The Basics of Credit Management

The Basics of Credit Management

Aug 15

money doesn't grow on trees

When applying for a loan, potential lenders will ask to do a credit check, which may or may not help secure the loan you need.

However, debt relief programs can help you reduce several debts down to zero. Up until now, this hasn’t been possible because of so much interest being added to your balances every month, making it extremely difficult for you to make at least the minimum payments on all of your debts.

The Duties of a Debt Consolidator

A debt relief program could be of great assistance to you because your debt consolidator will ask your creditors to lower your interest rates. Because this will make it easier for you to re-pay your debts, your creditors are very likely to agree. Your debt consolidator may also be able to have any late fees or penalties that have been added to your debts waived.

But even after people receive help re-paying their debts, they can fall into a false sense of security. In many cases, people don’t learn what it was that caused them to experience financial difficulties in the first place. Since they didn’t examine the cause of their troubles, they are very likely to repeat their old mistakes.

The Benefit of Credit Management Counseling

The above scenario doesn’t have to be your experience because you can seek credit management advice from a counselor. A counselor will be able to explain to you in detail how your credit score is calculated. You will learn the criteria that the major credit bureaus use to compute your credit scores. You will learn what parts of the equation are bringing your scores down, and you will also discover what you need to do to improve your scores.

Before you apply for a new loan, you will need to seek debt relief from a company like CreditGuard of America and then credit counseling. Doing so will make it possible for you to receive the loan that you need at a lower interest rate. Do yourself a favor and contact a debt consolidator or credit management counselor today.

Choosing a Debt Consolidation Company

Choosing a Debt Consolidation Company

Jul 28

In recent years, many good people have been unexpectedly overwhelmed by debt and are searching to find a way out of it. Unfortunately, many of the methods being used to get rid of debt may inadvertently dig the hole deeper or cause your credit rating to drop. Avoiding these unpleasant situations may be accomplished by hiring a debt consolidation company, but finding one that operates effectively and efficiently may be difficult without making several considerations.

Does Debt Consolidation Work?

Thousands of people have successfully pulled themselves out of seemingly insurmountable debt through debt consolidation, and they did it without compromising their credit scores. This is possible because an honest debt consolidation organization works directly with your creditors to establish an affordable payment plan before missed payments are reported to the credit bureaus.

After a monthly budget has been set, the debt relief company will have you make a single monthly payment to them instead of making individual payments to each creditor. In addition, the company may be able to reduce the total balance of your debt by renegotiating your interest rates and penalties. Finally, the organization can help keep you out of debt in the future by providing you with credit counseling services.

Check for Certification

The best debt consolidation companies use only certified credit counselors who have been fully trained to work with unsecured debt and secured debt. A properly trained counselor has the knowledge to evaluate your financial situation and develop a program to get you out of debt quickly and comfortably. In addition to personal certifications, you may also want to check the company’s certifications and associations, such as the following:

  • Accreditation by the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • Accreditation by the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB)
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001-2000 certification

Free Consultation

A reputable debt relief organization like Credit Guard doesn’t use debt consolidation loans, and provides every client with a free initial consultation. Consumers should never pay for debt relief services before they completely understand what is being provided. In addition, a qualified counselor should explain all of your options, and the benefits and drawbacks of each one. At the end of the consultation, you should feel confident about your choice and be ready to make a commitment.

Credit Counseling and Financial Education Services

Debt consolidation is only one part of what a debt relief organization can provide its clients. You should also be taught the information and skills necessary to avoid excess debt in any economy. Through credit and debt counseling, you can learn about personal budgeting and managing monthly bills. Further financial training should also be made available to help you stay out of debt after the consolidation program is complete.

Client Support

A professional debt consolidation company should have a client support staff that is available and approachable during standard business hours. It is not important whether you meet the staff in person as long as you have a valid address and phone number for the company. At a minimum, you should be able to contact the organization by telephone, traditional mail or email.

Consumer Debt Management Tips

Consumer Debt Management Tips

Jun 27

consumer debt management tips

Unfortunately, half of the population never takes a peek at their credit report or don’t take a look at it for more than a year. Knowing your credit report not only lets you know where you fit into the rating system, it lets you know whether or not you need to start improving those credit scores. Your credit score is the defining factor when creditors determine interest rate and whether or not to approve you for a loan. By checking your credit report on a regular basis, you can also spot identity theft and unusual activity sooner. Here are some tips for better managing your credit.

Tip 1: Only Use Part of Your Available Credit

It’s wise to keep your credit utilization below 10 percent of the available credit. Creditors keep a careful eye and the amount you use, and potential creditors view anything above 35 percent credit utilization a red flag. Many will see it as an indication that you are struggling with cash and are likely to be a credit risk. If you’re nearing your credit limit, only do it briefly. The longer you stay near that limit, the higher the chances of your credit score being impacted negatively.

 Tip 2: Use Online Banking Tools

Online banking tools will give you a real-world status about what’s going on with your accounts and credit. These tools can alert you to your spending habits, warn you of identity theft and let you know how much you’ve got in your bank account. Many banks and current issuers have email and specific alerts to keep you in the loop. Take advantage of these alerts.

Tip 3: Read Credit Card Mail

While it’s easy to think that a lot of your mail is junk mail, it’s critical to open all of your credit card mail. Your creditors may be advising you or changes in your account. These changes can cost you more money. If you don’t respond, it may be possible that you’re giving up your rights to take action within a specific time period.

Tip 4: Credit is Everywhere

Credit is at every integral turn of your life. Whether you need a student loan, a car loan or a mortgage, approval and interest rates are determined by your credit history and score. Even employment and the cost of insurance can be affected by your credit score.

Tip 5: Get Consumer Credit Counseling

If you’re struggling with paying the bills on time or increasing your credit score, consumer credit counseling or a CreditGuard debt management program can help get you on the right financial track. Credit counseling agencies will provide you with a qualified financial counselor who will review your financial circumstances and help you develop a plan to improve your financial standing. They will give you sound advice on budgeting, money management, and credit management. If needed, they can also assist you with debt consolidation.

Medical Bills Making You Sick? Try Debt Consolidation

Medical Bills Making You Sick? Try Debt Consolidation

May 16

The cost of medical care is at record highs, and even relatively simple procedures and tests or emergency room visits can end up costing thousands of dollars. Add to that the physician-consulting and treatment fees and it’s not difficult to see how so many people end up getting into serious debt through the simple process of trying to stay healthy. Even people with decent insurance plans can find themselves facing significant debt when those plan benefits run out during the course of prolonged treatment.

Unpaid medical debt can have serious consequences, causing credit scores to plummet by as much as 100 points according to credit reporting agency Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO). Data from the National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) indicates that nearly 70 percent of individuals who file for bankruptcy do so because of medical expenses.

One of the problems with medical debt is that left unpaid, the interest that can accrue on medical credit accounts can end up being substantial, making it even more difficult to repay. Today, the simplest and most effective way to cut the cost of your medical debt is through a debt consolidation company that employs skilled debt and credit counselors to help negotiate directly with your creditors.

Debt consolidation programs have two primary goals: To reduce your interest rates and, therefore, reduce the amount you have to pay each month and to take all of your individual debts and combine them into one payment that you make each month. By reducing interest rates and organizing your debts, debt consolidation programs offer you the peace of mind you’ve been craving and help you get on the fast track to debt repayment.

If you’re facing big medical bills, here are a few tips to help you deal with them:

  • Since studies have shown that medical billing errors are not all that uncommon, the first thing you should do when you receive a medical bill is look it over carefully to make sure all the charges are correct. If you have concerns or issues about the validity of specific charges, you can contact the medical facility or credit provider directly, but you may have better luck issuing a complaint through your insurance company.
  • Once you know your medical charges are correct, if you cannot pay them in full, contact the billing party to see if you can establish a payment plan. While many medical facilities and credit issuers do offer some sort of plans, the sad fact is, many medical bills are so high, even payment plans aren’t a complete solution.
  • If you just aren’t able to repay your bills, or if paying them would put a significant hardship on your ability to live your life, contact a debt consolidation program or credit counseling service like that offers a free consultation to learn how they can help you. Look for a company that has a long history of successful debt negotiations, preferably one that also offers credit counseling.

Good medical care should never be a reason to go into debt or have your credit ruined. Debt consolidation provides consumers with a way to fight back, so they can stay both physically and fiscally fit.

Debt Consolidation: Freedom from Stress

Debt Consolidation: Freedom from Stress

May 01

Have you ever went to your mailbox expecting to find something uplifting and fun, only to find a stack of unpaid bills and collection notices? You’re not alone. Most of us have had the experience of finding a pile of bills and notices that send us spiraling into a feeling of helplessness, frustration and even despair. What can we do? How can we get out of this mess? “If only I could be debt free,” we say to ourselves.

As it turns out, there is a simple way to become debt free a lot faster than you may think – and a way to reduce that stack of bills to a single monthly payment that fits within your budget. Debt consolidation services are designed to help reduce your interest rates and combine your debts into one monthly payment that’s affordable and easy to remember.

be stress free with credit card consolidation

With credit card consolidation, debt counselors work with you, reviewing and analyzing your debts and your income to develop a repayment plan that suits your needs. They negotiate with your creditors on your behalf, working toward reducing exorbitant interest rates, so your payments will fall in line with what you can realistically pay each month. They also work with you to establish healthy financial and credit habits and goals that will let you pay down your debt a lot faster – even 20 or more years faster – than you would by paying just the minimum amount of your debt each month. And, here’s another benefit: Once you have a plan in place, you can also expect those rude collection calls to stop and finally enjoy your dinner in peace and quiet.

Debt counseling doesn’t stop there: Once your debt is paid off – yes, you will get there! – debt counselors can work with you to help set up a plan that will keep you on track and make sure your finances and your credit remain as healthy as possible.

Debt consolidation services employ skilled credit experts who are experienced in dealing with creditors to develop plans that get the creditor their money without taking the clothes from your back. Because they do this for a living and they know how to get results that are favorable to both sides – the lender and you – lenders are more willing to work with them because they know they can be repaid and avoid the cost of legal action. And, of course, you benefit by having affordable payments and paying off your debt much faster – and by keeping your credit report free of late payments and legal action.

Just imagine how wonderful being debt free would feel – pretty great, huh? Then take the steps to make that dream come true by contacting a debt consolidation service to get your payments on track. Just a few short years from now, you’ll be looking back on this time a wiser and more financially secure person.

Online Debt Consolidation for Tax-Related Debt

Online Debt Consolidation for Tax-Related Debt

Apr 10

taxes and debt

It’s tax time.  Now that the deadline is quickly approaching, people are scrambling to get the funds together to pay their taxes.  Some people have to make a decision as to whether or not to use the credit card to pay the tax debt.  There are several considerations a person should make before making that the decision.

What Happens When a Tax Bill Is Paid Using a Credit Card?

The person is assessed a fee for using a third-party service to pay off the credit card debt.  For each payment made, the company can assess anywhere between 1.89 to 2.35 percent for this service.  This fee is assessed for each payment that is handled.

What Are Some the Key Considerations?

Before making the decision to use a credit card to pay off debt, the person should consider the interest rate on the credit card.  If the payment is being made on a high interest credit card, the person will have to pay the handling fees to the third-party payment administrator in addition to the existing interest rate on the credit card.  If the interest rate is extremely high, one can expect to pay a lot more money on top of the tax bill using the credit card as part of an installment plan.  The credit card option is most viable for the person who has a low interest credit card and really small tax bill.  The credit score can take a significant hit if the tax bill is really high because a large amount of credit is being used to pay off the debt. Regardless, it’s always better to avoid paying off debt with more debt.

If a person requires less than four months, a person should consider working directly with the IRS to set up an installment plan instead of using the credit card option.  Online debt consolidation allows consumers a chance to pay off their credit card debt in a repayment plan that can include multiple debts, including the credit card that was used to pay off a tax debt.  Many people use online debt consolidation to group their debts out of a need for flexibility.  Others consolidate their debts into a plan for convenience.  People who decide to use their credit card to resolve a tax debt may be able to extend the repayment period comfortably using the consolidation plan.

How Do You Know if You Are Choosing the Best Consolidation Company For Your Needs?

How Do You Know if You Are Choosing the Best Consolidation Company For Your Needs?

Apr 05

If you are ready to consolidate your bills, you are probably searching for the best debt consolidation company. Here are some tips for finding the company that is best for you.

Free Counseling Session

There may be other options available to you for getting out of debt besides consolidation. The only way to know for sure is to have a one-on-one counseling session with an experienced debt counselor. The best debt consolidation companies offer the initial consultation for free.

Understanding Your Needs

A good debt counselor knows that you need to provide food, clothing and shelter for your family before you can think about paying off your debts. In the initial counseling session, they should thoroughly review your financial situation and ensure that any plan they come up with fits into your budget without forsaking your needs. Be very wary of any company that says you need to pay your debts first and feed your family second. This is a sign of an unscrupulous company.

Willingness to Help You Meet Your Goals

A good debt counselor will help you form financial goals, if you don’t already have some. They will also be willing to help you work towards those goals. They will not tell you that these goals are dumb or impossible. Instead, they will take you through each step you need to do to achieve your goals.

Accredited and Verified

The best consolidation companies are both accredited and security verified. When you are sharing private financial information, you need to be careful that you are not dealing with someone who will scam you. Verify that the company you are working with is everything they claim to be. Good consolidation firms are ready and willing to provide you with references of their previous work.

Consider all of the above factors before deciding on the best debt consolidation company for your specific financial situation. There are many reputable and honest companies out there that can help you become financially secure.

Why Non-Profit Credit Counseling Is Different

Why Non-Profit Credit Counseling Is Different

Mar 29

Debt is difficult to face. Not only are there creditors to deal with, but there are also many offers for loan consolidation, credit services, and financial counseling. It is often difficult to figure out who to trust, and who will simply lead to more debt.

Why Non-Profit Credit Counseling is Different

With a non profit credit counseling company, the company is only interested in bringing the consumer out of debt and teaching them the financial tools to stay out of debt. A non profit company does not work for profit, but instead only charges enough to sustain the company. This means that they have no reason to try to milk more profit out of the consumer.

Why Credit Counseling is Important

why non profit credit counseling is importantA non profit credit counseling company like this example can help you combine your loans and create a budget, but achieving good credit and no debt is more complicated than that. The financial system is a complex one, and a credit counselor can explain to you how your actions affect your credit and how you can best repair it. Financial health is an ongoing process that doesn’t go away once you have managed your existing debt.

What a Credit Counselor Can Do for You

The credit counselor won’t just discuss your needs, the non profit counselor can also help you resolve them. A credit counselor can help you combine your loans in a way that will offer low, manageable payments at a lower interest rate than you are currently paying. The credit counselor can also attempt to re-age your accounts so that they are no longer late in payments. This avoids late fees and other charges.

Why a Non Profit Consolidator is the Best Choice

There are alternatives out there to get out of debt, but unfortunately they can also just increase your debt or damage your credit score. Loan consolidation through a non profit is the safest choice because the non profit does not want to charge you more than you can afford. Alternative loan consolidation companies may charge higher fees because they are for profit companies. Other alternatives, such as taking out consolidation loans, only transfer your debt, and debt settlement practices can damage your future credit.