All posts by rogergbest

Staying aware of the debt consolidation scams so as to stay creditworthy

With the increase in the number of debtors in the United States of America, an increasingly large number of people are resorting to debt consolidation services. As this is the only option that can help you repay your debts and also boost your credit score, majority of the debtors rush to such firms. The most obvious reason behind the rising popularity of the debt consolidation scam companies is the rising demand of the debt consolidation companies. Unless the debtors are not aware of the scams that are ruling this industry, they can’t take the required steps that can help them stay aware of their financial woes. Though the non-profit debt consolidation companies are there to help you save your dollars while consolidating your debts, it is not always possible for a debtor to get the services from such a company. Therefore, take a look at the most common debt consolidation scams that you should take into account.

  • The companies that charge huge advance fees: The companies that charge huge advance fees from the debtors are certainly scam companies. The FTC has asked all the for-profit debt consolidation and debt settlement companies to avoid asking for advance fees from the debtor before a portion of the debts are reduced by them. If you come across a company that charges you advance fees, you should report to the FTC about such practices so that solid steps are taken against them.
  • The consultants who push you into accepting the terms: When you approach a debt consolidation company, it is most obvious that the debt consultant will show you the terms and conditions of their company and the process in which they work. If you see that the debt consultant is pushing you into accepting the terms and conditions of the company and is forcing you to sign up, you should go on with some other company as they may try to scam you and run away with the money.
  • The companies that claim to be non-profit: There are some companies that claim to be non-profit as they want to attract a large number of debtors due to their faith in the non-profit debt consolidation companies. If you approach a non-profit debt consolidation company, you should make sure that they show you the 501 (3) (c) certificate that has been awarded by the IRS in order to prove their non-profit status. Any company that is hesitating to show you this certificate is certainly a scam company.

Before you resort to a particular non-profit debt consolidation company, you should make sure that the company is registered with the BBB so that you may be sure about the authenticity. Check the consumer records to know the success ratio of the company before selecting it.

5 Common Myths About Credit Scores

A person’s credit score is an integral part of his/her financial life. Your credit scores may be viewed by a lot more agencies, organizations and individuals than you may realize.  Everything from banks, credit unions, utility firms, landlords, insurers and even employers may be looking at this information. According to a recent survey, half of Americans don’t honestly know how their credit scores are calculated, or what factors are used to compute those three vital numbers. Here are five common myths about credit scores. Remember, knowledge is power! Continue reading

Adult Children with Nest Eggs Can Create Private Low-Cost Reverse Mortgages for Their Parents

Parents typically don’t like to burden their kids with their financial problems. That hesitancy can sometimes lead seniors to choose financial solutions that charge high fees and often don’t deliver what they promise.

Reverse mortgages – advertised so frequently on TV and other media  have become a major attraction for people over the age of 62 who need to pay medical bills or otherwise have a need for cash. They are perfectly legal transactions under the law – they are called “reverse” mortgages because of the way they work. Instead of the borrower making payments to the lender, the lender releases equity to the borrower in a lump sum or monthly cash payment, or as a line of credit. Continue reading

Options to Consider Before Bankruptcy

Debt has become a MAJOR factor in the lives of many people.  Getting out of debt is rapidly becoming an essential endeavor and is being undertaken by many in today’s economy.  But, in some cases, bankruptcy may be the only option.  We wanted to give you some things to try before you attempt to take that big step and claim bankruptcy.  In some cases, there are options to eliminate some of your bad debts in a more suitable manner. Continue reading

What to Know and Ask About Disability Insurance

The commercial featuring that loud, quacking duck has gone a long way to making people think about individual disability coverage as a way to keep bills paid if the family breadwinner gets sick or injured over an extended period of time.

It’s true — individual disability insurance is more important than ever, and every working individual should have it.

The key is shopping smart for that coverage. A financial planning professional is a good first stop for advice on that coverage, which should be considered as part of an overall financial plan.

Why is it a good idea to have personal disability coverage, particularly when most employees can buy such coverage at work for a nominal fee? That’s because most employers offer disability coverage that lasts 12 weeks or less and covers less than 60 percent of a worker’s pretax income. That might be workable for a surgery or injury with a relatively quick recovery time on the couch, but a diagnosis for even the most curable cancers can put workers with even the best financial coverage into a devastating financial bind. Continue reading

Moving Toward a No-Debt Lifestyle: Steps to Consider

Any financial planning process begins with necessary changes in financial behavior. The degree of change varies based on financial priorities, but in the end, it’s about adopting good habits and abandoning bad ones.

Before you take any of the following steps, it makes sense to talk to an expert who can help you see your whole financial picture. A financial planning professional can examine all your sources of income and expenses and find the most efficient ways to cut expenses, pay off debt and boost the money you have for saving and investing.

In the meantime, here are some ideas: Continue reading

When Doing Your Own Taxes Makes Sense…And When It Doesn’t

Tax deadline is April 15, so if you haven’t begun gathering your annual tax records it’s time to do so.  Every year, however, people’s lives change – they buy and sell houses and move, they take new jobs, have kids, buy and sell stock. Those and dozens more reasons might give you cause to hire a tax preparer.

It’s worth going over the primary reasons why some people should get help with their taxes and others can continue going it alone.

Should you do it by yourself? If you meet the following circumstances, you can probably do your taxes by yourself:

  • You work for only one employer who gives you a W-2 tax form each year.
  • You rent your residence and don’t own a home or vacation property.
  • You don’t have kids or other dependents.
  • You don’t have any complex investments such as a partnership, a trust or extensive stock holdings.
  • You really like numbers, are willing to investigate annual changes to the tax code and double-check your work.
  • You’re comfortable doing computations by calculator or by hand, or by using tax software on your computer or online. Continue reading

Stepping In Financially For An Older Relative at a Time of Need

No one wants to give up control of their lives. That’s true for someone who’s 20 or 80.  But if you sense an older relative is slowing down, or if a serious illness is threatening the finances of any loved one, it’s time to fashion a battle plan.

A good first stop is a financial planner – a financial expert with the experience to step into a tense situation and help you create a system for locating key information so you can make the necessary critical decisions. Of course, the best way to set up a system is to work with the relative before there’s a problem or in the early stages of illness. Some suggestions: Continue reading