of paying a ridiculous amount of interest or never getting it paid off, like you could with a credit card.

Good debts: mortgages, student loans, car loans.
Bad debts: credit cards, store cards.

As a rule, good debts are for a fixed amount of time and allow you to buy something valuable that you cannot afford, while bad debts are ‘revolving’ and are just used instead of cash.

Time to Prioritize.

Cross your good debts off your list, for now – you shouldn’t think about paying them off more quickly until you’ve got all your bad debts out of the way.

Now, arrange your debts in order of interest rate, with the highest interest rate at the top. The chances are that the debt at the top will be a store card or credit card, which could have a really huge interest rate. Try to transfer as much money as you can from the high-interest cards down the list to the lower-interest ones.

Once you’ve done that, focus all your energy on repaying the new top debt. Pay the minimum on everything else, and throw as much money as you can find at the problem. If you have any non-essential monthly commitments, consider cancelling them for a while, and putting that money towards your payments. Stop saving, just for a while and try keeping track of where your money goes, just for a month – you might find that you’re spending loads on something you don’t even want or need.

Do your best to give up any expensive habits you might have. You’ll be shocked how fast your debts can go down if you put the money you’d usually spent on smoking, drinking or gambling towards them! I’m not trying to spoil your fun here. You’re just making some small sacrifices for a while, and your life will be so much better for it in the long run.

You have to be aggressive against that top debt, and determined to defeat it. This is a war, you’re on the attack, and you want to win against your debt. Don’t you?

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