100 Debt Consolidation Tips

100 Debt Consolidation Tips

 

100 Debt Consolidation Tips

With so many different sources of credit available, it is all too easy to find yourself buried in debt. If you have a hard time keeping track of your loans and credit cards, debt consolidation may be the answer. By combining your debts into a single balance, it is a great deal easier to keep track of how much you owe. Debt burdens have the ability to make life truly miserable for those dealing with them. That said, there are things that can be done to make the situation much better, with debt consolidation being among them. Rather than borrowing money from family or taking on a third job, debt consolidation can help you fix your problems. Read on to find out more.

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1. Look online for a lender to help with your debt consolidation. Lenders online have a good track record for supplying loans quickly and safely. Research the lender to ensure that they are well known and respected in the industry. Carefully read all the terms associated with the loan and you should have an easy time of securing one that fits your needs.

2. Find out whether a debt consolidation company will take your unique situation into account. A one size fits all approach generally does not work when it comes to these kinds of financial matters. You want to work with someone that will take the time to determine what is going on with you and figure out how best to address the situation.

3. Talk to friends, family and coworkers. You aren’t the only one with money problems, and chances are that someone you know already has some experience with debt consolidation. This is a great way for you to find a company you can trust, so that you can avoid using a less than reputable company.

4. Always call your state’s consumer protection agency before signing anything with a debt consolidation agency. Make sure the agency is properly registered, has a valid license and no complaints filed. You should not work with a professional who is about to lose their license because of complaints filed by consumers.

5. When speaking with a debt consolidation counselor, ask what training they have in the debt consolidation field. The best debt consolidation companies are certified by outside organizations, such as the NFCC. By ensuring your credit counselor is certified, you can rest assured that they are well versed on your local and federal laws.

6. There are three types of debt consolidation available to most debtors. The first is a second mortgage or home equity line of credit. The second is a credit card or line of credit which pays off the debts and then has to be reimbursed. The last is a loan from a loved one.

7. With the current low home mortgage interest rates, you may be able to refinance your home and take out some of the equity. Be careful to avoid borrowing as much as possible on your new mortgage. If home values should drop even more, you may end up owning a home that is less than the amount you owe on it.

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8. Do not get involved with a debt counselor that works for a company that pays by commission. This is a red flag as it’s going to alter your situation according to the best interests of the debt counselor and not your best interests. Instead, look for a reputable company that pays their counselors accordingly.

9. It is important that you completely read over the documents that the debt consolidation agency provides you and accurately fill them out. You don’t want to make any mistakes. If you make errors then help could take a while to get which is why you need to be sure to ask questions and to be careful.

10. Before you look into debt consolidation you should try negotiating with some of your lenders. Check to see if your credit card provider will lower your rate of interest if you stop using the card. They may offer you a rate plan that is fixed. You may be surprised what your creditor is willing to do to help you.

11. Do you wonder if debt management might be an answer for your issues? If it’s possible to meet your all of your financial obligations with a sufficient amount of organization and management assistance, this may be a faster, better alternative to consolidation. Find a debt consolidation specialist who can negotiate lower interests and charges on all your accounts.

12. If you happen to owe money to multiple creditors, try calculating your average interest. Then compare this rate with the one being offered by the debt consolidation agency to ascertain it’s a good deal. If you have a low interest rate, you might not need debt consolidation.

13. Calculate how much money you can save thanks to debt consolidation. You will get lower interest rates on your debt if you use one of these services. However, the fees your debt consolidation agency charges you might be too high to justify using a debt consolidation service to get out of debt.

14. Make sure you can afford the debt consolidation solution you choose. You will still have monthly payments to make on time. If you cannot afford these payments, work on paying off your smaller accounts to reduce your debt as much as possible before turning to a debt consolidation service to manage your most important accounts.

15. If you have the ability to make a lump sum offer, ask for a paid in full or a pay for delete offer. With this offer, the creditor will either remove the debt from your credit report or report that they were paid in full. This is more beneficial to your credit score than a paid by settlement report.

16. Almost all debt consolidation is non-profit. The IRS gives tax breaks to companies who offer services to clients who are consolidating debt. Non-profit does not mean free. These companies do charge fees for their services. They have to pay their employees, file paperwork and have other costs associated with running their business.

17. Keep in mind that not everyone qualifies for a debt consolidation program. Debt consolidation is basically about replacing your current debt with a secured debt. If you cannot qualify for the different refinancing methods offered, you will not have access to debt consolidation. Contact a debt consolidation service before your credit score is completely ruined.

100 Debt Consolidation Tips

18. Consider a bill consolidation service to help with your monthly debt. When you seek to consolidate debt, paying monthly bills to individual companies can create confusion and missed payments. Use a consolidation service that will pay these providers for you. You supply them with one lump sum each month and they will quickly dole it out for you automatically.

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19. Don’t look at debt consolidation as a horrible thing that you are doing alone. This is a real common situation. Millions of people have been exactly where you are right now, and they’ve survived. Know that going in. It’s nothing to get worked up about. Channel that potential anxiety into the right action steps to move forward.

20. Seek the consult of a consolidation service. Talking to a credible company about your debt can help you establish where you stand. They may help you realize that your situation is not as bad as you expected. You may also find that the debt is larger than you care to deal with alone, which may prompt you to move forward with the service.

21. Make it known to creditors if you use debt consolidation. Your creditors may wish to work with you to offer different options with you so that you can avoid having to consolidate debts. Your creditors will see it as a good sign that you are trying to improve your financial situation. It might help them understand you are making an effort to get control of your finances.

22. After you’ve set up a good debt consolidation plan, contemplate how you got into your situation. That will help you keep from making the same costly mistakes twice. Look deep into yourself for answers, and make sure this doesn’t happen to you again.

23. Why do you want to consider debt consolidation to help you out? If it is only to reduce your payments so that you have more money to spend on discretionary things, such as entertainment or going out to eat, you are making a huge mistake. This method is only for those who are intent on paying down debt.

24. Find out whether a company pays its counselors by commission. This is tremendously important for you, since a counselor working on commission may not have your best interests at heart. Make sure you avoid commission-paying companies, and instead opt for those that treat their employees well and pay them a salary.

25. When speaking with a debt consolidation counselor, ask what training they have in the debt consolidation field. The best debt consolidation companies are certified by outside organizations, such as the NFCC. By ensuring your credit counselor is certified, you can rest assured that they are well versed on your local and federal laws.

26. Properly fill in your information on all forms requested by the debt consolidation firm. You should be paying extra close attention to all of this information and detail. If you make any errors, then you are simply delaying the assistance that you can receive. Therefore, ensure you correctly fill out these documents, and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance if you are unsure about anything.

27. After you identify all creditors, get contact information and debt details for all of them. You should know when these debts are due, the interest they are charging, what you owe and how much you need to pay. You will need to know this and more as you proceed with debt consolidation.

28. Know that debt consolidation only works if you don’t accumulate more debt afterwards. If you go back to living off your credit cards, then all you’ve done is worsen your situation. Instead, map out a plan of action for how you’ll live after the debt consolidation. For many this means paying via debit cards or cash, so you always are living with what you have.

29. Use your common sense when getting involved with a debt consolidation company. You may not think you know as much as these companies do, but you can certainly tell when something is wrong and when you are being taken advantage of. Be very careful to think wisely and to keep your wits about you.

30. Try fixing your debt without borrowing money by contacting your creditors. Ask about the payment plans they can offer. You might be able to get lower interests or not have to pay late fees. If the new interest rate is lower than what debt consolidation will cost you, choose the new payment plan.

31. If you are seeking debt counseling along with your consolidation loan, choose a non-profit company which doesn’t ask for money up front. They may ask for a donation monthly, whatever you can afford, but know that you don’t have to pay it if you don’t have the money to offer.

32. If you’re married and are seeking debt consolidation, find out whether you can include some of your spouse’s debts as well. You may both need to talk to the debt consolidation to find out how best you can take care of debts owned by both of you, so that both of you can move forward.

100 Debt Consolidation Tips

33. If you’re trying to pay down your debt, try borrowing a bit from your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement account. Be careful with this, though. While you’re able to borrow from your retirement plan for low interest, failing to pay it back as you agreed, losing your job, or being unable to pay it all back, the loan will be considered dismemberment. Your taxes and penalties will then be assessed as for why funds were withdrawn early.

34. Avoid debt elimination arbitrators. These companies love to claim that your debt can be eliminated, though in reality they know that only bankruptcy can result in total elimination. The best these companies can do is reduce the debt you owe. Surprisingly, this is no different than you could do by calling and negotiating with creditors yourself.

35. When you are exploring debt consolidation options, do not assume that a non-profit business is completely trustworthy or that they will give you the best terms. It could come as a big surprise when this seemingly innocent term results in an unfavorable consolidation deal for you. Check with your Better Business Bureau or try to find a service that someone can recommend.

36. Don’t choose a consolidation firm because they are not-for-profit. Just because an organization is a nonprofit, it doesn’t make them competent. The best way to find out if any company is worth your business is by checking them out with the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org.

37. Ask your debt consolidation firm about any sort of education services they offer. Quite often, these firms have excellent training opportunities that can help keep you out of this situation in the future. That’s important for your financial well being! Take advantage of any opportunities that they might have, even if you think you’re already prepared.

38. If you are a homeowner and have lots of equity in it, try taking out a line of credit or home equity loan. This can help you use use that money for nearly anything you desire, including debt consolidation, and the interest paid is tax-deductible. This will help you save money in multiple ways.

39. When it comes to dealing with debt consolidation, make sure that you relax. This practice is very common and will help improve your finances when all is said and done. You have the opportunity to lower monthly fees, lower high interest, eliminate late fees, put a stop to those harassing phone calls, and eventually become debt free. You can bounce back from this, but you must keep calm and pay attention to your payment plan.

40. Before deciding to go through debt consolidation, get a credit report. A credit report will allow you to see where you need to concentrate your efforts. A credit report allows you to see how much you owe and what creditors you owe money to. Additionally, many credit reports also show the interest rate of each loan.

41. See if your prospective company employs certified professionals. The NFCC will tell you whether or not the company is reputable with counselors that are certified. This can help you feel more comfortable as you’ll be dealing with a good company.

42. Your debt consolidation agency will offer personalized recommendations. A professional who presents you with a few options without taking the time to learn anything about your situation is not a good choice. Your debt counselor should develop a personalized solution for you.

43. When consolidating your debt, it is extremely important to find a reputable, respected debt consolidation company. Before hiring a debt consolidation company, consider how long the company has been in business, the company’s perceived reputation and the amount of money that the company charges in fees. Shop around to find a debt consolidation company that meets your needs.

44. Do not sign up for a debt consolidation program before reading their terms of service. These professionals have to give you a written version of their terms of service and explain everything in detail. Find a more reliable professional if the terms of service are not presented in a clear fashion.

45. Begin a financial journal. In this journal write down every penny you spend for one month. Many times you will see ways to save money to help pay off your loans. For example, many people eat a restaurant every day for lunch. Simply packing your lunch a couple of days a week will help you be able to pay extra toward your debt.

46. Consider all of your options, not just debt consolidation. Many times, you can make better deals with your creditors without paying a company to do it for you. Explain your situation to your creditors, let them know that you want to pay them back, and most likely they will help you by offering lower interest rates or lower payments.

47. Consider choosing a debt management company which doesn’t just offer consolidation of payments, but also counseling, courses and support. If they can teach you how to make and stick to a budget, or who to speak to about psychological problems such as addiction, you can deal with the cause of your debt problems.

48. As you select between debt management firms, choose a company who gets back to you quickly. When it comes to financial issues, having to wait for an answer can leave you anxious and frustrated. A firm which communicates quickly and in terms you can understand will be your best bet.

100 Debt Consolidation Tips

49. Do your research on your potential debt consolidation companies. Not every one of these companies is best for your scenario. Some are not even reputable–there are a lot of “fly by night” operations in this market. Don’t fall into the trap. Research the companies fully before making any decisions.

50. Ask your credit card company if they’d accept a lump payment for a lesser amount than the debt. Many companies will accept 20% to 30% less than the amount you owe currently just to get the cash in hand. If you can scrape up the cash, this is an excellent way to save funds that can go to other debts.

51. When you are considering debt consolidation, don’t automatically trust a service that says it is a nonprofit, or think they will cost less. Some companies use that term to get away with giving you loan terms that are considered quite unfavorable. Therefore, be sure you do your research on this company beforehand.

52. A label of “non-profit” does not necessarily make for a great debt consolidation company. Even though it may seem like a good deal, non profit doesn’t always mean good deal for the consumer. If you’re trying to learn more about a company, you should always look them up using the BBB, or Better Business Bureau.

53. Know why you want to consolidate your debt. Is it because someone recommended it? Did you see a commercial on tv? It’s important to know your motivation, because debt consolidation is something that takes a great deal of responsibility. If you cannot come up with compelling reasons that you need to take this course of action, think again.

54. Know what your position is on collateral before applying for a debt consolidation loan. If you don’t have collateral of sufficient worth, the terms for your loan will not be as favorable. Without sacrificing your home, tally up your assets until you reach a number that satisfies the criteria for collateral and take it from there.

55. Consider asking your family for a debt consolidation loan. If you are reliable and have a family with means, this can be the cheapest route to debt consolidation. They pay off the debt, and you pay them at an interest rate that is more favorable then a bank would offer in a savings plan. It can be a big win for all involved.

56. Pay off your smallest loans first. Then concentrate on large amounts. Using this technique allows you to quickly get some small bills paid off. Then, you can use the money that you had been paying towards those small bills to help pay off larger loans. This technique works well when you are saddled by a lot of small credit card balances.

57. Always call your state’s consumer protection agency before signing anything with a debt consolidation agency. Make sure the agency is properly registered, has a valid license and no complaints filed. You should not work with a professional who is about to lose their license because of complaints filed by consumers.

58. If you have student loans that are from federal programs, consider consolidating them only after your grace period on those loans has ended. If you consolidation sooner, you can lose your grace period, making it necessary for you to start repayment immediately. Timing is everything with federal loans, so make sure you understand the terms of your original agreement before signing on for consolidation.

59. Ask how the debt consolidation counselors are paid. A reputable credit counselor is paid a salary; however, there are many companies that pay through commission. This type of pay should be avoided because the counselors may be swayed by the amount of commission they will make off of your debt consolidation.

60. Before using a debt consolidation program, find out whether or not they offer individualized payment programs. Everyone has a different ability to pay and companies who don’t offer customization may not be right for you. For best results, choose a consolidation company that offers custom tailored payment programs. These companies generally are a little more expensive up front; however, you will save money throughout the length of your debt consolidation.

61. Debt consolidation isn’t necessarily your best bet if you are middle aged. Remember that the smaller payments will be carried on well into the future, so when you are 50 and you take on a 20-year line of credit, you may be forced to retire while still paying off your debts.

62. Find out where the debt consolidation company is located. Depending on which state they are in, the licensing rules could be different than in your own state. For example, Maryland does not require its debt consolidation companies to receive licensing. In that instance, you may want to choose another company.

63. Remember, the debt consolidation company you sign up with will set the stage for your entire financial future. It is not a decision you should take lightly. Give yourself time to think things over before you sign with anyone. Even if you feel pressured by your creditors, keep in mind that a few days one way or another should not make much of a difference.

64. If you are dealing with Chapter 13 bankruptcy, debt consolidation can help you retain your property. If you are able to get your debts paid off within the 3 to 5 year period, you will be able to keep your personal and real property. It is even possible to get interest charges eliminated while you are in this process.

100 Debt Consolidation Tips

65. Before restructuring your financial situation with a debt consolidation loan, get a copy of your credit report. Analyze your habits and see where you stand with the major credit bureaus. Doing this will help you figure out what you have been doing wrong and what habits you need to change going forward.

66. Try using a debt consolidation service to pay down your debt. When you look for one, make sure they aren’t charging high fees. You can check with a local consumer protection agency like your local BBB. You may have to make sacrifices via using extra lines of credit and harming your credit rating, but they can help get your debt paid off. They generally require a single monthly payment.

67. If you own a home or land and have built up equity, you may qualify to take out a line of credit or home equity loan. These loans allow you to borrow against the equity of your home giving you instant access to cash to pay off your outstanding debts.

68. Figure out whether you will be able to afford thte debt consolidation payment every month. Now, if you have been having money problems, you do not have a lot of extra money. You need to make sure you are going to be able to come up will the payments you need every month in order for debt consolidation to work.

69. Find out whether your creditors will accept lower rates through debt consolidation. It’s not a great idea to think you’re all set with debt consolidation and discover that the main creditors which caused you to do this will not accept the terms. Ask the debt consolidation company and the creditor to make sure.

70. Make sure that the money you pay through the company, to your creditors, actually goes to them. In the case of agencies that are not on the up and up, occasionally some of that money will go toward their random “fees” instead of to your creditors. This is obviously a situation you want to avoid.

71. Before deciding to go through debt consolidation, get a credit report. A credit report will allow you to see where you need to concentrate your efforts. A credit report allows you to see how much you owe and what creditors you owe money to. Additionally, many credit reports also show the interest rate of each loan.

72. Pay off your smallest loans first. Then concentrate on large amounts. Using this technique allows you to quickly get some small bills paid off. Then, you can use the money that you had been paying towards those small bills to help pay off larger loans. This technique works well when you are saddled by a lot of small credit card balances.

73. Find out whether a company pays its counselors by commission. This is tremendously important for you, since a counselor working on commission may not have your best interests at heart. Make sure you avoid commission-paying companies, and instead opt for those that treat their employees well and pay them a salary.

74. You cannot use debt consolidation as a quick fix for money issues. Debt will always pose a problem if your spending habits aren’t curbed. After taking out a debt consolidation loan that is reasonable, adjust your financial behavior accordingly to make the necessary changes to improve your overall situation.

75.Take advantage of zero percent credit card offers by transferring higher rate balances onto them. Even though there will likely be a 4 or 5 percent transfer fee, the total amount will be less than the interest rate you would pay on your current balance on the higher rate credit cards.

76. Can their fees be explained properly and understood? If the debt consolidation company’s fees are complicated and not easily understood, then there is a reason for this. Do not fall prey to one of these companies, but instead find a service that is going to upfront and make things easier for you.

77. Consider contacting a consumer credit counselor before signing the dotted line on a debt consolidation loan. Many people reach for the loan too quickly and fail to think it through. A good credit counselor will show you how you got into the debt and the best ways of dealing with it, which may or may not be with a debt consolidation loan.

78. Consider using a non-profit credit counseling agency before using debt consolidation. They help you negotiate with your creditors to get lower interest rates and reduce your debt. This can lower your monthly payments without extending the length of time you have to pay them off for, which is a huge benefit over a consolidation loan.

79. Keep a written log of each conversation you have with your creditors. In the log write down the date, time and person you spoke with. Also, include any information discussed. Always let whomever you are speaking to know that you are keeping a written log of the conversation. This will help ensure that they will not honor their offers.

80. Keep in mind that any missed payments will be reflected in your credit rating, and this will affect how good of a rate you will be able to get on a debt consolidation loan. Continue paying all debts each month in order to ensure advantageous interest rates.

81. Consider all your options before deciding on a debt consolidation plan. Sometimes you can do this work on your own, negotiating with your creditors, for free. Explain to your creditor your situation and that you wish to remain in good standing; they may consider lowering your interest rate or payments.

100 Debt Consolidation Tips

82. Following debt consolidation, budgeting your money wisely will help you keep future debt to a minimum. Most people get in over their heads by over spending with credit cards, so learn to work with money you have rather than borrowing. Doing this will also make it easier to pay off your debt consolidation loans and improve your credit score.

83. To help you consolidate your debts consider borrowing against your 401k plan. Many employers allow employees to take a loan out against their retirement plans. One of the benefits to this is that you pay the money back to yourself. The interest rates are generally very low and the interest paid also goes back into your account.

84. Try paying your debt off with a credit card. Apply for a credit card with no interests and use it to make payments to your creditors. Pay the minimum amount on your credit card once a month. This is a good way to buy more time to pay your debt off.

85. Calling creditors can help to lower monthly payments. In general, creditors are often willing to be flexible. Call and speak with your credit card company if you’re not able to afford your payment. The companies are usually willing to work with you.

86. Try to refinance your home and take that cash out at closing. This can assist you with paying down your high-interest debt with ease, and may be tax deductible. It can save you money and lower monthly payments. Make sure that there isn’t a possibility of missing any payments since foreclosure is a possibility due to transferring too much unsecured debt to secured debt.

87. It is very important to select a debt consolidation agency with a good reputation. Do plenty of background research and contact your Better Business Bureau to make sure the professionals you are interested in are reliable and properly licensed. Do not hire a debt consolidation specialist who has some complaints pending against them.

88. When looking for debt consolidation services, you don’t need to pick those that have giant or constant advertisements. Just because their advertising budget is large doesn’t mean that they’re a great company. You should probably avoid those companies that email you all of a sudden, too. The good companies usually rely on past clients referrals, so they don’t generally need to use flashy, persistent, or spammy advertisements.

89. After you’ve consolidated your debt, consider what credit cards you don’t need. Remember what got you here in the first place. Do you need all of that credit? Do you feel the itch to use it? Don’t fall back into bad habits. Get rid of any cards that are unnecessary.

90. When speaking with a debt consolidation counselor, ask what training they have in the debt consolidation field. The best debt consolidation companies are certified by outside organizations, such as the NFCC. By ensuring your credit counselor is certified, you can rest assured that they are well versed on your local and federal laws.

91. Ask how the debt consolidation counselors are paid. A reputable credit counselor is paid a salary; however, there are many companies that pay through commission. This type of pay should be avoided because the counselors may be swayed by the amount of commission they will make off of your debt consolidation.

92. It is important that you do some math before you decide if debt consolidation is for you. You need to understand if the total interest you are paying now is higher or lower than what you are offered on your consolidation loan. Figure out what all of your debts are, calculate the percent of the overall debt each one makes up, and then multiply their interest rate by that percent. Then, add all of the numbers together and see if it is less than what you are being offered.

93. When consolidating your debt, it is extremely important to find a reputable, respected debt consolidation company. Before hiring a debt consolidation company, consider how long the company has been in business, the company’s perceived reputation and the amount of money that the company charges in fees. Shop around to find a debt consolidation company that meets your needs.

94. Find out what type of educational materials or workshops the debt consolidation company has available. Are they offered at no cost to you? Are the materials found on the Internet or will they be shipped to your house? A debt management plan should not be your only option, and if a company claims it is, work with someone else.

95. Be ready to change your financial habits once you’ve made decisions to go with a debt consolidation plan. You’ve got to pair up better spending habit with the consolidation for there to be lasting good in this scenario. Otherwise, all you’ll have is more debt than you did before, and that’s never good.

96. Prior to consolidating debts, make financial goals for the future. If you want to pay down your debt over time, you might not need a debt consolidation company. Debt consolidation is a great option if you are in a hurry to rid yourself of debt.

97. Don’t let a lender pull your creditor report until you’ve come to an agreement. There isn’t a reason to get a note on the report because someone tried to access it when you’re not even going to work with them. Be sure to make this clear as you talk to the lender so they know you are serious.

100 Debt Consolidation Tips

98. Use bankruptcy as a negotiation tool. Creditors would rather get some of their money back than get nothing at all. Let them know that if your debt cannot be reduced, you will probably be forced to file bankruptcy. This can spur the creditor to resort to a more satisfactory compromise that reduces the debt owed.

99. Find out whether a debt consolidation company is a “home equity loan” provider in disguise. Some debt consolidation companies really just want you to take out a home equity loan. Don’t let this be you. After all, your home is the most important thing you have. If you find out a company wants you to take out a loan on your home, move on.

100. When assessing prospective debt consolidation companies, it is absolutely essential do your research and read a large number of consumer reviews of the specific firm. Doing this helps you make the best decision about moving forward and becoming debt free.

How We Got Out of Bad Debt [2nd Edition]

How We Got Out of Bad Debt [2nd Edition]

Binding Audio CD
EAN 0855452003044
Feature 2nd Edition
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Title How We Got Out of Bad Debt [2nd Edition]
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