Managing Your Money

Getting Debt Counseling Can Make a World of Difference

making a budget is part of debt counseling

Counselors provide us with insight and perspective to help us overcome problems or life issues that we feel we can’t get through on our own. They can provide valuable encouragement and useful direction that we need in order to move forward in our lives.

Debt counselors offer all that when it comes to helping you get out of debt and stay out. Debt doesn’t have to be a life-long problem. You can get your finances out of the red and start building your net worth today.

What Debt Counseling Does for You

If you have a range of debts such as student loan debt, personal bank loan debt, credit cards or store lines of credit, you may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of making sure that each of those payments is made each month. Forgetting to make a payment could lead to fees and a lowered credit score. This could snowball if you are in a tight financial position.

Debt counseling from a company like CreditGuard offers the tools you need to overcome debt. Your counselor will sit down with you and talk about your finances. You can share your income, monthly expenses and bills that you need to pay each month, and your counselor can help you put together a budget. By sticking to that budget, you will begin getting yourself out of your difficult situation. Furthermore, your counselor can help you look further into the future and build a one-year, five-year or 10-year financial plan to help you start building wealth. A counselor will share tips on how to save money on expenses and cut costs on bills.

Finally, debt counseling can help you through a process called debt consolidation where you can take your debts and roll them up into a single monthly payment. Debt consolidation providers work with creditors to ensure this payment will have a lower interest rate and reduced fees. Many clients report that consolidation saves them thousands of dollars over the life of a loan and helps them become free of their debts up to six times as fast as if they had just continued making minimum payments.

There is no reason not to get started. Consider credit counseling and debt consolidation to help you get yourself back on track.

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Finding Good Debt Consolidation Companies in Georgia

Debt consolidation is widely regarded as the best method available for managing your credit and getting out of debt quickly. The approach is practiced by companies and non-profit organizations across the country and throughout the Internet.

But what exactly is debt consolidation? It is the process of rolling up all of your debts into one payment, getting reduced interest rates on that payment, and saving thousands of dollars over the life of your loans. It improves credit scores, pays off debts decades faster than they would have otherwise been paid, and provides both financial and emotional relief.

If you’ve already decided to consolidate your debts, how do you go about finding the right company? There are dozens of options to choose from, and the differences can be overwhelming. Even so, there are a few telltale signs of good and bad companies for which you should keep an eye out.

Debt Consolidation is Not a Loan

If a Georgia debt consolidation company is asking you to take out another loan, that should be a major red flag. The best debt consolidation companies like CreditGuard have enough capital and trust in their futures that they will pay off your loans month by month, both ensuring your credit score’s continued growth as well as removing the need for a new loan.

Better Business Bureau

Like most businesses, debt consolidation providers in GA are required to sign up with your local Better Business Bureau. Customers may register complaints with the BBB if they received poor service or were scammed in any way. Always check the BBB to see if a company has plenty of working capital as well as a good customer service reputation. You can also check various online review sites to see if the company is legitimate. Because you’ll be trusting them with your credit card information, you want to make sure that their record is sound.

Do They Offer Counseling?

The best debt consolidation services in Georgia offer counseling in addition to consolidation. Credit counseling can help you build a budget, stick to a financial plan and give you the confidence you need to go forward and improve your credit management situation.

Don’t just go with any debt consolidation provider. Look for the best. Do your due diligence to find a highly-qualified and reliable provider that is right for you.

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Get Out of Debt and Become Financially Aware

While the U.S. economy is recovering, the recovery process is always long and difficult. During this time, there are still people finding themselves unemployed and unable to pay their bills. However, even with the difficulties of keeping up with the mortgage, utilities and then the credit card debt, it is possible to get out of debt and learn how to avoid financial hardship in the future.

Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation companies were created to help people through difficult times like these. They can help you organize your debt, lower your monthly payment and become financially aware. Most debt consolidation companies offer a free initial consultation, and then you meet with an experienced and knowledgeable debt counselor who will review your income, expenses and unnecessary debt to help you develop a CreditGuard of America debt management plan. Once you have figured out what you can afford to pay per month, the debt consolidator will contact your creditors and negotiate lower payments and lower interest rates on the debt. The best part is that you only make one payment each month to the debt consolidation company who distributes that payment to your creditors.

Credit Counseling

Credit counseling and debt consolidation go hand-in-hand. While debt consolidation can help you get rid of your debt, without proper education, you will likely find yourself back where you started. Credit counseling provides financial management advice for personal budgeting, money management and credit management. These services give you the tools to wisely manage your income so that you can make sure your financial future is secure. The combined debt consolidation and credit counseling services increase your future financial success.

Educational Resource

A credit counseling service can be beneficial to people other than those facing a mountain of debt. High school graduates and college students who are just starting out in the world can benefit greatly from credit counseling services. Through the service, they can learn ways to use their income wisely so they do not find themselves having financial problems. Taking courses on personal budgeting and money management can help them develop good financial habits that will ensure a healthy financial future.

Working with a debt consolidation service is a great way to help yourself financially whether you are having difficulty managing your current debt or simply do not want to run into difficulty in the future. In tough economic times, these services are exactly what you need to stay on top of your finances.

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Credit Management When You Have Credit Card Debt

weighed down by credit card debtCredit management can be difficult when you have several credit card debts to contend with every month. To reduce your debts to zero, you would be advised to send a higher payment than the required minimum amount, but this can be impossible when you have several credit card accounts to pay at once, or your minimum payment is too high. One excellent solution to this problem is debt consolidation that also incorporates money management into the education.

Benefits of Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation will help you reduce your credit card debts, but this will not help you improve your financial situation if you don’t learn how to manage your credit better. Your credit counselor will impress upon you the importance of starting to pay all of your bills on time. This is difficult at the moment because you have several payments or one very high payment each month, but after you consolidate your debts, you will be able to afford to re-pay your debts in full in a timely manner.

Why It’s Important to Pay the Bills on Time

Paying your bills on time is so important because payment history accounts for 35 percent of your credit score. Once you begin to show interested parties that you are capable of re-paying the credit that is extended to you, your credit scores will increase. Future creditors will obtain your credit history and not turn you down for the loan that you need because you are making late payments. They will even be able to offer you a lower interest rate because you have proven yourself to be a better risk. Credit card management is simple to adjust, and will benefit you in the long run.

Why You Need to Lower Your Credit Card Balances

Credit counselors, or debt consolidators, will also help you understand what credit means and how you can keep from seeing your credit scores fall by using proper credit card management ideals. Now that you have used all or most of your available credit, your credit scores may be on the low side because you have shown that you are carrying too much debt. This accounts for 10 percent of your credit scores, so your counselor from a company like Credit Guard will help you lower your credit card debt so that your credit scores can rise.

Debt Consolidation

The main thing that your counselors will do to help you lower your credit card balances is perform debt consolidation duties. This entails contacting your creditors and asking them if it would be possible to lower your interest rates. High interest rates are what make it harder for you to re-pay your credit card debts in full, but a lower interest rate adds less interest to the monthly payments. With lower interest rates, you can contribute more money toward the principle, and you will reduce your balances as well as improve your credit scores.

Debt consolidators aren’t going to be able to ask your creditors to lower your balances, but they may be able to have any late fees and penalties waived. This will lower the principal balance without turning the program into a settlement program that only serves the purpose of damaging your credit.

End your credit card debt woes with debt consolidation and credit management and see an increase in your credit scores too.

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Debt: Are You In Over Your Head?

If you’re carrying credit card debt, you have plenty of company: U.S. consumers are carrying more than $800 billion dollars in credit card debt each month. There – does that make you feel better? Beyond the fact that it can be some comfort knowing you’re not alone, simply knowing that there are lots of other men and women with the same troubles as you have doesn’t really provide a warm, fuzzy feeling for very long. What will make you feel better is paying your debt off entirely, knowing that when you open your mailbox tomorrow or the next day or the next, there won’t be any nasty surprises waiting to ruin an otherwise decent day.

Maybe you think your debt isn’t all that serious – that someday, sooner or later, you’ll make a plan to pay it all off. You’re not in over your head – at least, so you think. Truth is, if any of the following three scenarios is true, your debt situation could be a lot more dire than you realize:

  • Maxed out cards or limits lowered by the lender: Once you reach or exceed a limit on one of your cards, all your lenders may consider it a sign of danger and trim back your available credit to or near your existing balances. That means two things: First, you no longer have any credit on which to rely and second, your credit utilization ratio – that is, the amount of open credit you have available – drops precipitously, causing a drop in your credit score which can take a long time to repair.
  • Interest rates have soared: If you miss a payment- and in some cases, even if you don’t – your credit card company may decide to bump your interest rate to an untenable 20 percent or even more on both purchases and cash advances. These bumps often occur as your balances climb, indicating to lenders that you’re in financial difficulty and may be more likely to default. Although lenders have to give you 60 days’ notice of higher rates, if you’re already near or at your limits, there’s little you can do. And if you are cash-strapped, handling those higher monthly payments can pose a serious problem: A $20,000 balance at 20 percent means you’ll be making minimum payments for more than 34 years!
  • Your payments exceed 15 percent of your gross income: ideally, your credit card debt should not exceed 10 percent of your income; less is obviously much better. Once that ratio climbs above 15 percent, it’s a good sign that trouble is just around the corner.

If you’re facing any of these situations, the time to act is now. Enroll in a debt consolidation and credit management program with a company like Credit Guard to get your debts under control and avoid real financial disaster. Professional credit counselors can help by working with lenders to lower interest rates, making monthly payments a lot more manageable. And debt consolidation experts will create a simple repayment plan that takes the constant worry out of your monthly budget. Enrolling in a debt consolidation program is one of the most effective steps you can take to tackle debt head-on and take back control of your life.

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Attack Debt with Consumer Credit Counseling

attack debt with credit counseling

Are you stressed out about not being able to pay your bills? Are debt collectors calling you and adding more stress to your financial woes? Take advantage of consumer credit counseling services for debt relief. There are many non-profit consumer credit counseling services offered online, on the phone or at local offices. Many credit unions, universities, military bases, housing authorities and branches of the U.S. Cooperative Extensive service operate non-profit credit counseling programs. Your financial institution may also be able to refer you to a financial counseling agency. Just keep in mind that some are not free, so you’ll have to inquire about their fees and get full disclosure.

What Can Consumer Credit Counselors Do for You?

These professionals can advise you on better credit management, assist you with developing a budget and offer free workshops and educational materials. The counselors at credit counseling organizations like this one are trained and certified in debt management, budgeting, money management and consumer credit. They can help you develop an individualized plan to deal with your credit management situation. Typically, the initial counseling session lasts about an hour, and there are follow-up sessions.

Additional Credit Management Services

If your financial difficulties stem from being unable to repay your debts, a counseling agency may suggest that you enroll in a debt management plan. With a debt management plan, you deposit money each month with the counseling organization. The agency then uses these deposits to pay off unsecured debts, such as medical bills, credit card bills and student loans. They also work out a payment schedule with your creditors, which is affordable for you. Often, the financial counselors will work with your creditors to waive certain fees and lower interest rates. A debt management plan can help you make timely, regular payments along with repairing your credit score.

Many credit counseling agencies are also committed to helping you stay out of debt. Consumers can take advantage of free educational programs to gain more knowledge on spending, saving, improving credit scores and get tips on how to stay debt free. Armed with new knowledge, you will be better able to handle your financial affairs in a savvy manner. Even after you’re on the path to financial freedom, you can still re-contact these agencies for additional help to make sure you stay on track.

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