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Archive for January, 2009

Are You Facing A Debt Crisis?

Written by Toi Williams on Jan 31st, 2009 | Filed under: debt relief

A large number of people are finding that they are facing a debt crisis today.  For some, their debt crisis occurs when they find that their credit limit has been cut and they can no longer charge the items that they need to maintain their quality of life.  Other people find that their debt crisis occurs when they have been laid off from their employment position and are having trouble finding the money to pay their debt obligations.  There are many different forms that a debt crisis may take, but they can strike any person at any time, so it is best to be as prepared as possible.

Stay Calm
The first step in handling a debt crisis is to calm down and not panic.  You cannot think correctly when you are stressed out and decisions made under duress may not be the right decisions for your particular situation.  Scam artists know that people are more vulnerable when they are under stress and thinking that they are out of options and this is when they typically strike to cause the most financial damage.  It is important to take a step back and truly evaluate your financial situation before making any decisions about the best way to handle the issue.

Create A Plan
The next step for handling a debt crisis is to create a plan for either resolving or living through the debt crisis without losing your sanity or destroying your credit score.  In many cases, you will have to reevaluate your standard of living and make dramatic cuts to your monthly spending until you can make enough to return to your previous quality of life.  If the debt crisis proves to be a minor one, then you may be able to return to your previous standard of living after a brief time period, but in some cases, the new standard of living will have to last for a long period of time.

In many cases, the person will need to cut the amount of luxuries that they purchase every month in order to have enough money to meet their debt obligations.  Some of the items that are typically eliminated first are lunches and dinners out at restaurants, specialty coffees, and purchasing new clothes.  If this is not enough, then sacrifices such as eliminating cable television, eliminating a second car, or quitting any classes that the family may be taking are generally the next cuts to be made.  By looking at the items that you are spending money on each month, you may be able to find several hundred dollars worth of savings each month by cutting the expenses that are not necessary.

By taking the time to truly evaluate your situation and create a plan to make sure that you will be able to weather the storm, you will find that a debt crisis can be made manageable.  Although the tough time may be difficult for you and your family, chances are that they will not last forever and you will be able to return to your previous standard of living with a greater appreciation for what you have and are able to do.

What Is A Personal Loan?

Written by Toi Williams on Jan 29th, 2009 | Filed under: loans

Many people do not always have enough money for all of things that the person would like to do.  Major decisions such as adding an addition to a home, obtaining vehicles without going to a dealership, purchasing expensive equipment, or making some other major purchase can be very expensive and it may be impossible for the person to come up with the entire amount needed all at once.  This is the reason why personal loans are so important to many people, because it helps the person obtain the things that they need quickly with loans that typically have much lower interest rates than the typical credit card.

What Are The Loans Used For?

A personal loan is obtained by the person for use for personal expenses.  In many cases, the person is prohibited from using these loans for business purposes and may find themselves facing legal action if they are found to have used the loans to fund a business in ways that are not allowed under the loan agreement.  A personal loan may be obtained by practically any person that is in need of a loan and is repaid in monthly instalments until the loan has been completely paid back.

The terms of a personal loan will depend on the amount of the loan and what the loan is being used for.  Personal loans for obtaining vehicles will be paid back to the loan company at the same rate as a personal loan for building an addition to the home.  There are short term loans that can be paid back over a year and long term loans that can be repaid over a five year period.

How Hard Is It To Find A Personal Loan?

Finding a personal loan will not be difficult for most people that have good credit because most lending institutions love to lend to people that have high credit scores.  For faster searching, the person may want to look online for the type of loan that they desire and obtain quotes from the companies that would be willing to provide them with the loan.  The interest rates for personal loans are generally more favourable than credit card interest rates because many people will typically have collateral for the loan such as personal property, which helps to ensure that the loan will be repaid in a timely manner.  Finding the right type of personal loan will take a small amount of time, but the benefits to the person that obtains the loan can be immense.

How To Compare Mortgage Rates Online

Written by Toi Williams on Jan 28th, 2009 | Filed under: loans

Finding the mortgage rates that are available can be daunting for the thousands of homeowners that need to refinance or purchase a home, as there are many mortgage companies offering similar products.  There are many different places where a homeowner can find the information for mortgage rate comparisons for the mortgage loan that they need.  There are many benefits to comparing mortgage rates online and many homeowners are now choosing this method to decide what company to obtain their mortgage loan from.

How Hard Is It To Compare Rates Online?

Comparing mortgage rates online is relatively easy, compared to other common methods of obtaining information about a mortgage loan.  Generally, talking to a mortgage lender to obtain information about the different products available takes the longest time, although the homeowner can get the most detailed information from the mortgage lender.  Talking to a mortgage lender takes more time than researching the loans online, but researching online can allow the homeowner to view information from more than one mortgage lender in a single search.

Where To Get The Information

When comparing mortgage rates online, the first thing that you must do is find a good website to obtain information from.  There are a number of different websites on the internet that can provide you with information about mortgage rates and will allow you to search for the exact loans that you are interested in.  Finding one of these websites will not be difficult as there are dozens of websites on the internet that provide information about different types of mortgage loans.  The homeowner may choose to trust the information from a single website or obtain information about the same type of mortgage loans from several different websites to find which ones have the best, most detailed information.

Once the homeowner has chosen the mortgage rate and loan that they are interested in, it may be possible to get an application for the loan from the lender’s website.  In many cases, the type of mortgage loan searched can be obtained from the lender after filling out a couple of forms on the website.  If the person is uncomfortable submitting their personal information over the internet, they always have the choice of contacting the lender directly and submitting their information that way.  Researching and comparing mortgage rates on the internet can save the homeowner a great deal of time and can help them find the best rate for the mortgage loan that they desire.

Looking To Get Rid Of Credit Card Debt?

Written by Toi Williams on Jan 22nd, 2009 | Filed under: credit cards

Millions of individuals have found themselves deeply in debt because they have been charging items to their credit cards and allowing the balances on those credit cards to reach levels that they cannot easily pay off.  Getting out of credit card debt is very difficult because many credit card companies have found that there are numerous ways to increase credit card debt after you have placed a large balance on your credit card, including charging late fees, over limit fees, and high interest rates on the credit cards that you hold.  Getting rid of credit card debt is not easy and it can take a long time to completely get rid of credit card debt if you have run up large balances, but getting rid of credit card debt forever can be accomplished if you are determined to make a lifestyle change.

Stop Making Purchases With The Credit Card

The first thing that you must do to get rid of credit card debt is to eliminate the charges that you place on the credit cards each month.  The main reason that many people begin to accumulate large amounts of credit card debt is because they are spending more than they make each month and are using credit cards to bridge the gap between what they are making and what they are spending.  To get rid of credit card debt, you must stop using the credit cards and start using any additional money that you have left after paying your bills to pay down your credit card debt.

Purchases paid for with a credit card can end up costing you a great deal more than paying in cash because of the additional charges that are added to the balance of the account by the credit card company.  Over time, the interest rate and finance charges can add hundreds of dollars in additional charges to the balance of the credit card, especially if you have only been making the minimum payment each time the balance was due. 

Make Eliminating Your Credit Card Debt A High Priority

To get rid of credit card debt, you must make the repayment of the credit card debt a high priority.  Instead of using the money left over from paying your bills on “luxury purchases” such as restaurant meals, movie tickets, or new clothing, you should apply those funds to your credit card debt.  Although these expenses may seem little at the time, over time they add up and the money spent on those purchases would be better used breaking credit card debt’s hold on your life.

Get a Better Interest Rate

It’s going to be very difficult to get out of credit card debt if you’re paying 23-33% interest on your money, so if you can do a balance transfer to a card with a lower rate, you can save hundreds per month. If you had $25,000 in credit card debt and had a 20% interest rate, you would save $416.66 a month by moving it over to a 0-interest card. Sometimes these offers are hard to get, but you can find some good loan modification leads by searching online through one of the many comparison sites.

The Benefits Of A Credit Card Consolidation Loan

Written by Toi Williams on Jan 20th, 2009 | Filed under: consolidation, credit cards

Many people are looking for a source of credit card consolidation loans to decrease the amount of debt that they are carrying on their credit cards.  When applying for consolidation loans, there are several things that you must keep in mind in order to get the best rate and the quickest approval for the loan that you desire.  Loan approval is based mainly on a person’s credit score, which in turn is based on a number of factors such as the person’s payment history, the amount of additional debt that the person is carrying, and the person’s credit score.  Based on these criteria, the lender will decide whether or not to approve the person for the credit card consolidation loan.

Tips For Applying For The Loan

When applying for credit card consolidation loans, there are several items to keep in mind.  One thing to remember is that the first loan company that you find may not always be the best one for you.  It is best to shop several different loan companies to find out which ones have the best interest rates and loan features.  It is always great to find consolidation loans with low interest rates, but the person should also try to find one that charges low origination fees and has a fixed interest rate for the length of the loan term.

Many companies that offer credit card consolidation loans will offer a low interest rate for the first six to twelve months of the loan, after which the interest rate increases dramatically.  This interest rate increase has the ability to more than double the monthly payment amount for the loan, which can easily turn into a financial hardship for the person.  Although the interest rate will still be lower than if you left the balance on the credit cards, it will still require a large payment to satisfy the loan obligation.

When looking for credit card consolidation loans, it is important to review all of the information prior to applying for the consolidation loans.  Be sure to read the terms and conditions for the consolidation loans carefully before applying for the loan.  There may be features of the loan that you are not aware of that may cost you a great deal of money in the long run.  Some companies that issue consolidation loans to borrowers insert a great deal of hidden fees into the approval for the loan.  These fees can total hundreds of dollars and are solely for the privilege of having the loan issued to you.  By reviewing the information for the credit card consolidation loans prior to applying for the loans, you will ensure that you are not surprised at a later date.

Simple Steps For Creating A Debt Management Plan

Written by Toi Williams on Jan 17th, 2009 | Filed under: debt relief

The number of people across the nation that find themselves holding thousands of dollars of debt increases each year and the numbers will continue to grow as the economy continues to slow.  Many people that depended on accumulating debt to finance their lifestyle are now finding that the bill is coming due.  These people are finding that they must live solely on what they are paid in each paycheck, which results in a large reduction in the amount of money that they are able to spend each month and a significant percentage of that money needs to go towards paying down their debt.

The only way that these people will be able to keep themselves from spiraling further into debt is to create a strict debt management plan to ensure that they are paying down their debt while avoiding spending more than they can afford each month.  While this may be difficult for people that were used to buying everything that they wanted without worrying about the consequences, the economic reality is that people are going to have to start living within their means and paying off the debt that they have accumulated.

How To Create A Debt Management Plan

The first step in creating a strict debt management plan that will help a person manage their finances is to determine how much the person actually spends each month.  For a period of at least two months, the person should keep track of all of their expenses and keep all of their receipts.  This will give the person a good picture of their financial situation, allowing them to review all of the things that they spend money on during the month and the cost of each item.

Keeping all of the receipts will also show the person what items that they are wasting money on each month.  Many people make unnecessary purchases that they may not be aware of because they were never concerned about how much money they were spending before.  If the person is in debt and needs to adhere to a strict debt management plan, these items need to be eliminated, with the money saved being paid toward their debt.

Once the person has determined their necessary expenses, it is time to create the debt management plan.  The goal is to have less money going out each month than you have coming in and using the gap is between these numbers to pay down their debt.  By detailing each expense that you must pay each month and the amount of money it will take to satisfy that expense, you will create a complete debt management plan that accounts for all of your monthly spending and shows you how much you will have available to dedicate to a debt repayment plan.

The most important part of creating a debt management plan is sticking to that debt management plan in order to save your financial situation.  Getting out of the free spending mentality will be hard, especially for people that have never had to exercise financial responsibility, but it is possible to create a strict debt management plan that can be used to repay all debts.

How to Deal with Structured Settlements

Written by admin on Jan 16th, 2009 | Filed under: Uncategorized

If you’ve ever been a car accident that wasn’t your fault or have ever had to file a lawsuit to receive compensation that harm was done to you in your business or in your personal life, you know that getting the money that you rightfully deserve can almost be impossible to get. There are all sorts of legal delays, motions, and feet-dragging that occurs.

Often times attornies will recommend that you take a settlement to avoid a costly trial, often that force you to accept a series of payments over a number of years, which might be if you don’t have any immediate need to make use of that money, but if you have major health bills or any other immediate need for the money that you’ve received from a lawsuit, a payment over many years simply won’t do much for you.

Fortunately, there are now options for people stuck in this situation. There are companies that will give you cash for annuities and cash for settlements. that you might have. They will take a look at the agreement you have with the company or individual that is paying you the structured settlement and then offer you a lump sum quote for how much money they will give you to Sell Structured Settlement that you might have. The company that bought your settlement will then take ownership and start receiving the payments that you would have had.

Quite often the buyer of structured settlements that will allow you to sell a structured settlementwill take about a 7% or 8% discount rate on your money. This means that their calculations relating to the value of getting your money now versus over a period of time (ie, the interest you would be able to earn on that money that you have now), at about 7% or 8%. This isn’t too unreasonable, but you definitely want to shop around if you plan on trying to sell an annuity or other structured setttlement.

Be very careful though, you don’t want to sell a settlemnet as a bandaid solution to a much larger problem. If you don’t have any money to begin with and you aren’t making any money, one lump sum of money will only delay your problems, not fix them. Ask yourself if you will be in the same situation, just delayed by a few months or a year, after receiving the lump sum of money that you might get initially.

Easy Methods To Increase Your Credit Score

Written by Toi Williams on Jan 16th, 2009 | Filed under: credit score

Being able to increase your credit score is becoming more and more important as the number of people that default on their accounts rises and the number of methods that a person can use to damage their credit increases.  There are some methods that a person can use to increase their credit score that are considered to be fairly simple, but many people do not know what those methods are.  Knowing what the options are will help increase the credit score quickly and improve the chances of obtaining approval for additional credit products in the future.

Stop Using Credit Cards
One method that a person can use to increase their credit score easily is to stop using their credit cards and close any accounts that were recently opened.  The amount of credit cards that the person has open can affect their credit score by reducing the score by a certain number of points for each open credit card account.  When a person has a large number of credit cards that are carrying a balance, it indicates that the person is not using their credit properly and will be risky to lend money to. 

Pay Down Balances
One of the easiest methods to increase your credit score is to pay down the amount of credit that you are using.  People are considered to be a credit risk once they use more than 50% of their available credit limit, which may be an indication that the person is not using their credit in the proper manner or the person is borrowing more than they can afford.  By reducing the amount of available credit used by paying down the balance of the credit cards, the person makes themselves appear more stable to the credit issuing companies.

Review Your Credit History
Another quick and easy method to increase your credit score is to examine your credit history for any mistakes.  Experts estimate as many as 35% of the credit histories available will have at least one mistake on it.  By carefully reviewing your credit history on a regular basis, you can catch any mistakes quickly, before they turn into larger problems that can devastate your credit score.  Any mistakes on a credit history are easiest to correct when they are found quickly and correcting the mistakes may be a lot simpler than you think.  The credit bureaus are required by law to investigate any claims of mistakes in a person’s credit history and change any information that is found to be incorrect.

There are a number of methods that a person can use to increase their credit score, but the thing that will be the most important will be persistence.  If there are many negative items in a person’s credit history, the only thing that may erase them is the passage of time.  Although we all want simple methods to increase our credit score, we must also focus on correcting the things that led to the bad credit score in the first place.

3 Signs That A Short Term Loan Is Right For You

Written by Toi Williams on Jan 15th, 2009 | Filed under: loans

Over the last several years, a large number of people have decided to use a short term loan to obtain funding for an immediate need.  Many people use a short term loan for bridging the gap between when they need to make a purchase and when they will be able to pay off the loan from income sources or other financial items.  Finding a short term loan that is right for you and your financial situation will not be difficult if you know what features indicate a good loan for short term needs. 

A Low Interest Rate For The Loan
The first item to look at when looking for a short term loan is the interest rate that the person will be paying on the loan.  Many loans that are offered on a short term basis will have higher interest rates than loans that are written for longer terms, even though the person will be paying less interest over the entire life of the loan.  If the interest rate for the loan is a competitive rate, obtaining a short term loan could end up saving the person hundreds of dollars over placing the purchase on a high limit credit card that has a higher interest rate associated with it.

Favorable Conditions For The Loan
For any short term loan, it is very important to read all of the information included in the loan agreement so you know exactly what you are getting into when you sign up for the loan.  The loan agreement will disclose what the interest rate for the short term loan will be and the repayment terms that are associated with the loan.  Some short term loans are written for a period of several months while some others can be in existence for several years.  As long as the person makes all of the payments for the short term loan when they are due, no additional fees will be added to the balance of the loan after the loan agreement has been agreed to and signed.

A Fixed Interest Rate For The Loan
There are a number of short term loans that advertise a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan.  These types of loans can result in significant savings as long as the person does not default on any payments for the loan as the interest rate will remain the same over the entire time the loan agreement is in effect.  Short term loans that have an adjustable interest rate can fluctuate from month to month depending on the base interest rate being charged and can sometimes balloon out of control if the interest rate adjusts upward at a fast pace.  By choosing a fixed rate for the short term loan, you will be able to accurately determine what the payment for the loan will be each month and will be able to create a budget that allows for the payment of the loan without financial problems occurring due to a higher interest rate than you were prepared for.

A Guide For Finding The Right Mortgage Company

Written by Toi Williams on Jan 11th, 2009 | Filed under: Uncategorized

For the people that are interested in obtaining a mortgage loan to obtain a home, finding the right mortgage company can be a complicated undertaking.  By having a guide on how to choose the right mortgage company, a person will be less likely to be taken advantage of by scam artists or a phony mortgage company that is designed to take your money.  The choice of which mortgage company to go with will depend on a number of different aspects and only by considering the many requirements of the mortgage company should the person come to a decision on which mortgage company fits their needs the best.

Choose A Reputable Company
One thing that people need to be aware of is that there are a number of mortgage lenders out there that are willing to scam unwary people because these people may not recognize the traps that they are falling into or are so desperate to be approved for a mortgage that they will sign paperwork for the mortgage without reading it properly.  Signing up with the wrong mortgage company can cause the person lose a significant amount of money over time and they may get locked into an agreement that it is impossible for them to get out of.  By taking the time to review the reputation of the mortgage company before signing up for a mortgage loan, you will be saving yourself a great deal of headache and heartache, not to mention a large amount of money.

Know Common Mortgage Terms
One of the biggest mistakes that many people make when applying for a mortgage is not being able to understand what is included in their mortgage agreement because they do not know the common terms used in the mortgage industry.  If a person does not understand what these common terms mean, then they may not realize what they are agreeing to when they sign the mortgage agreement.  One of the most common things heard today from people that are facing foreclosure on their home is that they did not realize what they were signing up for when they agreed to their mortgage agreement.

Have An Idea Of What You Should Qualify For
It is much harder for a mortgage lender to take advantage of someone that is well informed about how the process should work and have a good idea of what they should be able to qualify for.  One of the best things that a person can do before applying for a mortgage loan is to obtain their credit score and credit history so that they know where they stand before contacting a mortgage company.  Knowing your credit score will help you determine what type of interest rate you should be able to qualify for on a mortgage loan.

It is important that the person takes the time to find the right mortgage company for their needs.  If the people representing the mortgage company are not willing to listen to your concerns or they treat you like you are unimportant, then you really need to find another mortgage company to obtain your mortgage loan from.  Remember, you are the client and the mortgage company is working to secure your business, so you have the right to ask questions to try and determine the best mortgage loan for your needs.