Discover Debt Freedom!

Get Out of Debt and into Wealth

Archive for October, 2009

Great Credit Repair Companies Are Easy To Find

Written by Toi Williams on Oct 28th, 2009 | Filed under: debt relief

Many people have accumulated a great amount of debt in recent years and have found that the amount of debt that they are carrying has become unmanageable.  This situation has made using credit repair companies a popular way for a person to reduce or eliminate their debts.  Many individuals across the nation have used credit repair companies to map out a credit repair and savings program that can get them out of debt and create lifestyle changes that will prevent them from accumulating debt in the future.

There are many different credit repair companies that will offer credit repair plans to individuals that have accumulated large amounts of debt and each of these credit repair companies offer plans are different in subtle ways.  When trying to find great credit repair companies, there are a few important features to look for that will indicate the best credit repair companies for your needs.

How Much Will It Cost?

One of the most important items to review before deciding whether to use a credit repair company is the price that you will be charged for utilizing the services of the company.  The plan that costs the lowest price may not always be the best choice, but reviewing the prices of several different credit repair companies will help you determine an average price for the services you need.  The price for the credit repair plan is typically based on the amount of debt the person is carrying, with higher debt levels requiring the payment of higher fees for the services. 

The higher the price charged for the plan, the more you will pay to reduce or eliminate the debt that you have accumulated.  It is not uncommon to see some plans that cost a significant amount of money, often hundreds of dollars, to help a person get out of debt.  Be sure to review the prices of several credit repair companies to be sure that you are getting the best deal available for your situation. 

Additional Fees For Certain Services?

Another thing that should be reviewed prior to deciding which credit repair companies to use is whether the cost of the plan includes all of the administrative and costs of managing the plan or you have to pay any additional costs associated with the implementation of the plan.  These prices may include charges for contacting lenders, for downloading paperwork, or other common tasks that are routine processes in credit repair.  Very few reputable credit repair companies include many additional fees, so it is possible to find a company that does not charge you these fees or price for using the services includes the additional items as well.  Be sure to look for the plans with the lowest amount of additional fees charges because these plans will end up costing you less in the long run.


Want Methods For Credit Score Improvement?

Written by Toi Williams on Oct 26th, 2009 | Filed under: credit score

Being able to improve your credit score is a very important part of today’s financial environment and many people are seeking to improve their credit score to improve their personal financial situation.  Making the choice to improve a credit score can save a person a great deal of money and knowing which methods to use to improve a credit score will take time and research to determine.  To find a way to improve their credit score, there are several things that the person should keep in mind. 

Financial Information

Being able to improve your credit score will depend on your personal financial situation and previous credit history.  The majority of people that need to improve their credit score have a great deal of blemishes on their credit report, which is used to determine a person’s credit worthiness and their record of repaying money that they have borrowed from lenders.  A person with a fair credit history for the last few years will be much more attractive for companies to help improve their credit score than a person that has a great deal of recent blemishes on their credit report because it shows that the low rating numbers are justified.

Examine Your Options

The best type of method to improve a credit score for one person may not be the best type of method to improve a credit score for another person.  An ideal way to improve the credit score for an individual will have the highest results with the least amount of hassle in the shortest amount of time.  It is very important that any person that is looking for the best method to improve their credit score is reading all of the terms and conditions associated with the method to improve their credit score make sure that they understand what they will need to do to complete the process.

Amount Of Effort Needed

The amount of effort needed to improve a credit score can vary from person to person.  Some people may have to make a few phone calls and submit some paperwork while some others may have to negotiate with their creditors and make repayment arrangements for their accounts before they can improve their credit score.  Some people choose to purchase bad credit repair software to help them keep track of all of the financial steps they will need to take to repair their credit and to chart their path to a higher credit score.  There are a number of different methods a person can use to improve their credit score and the method that is chosen should be the one that works the best for the person and their financial situation.


Tips For Choosing A Good Debt Counselor

Written by Toi Williams on Oct 23rd, 2009 | Filed under: debt relief

If a person is interested in debt management methods, the person may need a good debt counselor to help the person find the right debt management methods for them. Choosing a good debt counselor can be difficult because there are a large number of counselors that have opened up shop all over the nation.  By keeping some simple tips in mind when looking for a good debt counselor, the person will increase their chances of being satisfied with the debt management methods available to them.

Ask For A Recommendation

Many people choose a good debt counselor by talking to family members and friends about which counselors they recommend.  If someone that the person knows has had a good experience with a counselor, there is a good chance that the person looking to reduce or eliminate their debt will have a good experience with the counselor as well.  This is one of the easiest ways to choose a good debt counselor because the person will know what to expect beforehand.

Do They Have A Good Reputation?

Another thing to think about when choosing a good debt counselor is the reputation of the counselor.  This can typically be accomplished by searching for the name of the counselor in the search engines of the internet to read consumer reviews about the counselor.  These websites allow thousands of people to voice their opinions on many different subjects, including debt management counselors and experiences with different debt management methods.  If most of the information found is negative, then the person should avoid that counselor before the person has a bad experience as well.

It is important that a debt counselor is honest and has the best interests of the person at heart.  It is very important that the person read all of the terms of the debt management methods very carefully to make sure that they understand all of the information that is included.  Many people believe that it is best to contact a debt management counselor that have been in business for years rather than counselors that are new to the business because there is the perception that a more established counselor will not risk their standing in the industry by taking advantage of their customers.  When it comes to choosing a good debt counselor, finding the right counselor can help the person find the best debt management methods for their needs.


How To Get Money For College

Written by Toi Williams on Oct 22nd, 2009 | Filed under: student loans

Because of the high cost of attending college today, for many individuals the most important part of the process is getting money for college without bankrupting their family to pay for their education.  The average cost of attending a college has steadily risen over the last decade, pricing many individuals out of what was once affordable higher education.  More than two-thirds of college students borrow to pay for their college education, carrying an average debt of $20,000.  There are several different ways that you can use to get money for college and the method that you choose will ultimately depend on your personal financial situation at the time.

Scholarships And Grants

For most individuals, the first step in obtaining money to attend a college is applying for scholarships and grants that can help with the cost of tuition.  Every year, thousands of scholarships and grants are given out in hundreds of different categories to college and high school students across the nation.  The number of scholarships and grants that an individual will qualify is based on a number of different criteria, including grade point average, class ranking, and proficiency in different academic categories.

The monetary value of the scholarships and grants will also vary from instance to instance.  Some scholarships and grants have relatively low dollar amounts, ranging between $100 and $500, while others may provide enough money to pay for a majority of the individual’s tuition costs.  A individual can be granted more than one scholarship or grant and can combine the money obtained from each scholarship or grant to pay for their college tuition.

Student Loans

If you are unable to secure enough money in scholarships and grants to pay for the total cost of a college education, the next step is to apply for a student loan.  There are two different types of student loans that are typically obtained for financing college tuition.  Public student loans are backed by the federal government and are issued by lenders acting as a broker for a specific type of student loan.  Private student loans are obtained from banks and private lenders and often require the signature of a parent or other co-signer accepting responsibility for the repayment of the loan before the loan will be approved. 

There are thousands of different lenders that offer student loans of various amounts and loan terms.  This allows each individual to be able to find a loan product that matches what they need to fund their college education.  The application for a student loan can be filled out online and the applicant will receive a response of approval, denial, or a request for more information within 72 hours of the submission of the application.

By giving students access to capital they can use for a college education, the government and private lenders enable students to pay for an educational experience that they could not have afforded otherwise. Student loans give college students the flexibility to choose the type of school that is right for them and, by allowing the students to defer repayment while in school, the government and private lenders encourage students to manage their own educational decisions and increase access to a college diploma.


Repair Your Credit Faster By Talking To The Credit Company

Written by Toi Williams on Oct 21st, 2009 | Filed under: credit score

There are many people across the nation wondering how they can get faster results when they try to repair bad credit.  Faster results have the ability to save the person hundreds of dollars every year in interest payments, depending on the amount of debt that is serviced under the credit repair program.  Some people have found that negotiating with the credit company directly is the best way to get faster results for their credit repair efforts, regardless of whether they have past blemishes on their credit accounts.

Why Should I Talk To The Company?

Credit companies have the ability to influence the results of credit repair based on the person’s credit score and industry standards, which vary for different types of credit products.  These standards do not provide a particular method that the credit company must use for credit repair requests, only suggestions of what the best method may be in different circumstances.  This is why a person can receive credit repair offers with different results from different credit companies even though all of the information that the credit companies have looked at are the same.

In many cases, the credit company will reserve the use of the best methods for individuals that have an existing relationship with the company and have used their products for a long period of time.  In some cases, people that have used credit repair or financial planning services in the past may be able to obtain better results by calling the credit company and asking for their account to be reviewed.  The credit company will review the account and make the determination of whether or not to speed up the credit repair process

This works best if the person has had a prior business relationship with the credit company and has not had any issues with defaulting on any credit agreements in the last year.  The credit company will review the person’s account history before deciding whether the person deserves to have negative information erased from their credit report or have their interest rate lowered so that they can get out of debt faster.  If the person’s recent account history looks good, it makes it easier for the company to decide to help the person.  If the person has a history of problems, the credit company will be much less willing to reward the person with help for their credit repair efforts.


3 Factors That Determine Your Credit Card Interest Rate

Written by Toi Williams on Oct 19th, 2009 | Filed under: credit cards

There are many factors that can affect your credit card interest rate but there are three that have the largest effect on the interest rates that you are given.  Everyone that uses credit cards or are thinking about obtaining a credit card should have a basic knowledge of how credit card products work and learning what you can do to ensure that your credit card interest rate remains low is the best way to save a great deal of money and maintain an excellent credit score.

Credit History

One of the most important factors in determining an individual’s credit card interest rate is the individual’s credit history.  A person’s credit history creates an account of all the times that the individual has made a late payment on one of their credit accounts or missed it completely.  This is an indication of your level of responsibility to the credit card company and how much of a credit risk you will be.  The higher the risk of lending to you, the higher the interest rate that they will charge you will be.  Late and missed payments show up on your credit report for as many as seven years after the actual incident and the only thing that can erase it is the passage of time. 

Length Of Credit Profile

Another factor that may affect your credit card interest rate is the length of time that you have owned credit cards or other credit accounts.  Credit card companies tend to reward long term customers by lowering the interest rates on their credit cards.  There are two different ways to obtain a lower interest rate based on the length of your credit profile.  In some cases, the credit card company will decide to lower your interest rate because of a routine review of your credit card account, but in other cases the interest rate was lowered because the account holder called the credit card company to request that their interest rate be lowered because of the length of time they have had the credit account and their ability to keep their account current.

Percentage Of Credit Used

The third factor that influences your credit card interest rate is the percentage of available credit that you are using at the time of opening a new credit card account.  A household that uses more than 30% of their available credit is considered a credit risk and will be given a higher interest rate than households that use less of their available credit.  When it comes to getting the best credit card interest rate, understanding credit cards and the way they work is the best way to obtain the interest rate that you want.


Be Prepared For Financial Emergencies

Written by Toi Williams on Oct 17th, 2009 | Filed under: mindset, saving

A financial emergency can strike at anytime and no one is immune or can predict when a financial emergency will happen.  Yet, many people fail to plan adequately for the chance that a financial emergency will occur and are financially devastated when an emergency situation occurs.  There are several steps that you can take to help prepare yourself to be able to handle any financial emergency that occurs and taking these steps will increase your peace of mind and confidence in your financial situation.

Reduce Your Debt Level
The most common reason for financial emergencies causing financial devastation is a high debt level when the financial emergency occurs.  People that are carrying a high debt level often do not have much money saved and have limited opportunities to obtain more money to handle the financial emergency.  In many cases, these people have either put off handling the situation, which could end up costing them even more in the future, or they have to obtain a loan at an astronomical interest rate to have the money to fix the problem.  Paying down your debt level can eliminate these issues and allow you to have money in reserve for handling any problem that arises.

Increase Your Savings
Many people do not realize that obtaining the money for a financial emergency from your savings account is much cheaper than obtaining the money from a lender, mainly due to the amount of interest that will be charged on the loan.  Short term loans have high interest rates and placing the charge on your credit card can result in interest payments of 20% or more.  Both of these options will still cost you less than obtaining a loan from a payday lender, where interest rates often top 300% and the money has to be paid back within 14 days.  Putting more of your salary into a savings account to hold for future needs will reduce the chances that you will need to go to an outside lender to obtain money to handle the situation.
 
The ability to take control of your financial future and take care of any financial emergencies that occur provides many benefits to a person.  Stress levels are reduced because the person does not have to worry about how they are going to take care of the problem.  Health and happiness are also increased because the person will not have to make major sacrifices to be able to handle the issue.  Being able to solve these problems and keep the family finances intact will go a long way towards improving the lives of people that are struck with financial emergencies.


Be Prepared For Financial Emergencies

Written by Toi Williams on Oct 17th, 2009 | Filed under: Uncategorized

A financial emergency can strike at anytime and no one is immune or can predict when a financial emergency will happen.  Yet, many people fail to plan adequately for the chance that a financial emergency will occur and are financially devastated when an emergency situation occurs.  There are several steps that you can take to help prepare yourself to be able to handle any financial emergency that occurs and taking these steps will increase your peace of mind and confidence in your financial situation.

Reduce Your Debt Level
The most common reason for financial emergencies causing financial devastation is a high debt level when the financial emergency occurs.  People that are carrying a high debt level often do not have much money saved and have limited opportunities to obtain more money to handle the financial emergency.  In many cases, these people have either put off handling the situation, which could end up costing them even more in the future, or they have to obtain a loan at an astronomical interest rate to have the money to fix the problem.  Paying down your debt level can eliminate these issues and allow you to have money in reserve for handling any problem that arises.

Increase Your Savings
Many people do not realize that obtaining the money for a financial emergency from your savings account is much cheaper than obtaining the money from a lender, mainly due to the amount of interest that will be charged on the loan.  Short term loans have high interest rates and placing the charge on your credit card can result in interest payments of 20% or more.  Both of these options will still cost you less than obtaining a loan from a payday lender, where interest rates often top 300% and the money has to be paid back within 14 days.  Putting more of your salary into a savings account to hold for future needs will reduce the chances that you will need to go to an outside lender to obtain money to handle the situation.
 
The ability to take control of your financial future and take care of any financial emergencies that occur provides many benefits to a person.  Stress levels are reduced because the person does not have to worry about how they are going to take care of the problem.  Health and happiness are also increased because the person will not have to make major sacrifices to be able to handle the issue.  Being able to solve these problems and keep the family finances intact will go a long way towards improving the lives of people that are struck with financial emergencies.


How To Handle High Debt Levels

Written by Toi Williams on Oct 14th, 2009 | Filed under: debt relief, mindset

More than 70% of the American people are carrying debt levels that are higher than they can effectively handle and the amount of debt that people are carrying increases as they take longer and longer to pay down their debts.  Because of these high debt levels, many people eventually find themselves in impossible situations when a financial emergency occurs and they do not have any options for handling the issue.  Handling high debt levels can be tricky, but there are ways for dealing with this debt that will allow you to pay down your debts and become more financially stable in a relatively short period of time.

Know How Much You Owe
Many of the people that are carrying high debt levels would be shocked to compile information on all of their debts and discover exactly how much is owed to their creditors.  These people are often in denial about exactly how much they owe because the number is much higher than they believe they can handle.  To be able to get a handle on your debt levels, you need to know exactly how much you will need to pay your creditors to clear your debt.

Form A Payment Plan
Now that you know how much is owed to your creditors, it is time to come up with a plan for repaying those debts.  The payment plans should allow you to take care of your major monthly expenses without default while allowing you to use a significant portion of your salary to pay down your debts.  After the creation of the payment plan, you should follow the plan without fail until your debts have been paid down to a much more manageable level.

Resist Debt Creation
You will never pay off your debts if you continue to create more debt.  The first thing you should do when you find yourself in a hole is stop digging, so you should put away your credit cards and stop paging through catalogs and roaming through stores to try and find ways to spend money that you do not have.  In the beginning, it can be hard to resist all of the advertisements and commercials telling you to buy, buy, buy but once you see your debt levels begin to go down and feel the relief that comes with the reduction of your debt, you will find it much easier to continue with the program you are following.


The Steps To Effective Financial Planning For Your Future

Written by Toi Williams on Oct 12th, 2009 | Filed under: mindset, saving

Planning financially for the future is something that everyone should be concerned about because you can never tell what the future will hold.  It is best to be prepared for anything financially and if you wait until a financial emergency to begin a plan, it is already too late.  There are some steps that you can take to prepare yourself financially for the future and taking these steps now will put you in a better position to handle any type of financial emergency that occurs.

Pay Down Your Debt
If the current economic recession has taught us anything, it is that carrying a great deal of debt is a bad idea and can reduce your options for the future.  If you are carrying a large debt load, your first step is to pay down these debts as quickly as possible and hopefully eliminate them.  Dedicating a portion of your monthly salary to paying off your debts will result in the debts being paid off more quickly and increased peace of mind that your debts will not overwhelm you and drive you to bankruptcy.

Create A Spending Plan
Creating a spending plan that allows you to save a portion of your salary each month is another important step in planning financially for the future.  The first step in creating a spending plan is to track all of your expenses, even the small ones of $1 or $2 each, to determine what you are spending your money on and where cuts can be made to save more money.  After the spending plan has been created, discipline will be needed to follow the plan month after month so that you can save as much money as possible for the future.

Don’t Touch Your Savings Account
Although it can be tempting when you have a lot of money in your savings account, leaving your money in the bank to accumulate and earn interest is very important.  This money is only to be used for financial emergencies and a new couch for the living room is not an emergency.  If there is a purchase that you would like to make, you still need to place the same amount into your savings account each month and cut spending in other areas to save the amount you need for non-emergency purchases.