Debt Consolidation

Articles courtesy of Steven Smith

Debt Consolidation - All The Information You Need On Debt Consolidation

Credit Card Blues


Debt Consolidation


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For the average American family, debt, and especially credit card debt is spiraling out of control at a record pace. The average household credit card debt has risen dramatically from $3000 in 1990 to over $8000 today. Personal bankruptcies are also at an all time high, prompting Congress to consider a radical bankruptcy law overhaul, designed to weed out those who are merely taking advantage of the system loopholes while directing many to more palliative alternatives such as a debt management program.

Of course some debts are considered necessary and indeed wise choices. For instance, few if any could afford a house if we had to wait until we could buy it outright. Generally speaking, a home is an asset that, over time, appreciates in value. Another debt that "makes sense" is a student loan. All data points to a direct correlation between income and educational level. However, what about that big screen TV you really didn't need, or that new car when a used one would have served the same purpose and not have created a financial nightmare. We need to start telling ourselves NO!

According to the experts at The Credit Counseling Foundation, Inc. (www.GoDebtFree.com), statistics show that about 60% of all credit card holders do not pay off their entire balance each month. With average interest rates still hovering around 15%, this increases the cost of everything you buy by at least 15%. And if you are only making the minimum payment, you could be looking at 20-30 years to pay off that balance depending on your interest rate. Minimum payments are designed to cover mostly interest, thereby keeping the holder chained to their credit card debt. One may ask with interest rates at 30 year lows why are credit card interest rates still so high? Simply put, there are no regulations on credit card interest rates requiring that they mirror prevailing interest rate indexes. Along with late fees, user fees and penalties, these interest rates, which can be greatly increased due to just one single late payment, are all implemented to generate tremendous revenues for the issuers, while at the same time creating a situation of unwanted indentured servitude for the debtor.

When faced with this overwhelming problem, what is one to do? Well the first line of attack is to cut up all credit cards. Only buy what you can afford to pay for in full. If you decide to keep a credit card, pay it off every month. This may sound like basic, common sense advice, but what about the average Joe who has already accumulated too much debt and cannot pay it off? If you are extremely disciplined and have the extra cash, you may want to formulate a plan to pay off the higher interest cards first. For most us who neither have the cash flow nor the self-discipline to adhere to such a plan, or don't want to lose the built up equity in our home by taking out a line of credit or re-financing which, by the way, could put the family home at risk should future financial setbacks occur, a good alternative would be to use a non-profit 501 (C) (3) credit counseling service. These companies can afford their clients many benefits that they could not ordinarily accomplish on their own. Interest rates can be reduced, accounts can be brought back to current status through re-aging, and maybe best of all, can stop those annoying and embarrassing creditor calls. It can get you a workable monthly payment while shortening the payoff term to typically 4-6 years. This can save thousands in interest costs! Another overlooked benefit is that all credit cards put into a debt management program are closed, thus eliminating all temptation no matter how hard you find it to say NO! All this without the trauma and stigma caused by bankruptcy or settlement.

Since there are literally thousands of these debt management companies out there, how does one go about choosing the right one? In addition to using a non-profit agency, check factors like the company's Better Business Bureau report, are they accredited by a nationally recognized certifying agency such as ISO or COA, are their counselors certified as well, how long have they been in business and word of mouth recommendations. Another consideration is whether to use one of the local community funded agencies or a private one. Although the local agencies have the advantage of being able to meet you face to face, due to limited budgets they can lack the expertise of private companies as they are often staffed predominately by volunteers and don't offer the array of modern on-line and technological services which today's consumers deserve and most large creditors demand in order to extend the debtor their most favorable terms. Moreover, many locals encumber their clients with restrictive guidelines, going as far as limiting the number of haircuts you can get or movies you can view.

If you have reached the point where you are transferring balances just to keep afloat, making minimum payments and getting nowhere or getting harassed by creditors and view bankruptcy or settlements with your creditors as both far too damaging and morally unacceptable, you may want to consider contacting a reputable credit counseling/debt management organization. A good starting place besides the BBB, would be one of the debt management organizations that belong to the American Association of Debt Management Organizations (AADMO). Most of all, don't despair! Help is out there, just do your homework and choose wisely. With the right agency to guide you combined with a true commitment to getting out of debt once and for all, there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel.

The Credit Counseling Foundation, Inc provides web-based education and personalized consumer credit counseling to clients and the general public in an effort to help consumers use credit wisely. Visit us at www.godebtfree.com







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What Is The Difference Between Unsecured And Secured Debt?

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A secured debt is a debt in which the creditor maintains a security interest in an item or piece of personal property such as a house or an automobile. With secured debts, if you fall behind on payments, the lender can repossess the property that originally secured the debt. An additional drawback to secured debt is the fact that you may remain liable for the deficiency balance owing on the debt after your property has been repossessed and sold.However, the l...(related: Debt Consolidation)


Debt Consolidation Can Ruin Your Credit

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Yes, Debt Cosolidation isn't a good idea and I'll tell you why. I've done research of my own and found out some disturbing information.You've seen those long drawn out commercials full ...(related: Debt Consolidation)


Debt Consolidation: How It Works

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As long as consumerism flourishes most of us will be tempted to overspend thus creating a financial bind. While some people do manage to get themselves out of debt others, for a number of reasons, including job loss, divorce or hospitalization cannot. In these instances bankruptcy may seem the only way out, but for homeowners there are other options. Debt consolidation is one such option.How does debt consolidation work?...(related: Debt Consolidation)


Debt Consolidation: Its All In The Planning

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If you're like thousands of other people who find themselves deeply buried in debt, facing a daily barrage of creditors and bills, and wondering how on earth they are ever going to dig themselves out of this hole, a debt consolidation re-mortgage could be your best bet.By consolidating all of your bills into a single, easy to make, monthly payment you are able to get a handle on your debt before it gets any more out of control than it already is.There are many different debt consolidation re-mortgages available, but all share the same common denominator - namely that they will only work at their optimum level if you plan for them....(related: Debt Consolidation)


Why Choose A Debt Consolidation Loan?

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Are you wondering why choose a debt consolidation loan? If you are one of the many people who continually struggle to cope with an ever increasing amount of debt the solution could well be within your reach.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?If your are looking to:<...(related: Debt Consolidation)


Getting A Better Consolidation Loan Secured

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If you're looking for the best way to reduce the number of payments you have to make each month, you might want to consider a consolidation loan secured.By getting a consolidation loan secured, you can combine other loans, bills, or debts into a single monthly payment while getting a low interest rate by securing the loan with some form of collateral such as an automobile or real estate holding.When considering combining loans or other debts with a consolidation loan secured, there are several items that should be taken into consideration in order to get the best loan rates? things such as the type of consolidation, the type of collateral, and the amount of the loan in relation to the collateral value will all be weighed in with yo...(related: Debt Consolidation)




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What Is Debt Consolidation?

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Here is a useful guide to what is Debt consolidation. For some people with credit problems debt consolidation may be an answer. Debt consolidation is borrowing enough money from one lender to pay off all your debts. When you consolidate:You make only one payment each month, to the new lender.You will usually pay out less money each month.You usually pay more money in finance charges to consolidate debts.You make payments longer.Debt is a way of life today. Everybody owes somebody something: products, services or money. Financial debt (owing money) is a choice you make to ...(related: Debt Consolidation)

How To Get Rid Of Debt Problems Step 3 -- How To Negotiate Reduced Payments With Creditors

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First, make a list of your creditors (NOTE: you should only attempt to re-negotiatepayments on your UNSECURED debts if you wish to avoid the riskthat an item upon which a debt is secured could be re-possessed)Add to this list the outstanding balance owed to each creditor.It is essential that you are accurate with this balance. Youshould find the balance on the most recent statement from eachcr...(related: Debt Consolidation)

Stafford Loan Consolidation

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Stafford Loan ConsolidationA Stafford Loan, which can help to finance your way through a college or university, comes in two forms:Subsidized Stafford LoansA subsidized Stafford Loan, which you can receive based upon your specific financial aid. When a Stafford loan is subsidized, yo...(related: Debt Consolidation)

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