Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Debt Fight - Ways Avoid Bankruptcy

by Gage Killian

It's not hard to do. One day you feel like you have all the money and financial security in the world. And then it happened, maybe not to quickly either. You may have had a family emergency, you may have been injured, you may even have got carried away over the years, and regardless it happened.

Debt can creep up on you and you may not be able to catch it until it's too late. Many think to themselves, "How did this happen?" Well, the answer to that isn't so easy to explain. The average household is somewhere around $9000 in accumulated debt. Sometimes, if anything, this debt can seem to be a huge emotional burden as well. Debt can break families apart; debt can make it seem hopeless for any sort of a future.

There is a practice that anyone can start doing to avoid debt and bankruptcy. Many people do not realize that debt can so easily be fixed and they can enjoy good credit again. That is probably because there is no "easy" way. For starters, even if you aren't in debt, it is of utmost importance that you start to build a budget or financial plan. This plan should involve goals for erasing your previous debt. These goals should be time related and specific. You must always have a plan to accomplish any goals in life.

How does financial planning save you from debt? Well, for starters, it is a plan to keep you from going deeper in to debt. Not only that, you should make a plan that you can "live" with that will slowly reduce your debt over time. You may think of things to include in this plan such as keeping only one credit card. This will keep you from paying annual fees and only pay interest off of one single card instead of many. Another idea to add to this plan could be to pay your credit card bills each at maybe twenty-five dollars over the minimum payment and to always pay ten days early. These are practices that will not only help you get out of debt and avoid bankrupcy and worry, they will help build your credit score at the same time.

If you are to the point that you can't even afford to do this, there are other financial options and institutions to help you with your debt problems such as debt consolidation and consumer credit counseling services. Debt consolidation is the process of combining or "consolidating" all your debt in to one single monthly payment at a lower interest rate. You may want to also visit a debt negotiator who will work with the credit card companies to lower your actual owed balance. Debt consoldation and debt negotiation are two basic options to avoid bankruptcy.

Another option to avoid bankrupcy is Consumer Credit Counseling. Consumer credit counseling is usually a non-profit consultation service by creditors that can work to help you get out of debt in numerous ways. They will also be able to pull up your credit report and work to see just how you got in to debt in the first place. If you have a spending problem or budgeting problem, they may be able to offer solutions to help you fight debt and rebuild your credit.

Either way you decide to fight debt it is always important to take action none the less. Always start with a financial plan and that will give you an idea of what you need to do to stay debt free.

Debt Consoldation

Consumer Credit Counciling



Friday, June 23, 2006

Debt Strategy that Works

By Martin Lukac

Do you have a debt strategy that works? If borrowing all you can is your strategy, it's not going to work! Debts are both good and bad, but in general, the less debt you have, the better off you are.

Many advisors will tell you to hold on to your good debt. They tell you to hang on to that mortgage and invest the money instead. Yes, it can be possible to earn more money in a mutual fund than can be saved by paying a mortgage off early. But you are still spending those interest dollars. If you pay off the mortgage early, you get the satisfaction of having not paid all of the interest. Then you can put the mortgage payment into a mutual fund that will potentially get you double the interest you were paying to the lender. You are still making money. You don't want to have to use your investments to pay off your mortgage just so you can retire. The ideal is to find a way to both invest and pay that mortgage off.

Every once in a while there is an article floating around about using your home equity to invest in stocks. Home equity loans cost more than first mortgages, and are often adjustable in rate. Your paying interest on money to earn you interest. For example, if you are paying 12% to the bank, but making a return of 13%, is it really worth it. You are only 1% ahead.

You should save your home-equtiy for other things, such as home improvements or emergencies. The key is to let your equity remain in your home. That way, if you sell, you have more to put towards your next home.

A lot of new college grads complain about student loan debt. I will admit, it is awful. But a lot of people say that you should wait and pay it off last. I actually agree -- if your rate is low enough. During the first five years of repayment, the interest may be tax deductible. You are better off saving or putting money into an investment. For example, I have an interest rate of under 3% on my student loans. I'm paying them off as the last thing, because they are my lowest interest rate loans.

And, of course, you should pay off all of your credit cards as soon as possible. There is nothing useful to this debt. Often, it goes to buy little things that add no real value to your assets. Dinner, vacation, clothes and groceries are things that don't make you more wealthy. Cut up the cards if you can't help but charge on them.

Sit down and write out a plan for getting out of debt. The debt strategy that works is taking every debt and listing it in order of payoff. Just go down the list, paying things off. I like to start with the highest interest rates. This means you spend less in the long run. Others suggest starting with the smallest debt, as it brings faster gratification. Whatever works for you is fine. Just make sure you include every debt to your list. Save your mortgage and student loans for last. Get to work. Pay it off and get on with your life.

Martin Lukac represents and, a finance web-company specializing in real estate and mortgage rates. We specialize in daily updates, mortgage news, rate predictions, mortgage rates and more. Find low home loan mortgage interest rates from hundreds of mortgage companies!


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Debt Management Services

By Max Bellamy

Debt Management Services (DMS) are services provided by some agencies and companies to protect the financial interests of taxpayers. Those agencies attain this goal by a Debt Management Plan.

They offer solutions depending upon the kind and amount of your debt. Most of these credit counseling agencies are reputable non-profit companies known as Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS), affiliated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). They provide services for unsecured debt such as credit cards. These services may not be free of cost. The agencies charge a reasonable amount for counseling, as well as a one-time set-up fee. Some even charge a membership fee, an application fee and/or a per-creditor fee in addition to the monthly maintenance.

Debt management services offer several options. One option is that a single monthly payment to the agency will be redirected automatically to your creditors, thereby eliminating the need to make individual payments to each creditor. Another option is an automatic deposit service. With this program, the agency that deals with the debt plan will be able to deduct your monthly deposit from your savings account. This ensures that payments are disbursed on time.

These agencies also offer counseling programs in order to make sure that the debtors clearly understand the plan and its details. In most of the companies, the counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to answer your questions. There are customer service centers monitoring clients and providing detailed information about their individual programs. Nowadays, online counseling is also available. These companies guarantee that your identity and information are held strictly confidential. Debt Management Programs provides detailed information on Debt Management Programs, Debt Management Services, Free Debt Management Programs, Best Debt Management Programs and more. Debt Management Programs is affiliated with Debt Management Solutions Plan.
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Monday, June 05, 2006

Need Help Paying Back Student Loans?

By Michael Carter

Many college students and graduates are looking for a solution for their student loan debt. While borrowers may be having difficulty paying back student loans, there is help. Solutions for paying back student loans are available.

What causes difficulty in paying back student loans?

New college graduates may find that it takes them longer to find a job than they expected. While there's a six month grace period from the time students graduate until repayment begins, sometimes it takes six months or longer to find a job.

Many recent graduates who are employed are underemployed -- working part-time or temporary jobs until they find a permanent position. During this time they may need help in making loan payments.

New college graduates can use several strategies to help with student loan repayment. Taking on additional part-time jobs or freelancing may be an option.

It is also wise to keep living expenses low the first few years out of college. Graduates can live with a roommate, or downsize into a smaller apartment. If new graduates are still looking for a job, it may be a good idea not to move until permanent employment is found. Then it will be easier to move to an area closer to the job.

Applying for a forbearance may be an immediate solution for times of difficulty making loan payments. A forbearance is temporary period of suspension of payments on a federal or direct loan after repayment has begun, and if the student does not qualify for deferment.

This means that if a student has already started paying back loans, they can apply for a suspension of payments on the grounds of financial hardship. A forbearance must be applied for through the lender. Being able to hold off payments for a few months can be a big help during a time of financial hardship.

Another student loan debt solution is to consolidate payments. Unless consolidated, each student loan is accounted for and paid separately. When a student graduates they will receive paperwork and payment slips for each loan. 2, 5, 12... no matter how many loans were taken out, they will be billed separately. Adding up all of these individual loan payments could total $300-$1000 per month or more! Not many students can afford such payments.

That's where consolidation comes in. Consolidation is a process that combines all of the student loans into one loan. Borrowers can dramatically reduce monthly payments of student loans by consolidating. Average monthly payments could be less than $100 to around $250 per month. This is just an estimate. The monthly payment depends on the total amount borrowed, the interest rate and the way that loans are consolidated.

Consolidating through The Income Contingent Repayment plan is designed to help make repaying student loans easier for students who intend to pursue jobs with lower salaries, such as careers in public service. The monthly payment amount is adjusted annually, based on changes in family size and annual income. This program is only available through the US Department of Education, not a lender or bank.

Finally, the Graduated Repayment Plan starts the payments at a low level (usually interest only) and gradually increases the payments until the balance is paid. This is helpful for graduates because payments are low when the first graduate, and increase as earning power increases over the years. This plan is available by consolidating through a bank or other lender.

It is important to note that according to current regulations student loans may only be consolidated once. So borrowers who have already graduated and consolidated with a standard plan cannot take advantage of the income contingent or graduated plans. For borrowers who have already consolidated, a forbearance may be the best option for temporary relief of student loan debt.

Use the student loan repayment calculator from to find out what loan payments could be using different types of consolidation.

College graduates can find student debt relief using one of the solutions mentioned above. Discuss loan repayment options with your lender and see what can be done to help you repay student loans.

About the Author: Michael Carter is a contributor at College Financial Aid Guide, an online informational resource for educational funding, scholarships and student loans. Find out more about Paying Back Student Loans

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How Student Loan Forgiveness Programs May Help Reduce Your College Loan Debts

By Steve Johnson

Performing volunteer work, teaching in certain school districts or within certain areas, or by providing legal and medical services, you can help yourself in paying down your student loan debts by trading the skills you learned by going to college and geting your degree.

Students leaving college and entering the work-world often complain of being confronted by overwhelming frustration of having to pay enormous student loan debts and not really knowing how to tackle that debt.

By participating in some of the following programs open to certain skill sets and occupational fields, you'll have an opportunity to see the world and help others at the same time.

Teachers: Some student loans can be cancelled or, as it's more commonly referred to, "forgiven," if the college degree leads to or complements a job in the teaching profession. Up to $17,500 of your student loan balance might be cancelled.

Americorps: This organization is the domestic arm of the Peace Corps, and it offers up to $7,400 in living stipends. Will pay approximately $4,725 in education awards upon completion of one year's successful service.

Nurses: Repayment assistance (not a discharge) is available through the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program (NELRP) to registered nurses in exchange for service in eligible facilities located in areas experiencing a shortage of nurses.

Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA): Volunteer with private, non-profit groups whose mission is to eradicate hunger, homelessness, poverty and illiteracy.

Peace Corps: Volunteers that have outstanding Perkins Loans can receive a 15% cancellation on the debt owed for each year of their first two-year service term and a 20% loan cancellation for their third and fourth years of service. Participants can receive up to a 70% cancellation on Perkins loans.

Military Service: The Student Loan Repayment Program (SLRP). Under the Student Loan Repayment Program, when you enlist the Army will pay back up to $65,000 in qualified education loans (up to $20,000 for reservists), the Navy up to $65,000 and the Air Force up to $10,000.

Legal and medical studies: Studying medicine or law often equals racking up tens of thousands additional dollars of debt. There are law schools which provide loan forgiveness to those students who volunteer to serve in the public interest and/or work for non-profit organizations.

Student Loan Relief for Active Duty Military Personnel: On August 18, 2003 , President Bush signed the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act (HEROES).

For more information about student loan discharge, contact the Direct Loan Servicing Center at 1-800-848-0979 if you have a Direct Loan. Contact the lender or agency that holds your loan if you have a FFEL. If you borrowed using a Federal Perkins Loan, contact that particular school which made the loan.

We've compiled a list of helpful websites and useful links to make your search easier at our website. Look for "Student Loan Forgiveness" at

Yes, college was worth the price, both in time invested studying and borrowing the funds to attend classes. But there are options to get your student loans reduced by offering up your skills and time to worthy organizations. You'll be helping yourself lower the principal of your student loan principal balances and helping others in the process.... a true "win-win" situation.

Steve Johnson is a writer and publisher, and has compiled more information on the topic of student loan foregiveness at his website: covers topics such as credit repair, debt reduction and debt management, and "how to" informative articles on a variety of related subjects. Steve can be reached via e-mail at He welcomes submissions from expert authors for inclusion in his weblogs and websites. Forward your article submissions and article comments or suggestions to:

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Loans For Homeowner To Consolidate Their Debts

By Rick Russel

Are you a homeowner and swimming in debts? It is the time to find the worth of your home. And it will pave your way for a debt free future. Now, with debt consolidation loans a homeowner can get relief from his debt-burden.

A homeowner can avail debt consolidation loans against his home. Here his home acts as security on the loan. Lenders keep security with them unless the amount is not paid. Since, these loans are served against home, thus a homeowner can borrow relatively high amount that could be ranged from £5,000 to £75,000.

Debt consolidation loans are offering you to consolidate all your debts into a single manageable debt that is convenient to repay. This point needs to be explained. For instance, you have taken loans from various lenders at different interest rates. Now, with debt consolidation loans you can merge these different loans into one that you will avail at lower interest rate from a new creditor.

Debt consolidation loans for homeowners are bedecked with brimful of benefits. Such as:

• It is truly irksome to deal with different lenders. And obviously, you have to cut down your budget for paying-off different loans. Now with these loans, you can erase this situation as these loans are facilitated with one loan and one lender facility.
• You will get a chance to save your money too, as it reduces the overall interest rate being paid on the existing payments.
• Since the interest rate is low, thus you can repay the loan amount with lower monthly payment.
• Above all, these loans will give you a chance to set aside all harassing and untimely calls of lenders.

A homeowner can avail these loans by keeping his home as security. Hence, if anyone fails to repay the amount then the lender will repossess the security. So, at first be sure about your financial condition and after that go for debt consolidation loans. Some necessary steps you should follow before applying for a loan. These are as follows:

  • Check your credit score

  • Calculate your present debt amounts and its duration

  • Verify the nature of your debt

  • Moreover, borrow the amount that is easy for you to repay.

However, credit score is important while deciding the loan amount. Although the emphasis on credit score will be less in case of debt consolidation loans for homeowners, as these loans are available against their home. Therefore, a homeowner with bad credit score can avail these loans too.

It is said that there is light at the end of tunnel. Debt consolidation loans for homeowners are especially customized for coming out of the grey mist of debt. It‘s an unmatched opportunity for homeowner to break free of their debt-burden.

Rick Russell has no formal degree in finance, but years of work that he has put in the finance industry takes him perfectly eligible to be called an expert in financial matters. To Find Adverse Debt consolidation loans, Credit debt consolidation, UK Debt consolidation Help, Fix your debt Repayment visit

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Guide to a Debt Consolidation Loan

By John Mussi

If you have more than two existing debts, consider a debt consolidation loan. Several options are available such as, an unsecured loan; receiving an advance from an existing mortgage lender a loan secured against your property and leaves the original mortgage intact. You may consider taking out a second mortgage or remortgage your home. Another option is to transfer outstanding balances to a credit card.

When considering a debt consolidation loan it is important to shop around the same way you would if you were attempting to secure a loan for the first time. Comparing offers from a variety of lenders for your debt consolidation loan can save you a considerable sum of money. Do not let the stress of financial challenges lead you to make hasty decisions when choosing the most appropriate action for consolidating your debts. In addition, carefully consider the factors such as length and term of the debt consolidation loan and the total cost of repayments before your final decision.

What to think about when considering a debt consolidation loan

When you are considering a debt consolidation loan, consider exactly what you need to accomplish financially and what the alternatives are to control your debt. Examine the interest rate and APR, will it be fixed or variable. Analyze the monthly repayment schedule and total cost of the loan. Notice if the rate and/or capital sum will change during the allotted time of repayment. Carefully note the penalties assessed if you are late, miss a payment or if you decide to refinance or repay the debt consolidation loan early. If you have taken this loan out on your home, what consequences do you face for not staying current on your payments or if you decide to move to another residence.

When considering a debt consolidation loan your credit rating will play a key role in the sum you will be able to finance as well as the terms and APR of the loan. Whether your credit rating is excellent or adverse there are lenders available to assist you with your debt consolidation loan needs.

What are the benefits of a debt consolidation loan?

How does a debt consolidation loan work? If you have multiple loans, you can use a debt consolidation loan to combine the sum of your debts into a single loan. Often you will enjoy a lower monthly payment and be able to extend the loan over a longer period. When choosing a debt consolidation loan remember that this will not solve your credit problems instantly but it will afford you the opportunity to move your financial circumstances in a positive direction. You will be able to increase your credit score and begin working towards decreasing the amount of your debt.

If you are considering a debt consolidation loan, research the lenders and the offers carefully and choose one that guarantees results. Your goal in securing this type of loan is to bring your credit score up and help keep you from damaging your credit rating.

You may freely reprint this article provided the following author's biography (including the live URL link) remains intact:

About The Author

John Mussi is the founder of Direct Online Loans who help homeowners find the best available loans via the website.

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Friday, June 02, 2006

Debt Consolidation Loans - How they Can Help You Find Financial Freedom

By Steve Faber

You've probably heard of a debt consolidation loan. Just what is a debt consolidation loan, and how can it help you improve your financial picture? A debt consolidation loan is basically a secured loan taken out to pay off many other financial obligations, typically unsecured debt, such as credit cards or store accounts. Credit cards and store charge cards tend to have comparatively high interest rates. In addition, many of these types of accounts have annual or monthly fees associated with them that raise the cost of your credit even further.

Because they are unsecured debt, credit cards have to charge these higher interest rates. By using a loan that is secured by a stable, high value asset, such as real estate, the loan can have a much lower interest rate. In many cases, the term of the loan can be fairly long as well, typically 5 – 10 years or so. The combination of the lower interest rate and the long term of the loan means that your payment on your new debt consolidation loan will be fairly low. It will be much lower than the total payments of the credit cards you used the new loan to pay off.

The reduction in your monthly financial obligation can be a huge help. You now only have one low payment each month. This one payment replaces a payment for each of your credit cards you are now paying for. The multiple payments for all the credit cards add up to a much larger bill every month than the new consolidation loan's payment. This can obviously improve your monthly cash flow picture considerably.

There's another, huge benefit as well. Because you're only making one payment each month, instead of many smaller payments, it is much more convenient, and takes much less of your time. Instead of going through your credit card statements and laboriously writing a bunch of checks, you can be doing something else. Probably the best thing about a single payment is that it's almost impossible to accidentally miss a payment. The costs for accidentally missing a payment or having a late payment can be severe. You'll be charged late fees and probably have the interest rate on your credit card increased as well. Ouch! To make matters worse, late payments are reported to the credit agencies, making it possible for all your other cards to increase their interest rates to you as well.

Is there a possible down side to debt consolidation loans? Well, of course there is. Everything has a potential dark side. Because you are usually securing the debt consolidation loan with real estate, typically you home, you can lose your collateral if you default on the loan. That is a pretty serious consequence. If you got into your credit card trouble because of excessive spending, it's essential that you fix your spending habits before you eliminate your credit card debt by using a debt consolidation loan. If your credit card debt piled up due to unforeseen circumstances, such as medical problems or emergency car repairs, you don't have nearly as much to worry about.

A debt consolidation loan can free up extra cash to put into savings every month. That's hard to find and can really improve your financial future. You can invest the extra cash and build for your future, instead of giving it to the credit card companies every month and building theirs.

Find out much more important information about debt consolidation loans and weather they are really the right choice for you at the Debt Consolidation Loan Guide.

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Simple Methods To Reduce Credit Card Debt

Many people do not realise when their credit card debt is getting on top of them until it is too late.

The best thing to do to see how you stand with your credit card and how much you are paying back to them each month, is to calculate your monthly earnings and then calculate what you can afford to put back into your credit card account. You will then you have to divide your earnings by what you make in payments to your credit card and if you arrive at a figure of 15% or more going towards your card debt, then you are facing the chance that you are falling through a debt trap door that you cannot get out of.

If you find that you are in this position, the best thing that you can do is to stop using your credit cards and look at other areas in which you can cut back in your expenditure. The thing that I am going to suggest may not be what you would think, but it can go a long way to saving you a lot of money. The area in which you can save cash is your grocery bills, “but I have to eat” I here you say that is true as it is a fabric of our being, but it is the manner in which we spend our cash on groceries, that costs us a large slice of our monthly bills being higher than it should be.

Lets start with how many times that you have been looking through the newspapers, and you have came across money off vouchers on products that you do usually buy and ignored it and then threw the paper in the bin? Loads of times I bet and when in the supermarket do you go for the big named brands that are a lot more expensive but are told that they are of higher quality? Of course you do, but the fact of the matter is that the big name brands are not that much better, than the stores own branded labels and in many instances the product is made in the same place and are very similar.

Even if you see the big named brand with a promotion of 50% free or buy one get one free, you will find in many instances that it will still be cheaper to buy supermarket own brand products. And what you must also remember is that these firms are not going to sell their products at a loss. So just think at the high mark up price that they are usually at when not on a promotional price.

So by cutting down on your grocery expenditure, you will soon see the difference in your credit card debt, as you put what you are saving back in to clear your credit card balance.

At the same time as cutting your debt, remember to pay your credit card bills on time. Credit card late repayment penalties can work out to be very expensive and could actually undo all your good work. Credit card late payment penalties are currently being brought down to £12. This reduction was brought about by pressure from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT)

Peter Kenny is a writer for creditcards-gb For additional articles and an extensive resource for everything about credit cards, please visit us at Credit Card News and Credit Cards

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