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Some Tips To Help Bring Down Your Debts

There are many ways to help with a bad debt situation. We have tried to give you some pointers some of which you will find useful; some may not be suitable for you personally.
You do need to select any ideas that can help alleviate any current debt problems you may be having. It is better to deal with the situation now rather than wait until you can no longer cope.
This in the end is almost certain to be what will happen, as our nation’s debt crisis seems to deepen week by week. One debt problem that you should certainly consider dealing with is credit cards. Plastic debt makes up a huge percentage of personal debt in the USA.
That is hardly surprising when you consider just how easy it is to obtain a card, and how simple it is to run up increasing balances on multiple credit cards.
You should certainly consider removing credit cards from your debt situation by cutting them up. This may seem drastic but the high interest rates charged by card companies can be crippling on your monthly budget.
Cutting up all but one of your cards is an incredibly useful way of controlling your spending and thus reducing your total debt. Getting rid of all but one of your cards, which you can use for emergencies, is an excellent way to deal with them.
You can then start to pay off each card one by one. By making the maximum possible payment, you can each month to the same card, until it has a zero balance.
You should not consider cancelling your credit cards, as this will have on adverse effect on your credit history. However, putting them out of reach is always a good option for debt reduction.
You should never be late with a card payment as this invites additional fees to be added to your account. There are other fees associated with credit cards that are best avoided. ATM cash machines can involve high fees, especially if you are travelling outside the country.
It is better to withdraw cash from your local bank, equivalent to what you need for the entire week and use that instead of your credit card. This will also help you in reducing the amount of money you spend on items such as groceries or impulse purchases. You should avoid convenience credit that will include fees such as booking your movie tickets on line. These types of payments attract added charges.
If you have several credit cards you should seriously consider using balance transfers to drastically reduce the amount of interest you are paying. You may also wish to contact each credit card company individually and ask them to reduce the amount of interest that you are paying. Otherwise, you may have to transfer the balance to a lower interest rate card. This will often produce positive results from the card company, as they would rather receive less interest, than lose you to another credit provider.
Setting a budget limits for yourself each month is a wonderful tool for controlling and reducing your debts. You should work out exactly how much your monthly outgoings are, including all of your bills and credit payments.
Then calculate how much actual cash you have coming in to the house each month. Any difference between the actual outgoings and income should be used in paying off one of your debts.
This needs to be continued until you have balanced your debts. Even though this could take many months, and even years to complete. The alternative is slipping further to debt until the situation becomes totally out of control and leaving you with few options for eradicating your debts. It may be an unfortunate fact that you may simply not be able to pay off your debts in a reasonable amount of time.
The other alternative is to approach this from the opposite angle. This means that you will need to obtain additional income, perhaps from overtime, or a part-time job, to boost the amount of cash coming in to the house each month.
Not only will additional work hours give you more available money. It will also reduce the amount of time that you have available to spend this additional cash, this in turn will help reduce your debt balance.
If, even this kind of action is not sufficient to resolve your financial problems. You may need to take more drastic action, such as moving home to a smaller house, or possibly two another State. These are serious alternatives, but they may be your only choice should situation get completely out of your control.
Slightly less drastic, and possibly the best solution for many people is a debt consolidation loan. This type of loan will pay off all of your existing debts, including credit cards and any other outstanding financial problems that you have.
All these debts will then be replaced by one single, while monthly payment, that can be as much as 50 or 60% lower than what you are paying to your high interest debts at the moment. These loans are reasonably easy to arrange through an online broker, who will be able to guide you through the process, and perhaps give you a new financial start in life.

Joe Kenny writes for TFGI.com, visit them today for debt help or Rebuild.org for debt relief and to debt consolidation loans.
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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.

Overspending

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.

For more articles visit: http://www.bills.com/credit-card-debt-solutions/

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 http://www.Bills.com.
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Debt Consolidation in the Perspective of Debt Negotiation

Debt consolidation versus debt negotiation are two options that are available to you if you need debt assistance. When your monthly bills become too much for you to handle, it makes sense to use debt consolidation or debt negotiation for solving debt and credit problems.

Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation services have prearranged debt repayment plans with most credit card and collection companies. When you sign up with a debt consolidation company you are offered a lower overall monthly payment based on a lower interest rate they have arranged with the creditor.

This payment is lower than what the credit card companies offer you, saves you money every month and is often the best way to consolidate debt.
One benefit of a debt consolidation repayment plan is it will stop you from getting harassed by your creditors as long as you make the new, lower monthly payments.

The downside of the debt consolidation repayment plan is that you have to cancel all credit cards that you include in the plan. You are also charged your first payment you make toward the program and an additional monthly administration fee. This administration fee ranges from flat fees of $10-$50, while others charge a $5 fee for each creditor. That means you’ll pay about $30 a month that doesn’t go to paying off your debts.

The debt consolidation program benefits you if you have high interest rates or have higher credit card bills than you can manage. Some people like to make only one payment to one company for all of their debts.

Debt Negotiation

Is sometimes referred to as debt settlement. This is most often offered to people who can’t handle a debt consolidation program. If you can’t make the minimum payments of a repayment plan or haven’t made payments in the past 3 months, a debt negotiation program is the next step for solving debt and credit problems.

One benefit of a this program is you stop making payments to your creditors. The debt negotiation company either takes monthly payments from you and keeps it in an account, or lets you keep the money in your own account.

While you are making these monthly payments to the debt negotiation company, they negotiate with your creditors for a lower payoff of around 40-50% of your total amount of debt. Once the negotiated settlement is agreed upon with your creditors, the debt negotiation company makes a one time payment to them.

A downside of this program is, it lowers your credit score for as long as you are in the program. However, most debt negotiation companies require the creditor make the credit report show paid in full so it doesn’t show up as a negative on your report once your account is settled.

Some debt negotiation companies include a credit repair service that will remove the negative items caused by the debt negotiation program. You pay for this service as part of their program.

Now that you have an idea what debt consolidation versus debt negotiation is choose which one will work best for solving debt and credit problems for you.

Debt Consolidation Loan: What is this Program?

A debt consolidation loan program combines traditional debt negotiation with a debt consolidation loan so the borrower can get a reduction on his debt via negotiation while at the same time getting lower rates and a single and lower monthly installment with a repayment schedule suit for his budget.

Debt Negotiation

When you fail to repay a loan, the minimum payments on your credit cards or even regular bills, you usually incur in penalty fees and extra interest rates that contribute to a continued growth of your debt. Creditors tend to increase the amount that is owed to them by these means because they have additional costs when you fail to repay but also because they know that eventually they may be forced to resign a portion of the money, thus by increasing your debt they make sure to get as much as possible.
However, since this is a common practice among lenders, borrowers can easily fall into a debt trap with all those penalty fees and abusive interest rates. Debt consolidation agencies provide expert negotiators that know exactly how to deal with creditors and can agree with them a solution to your debt problems. If you have to file for bankruptcy, then they won’t be able to recover but a small portion of their money, so they are more than willing to show flexibility when a negotiator gets in touch with them.

Agreements can reduce your debt by up to a 60%. The main reduction is obtained by eliminating the interests charged over the debt’s principal and the capitalization of interests. Sometimes you can even get a reduction on the principal itself. And though it is not a reduction, you can get an ease on your debt by rescheduling the loan payments into longer repayment plans.

Debt Consolidation Loans after Negotiation
Once a reduction on your debt is achieved you can get even better terms by applying for a debt consolidation loan. The money you get from the loan will be used to cancel outstanding debt so you’ll end up with a single and lower monthly payment. By doing so your debt won’t be a huge burden anymore and you will afford the installments without making sacrifices. There is however, a limitation that you should be aware of.

Secured and Unsecured Loans

Unsecured Consolidation Loans cannot be used to consolidate secured debt. If you have different kind of debt you must resort to either a unique secured consolidation loan to cancel all your debt or an unsecured consolidation loan to consolidate unsecured debt and a refinance loan in order to consolidate secured debt like mortgage loans and home equity loans.

Advice for Deciding When to Consolidate Student Debt

When consolidating student debt, the loans principal won’t be modified. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to save thousands of dollars on interests and reduce your monthly payments by extending the loans length. Moreover, consolidating at a fixed interest rate will let you keep the same monthly installment amount through the whole life of the consolidation loan.

That being said, consolidating student debt is not always worth the trouble. Only if you can obtain a substantial reduction on your debt or if you can make your monthly payments more affordable you can say that consolidating student loans is appealing enough. In order to determine this you may want to follow the following tips:

Consolidating during the grace period

Be especially careful not to consolidate during the initial grace period unless the consolidation loan includes another grace period or you can do without it, because otherwise you will have to start paying your debt right away. Grace periods usually last between 4 months and a year. During this period, the borrower is not required to start paying off the loan. The main reason for this benefit is that the graduated student might need such a time to find a job and get used to a new lifestyle.

Interest Rates

If you can get a lower interest rate than the average of all your outstanding loans, that would be great. However, you’ll probably get an interest rate just a bit higher than the average interest rate of all your student loans. The reason why you would want to consider consolidating even with a higher interest rate is that the length of your loan will be extended and the loan installments reduced. Besides, the interest rate will be locked so if market conditions worsen you would still be paying the same amount, as opposed to federal student loans which rates

fluctuate with the market.

Contact government agency for cancellation
Prior to consolidating your federal student loans or other government loan, you might want to contact the government agency that issued the loan. It is possible to fully cancel the loan without reimbursing the money if certain requirements are met. Since you have nothing to loose, before searching for a lender to consolidate your student debt, make sure you can’t get the government to condone the whole or part of the debt. After consolidating, you won’t be able to apply for this kind of government forgiveness.

Set aside special loan programs

There are certain loans that you might want to maintain with its original terms. There are loans where the government pays for the interest and you only pay for the principal, others where the loan can be renewed upon cancellation or even before. If you consolidate this kind of loans with the rest of them you’ll loose this special attributes. So make sure you won’t have use for them before rushing in. There is always time for consolidating, so you might as well make a conscious decision on this matter.

Debt Consolidation is Possible for Non-Homeowners

There are different ways of consolidating debt and even without the aid of a consolidation loan, a debt reduction of up to 60% is easy achievable. There are professional negotiators that can agree with your creditors new repayment programs along with reductions on the interest rate you pay for your outstanding debt and sometimes even a cut on your debt’s principal.

Debt Consolidation Agencies

Before contacting a debt consolidation agency you need to be aware of what they are capable of doing and compare that with your financial needs. Using the services of a debt consolidation agency is a decision to be taken as last resort. Once the fact that you’ve got into a debt consolidation program is reported, your credit history will reflect this and your ability to get finance will be considerably diminished.

However, if your current bills, loan installments, unpaid credit card balances and all other debt have become an unbearable burden, then a debt consolidation program might be your only chance to avoid other more extreme measures like bankruptcy.

A debt consolidation agent will be assigned to your case. He will gather all the information available about your credit, your outstanding debt, your income, your assets, etc. and with that information he will design a plan. He will contact your creditors and negotiate with them. Since your creditors want to get paid, they’ll agree more flexible conditions and they will resign to charge high interests on your debt. They know now that if a consolidation agent is taking care of your debt chances are that if they don’t cooperate, they might get nothing.

There are mainly two different options after negotiation. You may obtain new repayment schedules with lower rates and lower monthly payments you’ll be able to afford or sometimes the agent agrees with the creditors a reduction on the whole amount of debt in exchange of immediate cancellation of their bills, balances and loans. If the agent takes this second path, he probably has arranged for you to get approved for a consolidation loan. The money obtained will be used to repay the new negotiated debt and you’ll end up with a single monthly payment: The loan installments.

Consolidation Loans

With the aid of a debt consolidation agency, it is much easier to get a consolidation loan in order to cancel your debt. The lender knows for sure that the money will be used to repay and cancel all your debt. Probably, the agency will arrange for the money to be directly transferred to the creditors. The lender will then be your only creditor which lets him in a privileged position when it comes to recovering his money if he has to take legal action in order to do so. And that is the main reason why with the help of a consolidation agent non-homeowners can get approved for debt consolidation loans too.

Is Non-Homeowner Debt Consolidation Possible?

There are different ways of consolidating debt and even without the aid of a consolidation loan, a debt reduction of up to 60% is easy achievable. There are professional negotiators that can agree with your creditors new repayment programs along with reductions on the interest rate you pay for your outstanding debt and sometimes even a cut on your debt’s principal.

Debt Consolidation Agencies

Before contacting a debt consolidation agency you need to be aware of what they are capable of doing and compare that with your financial needs. Using the services of a debt consolidation agency is a decision to be taken as last resort. Once the fact that you’ve got into a debt consolidation program is reported, your credit history will reflect this and your ability to get finance will be considerably diminished.

However, if your current bills, loan installments, unpaid credit card balances and all other debt have become an unbearable burden, then a debt consolidation program might be your only chance to avoid other more extreme measures like bankruptcy.

A debt consolidation agent will be assigned to your case. He will gather all the information available about your credit, your outstanding debt, your income, your assets, etc. and with that information he will design a plan. He will contact your creditors and negotiate with them. Since your creditors want to get paid, they’ll agree more flexible conditions and they will resign to charge high interests on your debt. They know now that if a consolidation agent is taking care of your debt chances are that if they don’t cooperate, they might get nothing.

There are mainly two different options after negotiation. You may obtain new repayment schedules with lower rates and lower monthly payments you’ll be able to afford or sometimes the agent agrees with the creditors a reduction on the whole amount of debt in exchange of immediate cancellation of their bills, balances and loans. If the agent takes this second path, he probably has arranged for you to get approved for a consolidation loan. The money obtained will be used to repay the new negotiated debt and you’ll end up with a single monthly payment: The loan installments.

Consolidation Loans

With the aid of a debt consolidation agency, it is much easier to get a consolidation loan in order to cancel your debt. The lender knows for sure that the money will be used to repay and cancel all your debt. Probably, the agency will arrange for the money to be directly transferred to the creditors. The lender will then be your only creditor which lets him in a privileged position when it comes to recovering his money if he has to take legal action in order to do so. And that is the main reason why with the help of a consolidation agent non-homeowners can get approved for debt consolidation loans too.

Avoid Bankruptcy with Credit Card Debt Settlement

Debt settlement is just one of numerous ways to climb out of debt. Debt consolidation and credit counseling are both preferable to debt settlement, but debt settlement may help you avoid bankruptcy or foreclosure if your situation is very serious.

Unfortunately, sometimes it’s not possible to repay your debts in full. If you’ve suffered an extended job loss, an expensive medical emergency or illness, or a death in the family, you may not be able to recover from the debt created by the situation. Rather than file for bankruptcy, which will ruin your credit for 7 to 10 years, you could try debt settlement first.

You have the option of settling your debt yourself, but you’re more likely to be successful if you hire a professional debt settlement service to handle your paperwork and negotiations. A debt settlement company will review your debts and determine which are most likely to be settled. Credit card debt settlement is the most common form. Medical debts are often negotiable. Student loans are not negotiable and mortgages are almost never negotiable.

When you apply for debt settlement, the service will review your accounts and then contact your creditors to negotiate a settlement. Settlements are typically for 30-50% of the balance, but can be as high as 75-80%. In rare cases, your settlement can be as low as 20%. A reputable debt settlement service won’t guarantee a specific rate and won’t offer “credit repair” services in addition to the settlement.

The settlement process can take anywhere from a few months to a few years, depending on the level of your debt. Some services ask you to make debt payments to their escrow service or ask you to set aside the money yourself. Some services require lump sums to pay off negotiated debts while others let you pay over time.

Debt settlement will affect your credit rating. Your creditors will report your accounts as “account settled” or “account settled for less than the full balance.” Although these statements aren’t positive, they’re better than a bankruptcy or multiple current delinquencies. If you’re considering credit card debt settlement, it’s likely that you’re already behind on payments, facing collection, or considering bankruptcy, so debt settlement may actually help you start to restore your credit.

Like debt management plans, debt settlement can also help you learn to change your spending habits and approach to credit card debt. Most settlement services require that you stop using credit cards or taking out loans while you’re in the program. Once you learn to stop relying on credit, you’ll be less likely to fall into debt again.

In addition to the ding on your credit rating, debt settlement has another negative side effect: higher taxes. The IRS requires that all settlements over $600 be reported as income, which means you could be taxed on the amount of the debt you didn’t pay. When combined with settlement fees, you may find that the settlement won’t save you much money over paying the debt in full.

You should also know that creditors are not required to settle your debts. You may have to pay some or all of your debts in full if the settlement service isn’t able to negotiate with your creditors. Creditors will generally make their decision based on your income, payment history, financial situation, and the number and amount of the debts being settled. They’re unlikely to negotiate a greatly reduced settlement if  you’re able to pay most of your other debts or own a home with equity. They’re more likely to negotiate if you’re in collection, about to file for bankruptcy, or have several debts in delinquency because they’d rather receive something than face debt cancellation in bankruptcy court.

Credit card debt settlement should be reserved for dire situations. If you’re on the verge of bankruptcy, then debt settlement is appropriate for you. If you have the means to repay your debts, seek debt consolidation or credit counseling instead.

For more articles on Credit Card Debt Settlement, visit: http://www.bills.com/credit-card-debt-settlement/

Justin has 5 years of experience as financial adviser; his key areas are consolidation, insurance, debt relief, mortgages etc. For more free articles and advice visit http://www.Bills.com.
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Credit Card Cancellation a Necessary Step for Financial Freedom

Canceling your credit cards can be a positive boost for your pockets. Many people do not realize the option of canceling credit card accounts and therefore continue to destroy their credit to the point of no return or worse, skip this option and go straight to bankruptcy. Bankruptcy should be the very last option for anyone struggling with debt. You should first try everything imaginable before filing for bankruptcy. If you haven’t already canceled your credit cards then bankruptcy should not be in your thoughts just yet.In most cases, it can negatively affect your credit rating to cancel a credit card. A percentage of your credit score is based on the history that has been established with your credit accounts. However, there are times when canceling your credit cards can be an effective decision. Use these guidelines to know when you should cancel your credit cards:Cancel Your Credit Cards with Zero Balance. Canceling a credit card with zero balance has the least effect on your credit score. When you cancel a credit card with a zero balance, it does not affect the portion of your credit score that is determined through your debt to balance ratio. Your credit score may see an impact from the canceling of the credit card, but this can be increased over a period of time.Cancel Your Credit Cards if you are Unable to Stop Spending. Credit cards with zero balances and increasing credit limits can be tempting to those consumers that are living on a tight budget and have faced debt problems in the past. If you are one of these consumers then canceling the credit card may be your best option, rather than live with the tempting credit line. This is a sure way to avoid future debt and is worth the small drop that may occur in the credit score.Cancel Your Credit Cards if You Have Multiple Accounts. Canceling your credit card if you have multiple accounts can reduce the risk of identity theft. When you request a copy of your credit report, you may even be surprised at the amount of accounts which are shown open! Some of these accounts may never have been used after being activated, often; if these accounts are not closed then they can remain open for years, thus increasing the risk of identity theft or fraudulent activity.Cancel Your Credit Cards if You Have Established Negative Credit History. There are some instances that consumers have established negative credit history from their credit card account. If you have missed payments or have had numerous late payments then you may benefit from canceling the credit card. It is important to avoid these behaviors and ensure that positive credit history is created from the first month that the credit card has been opened. Note, canceling your credit card does not free you from the debt, you will still be responsible for paying off the current debt but by canceling your credit card accounts you will not incur any more credit card debt.Canceling your credit cards can be as easy as contacting the credit card company to request the cancellation. The credit card company may resist your request, but it is important to be direct and not waive the decision to cancel the credit card.If you intend to open a new loan account in the next year, then the credit card account should remain open. This is an important factor in the credit rating and therefore it is important to take measures to increase and maintain the credit score – rather than closing accounts which may prove negative to the credit score.

Michael David is an expert writer who has years of experience writing and producing quality content. For anyone who is having financial troubles and wish to live a debt free lifestyle then I’d recommend reading Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Make Over: A Plan for Financial Fitness. It is a financial guide and strategy for living a debt free. Dave Ramsey is a world renowned financial guru, with a track record for helping families get out of debt.
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