The Essential Online Resource you Need to Finally Find a Way to Consolidate your Debt.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Credit and Debt Relief--A One Stop Solution

by: Sakina Walsh

Amy Wright, 34, was extatic when her
realtor showed her the three bedroom townhome overlooking the lushious
golf course. It was exactly the home she was looking for. The interior
was sunny and bright, with a newly remodeled kitchen, spacious bedrooms,
and the perfect little study area to set up her new home office. It had
a spectacular pool and a lovingly tended flower garden. Best of all—the
seller had to move immediately, so the home was a steal and miraculously
within her budget! Amy was already making moving preparations when
suddenly, a devastating blow paralyzed her plans. Her credit application
for a mortgage had been denied. She couldn’t understand how this had
happened—just a year ago, her credit had been almost perfect! The last
year had been a little tight, and sure she had a few late payments here
and there…but she had no idea it was so bad that now she couldn’t
even get the home of her dreams.


Ms. Wright found herself in the
predicament that hundreds of thousands of Americans are suddenly finding
themselves stuck in: more debt than they can handle, a sinking credit
score, and all of their financial dreams slipping away. With no chance
of getting approved for a loan, more bills than a paycheck can manage,
and collection agencies hounding delinquent borrowers with phone calls,
it is no wonder that financial problems are a top cause for anxiety,
stress-related insomnia, and even divorce. Many American consumers don’t
know where to turn when their financial problems get out of hand, and
don’t know how to battle such corporate giants as major credit card
companies or credit bureaus to start making their credit wrongs right.
To make matters worse, all kinds of internet scams, fraudulent credit
repair companies, and money-hungry “debt relief” programs have made
consumers wary of turning anywhere for help.

Amidst all of these truly leery
companies, however, there are a select few that can genuinely assist
their customers in climbing out of debt, and directing them towards the
financial solutions they desperately need. One such company is Credit MD,
a company that has earned its reputation by handling its customers with
honesty, sincerity, and expertise. You can immediately distinguish
Credit MD from the many illegitimate credit repair companies out there
because they never make false promises that hey cannot keep. The credit
specialists at Credit MD have been trained to be clear and distinct
about exactly what options are available to their clients, and what kind
of success they can expect.

Credit MD, a credit specialist will
assist customers in selecting an appropriate financial option, even if
the customer has no idea where to start. After a thorough consultation,
the credit specialist works with the customer to come up with a uniquely
tailored financial solution that will help restore the customer’s
credit. As an affiliate company with many other lenders and credit
services, Credit MD, offers a full array of credit options for customers
that are in desperate need of financial relief. Among these options are
sub-prime personal and business loans, credit cards, credit repair
services, and debt consolidation and settlement plans.

The loans and credit cards Credit MD
offers are specifically designed for customers with less than perfect
credit. Getting approved through these lenders presents customers with
the opportunity to start rebuilding good credit. Many customers can get
approvals through Credit MD’s affiliate lenders even if they were
denied by other companies on the internet.

A recent study found that more than 3
in 5 consumers have negative information in their credit report, and
nearly half of the studied reports contained errors. Many of the errors
were serious enough to prevent the individual from qualifying for
credit! To further entrap customers suffering from such erroneous credit
reporting, dozens of highly dishonest “credit repair” agencies have
reared their heads across the country. Dan Walsh was one their victims.
“They told me they would make my credit perfect, and take all of the
negative items off”, he said. Instead, he got charged almost $5,000
with very little change to his report. Many of these credit agencies
employ inexperienced associates and charge exorbitant fees to desperate
customers. Credit MD has a fully experienced attorney that works on
their credit repair cases. All of this is done at an astonishingly low
cost, and absolutely free in some cases. There is never an up front cost
to the customer, a feature that few, if any other credit repair
companies can match. In fact, Credit MD refuses to even take cases
unless they genuinely feel that they can significantly help the customer.
Now that’s credibility.

For customers sinking in debt,
bankruptcy often seems like the only resort. But sometimes a last minute
debt consolidation or debt settlement can save the deep impact the
damages from a bankruptcy can cause. Credit MD assists customer in
exploring these options, as well as several others, such as home
improvement loans and home equity lines. Although there are many other
companies on the web offering similar services, beware of internet scams
and companies that ask for upfront payments or credit card information.

Even if you just want to know what your
credit report has to say about you, Credit MD is an excellent financial
resource for any customer seeking to explore their financial options or
seek debt relief. Credit MD outshines its competition with premier
customer service. They don’t have annoying automated telephone systems,
or lengthy hold times. It is easy to get in touch with an enthusiastic
credit specialist promptly—a huge relief in today’s busy world. With
so many online scams, it’s important to know a company that has
qualifications and a reputation you can trust. For more information,
call Credit MD at 1-877-512-7334 or visit their website at www.creditmd.com

About The Author

Sakina Walsh has several years' experience in the financial sector.
Having worked in banking, investments, mortgages, and sub-prime
lending, she is now combining her experience in the credit
counseling industry.

sakina@creditmd.com

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Debt Consolidation. Just lump it all together!

by: Mike Yeager

In a world where people use credit as much as they drink water, it is no surprise that so many people need debt consolidation loans. Debt consolidation loans sound like a good way of getting your debt cleaned up, but are they? If you need help getting out of debt, consider all your options before choosing. You will be surprised to learn what is available to help you.

Whether you need to consolidate medical bills or maybe just credit card debt consolidation, finding the right option is easy when you know how. First you need to find out what types of loans you qualify for. If you own a home and have some equity in it, you may be able to cash that out into a home equity loan. This is a good option if you have a good relationship with your current lender and have enough equity to cover the loan amount.

Other types of loans, or consolidation loans, can be helpful as well. You can find free debt consolidation companies out there that will help you, but don't be fooled into believing these companies won't charge you something. Often times there are fees to pay. Another consideration isn't a loan at all. Non profit debt consolidation is a program for those who need help getting out. Often times, these companies can lower or eliminate your credit card interest rates because they have a relationship with your creditors. Most of the time, you set up a fixed amount of money that they take from your checking account monthly. This amount is what they have lowered your credit card monthly fees to. It is all of your accounts in one. Usually, this amount will pay off your bills within a certain amount of months assuming that you pay them monthly.

Whatever method you choose, find some information out online or through your local banks and lenders. There are many companies competing for your business.

Once you have the information you can make a decision that is good for you and your lender.

About The Author
Mike Yeager
Publisher
http://www.a1-loans-4u.com/
mjy610@hotmail.com

Monday, September 12, 2005

What You Need to Know About Debt Consolidation

by: Bill Thompson
Debt consolidation is often a last resort for people who are in extreme debt and trying to avoid bankruptcy. Many people who are not in danger of bankruptcy, but have debt on high interest credit cards may also choose to consolidate their debt. Debt consolidation is defined as the process of organizing loans and debts into one low-interest loan that can be paid off regularly. Consolidating debt can help someone avoid bankruptcy, and help them manage their money more wisely. Debt consolidation is also convenient because it becomes easier to keep track of debt and one is only required to pay off one loan rather than several debts. In order to consolidate one’s debt, collateral must be given. The collateral is usually the home, or a vehicle.
Central to debt consolidation is a debt consolidation company. It is important to choose the best company to fit your financial needs. As is common in any financial sphere, there are reputable companies, and companies that use underhanded methods to gain more money from the customer. Most debt consolidation companies do use honorable methods, but it is still important to know what some underhanded companies will do.
1. Some companies will wait until you are backed into a corner. If you know you are headed for financial trouble and wish to consolidate your debt, make sure your company starts working on it right away. Some companies will delay in debt consolidation so that the customer gets in more debt and therefore has to pay the company more money in the long run as well as short term. A customer who has to consolidate debt or else face bankruptcy can be forced to pay extremely high refinancing fees or debt consolidation fees.
2. Some companies will also charge exceptionally high debt consolidation fees to people who have high interest loans. Sometimes these fees can be extremely close to, or at the state maximum for mortgage fees. It is important to know how much companies are able to charge you, and compare that to what a company is offering. The lowest price is generally the best idea. Always be on the look out for unnaturally high fees because some companies will attempt to scam you.
3. Last, and certainly not least, you should be aware of companies practicing “predatory lending.” Predatory lending is a practice by some unscrupulous companies to allow their customers to become so in debt that no other company will help them. This is a way that a company can control you and make sure to make significant financial gains from your misfortune. Any debt consolidation service that attempts to control you is not a good service.
The decision to consolidate one’s debt is a very important decision. It is important to understand this fact when looking for a company. Knowing how companies will try to make extra money at your expense is imperative to having a successful debt consolidation experience. Choose the best company and you will notice a positive outcome. Debt consolidation is a wise option for people with nowhere else to turn, but it must be a well-thought-out, educated decision.
About The Author
Bill Thompson is a financial adviser and writes daily for Debt Consolidation Lowdown ( http://www.debtconsolidationlowdown.com ).
billthompson1132@yahoo.com

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Sunday, September 11, 2005

consolidation debt home improvement loan mortgage Resources

consolidation debt home improvement loan mortgage Resources: "Are you feeling overburdened with debt? Are you paying out too much every month for your credit cards, store cards and loans? Then why not replace them all with one, lower, convenient repayment through a consolidation loan?
Consolidation loans can give you a fresh start, allowing you to consolidate all of your loans into one - giving you one easy to manage payment, and in most cases, at a lower rate of interest. "

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Debt Handling Solutions

Sometimes debt can seem overwhelming. In those instances, or evenbefore things get that far out of hand, get back to basics andtry some of these debt handling solutions.
BASICS – Lower insurance deductibles for your homeowners,renters and vehicles policies where appropriate and save money.Don’t take chances on bouncing checks; instead get covered withoverdraft protection and pay about the same as what it would costfor one bounced check to cover our account for an entire year.Ask your banker about packaged account services. Many offer freesavings and checking accounts with free overdraft protection andchecks, free online bill paying and more. When you shop, checkyour receipts, even for groceries. Many times items ring up atincorrect prices. Sometimes store policy allows for no errors,meaning you get the items free if it wrings up wrong. So carryalong a handheld calculator or pencil with small notepad to tallyup your charges.
REACH OUT- If you have medical debt, the first thing healthcareoffices try to do is get you to charge the bills or refinanceyour home, etc. STOP. Before you take such a drastic step, checkwith legal counsel. There are often other steps to take first.For example, notify the billing parties and tell them you need toapply for financial aid. Many have forms to complete, andalthough they may be lengthy, remember they’re for free money topay your bills. Reach out, take forms and fill them out. Then setup minimum payment arrangements for the remaining balances, evenif it’s just $10 a month for 30 years. Healthcare bills are notlike credit card debt and do not need to be reported to thecredit bureau in the same manner.
Also reach out with merchandise and return any recently purchaseditems that you can for a refund. Credit cards and mail ordercompanies generally allow you 30 days to inspect your purchase.Return any you can for refunds. If purchases are beyond the 30days and for various reasons don’t hold up to their end of the“bargain;” i.e. they broke already or never worked right to beginwith, get on a letter writing campaign pronto. Write the place ofpurchase and copy the manufacturer, the distributor, the BetterBusiness Bureau and your state Attorney General’s Office. Statethe reasons our product is faulty and that you want a refund.It’s often rewarding to get help with other entities like these.No need to go it alone!
So before your debt gets out of hand, take charge and get backto basics. Put some of these debt handling solutions intopractice and make the most out of what you have.

Stacking - Fast Track Out of Debt

You go to the mail box and scan - a couple fliers (nah), yourmagazine subscription (yes!) and bills (groan). Every month thebills show up and as you sigh and take out your check book youwonder if you will ever be free.
Each month you pay the minimums and although you KNOW you've gota handle on it - you are not charging your credit card oraccumulating new debts anymore - it seems that you will be payingthe minimum fees forever.
Did you know that HOW you pay your debts can affect how soon youwill finishing paying them off - even if you keep paying the sameamount for debt every month? Of course you might be able to get aconsolidation loan, but if you're not eligible or are notinterested then there are several other things you can do.
It's not always the easiest to figure out the mathematics, butthere are three steps to quicker debt relief - guaranteed.
STEP ONE - Create a list.
List your smallest debts first followed by your largesthigh-interest debts (credit card) and then your largestlow-interest debts (Lines of credit and taxes).
Plan to pay the minimums on all debts with these goals in mind:
STEP TWO - Small bills first.
They may not be the highest interest, but every bill that you arepaying some interest on means you are usually only paying minimalamounts on the principal. Multiple debts are also a sure way tobring your spirits down. Paying off small debts first is a quickway to start checking them off - and freeing your mind.
STEP THREE - Move the payments along.
When one debt is paid add the funds to the next debt. Forexample, say you're making $75 payments to a small debt. When thedebt is cleared add the $75 to the next debt on your list. If thenext debt had a minimum payment of $100, you will now pay $175until it is paid off. When that one is finished, take the $175and add it to the next payment and so on.
STEP FOUR - Save the cash!
Don't forget that when your debts are cleared you have setyourself up for a better financial future. The best way to takeadvantage of your new situation is to use all the money you werespending on debts and start investing or saving it every month.
With this strategy your debts will clear faster meaning you willpay less interest, you will see progress as you clear small debtsfirst, and you will not be tempted to use the funds for personaluse instead of debt repayment.
It is a worthwhile goal to get out of debt. Seeing that goal comesooner and teaching yourself discipline sets you up for abrighter financial future. You OWE yourself that!

Behold the Power of the Lease Option

If you are an investor that sells properties using lease optionsyou no-doubt understand why it can be an appealing avenue forthose that need rental history and/or rent credits to help achallenging credit file. But, would YOU consider buying aproperty using a lease option? You better!
There is a reason that some of the most successful real estateinvestors, including Donald Trump, use the lease option technique(ok, there are actually several reasons!).
Appreciation: One of the typical advantages of controlling aproperty using an option is that the buyer retains the right tocapture some, if not all, appreciation during the term. Thelonger the term, the greater the appreciation can be. In thesingle-family arena, where terms are usually 12-24 months, evenmoderate amounts of property appreciation can add up. For thebuyer, especially, every percentage point of appreciation counts.And, if you're nice enough to offer (or get) a 24-month term ina market increasing at 3% annually, $6,000 on a $100,000 propertyis significant.
Principle Pay Down: If an option is accompanied by a lease thepossibilities are greater for increased equity build up. Byapplying a portion of the monthly lease payment amount to thepurchase price of the property one has the opportunity to widenthe gap between the market value and the loan amount. Dependingon whether the monthly rent amount is inline with marketrates...this is free money! A 30-year amortized, $100,000 loanat 7% begins at approximately $82 per month of principlepayments. A $100 per month rent credit beats that, dollar fordollar, every month for almost 3 years!
No New Loan: Possibly the most noteworthy advantage of using alease option in the residential market is that when the Optioneebegins the purchase process no "new loan" is required. Theprerequisite for this may be working with the right and informedmortgage broker but is usually easily accomplished through arefinance. This can mean no additional out-of-pocket monies forclosing.
No Down Payment: I know what you're thinking, "I would neveroffer such a thing!" You don't have to. As a real estateinvestor rich in tools to find motivated sellers, you could getyour next home using this lease option technique with no moneydown. You don't have to tell the seller that an option fee maybe customary!
When you add it all up the numbers are hard to resist, so don'ttry! If you're in the market for a new (or new to you) home, useyour own strategy against you!

What’s the Deal with Interest Only Mortgages?

Have you heard that commercial about interest-onlymortgages...the one where you’re told about what a wonderfulbenefit it is to have a low, low mortgage payment and all thewonderful tax write-offs you will receive?
Before you decide to buy now and pay later, that is pay “bigtime” later, take a moment to enlighten yourself a bit more aboutthese so-called “interest only mortgages.” Think about it for amoment. If you just pay the interest on your home, will you everstart paying on principal and will you ever earn any equity intoyour property?
By definition, a mortgage is a temporary, conditional pledge ofproperty to a creditor as security for performance of anobligation or repayment of a debt. Simplified, that means youborrow money from a financial institution and they essentiallybuy your house and you pay it back. How can this happen ifyou’re just paying interest? More accurately, interest-onlymortgages are a temporary reprieve for paying off a traditionalmortgage. You may actually be prolonging the inevitable andeventually making it even more costly to pay off your mortgage.
Far too many people are in debt way over their heads because ofinterest-only mortgages. They took advantage of attractive offersto buy now and pay later. With an interest only payment you’rekeeping the principal at minimum value while continuing to payinterest at 100%. With a more conventional mortgage you’d beslowly dwindling down the total interest amount.
Most interest-only payment schedules are offered on AdjustableRate Mortgages (ARMs), but they can also be found on a fixed ratemortgage. Interest-only payment periods almost never run for theentire term of the loan which is typically 15 or 30 years. Depending on the terms of your contract, you could be expected tostart paying on the principal in five, seven or ten years. Oncethe interest-only period ends, your monthly payment will go upbecause then you’ll be paying on both principal and interest.
Conversely, interest-only mortgages can be a good thing for somepeople. For those people wanting to purchase a bigger/betterhome for a lower down payment AND who anticipate moving withinseven years, the interest-only payment method may be the way togo. However, keep in-mind that in a "down" realestate market yougenerally won’t be building equity and making money by doing itthis way. The majority of the money made from investing in realestate comes from an increase in value to the home. The averageperson moves every seven years anyway. Gone are the days whenpeople stay in a home thirty years. Hence, if you anticipatemoving before you’ll have to start paying on the principal, thenan interest-only payment may be ideal for you.
There’s a great deal of fine print to any mortgage. Evaluateyour own goals; be vigilant when reviewing the terms on the loanyou’re considering before acting.

Repay Your Mortgage As Slowly As You Want

For years, banks and financial advisors have been recommendingthat you pay extra cash into your mortgage, to cut down the hugeinterest amount and reduce the period over which you pay back theloan.
For example, if you borrow $200 000 over 30 years at a rate of5%, your monthly repayments would be around $1074. Over 30 years,you would actually pay $1074 x 360 (months), which is $386 640. That's $186 640 in interest!
If you could find an extra $246 a month, and pay $1320 a monthinto the mortgage, you'd cut 10 years off the repayment period -the loan would be fully paid in only 20 years. Moreover, yourtotal payments would be $316 664, saving $69 756!
The flaw in this technique is that it ignores the time value ofmoney.
Everyone knows that money is worth less now than it was when theywere younger. If you take that $1074 mortgage repayment, forinstance, in 30 years time, when the last payment is due, itwould only be worth $437 in today's money.
A dollar now is always better than a dollar in a year's time, orin 10 year's time.
How does the time value of money affect our example?
You cannot simply subtract the mortgage interest amount for a 20year mortgage from the interest on a 30 year mortgage. What youneed to do is calculate the Present Value of each mortgage.
The Present Value of a 30 year mortgage with repayments of $1074at a 5% interest rate is $200 066.
The Present Value of a 20 year mortgage with repayments of $1320at a 5% interest rate is $200 066.
The two repayment schemes are exactly equal.
The $69 756 'saving' in the interest rate is really just theeffect of adding the extra $246 a month into the repayments - infact, that $246 a month adds up to $59 040 over 20 years.
What if you took that $246 a month and invested it in, forexample, mutual funds?
If you could get a return of 10% p.a., after 20 years you wouldhave $186 804. With inflation at 3%, that would be worth $102 597in today's money.
Why would the banks recommend that you pay off your mortgagequickly? Surely the longer the income stream lasts, the better?
The banks love being able to prove that their recommendationswill 'save you money'. But in reality, the banks do understandthe time value of money. They know the true value of that extra$246 a month that you're giving them now, not in the future. Andthe shorter the time you take to repay the mortgage, the lowertheir risk, and the sooner their money comes back to them to beloaned out again.
There are some arguments for paying your mortgage back quickly -for one thing, the quicker you pay, the quicker your equitygrows. But you should understand that every dollar you give thebank now is a dollar that you can't invest.
Giving your money to the bank to avoid paying 5% interest meansthat you can't use that money to earn 10% or 12% or 15% somewhereelse.

Need Cash? Beware of Pay Day Loans!

Have you seen the commercials? Cute characters promise financialprosperity. Happy, professional individuals appear to regularlyvisit their corner pay day loan shop as proudly as cashing acheck at the bank. Customers at the grocery store all recommendpay day loans as the easy solution for a lack of funds.
Could pay day loans be the answer consumers with low bankaccounts have been looking for? Is there any harm in using theseservices? Aren't they better than using credit cards or goinghungry?
WHY USE A PAY DAY LOAN?
Some individuals reason that paying a bill with borrowed money isbetter than receiving bad credit marks because of not paying thebill. This is understandable. However, some financialinstitutions are willing to make the occasional exception ifcontacted about the situation. Or there may be a small fee, butnot a credit report made.
Using it for groceries or other items? Consider the true costbefore making a decision. Compare the cost of using a pay day (orcash advance) loan to the fees charged for taking a cash advanceon your own credit card. Can family help? Often those who areforced to use pay day loans are not able to repay the loan by thenext pay check and that can lead to a cycle of debt and stress.
WHAT IS THE COST?
Several sources, including a consumer report by the FTC (FederalTrade Commission) and the CFA (Consumer Federation of America)state that usual the usual APR is between 350 - 650% with some ashigh as 780%.
A loan of $100 ranges in cost between $15 - $30. If the loan isnot repaid by the pay date then it can be renewed with anotherfee due at each renewal. A loan of $100 can cost $60 in feesafter 3 renewals.
WHO BENEFITS?
Based on the warnings issued by federal and consumerorganizations it is clear that using pay day loans or cashadvances from these businesses can often lead to more debt andproblems. Some sites were reported to automatically roll over theloan and only withdraw the renewal fee on the pay date. Othersites surveyed by the CFA required customers to agree in contractto not participate in class action suits or to file forbankruptcy.
For those who are having debt problems it is recommended to seek no- or low-cost credit counseling from a local non-profitorganization. These organizations can help with reducing currentinterest charges and lowering monthly payments. If the problem isbudget, you should look to a financial planner who can help youto manage the money you do have and avoid using credit at all.

It Takes Credit To Build Credit

Using a credit card wisely is an important step in building agood credit rating. If you're trying to re-build your credit orif you're young and just starting out, pay close attention thenext time you receive a new card offer in the mail. When you'retrying to build a positive credit history for yourself, using theright credit card makes sense. Making small purchases and thenmaking your payments on time each month is a simple, reliable wayto build an outstanding credit report.
Whatto Look For On a Credit Card Application
If youreceive a credit card application that appears to offer a lowmonthly interest rate, don't make a decision until you turn itover and closely examine the Disclosure Box. In it you'll find amore important measure of credit terms - the Annual PercentageRate, or APR. By federal law, the Disclosure Box will alsotell you whether or not the card has what is called a graceperiod - a number of days, usually 25, until your purchasestarts to accrue finance charges. If a card has a reasonablegrace period and you pay off your balance at the end of eachbilling cycle, you won't have to pay finance charges. It isn'tdifficult to find credit cards that offer these grace periods, soif the Disclosure Box doesn't declare one then throw theapplication in the trash and look for a better offer./>If you don't have any credit history at all, a credit cardcompany won't want to give you a very high credit limit, butthat's probably best when you're just starting out. You don'twant to be tempted to go into serious debt with your very firstcredit card.
Calculate Your Monthly FinanceCharges
Ideally you want to pay off your balanceeach month to avoid paying any finance charges, but when thatisn't possible it's important to know the actual cost of theitems you purchase. The annual percentage rate, divided by 12months, gives you the periodic rate that will be appliedto your outstanding balance each month. You can estimate whatyour monthly finance charge will be by multiplying the periodicrate times the outstanding balance. It may sound complicated atfirst, but taking the time to learn this simple equation can makea big difference in how you use your credit card.
Whenyou're able to see how much you actually spend on an item thatyou don't pay off at the end of the month, it might help you toresist the temptation to over-use your card. An item that youwant to buy might be on sale at the time you purchase it, but ifyou don't pay off your balance at the end of the month then thosefinance charges can dramatically increase the actual amountyou'll end up paying.
Use Your Credit Card asa Tool
Credit cards are only one of the toolsavailable to help you build a positive credit history. Makingon-time payments for other forms of credit, such as rent andutilities, are also important. Depending on your situation,within 1-2 years your credit rating will be improved enough thatyou no longer need to use your card for new purchases to maintainyour good credit. Use these tools wisely, and they'll help buildyour financial future!

Friends Who Owe You Money Can Quickly Become Former Friends

It’s pretty much common sense, or at least it’s been said athousand times before, don’t lend money to friends and family. What is often missed in that warning is that you should also notsell things to friends and family.
Here are a couple of scenarios. Your friends are over for aChristmas tree decorating party. Two of the guys know that yousell pre-owned designer men’s suits on eBay. They ask you if youhave any new stock because they could use a new sports coat. “Sure look in the hall closet, see if you like anything.” Afterfive minutes both men return, one wearing a Hugo Boss suit coatand the other is sporting a Zegna blazer. It’s the holidayseason, you’re all friends, and even though you know you couldget at least $80 each on eBay for them, you only paid $4.99, soyou tell them you’ll sell them for $10 each. What the heck, it’sgift giving season anyway. Then they announce their checkbook isin the car, so they’ll pay you Tuesday when they see you next. Fast forward three months to March and they still haven’t paidyou.
Or perhaps you know a friend is looking with his teenage son tobuy a car for Junior. You have another friend who is aself-employed mechanic and is always picking up older cars andfixing them up. You mention to friend #2 that friend #1 wants tobuy a car for his son. Mechanic friend was going to sell the carfor $900, but since it’s a friend of yours, he tells you to tellthem they can have it for $600. You disclose all that’s rightwith it as well as all that will soon need repair. Friend andson drive the car, say they want it and will come over with moneyon Tuesday. They arrive on Tuesday with only $300 and tellfriend #2 that they will have the balance paid off in 30 days andhoped he’d understand. Four months later and lots of pullingteeth, friend #1 dribbles in an occasional $10 here and $20 heretoward their $300 debt. Yet they’ve had the car for months.
So what went wrong in the above cases? The friends (now formerfriends) never asked to borrow money (to give you the opportunityto not lend them cash, as you’ve been warned). Theseller-friends were blind-sided with the sudden convenience of nomoney after the transaction had already taken place. Because itwas a friend, “c’mon what’s little leeway among friends, anyway?”the sellers felt cornered and awkward to rescind the offer afterthey had already agreed to it.
The only real solution is to never, as in never ever, sellanything to family and friends unless you have cash in hand, atthat moment. And don’t feel obligated to give them a deal of alifetime. If you could get a fair price for the item elsewhere,offer it to your friend at that price too. If you don’t, youcould be losing out on a whole lot more than income. Friendshipsand families are often severed because of transactions gone bad. Don’t let it happen to you.

Debt Stacking - Fast Track Out of Debt

You go to the mail box and scan - a couple fliers (nah), yourmagazine subscription (yes!) and bills (groan). Every month thebills show up and as you sigh and take out your check book youwonder if you will ever be free.
Each month you pay the minimums and although you KNOW you've gota handle on it - you are not charging your credit card oraccumulating new debts anymore - it seems that you will be payingthe minimum fees forever.
Did you know that HOW you pay your debts can affect how soon youwill finishing paying them off - even if you keep paying the sameamount for debt every month? Of course you might be able to get aconsolidation loan, but if you're not eligible or are notinterested then there are several other things you can do.
It's not always the easiest to figure out the mathematics, butthere are three steps to quicker debt relief - guaranteed.
STEP ONE - Create a list.
List your smallest debts first followed by your largesthigh-interest debts (credit card) and then your largestlow-interest debts (Lines of credit and taxes).
Plan to pay the minimums on all debts with these goals in mind:
STEP TWO - Small bills first.
They may not be the highest interest, but every bill that you arepaying some interest on means you are usually only paying minimalamounts on the principal. Multiple debts are also a sure way tobring your spirits down. Paying off small debts first is a quickway to start checking them off - and freeing your mind.
STEP THREE - Move the payments along.
When one debt is paid add the funds to the next debt. Forexample, say you're making $75 payments to a small debt. When thedebt is cleared add the $75 to the next debt on your list. If thenext debt had a minimum payment of $100, you will now pay $175until it is paid off. When that one is finished, take the $175and add it to the next payment and so on.
STEP FOUR - Save the cash!
Don't forget that when your debts are cleared you have setyourself up for a better financial future. The best way to takeadvantage of your new situation is to use all the money you werespending on debts and start investing or saving it every month.
With this strategy your debts will clear faster meaning you willpay less interest, you will see progress as you clear small debtsfirst, and you will not be tempted to use the funds for personaluse instead of debt repayment.
It is a worthwhile goal to get out of debt. Seeing that goal comesooner and teaching yourself discipline sets you up for abrighter financial future. You OWE yourself that!

Debt Handling Solutions

Sometimes debt can seem overwhelming. In those instances, or evenbefore things get that far out of hand, get back to basics andtry some of these debt handling solutions.
BASICS – Lower insurance deductibles for your homeowners,renters and vehicles policies where appropriate and save money.Don’t take chances on bouncing checks; instead get covered withoverdraft protection and pay about the same as what it would costfor one bounced check to cover our account for an entire year.Ask your banker about packaged account services. Many offer freesavings and checking accounts with free overdraft protection andchecks, free online bill paying and more. When you shop, checkyour receipts, even for groceries. Many times items ring up atincorrect prices. Sometimes store policy allows for no errors,meaning you get the items free if it wrings up wrong. So carryalong a handheld calculator or pencil with small notepad to tallyup your charges.
REACH OUT- If you have medical debt, the first thing healthcareoffices try to do is get you to charge the bills or refinanceyour home, etc. STOP. Before you take such a drastic step, checkwith legal counsel. There are often other steps to take first.For example, notify the billing parties and tell them you need toapply for financial aid. Many have forms to complete, andalthough they may be lengthy, remember they’re for free money topay your bills. Reach out, take forms and fill them out. Then setup minimum payment arrangements for the remaining balances, evenif it’s just $10 a month for 30 years. Healthcare bills are notlike credit card debt and do not need to be reported to thecredit bureau in the same manner.
Also reach out with merchandise and return any recently purchaseditems that you can for a refund. Credit cards and mail ordercompanies generally allow you 30 days to inspect your purchase.Return any you can for refunds. If purchases are beyond the 30days and for various reasons don’t hold up to their end of the“bargain;” i.e. they broke already or never worked right to beginwith, get on a letter writing campaign pronto. Write the place ofpurchase and copy the manufacturer, the distributor, the BetterBusiness Bureau and your state Attorney General’s Office. Statethe reasons our product is faulty and that you want a refund.It’s often rewarding to get help with other entities like these.No need to go it alone!
So before your debt gets out of hand, take charge and get backto basics. Put some of these debt handling solutions intopractice and make the most out of what you have.


5 Surefire Ways To Eliminate Credit Card Debt
by: Wes Atkins

Do you have enormous credit card debt? You arecertainly not alone. According to research, the average family in the UnitedStates has $7000 in credit card debt and pays about $1000 in interest each year!Throw in a late payment or two, or an over-the-limit charge, and that numberskyrockets. Imagine what you could do with that $1000 if it weren’t beingspent on interest.

Let’s imagine for a moment that you have$5000 debt on one credit card that is charging you 17.5% APR. Let’s alsoimagine that you pay only the minimum due of $25/month on this card. Guess what?You will never pay it off! The interest alone on this card is $73/month!

That means that each month you get further andfurther into debt. By the time you have been paying on this $5000 for 10 years,assuming you have not used the card during this entire period of time, you willowe $20,385! That’s over $15,000 in interest. If you triple your payment to$75, it will take you over 20 years.

So, what do you do? How do you get out of debtand use that money towards other necessities, savings, and investments? Here area few simple methods that you can use without having to go to an expensivefinancial counselor.

Tip #1: Cut Up Your Cards

The very best way to reduce your credit carddebt is to STOP using your credit cards! There is no need to have more than onecard, so pick the one with the lowest interest rate and cut up the rest. The oneyou keep should be deemed an ‘emergency card.” These are true emergencies,not mere inconveniences. For instance, buying a new TV would not be an emergency,but renting a car in order to get to the bedside of a dying loved one would be.You can carry your emergency card with you, but don’t make it too easy to use.One good suggestion is to cover the card tape and paper and write on it: ForEmergencies Only.

Tip #2: Move Your Debt

If you have more than one credit card payment,you may want to consider moving debt from a card with a higher APR to one with alower APR. This will lower the amount of money you are spending towards theinterest and get you out of debt faster.

Tip #3: Use the Snowball Principle

List all of your credit card debts, and theamount you are paying each month. Pay off the lowest amount first. Then use thatmoney to start paying off the second lowest amount. And then the next and thenext. Let’s look at an example.

If you have a $7000, $5000, and $2000 card withpayments of $150, $125, and $100, you will finish paying off the $2000 cardfirst. Once it is paid off, you take that $100 and put it towards the $5000credit card. That means you are now paying $225/month. You have increased yourpayments which will pay off that credit card sooner and will have you paying alot less in interest. Once that is paid off, you apply the $225 to the $7000card, making your monthly payment $375. This will greatly accelerate the paymentof this card, reducing your interest payments even further. When everything ispaid off, you now have $375/month extra to put towards savings or investments!

Tip #4: Prioritize Your Debt Repayment

One of the best ways to pay off your debts isto get rid of the highest interest payment first. Looking back at the snowballexample, you took the lowest and paid it first. If, however, the $2000 card hadthe lowest interest rate, you would want to pay off the card with the highestrate first. This will save you much more in interest payments.

If the math gets too hard here, don’t despair.There are many places on the Internet where you can find good debt reductioncalculators. It is then just a matter of punching in your numbers and readingthe report.

Tip #5: Consider Consolidation

If you own a home, you may want to considerconsolidating your debt using a home equity loan. Since a home loan is a securedloan (they can take away your house if you don’t pay) you have a much lowerinterest rate than you do on your credit cards. Paying a lower interest rate isalways a good thing! Not only that, but the interest you pay on your home loanis tax deductible. This is NOT true for credit cards.

By following these tips, anyone can takecontrol of and completely eliminate credit card debt.

About The Author
Wesley Atkins is the owner of http://www.credit-cards-advisor.com- which aims to get you fitted with the best credit cards to suit your situation. With numerous credit card articles and easy online credit card applications you will never choose the wrong credit card again.