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Having Trouble with Debt? Try Illinois Debt Consolidation

If you’re having trouble paying your bills on time or have bad credit, you’re not alone. Bad credit can happen to anyone. The good news is that you can get debt consolidation help to assist you with getting back on the right track and improving your credit score. Debt consolidation can help you with unsecured debts like medical bills and student loans or even secured debts like mortgages and auto loans.

What Are Debt Consolidation Services All About?

There are many non-profit debt consolidation agencies that can assist you with restructuring payments to your creditors. You’ll work with a certified financial counselor who will act as a third party on your behalf lower interest rates, waive late fees and reduce payments. Your financial counselor will negotiate directly with your creditors. Once terms are agreed upon, your debt consolidator will then consolidate your debts into one affordable monthly payment. The payment is then distributed among your creditors. With debt consolidation, you can save thousands of dollars on interest and pay off your debts in five years as opposed to the 30 years it would take if you were to make minimum monthly payments on your own.

Illinois debt consolidation agencies like Credit Guard are also focused on keeping you out of debt. Many of these debt consolidation agencies offer financial counseling for budgeting, credit management and money management. You’ll also reap from the free workshops offered. With so many resources available to you, it is much more likely that you’ll have the money savvy to stay out of debt once you’re out of debt. With debt consolidation services, you’ll not only be eliminating debt, you’ll be making smarter decisions for your financial future.

Some debt consolidation agencies are free, while others charge a fee. At the same time, most offer a complementary call and a free consultation. Once you meet with your financial counselor, you get to make the decision to sign up if you feel that their services would be beneficial.

When to Seek Debt Consolidation Help

If you’re starting to fall behind on your monthly obligations, getting stressed about finances or are receiving inconvenient calls from collection agencies or creditors, it may be a good time to start seeking debt consolidation help from a financial organization. The main point is to recognize that you need some professional help and take action to get it. Once you get help, you’ll be more confident in your financial decisions and feel a lot less stress.

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Credit Management Will Help You Achieve Your Goals

get out of debt with financial counseling

With mortgages, student loans, auto loans, medical bills and other debt, consumers often find themselves unable to meet their financial obligations. Add to this an unexpected job layoff or auto repair bill, and the financial ability to make ends meet becomes even more difficult. These situations can happen to anyone, but there is help out there. The important thing is that you know where to seek help for credit management.

Credit Counseling Services

There are many financial organizations that offer credit counseling services. These organizations help you manage your debts in the most effective way possible to put you on the road to financial freedom. You’ll be assigned a licensed and certified financial counselor who will help you overcome your unique financial challenges. Often, there are free consultations, and financial counselors identify your financial needs and help determine the best way for you to get out of debt. Depending on the amount of debt owed and your circumstances, it may be advised that you enter a debt management plan.

How a Debt Management Plan Works

On a debt management plan, your financial counselor will work with both you and your creditors to help get you out of debt in the quickest way possible. They will first work out a monthly budget that is doable. Then, they act as third-party negotiators and send out proposals to your creditors to lower interest rates, eliminate penalty fees and work out a monthly payment with their structured payment plan. You make one monthly payment to the agency that you’re working with, and they disburse the funds among your creditors. This ensures timely payment, convenience of payment and a way to get you on the path to financial freedom. In addition, most financial organizations only charge a small monthly fee.

Free Financial Literacy Classes

Many credit counseling organizations also offer free financial literacy classes for credit management. You can take advantage of classes on credit reports, money management, identity theft, responsible use of available credit and budgeting. Armed with more knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to keep yourself out of debt. You’ll also be given access to tools like financial calculators to figure out interest payments.

Depending on the financial organization you work with, classes may be offered in a traditional school location or online. Either way, it is an excellent opportunity to get savvier with your management of money. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to your finances.

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This Year, Take a Staycation to Help Tackle Debt

save money with a staycationStaycations – vacationing without leaving town or the city for an overnight stay – have become especially popular in recent years as people have struggled with a down economy. Staying home can save big bucks, especially if you have kids. According to a travel survey conducted by American Express, the average American spends $1,180 per person on a summer vacation, which means that if you have two kids, you’d be shelling out $4,720 for a little fun in the sun.

If you’re already carrying credit card or other unsecured debt, going on vacation can be stressful for lots of reasons, most of them related to feelings of guilt: First, you may feel guilty for spending money on something that really isn’t a necessity when you’re already in debt. You also will likely feel guilty if you have to charge the cost of your vacation, adding to your unsecured debt. If you pay for any part of the vacation with cash, you may feel guilty for not putting that cash towards paying off debt. And, if you’re really stressed by your debt, you may feel guilty each time you swipe your card or open your wallet during what’s supposed to be a relaxing vacation.

Of course, one of the best things about vacations is the wealth of memories and experiences they provide. With staycations, you can have all those memories and experiences, save cash and even learn a little bit about your own area. Here are a few things to consider if you think a staycation might be right for you:

  • Make a list ahead of time of the local places you’d like to see and things you’d like to do. Look online, check local papers for listings of events and contact your local chamber of commerce, county department of recreation, historic society, and even local colleges and universities. Places to consider: waterparks, amusement parks, state and national parks, beaches, museums, zoos and aquariums, sporting events, film festivals and train rides.
  • Turn off phones, have mail held at the post office and suspend delivery of your paper, just as you would if you were going out of town. Ideally, you want to replicate the feeling of being someplace else.
  • Plan to have meals delivered, eat at inexpensive restaurants. Look for daily specials, coupons and kids-eat-free offers, or buy heat-and-eat foods to eliminate cooking and get some paper plates and cups. Buy sandwiches and other foods for picnics on your days out.
  • While it’s tempting to think of packing each day with activities, consider including more downtime to watch a movie, read, explore a new hobby or play some games.

Ideally, once your staycation is over, you’ll have some extra money to put towards your debt. Maximize your efforts with a debt consolidation services company whose debt counseling experts will work with the creditors you owe to get your interest rates and other fees reduced and establish a payment program that requires just one payment each month. With a debt consolidation program, before you know it, you’ll be taking a vacation from debt.

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The Ins and Outs of Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation is a tool to get out of debt with payments that you can afford. It is not another loan or a bankruptcy. Debt consolidation is a realistic and personalized plan. Today, many consumers have a hard time keeping up with bills. Medical expenses, credit card balances and other unsecured debt can quickly add up, and it can be difficult to make ends meet. With debt consolidation, you can pay your bills and get on the path to financial freedom.

Types of Debt Consolidation

The types of debt consolidation include debt management plans and settlement plans. Deciding which is best for you depends on your individual circumstances, the type of debt you have, your income and your ability to make consistent payments.

Debt management plans entail meeting with a financial counseling company that can work directly with your creditors to secure benefits. Though benefits vary by creditor, typical benefits include waiving late fees, reducing interest rates and offering lower monthly payments. Simply put, your unsecured debts are repaid in a single monthly payment that is distributed to your creditors. In addition to helping you pay back debt in full, debt management plans are effective tools to eliminate collection activity and reduce the negative impact of poor credit.

Debt settlement is an attractive option to bankruptcy. It’s also an attractive option for those who want to pay back a portion of their debt but cannot afford a debt management plan. With debt settlement, monthly deposits are made into a settlement deposit account. The financial agency that you are working with will negotiate with your creditors for a less-than-full repayment. Once the payment is agreed upon, the settlement payment is paid from the settlement deposit account.

Getting Debt Consolidation Help

While there are many financial counseling organizations that offer debt consolidation help, it’s best to do your homework to ensure that you select the right one. You’ll want to make sure that the financial organization has a solid record with the Better Business Bureau. Make sure that the organization has been in business long enough to have experience and a solid reputation. The organization should have strong business relationships with collection agencies, banks and most creditors. Electronic payment processing should also be offered to ensure consistency.

Always be sure to inquire about all the fees, and make sure a reasonable fee structure is offered. You’ll want full disclosure on how settlement and payment works, and the impact on your credit profile and the projected time to complete the program. Keep in mind that the best organizations will also offer robust educational resource to help you improve your money management skills so that you’ll stay out of debt.

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Don’t Let Credit Card Debt Ruin Your Life

don't let debt ruin your lifeCredit card debt has created a seemingly unsolvable problem for many people. They struggle to make their monthly payments and find themselves just as in debt or more every month. Making minimum payments on high-interest debt does not seem to get them anywhere. However, there are many solutions offered for helping people escape this quandary. Among these solutions is debt consolidation.

The Debt Consolidation Solution

There are multiple steps to debt consolidation. This is not a quick fix to debt problems, but rather a comprehensive change to the way that you deal with your creditors and the way that you handle debt. It all starts with an obligation-free consultation with a debt consolidation adviser.

The goal of debt consolidation is to make your debt repayment an easier process for you. Debt repayment is difficult for two major reasons. You probably have to pay a great deal of money back each month and find it difficult to manage those payments. Furthermore, if you are like a lot of people in debt trouble, your credit card debt is not with one institution but with many different companies.

Consolidating your debt will simplify the repayment process. Your adviser will work with your creditors to try to establish a single monthly payment that will satisfy them. This will relieve you from having to keep track of so many financial obligations.

In addition, this new consolidated debt will be financed at a lower interest rate. Therefore, your payments will not only be simpler but less expensive. You can use the saved money for other needs or you can pay more into your debt and reduce it faster. Debt consolidation returns options to your life.

Debt consolidators do more than save you money. They also make sure that you get the advice that you need to help you stay out of debt for good. There is no point to helping you get out of debt if you are only going to get back into trouble again. The process of consolidating your credit card debt is not over until you learn how to stay out of debt forever.

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How the Best Debt Consolidation Gets You the Best Mortgage Rates

Many people aren’t able to take advantage of the opportunity to borrow at the most competitive rates.  Qualifying for the most competitive mortgage rates requires an understanding of what lenders are looking for in an applicant.

Even though the major headlines suggest that there has never been a better time to apply for a mortgage, a person should still clean up their credit a little before applying for a loan.  Lenders are still very picky in how they screen their loan applicants.  Lenders still use strictest parameters to gauge the applicant’s ability to repay the loan.

Most people know that the credit score is weighed heavily.  Creditors still rely on income and the credit profile of the applicant.  A person should look into paying off as many debts as possible.  The mortgage will be a large liability, so getting rid of as much debt as possible before applying for a loan is recommended.  One should also avoid job hopping prior to applying for a home loan.  Lenders like to see a solid job history of at least two years at the most recent place of employment.  A person who has a credit score over 700 is more likely to qualify for competitively priced loans.  Lenders shy away from applicants who have too many inquiries into their credit.

The best time to work on the credit is years before actually applying for the loan.  People who have credit challenges can work with one of the best debt consolidation programs to begin improving their credit score.  Many of these programs allow the person to take their time and focus on their debt.  Working with a counselor to develop a plan to pay off debt and build credit will pay off when the person decides to apply for a loan.  When the person finally decides to apply for the loan, he or she isn’t inconvenienced by surprises on their credit report.

The first step to qualifying for a mortgage is getting an understanding of vulnerabilities in the person’s credit history.  The next step is to begin working on debt individually or with the best debt consolidation program to begin immediately reducing one’s debt.

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3 Ways to Get Credit Card Debt Relief

americans in debt

You may be a member of a large group of people and aren’t even aware of your membership status. What group is this? The millions of Americans that are facing credit card debt. Here are three ways to find credit card debt relief:

Pay More Than the Minimum

If possible, always pay more than the minimum amount owed on your credit cards. After the CARD Act was passed, credit card companies were required to put information on your statement to help you pay your cards off sooner. Restructure your budget so you can pay the amount shown to get your debt paid off in just a few years. If you are able to pay more, always, always pay more.

Forsake Your Savings Account until Your Debts are Paid

Being diligent about saving is a good step towards achieving your financial goals. However, if you are thousands of dollars in debt, it makes more sense to pay off your debt than to funnel money into your savings account. Your savings account may be earning you 4 to 7 percent interest per year, but your credit card companies are charging between 14 and 22 percent per year. By looking at the numbers, you can see that you will actually be saving more money by getting your debts paid off than by putting money into savings. Once your cards are paid off, feel free to start saving again.

Use a Debt Consolidation Service

If paying off your credit cards seems hopeless, use a debt consolidation service to achieve your goals. How does this provide credit card debt relief? A consolidation service will work directly with your creditors to consolidate your debts into a single monthly payment. A debt consolidation service may also be able to reduce the amount of interest you owe and waive any late fees.

Combine all three of these options for the fastest route to credit card debt relief. Once your credit counselor has consolidated your debts into one affordable payment, paying off your debts will become virtually hassle-free. You will be surprised at how fast your balances start to disappear.

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How Debt Counseling Can Help You

 credit counseling can provide support

Debt counseling is available to anyone who wants to relieve their current debt, avoid debt in the future, or both. Debt counseling can be an important part of a person or household’s financial education, and can help them build a solid financial future. Debt and credit are very complicated topics, and they don’t always work the way that people think they should. This is why it’s important to get advice from experts before moving forward.

A debt counselor can go over a household’s budget and identify items that are statistically higher than they should be. These are problem areas that should probably be reduced for a healthy budget. Debt counselors know that people can’t control their income, but what people can control are their expenses. Debt counselors can locate ways that a budget can be reduced, such as refinancing loans, or using online coupons for groceries. All these methods are viable ways to keep a budget down.

Debt counselors can also assist a household by providing debt consolidation information. In debt consolidation, the debt counselor can sign the household or individual up for a debt management plan. This management plan will allow the individual to pay down their debts with a lower interest rate, leading to lower monthly payments and a clear plan of when their debt will be paid off. Debt consolidation is preferable to virtually any other alternative, and is one of the best and easiest ways to get out of debt without making any decisions that will negatively affect a person’s credit in the future.

Finally, debt counselors can educate people about how their actions affect their credit and how they can make their credit better. Credit is a complex issue, and it isn’t always straightforward. There are good types of debt, and bad types of debt, and specific items that can affect a credit score a great deal. A debt counselor can explain all of these things with an individual and analyze how their future actions may affect their current credit rating.

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What Is the Best Debt Consolidation Choice Available?

what is the best debt consolidation option?

It can be difficult to enjoy life when you know that another bill is coming and that there is not enough money in your account to cover it. The reason you got into this situation is not because you were frivolous with your money. You had troubles paying your bills, and you opened new credit card accounts as a way of paying these bills. These credit card accounts came with high interest rates, and it is the reason that a significant amount of money is being added to your debt every month.

Is a Debt Consolidation Loan the Best Choice?

People in your situation often hear that they can obtain a debt consolidation loan. However, this is not the best debt consolidation tactic. Obtaining a loan only replaces several unsecured debts, medical bills and accounts that have gone to collections with a loan that you will need to repay. By working with a debt consolidator instead, you will find a way to leave these bills behind without creating more debt.

The best debt consolidation option involves a debt consolidator who will take over the negotiations for you. You will no longer have to contact your creditors and discuss this unpleasant subject. Debt consolidators perform these duties while they obtain agreements from each of your creditors to lower the interest rate on your credit card accounts. With a lower interest rate, the amount of interest added to your monthly payment will be lower so that your payments will be more affordable.

Sometimes, creditors add late fees and penalties to their clients’ balances when they make late payments. This only adds to the balance and increases the pain you feel every time you look at your statements. Debt consolidators will also negotiate with your creditors so that these fees and penalties can be removed. This will lower your balance and will also help to lower your payments.

The Advantages of Hiring a Debt Consolidator

Once you are working with a debt consolidator, you will be on your way to being debt-free. The calls from your creditors or the collections agencies will stop, and you will be able to breathe much easier.

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