Category Archives: Debt

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

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

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

Common Misconceptions Concerning Your Debt

Credit card debt is something that most Americans can relate with far more than they would prefer. Most have seen their credit card debt rise over the past few years or, at the very least, know someone who has. Racking up the charges on those credit cards just seems to come way too easily to most of us. There just seems to be an allure to buying when we don’t have to actually part with any money at the time of purchase, yet we still get to walk away with whatever it was that caught our eye. That’s the allure of instant gratification! Most Americans understand a credit card isn’t free money; that there will come a day when we have to pay, but that thought doesn’t seem to be foremost in our minds when we are paying for the purchase with that card. But one of the biggest misconception of absolving ourselves of credit card debt is that by simply making the minimum payment will get that debt paid off. The cold hard fact is that this is so unmistakably false. By paying off your credit card debt that way you are only paying interest and the debt will never go away. Continue reading