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Archive for January, 2012

Handling Financial Issues The Smart Way

Written by Toi Williams on Jan 31st, 2012 | Filed under: mindset

Financial issues can strike at any time, but people that find themselves facing a financial issue often have months of warning that trouble is heading their way.  Instead of and pretending that the financial problems do not exist, the best course of action is to take control of your financial situation and manage any financial issue that arise before they snowball into a bigger mess.  Here are several tips for handling financial issues.

Don’t Deny The Problem

Many people find themselves in denial about their financial situation as the situation deteriorates due to lack of action.  To handle your financial issues, you must be honest about the severity of the problem and how you have gotten to that point.  By accessing the situation and taking responsibility for your actions, you will have a better understanding of what will be needed to reverse your problem and will able to create an effective plan that will not create more financial hardship for you or your family.

Have Patience

You must remember that your financial situation was not created quickly and the issues will not be solved quickly either.  It is important to think everything through, avoid panicking, and exhibit patience while allowing the financial management techniques adopted to repair your finances to work.  It is impossible to think correctly when severely stressed out and decisions made during these times may not be the right decisions for your particular financial situation.

Create A Plan

An important part of handling troublesome financial issues is creating a plan for resolving the financial issue without destroying your credit score or causing undue financial hardship.  In some cases, your standard of living will have to be reevaluated and significant cuts to your monthly spending may need to be made until the situation has been resolved.  If the financial issue is minor, you may be able to return to your previous lifestyle after a brief period of time.  Although facing a financial issue can be difficult, the hard times will not last forever and when the situation has been resolved, you will be able to return to your normal life with a greater appreciation for what you have been able to accomplish.

Have You Chosen The Wrong Debt Elimination Company?

Written by Toi Williams on Jan 27th, 2012 | Filed under: debt relief

Realizing that you are deeply in debt can be traumatic and scary, and many people panic and find the first or fastest solution they can to try to eliminate their debt as quickly as possible.  One of the many places that they turn are debt elimination companies that promise to reduce their debt burden significantly within a short period of time so that the person can return to financial health.  Although most debt elimination companies are truly working to help their clients, there are some unscrupulous companies that can be much more trouble than they are worth.  Here are some clues that you have chosen the wrong debt elimination company.

They Offer To Create A New Credit Profile For You.

If the debt elimination company that you are working with offers to create a new credit profile for you for an additional fee, you should stop doing business with the company as quickly as you can.  Creating a new credit profile often involves creating a fake social security number for the person and creating a new credit profile under their name with the new social security number.  These actions are clearly illegal and if you are caught using this social security number and credit profile, you stand a good chance of being prosecuted and sent to jail under felony charges.

They Announce That Your Debts Are Legally Uncollectible.

If the debt elimination company tells you that you no longer have to pay your debts because they are legally uncollectible, this generally means one of two things.  Either the company cannot do anything for you and is lying to you about the results that they are providing so that they can take more of your money or your debts are more than seven years old, which would put them beyond the statute of limitations on debt collection.  Either way, the company’s services are no longer needed and you should sever your business relationship with them as soon as possible.

Techniques To Obtain Debt Relief

Written by Toi Williams on Jan 25th, 2012 | Filed under: debt relief

Debt elimination is very important to future financial security, leading many individuals to wonder how to obtain debt relief so that their high debt level will stop affecting their life.  Learning how to obtain debt relief is not hard, regardless of how bad your debt situation may be and knowing where to look for these techniques and how to take advantage of what is offered are things that everyone should know.

Finding A Debt Relief Company

There are many sources of debt relief that you can use to reduce or eliminate your debt.  The company chosen to help you reduce your debt levels will depend on what prompted you to seek assistance in the first place.  There are many companies that offer debt relief programs and debt elimination counseling and some of them work in conjunction with government programs created to help individuals get out of debt.

After a consultation with the company, the person chosen to help you specifically will submit your information to any companies owed money, trying to get them to accept a reduction in the amount needed to satisfy the account.   Some companies have meticulous programs in place to determine whether borrowers are eligible for any programs that could reduce the debt owed.  Many of these programs provide help such as reducing the interest rate on the account, forgiving some of the fees that have been charged, or accepting a percentage of the amount owed to close out the account completely.

Finding A Debt Relief Program

Another option is to review one of the debt relief programs that can be found on the internet.  These programs offer information about things a person can do to reduce their debt and computer software that can be downloaded to assist the person in their endeavor.  Some of these programs have a phone number listed on the website that can be used to contact the company to ask questions and solve problems that arise.  Individuals supply their personal and financial information so that the program can evaluate the person’s financial situation and will be able to give the best advice for those particular circumstances.

Are You Interested In Refinancing Your Home?

Written by Toi Williams on Jan 24th, 2012 | Filed under: loans

If you are interested in refinancing your home, it is important to learn all that you can so that you will completely understand the loan you are getting.  One of the biggest mistakes you can make when refinancing your home is taking out an exotic mortgage loan that you do not understand because it can significantly affect your finances for many years after the decisions have been made.  Educating yourself about the different types of loans available is the only sure way to obtain the best refinancing loan for your financial situation.

Lenders have created several different types of loans to be used for refinancing a home in order to appeal to a wide range of consumers.  Traditional loan products are the loan types that have been used the longest and are generally the most stable types of loans available.  Traditional loan products typically have a fixed interest rate and the payments remain consistent over the life of the loan.

Some people view exotic loan products as being more beneficial for their financial situation because of the differing terms that can be obtained with the loans.  Exotic refinancing products are a recent innovation, with many types originating after 2002.  Exotic refinancing products can have variable interest rates that change from month to month, fluctuating payments, and shorter loan terms than more traditional products.

The most common reason for refinancing a home is to obtain better terms than what the borrower has on the original loan for the home.  Refinancing a mortgage can lower your monthly payments, decrease the amount of interest paid to the bank, and shorten the amount of time that it takes to pay off the entire mortgage amount.  A reduction of a few percentage points on the interest rate can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan while a reduction in the amount paid every month frees up more of your income for paying down debts or other needs.

The Right Real Estate Lender Can Save You Money On Your Mortgage

Written by Toi Williams on Jan 19th, 2012 | Filed under: loans

If you are looking to get a mortgage, there are a couple of things you need to do before you start thinking about what the type of loan you need, how much the loan should be, or how long it will take to pay back the loan. Those things are finding a real estate lender and finding a mortgage consultant who can help you find the right mortgage product for your needs.

In years past, finding a real estate lender involved looking in the phone book or talking to friends and acquaintances about who they obtained their mortgage from. This was a time consuming process and you really had no way to know what the loan was going to be like or how you would be treated by the company.

Thankfully, those days are over and now you can look on the internet to find a real estate lender that offers the mortgage terms that you want.  You can do a quick search on a search engine for ‘real estate lender’ and your state to get results that show the real estate lenders that operate in your area. The list is generated in a matter of seconds and you can search each name on the list to find the reviews from consumers that have had experiences with those companies.

Once you have found the real estate lender that will work best for your needs, you can begin to searching for your loan. Your mortgage consultant should be able to assist you with everything you need and help you find a loan that will work great for you. Your real estate lender will be able to provide you with numerous loans to choose from with different interest rates and loan terms that can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.  No matter your mortgage needs, finding the right kind of real estate lender is one of the most important steps you can take for your future financial stability.

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?

Written by admin on Jan 16th, 2012 | Filed under: loans

One of the biggest debates among financial professionals is whether you should pay off your mortgage early. There are pros and cons and the answer will depend on your risk tolerance and alternative investing options.

Arguments for Early Payoff

The biggest argument for paying off your mortgage early is that doing so allows you to actually own the place where you live. There is a great freedom associated with owning your home yourself and not owing the bank. It can protect you if you hit a financial rough patch, since you won’t have to worry about losing your home. It ensures that you should always have a place to live without fear, even if you are suddenly faced with a situation where you cannot make monthly payments.

When you pay off your mortgage early, you also eliminate a monthly debt payment on your secured loan, freeing up your cash to put towards other things. You can then use the extra money you have each month to save or to accomplish other financial goals and dreams. Other things, such as early retirement or quitting your job in favor of a lower paying dream position, can also be possible if you don’t have a house payment to worry about.

Finally, another argument for early mortgage payoff is that you get a guaranteed return on your investment equal to whatever your mortgage rate is. For instance, if you were paying 5 percent a year on your mortgage and you pay it off early, you are essentially gaining the 5 percent of your money that would have gone to interest every year.

Arguments Against Early Payoff

While the arguments for early payoff are good, there are equally strong arguments suggesting you shouldn’t pay off your mortgage early. One of the biggest is that mortgage debt is generally low-interest debt, as it is a secured loan. This is especially true now with interest rates at record lows. You should be able to invest the money you’d spend to pay off your mortgage in another investment that pays a higher rate than the interest you pay to your mortgage lender. For instance, if your mortgage interest rate is 3 percent, but you can invest your money at five percent, you’d be giving up the extra 2 percent you could make by investing the money elsewhere. Mortgage interest is also tax deductible, so this needs to be taken into account as well when comparing the value of paying off your mortgage early to save on interest.

Opportunity cost associated with lost investment time is another reason to avoid early payoff. When you invest money and earn interest, that return can then be invested and begin earning more interest for you. This is referred to as compound interest and it allows you to keep making more and more money without investing any additional cash. When you spend years paying off your mortgage instead of investing the cash, you lose out on the magic of compound interest for your lost investment dollars. It can take a while to catch up on all that interest you would have made.

Making Your Choice

Ultimately, it is up to you whether to pay off your mortgage early or not. Remember, since mortgage debt is a secured loan, your home is always at risk if you can’t make the payments. However, if you have a large nest egg saved, you could always tap into that nest egg to repay the mortgage if something happens in the future that prevents you from doing so.


Choosing The Right Credit Repair Program Will Help You Get Effective Results

Written by Toi Williams on Jan 15th, 2012 | Filed under: debt relief

People interested in finding a credit repair program to repair their credit may find that obtaining an effective credit repair program can be a complicated undertaking.  Having a guide for choosing the right credit repair program will make the person less likely to fall victim to scam artists or a phony credit repair program.  The choice of which credit repair program to choose will depend on a number of different factors and considering the requirements of the credit repair program will help the person reach a decision on which credit repair program fits their needs adequately.

Take Your Time

Although the situation may seem dire, decisions made in haste are often regretted at a later date.  Take the time to choose the credit repair company carefully to ensure that you will eventually get the results desired while paying a price that is reasonable.  If anything seems as if it is not right or the company is secretive about its operations, you may want to consider choosing a different credit repair company before your future financial security is compromised.

Be Aware Of The Dangers

Many people are so desperate to repair their credit that they will sign up with the first company that promises them the results that they want.  Signing paperwork for a credit repair program without reading it properly or understanding the terms and conditions nearly always ends in disaster.  Signing up for the wrong credit repair program can result in the loss of a significant amount of money, being locked into an agreement that is impossible to get out of, or even having criminal charges pressed against you for following illegal advice given by a fraudulent credit repair company.

Be Careful With Personal Information

Never give out any personal information or financial information to someone that you do not know over the phone or through email communications.  Scam artists will contact a person to convince them to sign up for a specific credit repair program, even faxing or emailing the victim paperwork to sign, but in the end, the person will never see the results promised or they will have to go to court to get out of a fraudulent contract.  Reputable credit repair companies will wait for you to contact them for help and will ensure that your personal information is kept secure and uncompromised.

Getting Your Credit Cards Under Control

Written by Toi Williams on Jan 14th, 2012 | Filed under: credit cards

The number of people using credit cards to make everyday purchases has skyrocketed over the past few years, leading to many finding themselves with out of control credit card debt and few prospects for reversing the situation.  Some of the common issues found with credit cards today include reductions in credit limits, high interest rates, and minimum payments doing little to bring down the balances of the cards.  Fixing the situation can be accomplished with some hard work and dedication, but many of the people who find themselves in a dire financial situation have no idea where to begin.  Here are some tips for getting your credit cards under control.

Cut The Number Of Credit Cards Used

Having multiple credit cards that are used on a regular basis is one of the most common ways that people overspend and find themselves in debt trouble.  Using multiple credit cards for purchases increases the risks that you will spend more than you can afford to repay, that you will accidentally make a payment late, or that you will pay an astronomical interest rate for the money borrowed.  If you have multiple credit cards open in your name, you may want to consider closing newer accounts and any store branded credit cards to simplify your spending and accounting.

Reduce Or Eliminate High Balances

Having a high balance on one or more of your credit cards can reduce the amount of your income available for spending by a significant amount.  High balances often incur high finance charges and interest charges until the balance is paid off, a process that can take many years if you are only making the minimum payment required.  To get rid of these high balances, make a repayment plan that pays off the highest balances with the highest interest rates first and continue until each balance is reduced to a more manageable amount or eliminated completely.  Balance transfers are only a good idea if you pay off the balance before the introductory interest rate expires.

Examining Student Credit Card Interest Rates

Written by Toi Williams on Jan 13th, 2012 | Filed under: credit cards

As if choosing a college and moving away from home for the first time wasn’t stressful enough, many college students are also faced with the choice of getting their first credit cards and beginning to build their credit histories.  Many lenders offer credit cards designed with students in mind and relentlessly push new applications on the new students on campus.  While a student credit card can be a wonderful way for a college student to build a credit profile, there are some pitfalls for the unwary that can cost the student a lot of money over the long haul.  Here is one of the most important things to look for in a student credit card.

Before signing up for any credit card, it is important to know what the interest rate for the credit card would be.  A high interest rate means that you will spend more money for the purchases placed on the credit card, especially if you are not able to pay off the entire balance every month.  A credit card with a low interest rate will generally have a rate of less than 10% while a credit card with a high interest rate could be as high as 30%.  You should look for the student credit card with the lowest interest rate and the highest credit limit you qualify for.

Some student credit cards offer students an introductory interest rate of 5% or less in order to entice them into signing up for the credit card and using it for general purchases.  Unfortunately, after a set period of time, the interest rate increases dramatically and is applied to all future purchases that are made on the credit card.  Be sure to read the terms and conditions of the credit card application carefully so that you will know what the interest rate will be during the introductory period and after.

Debt Reduction Information For Individuals That Have A Poor Credit Score

Written by Toi Williams on Jan 10th, 2012 | Filed under: debt relief

Many individuals are looking for a debt reduction technique to decrease the amount of debt that they are carrying, especially when the individual is battling a poor credit score as well.  When looking for debt reduction techniques, there are several things that the individual must keep in mind in order to get the results that they desire.

The technique used will be based mainly on an individual’s credit history, payment history, and the amount of debt that the individual is carrying.  After using these factors to determine whether the individual should be using a debt reduction technique, the person can choose a company that offers the technique for a reasonable price.  It is important to remember that a poor credit score can result in the individual receiving a much higher price for debt reduction assistance or being rejected by the company outright.

Examine All Of Your Options Carefully

When looking a debt reduction technique, there are several things to keep in mind.  The first thing that should be taken into consideration is that the first techniques that the individual may come across may not be the best one for the individual’s situation.  In many cases, an individual that has a poor credit score is so desperate for a solution that they will use the first technique that they see, regardless of the terms, and choose whatever technique they think may work.  It is best to review several different techniques to find out which ones will offer the best results.

Check The Validity Of The Information

It is always great to find debt reduction techniques that can be obtained cheaply and little effort involved, but the individual must be careful to make sure that the information displayed is not just a hook to get the individual to accept the technique and send money to the company.  In some cases, the price will change after a brief introductory period, after which the price will rise dramatically higher for the services to continue.  The increased price will put the individual deeper into debt and may even make the technique unaffordable for someone that has a poor credit score or is in a bad financial situation.  When dealing with companies that offer debt reduction techniques, it is best to be sure that you are dealing with a company that is reputable by checking out their reviews on the internet.