Category Archives: debt reduction

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.

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

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

Ways to Afford Your Retirement Account Catch-Up Contributions

Turning 50 might not be everyone’s idea of excitement, but when it comes to saving for retirement, 50 is when things start getting a lot more interesting.

That’s because people age 50 and over can make what are known as “catch-up” contributions to IRAs and most workplace-based retirement plans. These special contributions are in addition to regular contribution limits and allow individuals to maximize the amount of tax-advantaged retirement savings they can stash away.

The catch-up phenomenon has never been more important as American workers attempt to rebuild retirement savings devastated by recent market losses. Taxpayers 50 or older are permitted to make additional contributions beyond standard limits. For calendar year 2010, here are the standard contribution limits with their catch-up amount: Continue reading

Debt Reduction – The Hybrid Method

By Roger G. Best

We’ve already talked about the Snowball Method and the Avalanche Method of Debt Reduction.  They both have their advantages and disadvantages.  The Snowball Method works toward paying off debt and does so by playing into basic human emotion.  It pays off the smallest debt first, then moving on to the next smallest and so on, until all your debt has been retired.  This method tends to be very emotionally satisfying because you will be able to completely pay off the smaller debt very quickly, leaving you with a sense of satisfaction.  The disadvantage is that the Snowball Method doesn’t take into account the actual cost of the debt.  If those smaller debts that you have are also the lowest interest rate, you’ll end up paying a lot more in interest, making this method the more costly of the two approaches. Continue reading

Debt Reduction Methods – Motivation

Thanks for coming back again today.  Yesterday I started an article (Debt Reduction Methods – The Avalanche Method) and found that it was getting longer than I intended so I’m going to take this opportunity to “flesh out” the things I missed yesterday.  By way of a brief review, the simple thumbnail of the Debt Avalanche method is that you list all your debt by order of the most expensive first.  In other words, you look at all of your debt by way of the interest rate that you are paying and list the higher interest rates first and then the next, and the next, until you have the lowest interest rates listed at the bottom.  This particular approach is strictly based on math and not nearly as emotional as the snowball method.  That’s why the critics say that it’s not as likely to achieve fruition (in other words, be followed through to its completion).  Continue reading

Debt Reduction Methods – Avalanche Method

By Roger G. Best

This is my second installment dealing with the different methods of reducing y our debt.  My last articles “Debt Reduction Methods – Part 1” addressed the snowball method.  If you haven’t already read that one, you’ll want to do so, although it’s not necessary to read it before you read this one.  In this article we’ll address the avalanche method of debt reduction.  Continue reading

Debt Reduction Methods – Snowball Method

By Roger G. Best

There are several different approaches to debt reduction, most of which have merit.  Although this series of articles aren’t intended to be an exhaustive study of all the options, I do intend to cover the most accepted and successful methods, in order to give everyone a better understanding of the options.

The first widely accepted method is known as the debt-snowball method.  Simply put, this method encourages applying extra cash to repaying the debt with the smallest amount owed.  One of the biggest advantages it offers is in the form of personal satisfaction… You get to eliminate certain debt quickly, then apply that extra money to the next smallest debt, which will reduce the number of payments you have to make and begin to quickly reduce your overall debt.  This method is widely accepted and taught by many experts. Continue reading