Monday, April 30, 2007

Locate New Options With Debt Consolidation Tips

Once you have decided to lead a life free of anxieties of debt, then nothing can stop you from achieving your goal. As you know, "Success starts with a fellow's will" and it is better late than never. By the time you realize that your debts need a serious consideration, you might find the situation going out of control. You have to be a little patient especially when it is the matter of debts. With the help of step by step process of debt consolidation tips you can find solution of all your troubles. Let us peep in to the deeper details of debt consolidation tips following which you can really get out of your debts.

Under debt consolidation tips, the borrower is provided with different ways to cope with his long existing debts. The most attractive feature of debt consolidation tips is that you will not have to cope with the pressure of so many lenders, as it will merge your more than one debt and interest will be incurred on that particular amount. Debt consolidation tips include give you an ample opportunity of turning your so many debts in a simple, manageable debt.

Apart from low interest rates, there is a chance of yours finding discount rates. This can be possible if your current lender disclose your financial state to your past creditors. The reason behind this can be find in the fact that your creditors have this fear of you becoming bankrupt. So, they prefer to settle with a low amount rather than dissolution.

With debt consolidation tips, you will get to know how to manage finances in your near future as well. At this particular point of time, you will have to keep a check on your expenses. You should completely banish using credit cards, listing your income and expenditures can also help a great deal.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Credit Repair Through A Collection Agent Doesn't Have To Be Stressful

When you miss a payment to a creditor, they will follow a series of steps in an attempt to get the money from you. It usually starts out with a polite reminder notice, then perhaps a threat to turn the debt over to a collection agency. At some point the creditor will actually sell your debt to a collections company. Individual creditors don't have the resources to pursue bad debts, whereas a collections agency specializes in chasing down defaulters.

The collection agency never pays the full amount of the debt, because they run the risk of never getting any money out of you. Often the creditor will sell the debt for as little as half of what you owe them, just to be rid of the problem and recoup at least some of their outlay. They will certainly report you to the credit reporting agency, leaving you with a black mark on your credit history for the next seven years.

If you receive a notice from a collection agent, it's important to act immediately, in the hope that you can short circuit this process before the debt is sold to the collection agent. This "writing off" of the debt doesn't usually happen immediately, so you hopefully have some time to act before it's too late.

Always contact the creditor at this point, not the collection agency. Try and work out a solution to clear the debt that you owe them. If you can pay it immediately or at least fairly quickly, they will often remove the mark on your credit history which says "gone to collection". This is essential if you want to repair your credit.

Not all creditors will help you out, however, so then you need to deal with the collection agent. At this point things can't get much worse from your point of view - you've already got the worst possible mark on your credit history for this debt. So you can take some time to work out what's the best way for you to deal with the situation.

Collection agencies have a tendency to be aggressive in their approaches to you, demanding instant payment of the debt in full. They often say they'll pursue you with legal action if you don't comply. What you need to remember is that the collection agency has probably only paid half the face value of your debt, so for them, any payment above half of the default amount is profit.

This gives you the opportunity to perhaps sort out some sort of deal. If you can pay more than half of the debt immediately, then offer to do so. Obviously the more you can pay the more receptive they'll be to the idea. Often they'll be glad to know they've made the profit without a lot of work, they'll accept or negotiate just a little, so that they can close the file and take their profit with the minimum of effort.

It's always best to sort out the problem with your creditor if you can, but if it's too late, always try and negotiate a lower payment amount with the collection agency. It might not work, but it's certainly worth a try. At the very least, if you end up having to pay the full amount, make sure you work out a plan for repayments that you can afford. The collection agency may still give you a hard time, but as long as they feel confident they're going to get their money, they will probably agree.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Using Credit Cards To Rebuild Credit - Tips for Credit Repair

It is estimated that approximately 33 billions Americans battle with some word form of bad credit. This is about 10% of the full United States population.

One's credit history is becoming increasing important. For people struggling with bad credit, sometimes, it experiences like the number is tattooed on your forehead, especially, if you've made an attempt to secure a home loan, auto loan or personal loan.

The fact is that creditors are not eager to widen a line of credit to you, if your FICO score is not above the 650 range. There are a number of grounds why your FICO score may be low - bankruptcy, too much debt, not paying your measures on time, etc.

The good intelligence is that your credit score can be improved. The cardinal to increasing your credit score is to keep a line of credit and turn out to your creditors that you are capable of paying your debts on clip and not maxing out your credit line. These four simple stairway will assist you better your credit score:

1. Get a transcript of your credit report. Take advantage of the free authorities credit report from each of the National Consumer Credit Bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion and Equifax. This volition aid you to understand your starting point. It will reply the inquiry - "how bad is my credit?"

2. Apply for a line of credit. You can apply for an unsecured credit card or a secured credit card.

3. Once you have got the card, make not max out your credit card. Try not to transcend 70% of the credit card's limit. For example, if the credit card bounds is $1000, you should only charge up to $700.

4. Always, wage your measures on time. This accounts for 35% of your FICO score. It's the most of import factor in proving your credit-worthiness to your creditors.

Practicing these four simply rules will assist you to increase your credit score in the approaching months.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bad Credit Can Affect Almost Anyone

Repairing damaged credit using real caution, information and advice from credit repair counselors to fix your credit by yourself is possible. It can be easy to find further information about your credit score repair with many programs and books available to educate the average consumer about credit scoring.

Bad credit can affect almost anyone, especially those in a severe financial situation. For the poor souls who have gotten themselves into such a situation, a negative credit report is often the final outcome. The effects of poor credit are evident in most areas of life, especially the world we live in today with all the applications and forms needed for even the simplest of transactions. People with bad credit can only dream about perfect credit, being unable to get a job, buy a home or car or start a small business with the credit rating's inability to live up to the creditors standards. The growing number of credit repair companies simply points out how many people out there need help when it comes to their credit score. Most people who have been affected by their bad credit, would hate to pass up the opportunity to try and change their credit rating. It's time to think about the interest rates you have always dreamed of. Credit Repair can offer the assurance of a better financial situation and life with a better credit rating, better interest rates and faster approvals for what is needed.

The Federal Trade Commission, who seems to have taken a very serious stance when it comes to Credit Repair Agencies, has mentioned that using crazy claims and false promises, some agencies are making an effort to get consumers money while not providing any valuable services. It is smart to think twice before signing up with any sort of credit repair agency for their "monthly services". Read a good credit repair book and educate yourself about your credit score before you decide whether to hire a Credit Repair Company or simply do it yourself and repair your credit. Credit repair programs and books can offer the consumer a great starting point to fixing their credit rating and to understanding what is needed from them in order to improve their credit score.

The average cheap book you can purchase online or through an e-book campaign for ten to
twenty dollars really can only help to confuse the average person and tends to lead most consumers to abandon the idea altogether. What most consumer need is a good credit repair book and program with helpful tips, updated sources and copyright information and of course testimonials from happy readers who have improved their score through the program. Most good books also include updated DVD's or CD's packed with great info and helpful with letter templates and techniques to help someone to fix their own credit. While do it yourself credit repair is not for everyone, most people are able to repair their own credit with simply knowing the in's and out's of the credit industry.

Even the Federal Trade Commission has stated publicly that "anything a credit repair company can do for you legally, you can do for yourself". It just takes a little knowledge. Most people are simply lacking the understanding and education when it comes to their credit rating. Without knowing how they are scored, consumers do not understand how to go about making their score better. The ignorance of most when it comes to credit scores is not on purpose, they simply loom huger these days in the age of technology when applications and forms to apply for things are everywhere. They do not exactly teach a "Credit" Course when going through school and unless accounting or financial courses are taken in college, most people have no knowledge of what really makes up a credit rating. Education is the first step when it comes to credit repair, along with obtaining your own credit reports from the main three credit reporting bureaus and knowing your own score.

Your credit score affects your life and your finances, along with how heavy your wallet is getting. Obtaining better interest rates, getting that home you wanted or that job that was needed can all be crucial to people and your credit score can make all of that go well or, of course, badly. It is important to know your score and make sure to repair your credit history and get your score to a number that you can be proud of. You can repair your credit yourself with a good credit repair program and book and a good understanding of your credit report. When deciding to try to work with a credit repair company, one needs to educate themselves on the company and check them out with the local Better Business Bureau. With all of the outrageous claims made about "how easy it can be to raise your credit score" from these companies, it is always good to remember that when something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If there are genuine mistakes or outdated items on your credit report, you can fix them yourself and notify the credit bureau of the error.

The bureau must at not cost to you, investigate the information that is being disputed and correct any mistakes
or delete items that cannot be verified correctly. One simply needs a credit repair book with a good education and one needs to know the simple techniques and letters used to communicate with these credit bureaus and fix their own scores.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

4 Things You Need To Know About The Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

The best balance transfer credit cards aren't really as hard to find as the proverbial needle in the haystack. It's just a matter of understanding what makes certain cards the best of the best.

If you're interested in finding the best balance transfer credit cards for your financial needs, these four tips will help you do just that.

1. Don't Judge a Card By It's Initial Interest Rate

If you're looking for the best balance transfer credit cards available, you are most likely carrying a balance on your current credit card accounts. Because of this, the interest rate of the credit cards you're interested in should be factor number one in your balance transfer decision.

Many consumers make the mistake of jumping at balance transfer credit cards that offer low introductory rates without really considering what those rates will be going up to once the introductory period is over. Don't follow in their footsteps.

When deciding which companies offer the best balance transfer credit cards, look at the long-term interest rates, not just the introductory rates. A 0-percent rate that only lasts six months and then jumps up to 19 or 20 percent isn't really a good balance transfer credit card. The best balance transfer credit cards will have an interest rate that stays low when the introductory period is over.

2. Interest Rates Aren't Set In Stone

When dealing with credit cards, you have to understand that interest rates aren't set in stone. They can (and will) go up if you default on your credit card agreement in any way. Make a late payment or go over your credit limit and that low interest rate can really take a hike.

Even the best balance transfer credit cards will up your interest rate if you make a late payment or abuse your account privileges in any other way. To make matters worse, if you pay any of your credit card statements late all of your credit card companies can up your interest rate. This ugly credit card phenomena is referred to as the Universal Default Agreement.

Remember, when you finally get yourself set up with the best balance transfer credit cards you can find, make sure you do your part to keep the favorable terms you've been presented with.

3. They're Not a License To Pay Less

So you transfer your credit card balances to the best balance transfer credit cards and suddenly you realize that your minimum monthly payments have gone down. Don't get too excited. It doesn't mean you should pay less each month than you have been.

When you transfer your credit card balances to a lower-interest credit card, your minimum monthly payment will go down because you're paying less towards interest. What this means is that you're going to get your balances paid off faster because more money is going to be going towards the actual balance each month (especially if you pay the same amount you had been on the higher-interest card).

Do yourself a favor and pay as much as you possibly can towards your credit cards each month, even if you do have the best balance transfer credit cards out there. When you pay them off faster (saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest charges), you'll thank yourself.

4. The Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards Aren't Used For Purchases

When you transfer your existing credit card balances to a credit card with a lower interest rate, don't be tempted to charge more. The purpose of getting the best balance transfer credit cards is to pay your debt off faster -- not to accumulate more debt in the process.

As tempting as it may be to buy that new laptop at 0 percent interest for six months, don't do it. Wait until your current balances are paid off and then consider making the big purchase.

By following these four credit card tips you'll be able to find (and manage) the best balance transfer credit cards on the market, enabling yourself to get out of debt faster and for less money.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Using Secured Credit Cards to Establish or Rebuild Your Credit

Whether you're just starting out in the world of credit or hoping to rebuild a damaged credit report, using secured credit cards can help. However, you'll need some cash to get started.

First, let's define what secured credit cards are. They are REAL credit cards, generally Visa or MasterCard, that can be used for anything Visa or MasterCards can be used for. The difference is that they require the cardholder to deposit a certain amount of money into a checking or savings account to use as security against the card.

Secured credit cards also differ from debit cards in that secured credit cards are loans made against the money in your account, rather than simply having the money automatically deducted from your account, as is the case with debit cards. In that way, they can be a helpful tool toward either establishing or reestablishing your credit.

The interest rates on secured cards are generally higher than on standard cards, but not always. For instance, the website lists twenty-four secured credit cards, starting at 7.2% and going as high as 23.98%. Annual fees can vary from zero to $69.00, according to the site, as well.

Normally, you'll need to deposit at least $300 into a checking or savings account, which will then determine your credit limit on the card. (Each card will be different, so you'll want to do some shopping for the card that best suits your needs.)

Secured cards can allow you to begin rebuilding your creditworthiness by charging responsibly and then repaying according to your agreement. They can be a relatively quick way of either establishing or reestablishing your credit, and are worth checking out in your plan to gain control of your financial future.

Copyright © Jeanette J. Fisher

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Credit Repair Myths Exposed

If you’ve done any searching on the Internet for information pertaining to “Credit Repair,” you’ve no doubt found that there’s a great deal available. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of misinformation as well.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common misstatements you’ll come across and examine them in detail.

“Credit repair doesn’t work!”

While it’s true that credit repair is more “art” than “science” that’s not to say it doesn’t work. If you undertake to repair your bad credit score, there’s never any guarantee you can restore it to “perfect” status. But sometimes you can, and in almost every case you can at least affect some improvement in your credit score, and often major improvement at that!

First of all, credit reports for the most part are filled with errors. While there seems to be no general agreement, it’s estimated that anywhere from 1/3 (Attorney General of NY) to as many as 90% (Charles Givens Organization) of credit reports contain errors.

Removal of erroneous negative information alone will go a great way toward improving your credit score. But there’s more to the story, which brings us to myth #2.

“Negative information that can be verified cannot be removed”

This is one of those statements that are “almost” true, but taken literally is misleading. As is often the case, the inclusion (or exclusion) of one seemingly small word makes the difference in a truthful statement, and one that’s not (or not necessarily) accurate.

Let’s take an analogy. Suppose it’s the middle of summer, and your grass has grown unusually high. Let’s also suppose that you own a lawn mower, it’s in good working condition, and has plenty of gasoline in the tank.

Now let’s say that you’re sitting on your couch and say to yourself “My grass will get cut today because I ‘CAN’ go outdoors anytime and cut it.”

So will your grass get cut? Not necessarily! Just because you “can” go outdoors and cut your grass doesn’t mean it’s going to get done. You can repeat this statement to yourself all day long, but your grass isn’t going to get cut until you actually go outside and DO it!

Likewise, because a negative item on your credit report “can” be verified doesn’t mean it will be. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, a credit bureau must investigate and verify “within a reasonable period of time” any item in your credit report that you dispute. If the “information is found to be inaccurate or can no longer be verified, the consumer reporting agency shall promptly delete such information.”

Now in this context “can be verified” clearly means verified by the credit bureau’s investigation of the item, and the “reasonable period of time” has been established (by subsequent rulings) to be 30 days. So if the credit bureau doesn’t complete its investigation of the disputed information within 30 days, or if for some reason the creditor fails to respond and verify the information, by law the disputed data must be deleted from your credit file.

“Credit repair agencies are all scams”

It’s true that there ARE a good many unscrupulous credit repair agencies. But there are also some corrupt police officers, lawyers, and politicians. Yet we don’t label all members of these professions as “corrupt.”

If you’re looking for help to repair your bad credit you do need to be careful and do your “homework” when selecting an agency. There are many honest credit repair companies that are not “scams.” But beware of any who make promises as to results!

As stated above, it’s not always possible to restore your bad credit history to perfect status, and no one should be making any promises to that effect. Beware of any company that does! And while an agency will in all likelihood be able to improve your credit score, if any agency makes this promise, be sure it’s accompanied by a money back guarantee. Otherwise, look elsewhere. And don’t forget to ask for references and follow up on them.

“You have to hire a credit repair agency or lawyer to fix your credit”

Going back to the analogy above, you can always hire someone else to cut your grass (or to do just about anything else) for your. And if fixing your own credit seems an intimidating task, you might prefer to hire a credit repair company to do it.

But it’s not really necessary that you do. First of all, credit repair agencies aren’t cheap. You can expect to pay anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 or more. Plus, you’ll be paying a high fee for something you can just as well do for yourself, which brings us to myth #5.

“It’s too difficult or complicated to fix your own credit”

A credit repair company isn’t going to do anything for you that you can’t do for yourself! Credit repair isn’t rocket science. It involves writing letters to credit bureaus and to creditors. If you’re able to write a letter, put a stamp on it and mail it, you’re able to repair your own credit.

“Given the proper knowledge, you can fix your own credit”

This statement IS true! You‘re entirely able to repair your own credit, given the proper knowledge. And given the proper knowledge, you can fix your own car, repair your own plumbing, or for that matter perform brain surgery.

While fixing your own credit is relatively simple and straightforward, you do have to know how to go about it. Essentially it involves getting a copy of your credit report and writing letters to the 3 major credit bureaus disputing negative information in your file.

But there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. In fact even some of the high priced credit repair agencies get it wrong, which brings us to myth #6.

“You improve your credit score by getting all the negative items on your credit report removed”

It’s possible to get all the negative items on your credit report removed and actually see you credit score go DOWN as a result! The reason? Your credit score depends on a number of factors, one of which is the length of your credit history. In some cases, you’re better off to NOT remove some negative items on your report, especially if they involve a few late payments in the distant past, but show timely payments during recent years.

While the “nuts and bolts” of credit repair is beyond the scope of this report, there are a number of sources of good information online. If you have bad credit, there are 3 major points you should keep in mind:

1. If you have a bad credit history, it can (and probably will) cost you many tens of thousands of dollars in higher loan interest over the years, as you’ll be charged much higher rates than you would be with good credit. If your credit is really bad, you may not be able to get a loan at all!

2. The situation isn’t hopeless! In almost every case you CAN improve your credit score. You can easily do it yourself or find a reputable agency to do it for you. But in any case, GET IT DONE!

3. If you choose to repair your own credit (recommended) there are good books and eBooks available that can walk through the process. Get hold of one and get started NOW!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Credit Cards For Adverse Credit History

The credit card market is seeing a roar with numerous market players. It have created a sort of pick pandemonium or rather a clutter. It is of import to distinguish between a good and a bad market offer. We all have got got discussed enough about the good and best credit card offers but it is equally of import to cognize about the poor credit card offers, and what to mind of.

It is of import to check the certificate of a credit card company before sign language up for any offer since a number of fraudulent credit card companies have also sprung up along with the equal numbers of genuine ones. There is never a credit card offer that is perfect. Each have its professionals and cons. Normally, if it sounds too good to be true, then it is a certain mark of being a credit card offer for person with an adverse credit history. Offers like these tin simply rip off your pocket and go forth you with peanuts. They make tall claims to entice clients but if you read between the lines there is always a trap clause that takes the air out of the claim.

However, desperate demand you might have got of a credit do not fall into the trap of these jazzy claims. They might claim to give you low APR and high credit bounds even with your bad credit history. Now this is obviously unbelievable. More incredible agency more unreliable.

Then there could be credit card offers that are ridiculously unreasonable. For example, they may have got a worthless balance transfer offer with amount limited to a degree of say £500. Or there could be store cards through which you can shop only at a peculiar shop and that too only from a peculiar catalogue.

These credit card offers are responsible for upper limit credit card frauds or losings to clients owed to unprecedented high costs. These are mostly wipe, battalion and disappear firms, i.e. companies that pass over off your resources, battalion their business and simply disappear leaving a large hole in your pocket.

We all have those flowery once in lifetime offers claiming to change the course of study of life with all the financial additions we can get through them. Remember they are out there for business. They are not going to pay out of their pockets so obviously they cannot unrecorded up to their tall claims. Think wise and smart. It is good to put in small clip lesser-known ventures but at the same clip it is better to be safe. After all bar is better than cure.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Options for Individuals with Bad Credit

If you've had problems with your credit in the past, you might think that your options are extremely limited in regards to financial matters. While it's true that it can be more difficult to find loans and credit cards when you have bad credit, that doesn't mean that it's impossible.

In fact, there are some banks and other lenders that make a point of supplying those individuals who have bad credit with the loans or other services that they need.

Not only can this fill the need that they have for financial services, but they also may be able to improve their credit rating while making payments on their new loan or credit card.

Below you'll find some information on how your credit becomes bad, what you can do to fix it, and what loan and credit card options are available for you even if you do have bad credit.

Defining Bad Credit

The first step in getting rid of bad credit is knowing exactly what it means to have bad credit. Basically, having bad credit means that you've had problems making payments in the past… unfortunately, it was more than just once or twice.

Each time you miss a payment, there is the potential for a negative report appearing on your credit score… miss enough payment dates, and the negative reports start to drag down your credit score.

The lower your credit score is, the worse your credit rating is… and the negative reports that are filed on your credit history can last for up to seven years before they expire.

Credit Repair

It is possible to fix your credit and improve your credit score, but it can take time… don't be fooled by advertisements that say that they can fix it instantly, because not only is it untrue but in some of the cases what they do can also be illegal. In order to fix your credit rating and improve your score, you'll need to begin repaying some of your old debts so that they stop adding new negative reports as well as begin establishing new lines of credit so that you can get positive reports added to help bring up your score faster.

Once you've repaid your old debts and begun making regular payments on your new debts, you might have to wait a bit before your score starts to improve… after all, you're not going to fix years worth of credit problems in just a few weeks. As time goes by, however, your positive reports will begin to outweigh the negative; at the same time, your older negative reports will begin to expire.

It's important to make sure that you keep up with your new payments, though… you don't want to start causing further credit damage after you've finally begun to improve your score.

Loan and Credit Card Options

There are a variety of loan and credit card options available for individuals with bad credit, both at banking and finance companies as well as online.

It's important to remember that you'll be paying a much higher interest rate than you might with a good credit rating, however, so you should take care to do a bit of shopping around so as to find the best interest rate that you can. The collateral that you use will also make a difference, as high-value collateral can reduce interest rates even on bad-credit loans.

Choose your loan or credit card carefully, making sure that you'll be able to keep up with the payments, and you should be well on your way to a new credit rating.

You may freely reprint this article provided the following author's biography (including the live URL link) remains intact:

About The Author

Debt Consolidation Help - Is Debt Consolidation Right for You? Part I

Seeking debt consolidation help is one of the options available
to you when you have too much debt and owe too many creditors.
So how do you know if debt consolidation is the right option
for you and your debt situation?

When a debt consolidation program is put together in the right
way, it can help you pay less money and get out of debt faster
than you would have done if you hadn't consolidated your debt.

Keep in mind that debt consolidation is not the be all end all
of getting out of debt but it can play a big role in eventually
becoming debt free. This is especially true if you take your
debt consolidation program and combine it with other financial
management and debt management tips and techniques to get out
of debt and stay out of debt.

So what exactly is debt consolidation? Debt consolidation involves
taking on new debt to pay off your existing debt immediately. Let's
say you owe fourteen different creditors and you are making monthly
payments to all fourteen individually. When you consolidate your
debt, you take on new debt that you use to pay off all your other
debts. You then make one monthly payment on your new debt. A
big part of good debt consolidation is that you get yourself a
much lower interest rate on your new debt than you had on all your
other debts.

For example, let's say you have a lot of credit card debt on four
different credit cards. And the interest rates on these cards are
14%, 17%, 19% and 21.9%. You get a new loan with an interest rate
of 7% and use the money to completely pay off your credit card debt.
Now you have one debt at a much lower 7% interest. You can also
improve your credit rating in this manner.

Guilty Plea In Credit Card Scam

A Philadelphia man faces five years in prison after admitting he ran a credit card scam at Foxwoods Resort Casino that swindled credit card companies out of nearly $2million, federal prosecutors said Wednesday (

Sung Huynh, 35, used a network of assistants to recruit casino patrons to participate in the scheme, which operated for a year before authorities shut it down in February, prosecutors said.

Court documents filed in connection with Huynh's guilty plea in U.S. District Court Wednesday show that he used a team of "runners" to recruit gamblers willing to take part in the scheme.

The casino patrons would provide the runners with credit card information, Social Security numbers, addresses and dates of birth. Using a cellular telephone, Huynh then made automated payments to the credit card accounts by using fictitious bank account numbers and actual bank routing numbers.

Once the fraudulent payments were posted to credit card accounts, patrons used their cards to get cash advance receipts from a casino cash terminal. Patrons then took receipts from the terminal to a casino cage, where they obtained cash.

Afterward, the patrons kicked back a substantial portion of their cash advances to Huynh, who then paid his runners. Typically, runners accompanied patrons during the transactions to ensure that Huynh got his cut, prosecutors aid.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Credit card companies trying to gain big bucks from small business market

Credit card companies see big bucks in the small-business market (Los Angeles Times).

Discover Financial Services, which launched its first small-business card last June, will unveil a card today designed to lure small-business owners by offering high frequent-flier miles rewards and few restrictions.

It is just the latest in a string of credit cards tailored for small-business owners.

The draw for card companies: Although small-business owners spent $4.9 trillion in 2006, less than 5% of that was with the aid of a credit or debit card, according to Visa USA research.

"Our competition is essentially checks. That's what we are trying to dislodge from the small-business owner's wallet," said Raghav Lal, senior vice president of small-business products for San Francisco-based Visa USA.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bad Credit Repair

Building your credit after perennial breaks is a changeless concern we all privation to avoid. In this article I am going to interrupt it on down for you, since there are many beginnings that volition take full advantage of you when the chance arise. If you experience bad simply because you can’t ran into your measures outlooks at the minute they arrive, then you are not alone. The fact is, even the best of us are struggling to ran into some outlook that the system have placed on us.

We cipher weekly the amount we pass on groceries, which are constantly increasing, as well as other measures that are constantly on the rise. It looks at modern times it is a no win situation, but the fact is there is always a solution to most problems. The problem most modern times is some of us make not have got the agency to happen those solutions. This conveys forth more than emphasis and often we experience that we are alone. If you trying to construct your credit status you need to happen the resources that tin aid you get results. The marketplace offers credit repair kits, which can lead us in the right direction to repairing credit, but the disadvantage is that many of the kits are expensive.

Let’s human face it, not everyone have the money to pass on trade goodss that claim to assist us. Some of us battle harder than others just to survive. Life is forever changing and in order to maintain up with the changes we all have got to happen a solution. Therefore, I am going to state you where you can get a free credit repair kit. Your local library supplies a wealthiness of information and it is free to the public. In most libraries that have got credit repair kits, credit repair books, or debt management solution books.

Anything you desire at your disposal and it is all free information. The library also have got transcript and facsimile machines often, and if you detect in the credit repair usher or kit, it will have transcripts of the letters you can compose to your creditors. Brand yourself some transcripts and once you fill up them out as instructed, you are on your manner to repairing your credit. The library also have ushers or kits for filing bankruptcy.

If you make not see a manner out, then you may desire to travel this route. In most cases, you can make a Pro Bono Bankruptcy, which intends you will stand for yourself in the courtroom. I just wanted to allow you cognize that if you register a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you will have got monthly installments to make, but if you register Chapter 13 Bankruptcy then the tribunals pass over out all your debts. The problem is that bankruptcies stay on credit data files for up to 10 old age or longer. If you can avoid bankruptcy make so, however it is not the end of the human race if you do.

I cognize people personally that filed bankruptcy and was able to get loans for mortgage, cars and so on. If you cognize what you are, doing you can make anything no matter how bad your state of affairs is. Avoid Debt Consolidation, simply because it is agency you will be paying fees and costs to others to get out of debt, which only adds up the bills. You might desire to see a Debt Counselor from a well-thought-of organization.

It do sense to check out any business first before disbursement money or asking for services. The BBB offers free information on organizations, businesses and corporations. Once you have got investigated the service then you will cognize if the people are really trying to assist you. Any service that states you they can get you out of debt in no clip at all is pulling your leg. The fact is even when you pay your measures your credit will go on to listing all the bad debts, it will only state after the debt listed…Resolved.

Finally message while I am thinking about it. It is of import to get transcripts of your credit reports from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. You can happen any information you need online. Knowing your status in life is the beginning of repairing bad credit.

Apacs launch guide for credit card users

A new guide drawn up by UK payments association Apacs aims to explain the terminology used on credit card statements to consumers who might not understand everything that is contained in them, the body says (

Research conducted by the group found that 50 per cent of adults rarely check their credit card statements - and a shocking four per cent said they never check them at all.

Sandra Quinn, director of communications at Apacs, says that the advice guide will "highlight the importance of checking the statement thoroughly and explaining what to do if you are having trouble making repayments".

In related news, the association has also highlighted the need for card users to be aware of online fraud.

"Card-not-present fraud - which includes transactions made online - is the single largest element of fraud in the UK at the moment," said a spokesman

Monday, April 16, 2007

How The Credit Card System Works

Smart usage of your credit cards is important, and it is not how many cards you possess.

If there are advantages to possessing many credit cards it is in their proper use, not in their dollars of possible credit.

Here's how credit cards work:

Banks cooperate with each other to closely to track their cardholders, and most banks desire to cognize how many credit cards you now have got before they issue 1 of their own.

Banks share computing machine data files to merchandise cardholder information. When a bank discovers you have got too many cards (each bank have their ain policy on how many cards are “too many”), they automatically reject your application.

Banks that offer the same card usually disallow repetition cards to a cardholder.

You normally may obtain only one card from an interconnected web of cooperating banks.

How makes a bankcard system actually work?

When you apply for a credit card at your local bank, many events occur. While your local bank’s name is displayed on your credit card, likelihood are that your card was instead issued by a different bank.

Interconnected banks trade prefers and reciprocate functions.

Banks also engage each other to execute different services to cut their overall costs.

Bank card systems are complicated.

First, they must accept new applications, obtain credit reports, and set up approved accounts.

Then the existent cards must be printed and embossed. Ongoing paperwork includes preparing and mailing charge statements, sales brochures, late payment notices, and other inside information that do a credit card programme succeed.

Few banks set about every mathematical function required to operate a credit card program. To avoid complicated and costly processes, some banks enactment as credit card agents for others. Usually smaller banks contract with the larger banks for card-related services.

The largest card processing centres usually manage accounting, credit checks, mailings, statements, collections, and administrative inside information for smaller banks.

The smaller banks pay, as a fee, a percentage of its annual credit volume. Both the large and small banks benefit from this relationship.

Bank webs commonly share parts of the credit card process.

One bank may offer applications; another may manage credit checks; a 3rd (or fourth) bank the embossing and monthly statement function.

Major webs may have got many lines of agent banks stretching out in a drawn-out chain. Other webs may embrace only three or four agent banks.

So what haps if you simultaneously apply for credit cards from respective local banks?

Although you may apply to different banks, many volition be connected to the same major bank. This, of course, raises two possibilities:

1) The major bank will have got a human relationship with the agent banks that forestalls the applier from obtaining more than than one card from the major bank. Even if you apply to twelve banks connected to the same major bank, the major bank will only issue 1 card.

All others are automatically cancelled as they come in the cardinal computerised system. Your credit card will bear the name of the accepting bank. But in the procedure you generated potentially noxious numbers of enquiries on your credit report.

2) A major bank will publish respective cards to the same person if the agent bank presumes duty for your credit. The agent bank would then presume duty for any default in payment.

So before you apply for a credit card make certain that you do not already have got one from that issuing bank.

Play your cards right

For years, banking customers have been reaping rewards for using their credit cards — frequent-flyer miles, discounts on vehicles and other consumer goods, and even cash back.

Called "loyalty programs," the trend is migrating over to debit cards as more and more people use them instead of credit cards.

Debit cards, also called check cards, are used just like credit cards, but draw money directly from your checking account, rather than building up debt or requiring repayment every month.

A recent Federal Reserve Board study revealed that debit cards account for one in three point-of-sale consumer transactions, compared with 21 percent in 1999.

According to a recent survey by MasterCard Worldwide, one-third of debit card users make payments with their debit card more than 16 times a month, including at the point of sale, online or to pay bills.

At Visa USA, debit card purchases make up a whopping 68 percent of the company’s transactions, and 50 percent of its dollar volume.

Many people use debit cards because they offer the speed and convenience of a credit card without incurring interest debt. Now an escalating battle over debit reward programs is giving consumers another reason to switch. More than a third of all debit card issuers now offer some type of rewards program, and that number is rising daily.

One of the newer entrants is Citizens Bank, which unveiled its rewards program in its 13-state region last fall.

"It’s another connection with our customers," said Rich Barry, president and CEO of Citizens Bank of Connecticut. "It’s all about deepening your relationship with your customer, providing them with other services and opportunities. You can acquire new customers, and you also solidify relationships with existing customers in a very competitive environment."

Citizens Bank stepped up the competition by offering more than most banks to its debit card users: Besides earning one point for every dollar spent by debit card, Citizens Bank customers also may receive two points for every dollar spent on recurring transactions, such as monthly bills, via debit card.

Also, Citizens Bank offers customers up to 20 points for every dollar spent by debit card at a wide variety of participating merchants, both online and in-store. The Citizens program offers the largest "bricks and mortar" network in the nation, including Dunkin’ Donuts, Eddie Bauer, FAO Schwartz, Hollywood Video, Macy’s, Restoration Hardware, Sharper Image, Timberland and other stores.

Wherever you bank, you need to be careful and read the fine print when it comes to rewards for using a debit card. That’s because most banks, including Citizens, require you to sign a receipt when using the card — i.e., use it as a credit card, even though the money still comes directly out of your checking account — rather than use a PIN number, in order to qualify for rewards. The reason is that merchants pay banks a flat fee when customers use a debit card, but pay a percentage of the purchase when customers use credit cards, which is more profitable for the banks.

If you hand a merchant a debit card and he or she asks "credit or debit?" you can say it’s a credit card and the merchant will handle it that way, but the bank will still treat your purchase as a debit card purchase.

Policies vary, though. At Chase Manhattan Bank, for instance, debit-card users earn one point for every $1 spent, but PIN purchases do not count. At Citibank, however, debit card users who sign the receipt slip earn one point for every $2 spent, and debit card users who punch in a PIN earn one point for every $3 spent.

Source :

Sunday, April 15, 2007

What You Need to Know About Secured Credit Cards

There’s sol much to learn about the different credit cards made available to the public today. First of all, it’s of import to take a credit card that purposes to work for you and your lifestyle. Brand it easy on yourself. If you make the research before committing and set up what you desire to utilize a credit card for, the remainder is easy.

Secured credit cards are used in a number of ways. They’re convenient because they are used like a regular credit card. However, there is a difference between these credit cards and regular credit cards. These credit cards are secured. If you desire a secured credit card, you’ll need to set down cash as collateral in order to secure one. It’s like making a personal deposit. That sedimentation goes your line of credit, available to utilize when you need it the most. Credit cards that are secured, often times, incorporate bounds as to how much you can lodge on the card at any given time. Most cards will throw up to $500.00. Depending on the credit card company, they may allow you to lodge more. In the end, the bank will reward you for making payments on your credit card – payments which have got already been established because it’s coming from you in advance as a demand of using the card. Therefore, owning a secured card will actually assist you to set up a good credit rating. In fact, it is the perfect manner to get your credit back on path if you’re agony with poor, bad or no credit.

Make certain to shop around for your secured card. Every company offers different fringe benefits and services, which get attached to your card. That is why it is of import to make your research first. Establish what’s important. How make you be after to utilize your credit card? Where will you do the bulk of your purchases? Most importantly, you’ll make up one's mind how best this card will work for you and your current situation. Brand certain that whatever card you choose, that the provider reports your history to credit bureaus. Otherwise, your card isn’t helping you construct credit, and that is one of the most of import factors in using a secured credit card. You will set up good credit and better your credit evaluation considerably. You also avoid the hazard of running into debt again, because you command what you spend.

No-one will ever cognize that your credit card is prepaid. You can utilize it in your favourite eating house and it will look just like any other card. Prepaid credit cards are one of the best ways to do your purchases without the hazard of disbursement more than you can afford. You are completely in the driver’s seat.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Working Multiple Jobs and Still Can't Manage Those Bills? Consolidate Bills and Make It Easier

In today's world of invisible money and fast credit it is easy for anyone to get over their head with debt and find themselves will more bills than they can pay. It is very common today for people to have two jobs and still not make enough money to keep up on all of their bills. If you think you fit into the situation I am describing then debt consolidation may be right for you.

When you consolidate bills you make things easier on yourself in several ways. First of all the amount you have to pay each money is usually lower, which means you can finally manage to keep progressing forward with your finances instead of trying to swim upstream. Second, the interest rate of a debt consolidation loan is usually lower than the various other loans you had to begin with so you end up paying less interest. And third, it is easier to keep track of your bills when you only have one lender to pay each month instead of several. This helps keep you organized.

In essence, when you consolidate bills you are allowing a lender to pay off all of your debts and then you owe that lender instead. Since the lender is now going to get payments from you that are larger than what you paid any one specific lender that you previously owed, the bill consolidation lender gives you a lower interest rate. In other words, the loan works out for both of you since the lender gets extra money and rewards you will a lower monthly payment and less interest.

If you are someone in debt, trying to consolidate bills seems like an easy decision. And it is indeed a very good thing to do, but there are some things to consider first because you want to make sure you get the right debt consolidation loan for you. If you own a home then home equity loans tend to offer the lowest interest rates. You should shop around for home equity loans to see if you can find a lender in which you qualify and to compare rates. If you would like to consolidate your bills but have an open line of credit as well then you should consider a home equity line of credit. This allows you to consolidate your bills into one low payment but have a line of credit open as well which you can draw upon if you suddenly need money. This is a good choice if you have upcoming large expenses that you would like to incorporate into your loan.

If you do not own a home then a personal loan is a popular and effective way to consolidate bills. While a personal loan does not have interest rates as low as home equity loans, they do not require collateral and are easy to get with a bad credit score as long as you have enough of a steady income to make your payments each month.

You can also use a credit card to consolidate bills. A credit card with a low interest rate will usually offer you a lower interest than you were paying before on you bills, and the monthly payments can be very low. However with monthly payments so low and the ability to reuse the money after you have put it on your card this method takes a lot of self-control. If you take a long time to pay off your debt by making the minimum payment, you will have to pay a lot of extra money due to interest. And if you keep reusing the money you pay to the credit card company, you will not make progress towards erasing your debt.

With all of the options open to you it is not hard to find which type of loan is the best. The lowest interest rate or smallest monthly payment is not the only thing to consider. You also need to look at other advantages or disadvantages. If you do not have a lot of self-control, then using a credit card to consolidate bills can be a bad idea and only make things worse. If you have large upcoming expenses than the lower interest rates of a home equity loan are not as important as the line of credit that a home equity line of credit offers. The good news is that even if you feel it is impossible to keep your head above water there are lenders out there that can help.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Mantra's To Refinance UK Dream Home with Poor Credit Mortgage

Remortgaging with Poor Credit Mortgage history has become very popular in recent years, enabling homeowners to free up equity for many different reasons. e.g. home improvements, a new car, luxury holidays and of course to clear outstanding debts, but if you have a bad credit history you may land in dilemma whether eligible for refinance but present world UK is blessed with enormous financial institutions to make this process a happy experience. Just access the online world for best poor credit mortgage for best quotes matching your desires.

Below lines features the mantras for refinancing your home when you have poor credit mortgage problems. Intelligent use of mantra can help you to secure a refinance that saves you money in the long term. There are different types of loans available to those that have poor credit, including refinanced mortgage loans. Before you consider refinancing, determine what you would like to accomplish by refinancing. Analyze the answers for below mentioned questions aimed to judge your present conditions and needs under effects of poor credit history. This activity will provide you with real picture:

■ Do you wish to reduce how much you end up paying for your home?

■ Do you wish to change the terms of your loan?

■ Do you wish to lower your monthly payment?

■ Do you want to secure a lower interest rate?

Once you understand your goals, you can refinance your home based on those goals specifically so that you secure the type of refinance that will aid in your success.

Poor Credit Loans

For those who do have poor credit, it is important to be up to date on mortgage payments as this is one of the strongest indicators of risk to the lender. If you are behind on your mortgage payments, you do need to get caught up. You should also be able to provide proof of your income and employment history. Next, get in touch with lender about what your goals are in refinancing. This way, they can help to meet those goals by specialization in the loans that they offer to you. Just for example, if you would like to lower your monthly payment, you may be able to extend the terms of your loan longer, to reduce the amount paid per month.

It is important to consider several lenders for solution of poor credit mortgage history attached to your name, not just the lender who currently owns your mortgage. Compare what others can offer you in terms of interest, length of the loan and the costs associated with refinancing. Use above mentioned mantras to help you to refinance your home if you have poor credit mortgage problems.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Debt Consolidation Advice - Where to Find a Free Debt Consolidation Quote

If you have been struggling with financial problems for any length of time, you will be well aware of the stress they cause. Perhaps you have reached the end of your tether and decided to go for debt consolidation, but are not sure where to start. One possibility is to go online and look for a free debt consolidation quote.

The companies who will offer you such a free debt consolidation quote are really there for the benefit of people who are unwilling to take on the responsibility of sorting out their own debt relief. Before you go down this road, remember that there are other ways of arranging debt consolidation.

First of all, before looking for a free debt consolidation quote, did you know that there are free kits available at most libraries to help you find what you need? The staff will usually help you if you are in difficulties, and allow you to take copies of the forms and information.

Secondly, don't forget that you can approach your creditors direct and negotiate with them. This way you could find that you are able to arrive at a settlement in which they accept a reduced balance outstanding or lower interest rates. In some situations the creditors could agree to write off the debt altogether, especially if they realize that the chances of repayment are minimal.

This may happen if the debtor is disabled or for some other reason is not working and only receiving social security payments. If you are not confident about approaching creditors yourself, you can often do it via the non-profit Consumer Credit counseling services in your locality.

Before seeking a free debt consolidation quote, you should investigate these possibilities, and also make sure you are aware of your legal rights in relation to your creditors.

If you do decide to seek a free debt consolidation quote, make sure you find out all you can about a company before getting the quote. Some of these companies are not genuine and are only out to get your money rather than to help you. However, they make their quotes so attractive and seductive that you could well be tempted.

Try the Better Business Bureau or the Consumer Credit counseling service in your local area. Alternatively, try going online and typing in the company name + "reviews" into a search engine. This will enable you to see what other people have said about it. Alternatively, you can also visit a forum related to debt consolidation online. Get involved, ask your questions. You'll be surprised at how helpful people are.

You may well be in a panic when you are looking for a free debt consolidation quote. This could tempt you into rushing into a decision too hastily. Don't do this under any circumstances. If you make the wrong decision, you could end up in a much worse situation than before.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Prepaid Credit Cards

If you have got a history of bad credit and are not able to obtain a mainstream credit card, then prepaid credit cards may be just the reply you are looking for.

First of all, although prepaid credit cards are accepted at any retail mercantile establishment where the credit card logotype is displayed, strictly speaking they are not a ‘credit’ card, as the issuer supplies no credit installation to you. Rather, your disbursement bounds is determined by how much money you have got on the credit card at any given time.

Once the amount on the card have been spent, the cardholder can either purchase a new prepaid credit card or elect to transfer money on to the existent card, depending on the card program.

Although prepaid credit cards sound very like debit entry credit cards, the two should not be confused. In the lawsuit of debit entry entry cards, any purchase for commodity or services you do will automatically be charged to you bank account – for which the debit credit card have been issued. However, purchases for commodity or services made on prepaid cards travels off the balance already on the card.

Because of the prepaid nature of these cards, they have got got respective benefits, such as as:

no interest is charged

they give people with a bad credit history the option to
utilize a credit card

the ‘credit’ line is variable depending on the amount on the balance of the card

That said, you still need to reexamine the terms and statuses of the application word form carefully as prepaid credit cards can have

a monthly rank fee
an application fee
a purchase fee
a monthly transaction bounds fee, i.e. if you pass over a fixed amount each calendar month you are charged a fee for any further transactions
a fee if you utilize the card to do standard atmosphere withdrawals

Nonetheless, the card is a brilliant option if you either cannot obtain a regular credit card or are tired of all the fees and interest charges that are normally associated with standard credit card.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Debt Consolidation Loan Online - Put an End To Not Knowing How to Make Ends Meet

Each month you and possibly your spouse bring home a certain amount of income. Each month a certain amount of that income goes out to pay for things such as living expenses and debt repayment. If your debts and living expenses are becoming more than your income each month, you have quite a bit of stress to deal with in the wondering of how you'll possibly make ends meet each month. That question that seems to have no answer when you think about what you owe as opposed to what you make has an easy answer in the form of a debt consolidation loan online.

The advantage of using the internet to obtain your consolidation loan is many. When you choose to get your debt consolidation loan online, you have the ability to research each bank that you consider by going to their website and getting the necessary information. You will be able to find out what interest rate each bank is charging and go with the one that is charging least. You will also be able to find out what terms are included in debt consolidation loans online. You will be able to apply and get a response via the internet. In this way, you don't have to worry about outsiders being worried about you. They do not have to know your business.

Once you have made your choice, you will apply for your debt consolidation loan online and a loan officer will contact you through either the phone of internet to discuss the terms and be sure that you understand them. Shortly after you've signed the necessary documents, which can also be done over the internet with an electronic signature, you will either receive your check or your balances will be paid by the lender and you'll receive a check for any amount that's left which you can use however you choose. You will then receive one monthly bill which can be set up to be sent through regular mail or it can be done electronically and it can even be debited automatically each month from your account.

With the payment that you've agreed to, you should now see your income as something positive rather than something that is already spent. No longer will you have to see in how many ways you can stretch that bi-weekly paycheck. You will have enough to pay for that, your new loan amount, and your other monthly expenses. As long as you don't fall back into the credit card trap, you should no longer have to look at it as making ends meet. You should now consider what you can put away in savings because you never know when you're going to need it.

A debt consolidation loan online is the answer to making ends meet. There will be extra monies available each month to do other things with like make repairs to your home or vehicle, plan a vacation, or simply save for a rainy day. You finances will again be yours and you now know what to do with them.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Credit Trap: What They Don't Tell You About Credit Cards In College

In industrialised nations, going into debt starts early. It's easy for an eighteen-year-old to get credit cards and autumn into debt, especially if they're headed for college.

I retrieve my first twelvemonth in college as a 17 twelvemonth old. Credit card offers were plastered all over the university campus. I don't cognize what saved me from falling into the credit trap when I was in college but many of my friends were not so lucky.

Many of them started out by using credit cards for textbooks, then stereophonic equipment and clothes. Then the adjacent thing they knew, they were drowning in credit card debt.

No 1 told them what they were getting themselves into. Often, credit cards that are geared toward college students come up with very high interest rates. Credit card companies state that this is owed to the fact that students often have got got limited credit histories and that they have a higher default rate than other groups.

However, what credit card companies don’t state you is that immature lives are being ruined by credit card debt owed to dropping out of college, bankruptcy, occupation rejections (due to poor credit histories), loan denials, inability to lease apartments, professional school rejection, and even suicide.

A leading expert on the credit card industry reports about a number of these relative incidences including the self-destruction of some college students owed to credit card debt in his book: Credit Card Nation. I believe there should be a law against openly marketing credit cards to immature college students. However, the state of affairs is quite different; credit card companies are often given free reign in college and university campuses to market their merchandise to unsuspicious college students.

And what about those omnipresent student loans that are often pushed at college students?

Financial Aid officers do it far too easy for students to subscribe on the dotted line.

"It's a low interest loan", they say. "You don't have got to pay it off until you graduate", they say.

But what they neglect to state you is that student loans and credit card debt can set you in iron for old age for which you cannot afford to do one financial error or you and your household could be set out on the street.

Furthermore, none of us cognize what is promised for tomorrow. We don't cognize if we will be healthy or sick; nor if we will get that well-paying occupation after graduation from college.

Speaking of getting a well-paying occupation after graduation, another thing they don't state you in college is that it may be a good thought to check your credit report BEFORE you travel out on your first job interview.

What makes a person's credit report have got to make with getting a job you may ask?

Well, a new tendency in hiring these years is that many employers are checking possible employees' credit histories first before they consent to hiring you (great, isn't it?).

So, just what are they looking for when they look into your credit report? Well, my conjecture is that they probably will be looking at how much debt you owe and your payment history.

If what they read from your credit report bespeaks that you are a credit liability, then opportunities are you may not get that occupation you wanted.

These are just a few of the many truths that they don’t state college student about credit card debt before they subscribe on the dotted line.

A prepaid debit entry entry card is a much better alternate to a credit card for a college student because a prepaid debit card actually assists you to remain out of debt as the money you pass is your own. Not only that but they are also utile tools for instruction college students financial management skills.

And of course, nowadays, there are a assortment of debit entry entry cards available including debit cards issued by the two major names: Visa and MasterCard.

So, if you are a parent of a college student, be certain to educate your kid about the dangers of credit cards debt BEFORE he heads out for the college campus. And if you can, why not see giving him a prepaid debit entry card to direct him money while he is away at college?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Consolidating Debt - What Is A Debt Consolidation Loan?

For those people who have gotten into debt over a period of time, they notice that this is can seem like falling in a bottomless pit. First of all making the regular payments on the debt is hard enough. On top if you are simply making the minimum payments then interest charges start to pile up. This snowball effect makes paying back debts harder and harder.

If you are in this situation, chances are that someone has recommended 'debt consolidation' as a viable option. For most people, this seems like the light at the end of the tunnel or a sole path leading back to being back on track. Before you jump into this situation bear in mind that there are advantages and disadvantages to this choice. Knowing both will hlep you make an informed decision.

A question remains, what exactly is meant by "debt consolidation" and how will it save you? In a nutshell, its combining all your debt into a single debt and making one single payment every month rather than multiple ones as you did earlier.

This isn't the case where you simply add up all the different payments into a single payments. It's not like instead of making separate payments of $50, $100, $200 to three different entities you are paying the sum $350 (50+100+200). There are some other things that have to happen to make this work.

1) the total monthly payment goes down or

2) the interest amount owed goes down or

3) the actual total debt goes down

So, which is most likely to occur? That depends on the debt consolidation plan you are taking advantage of.

Very rarely, all of the above take place. The most frequently observed case is that the payments made every month are reduced. The advantage over here is that you are more likely to be able to make payments that you can afford.

Since you can make those monthly payments additional interest and late charges are not applied which would've been had you not been able to make the regular payments. Mentally, you are a lot better off since you have the comfort of knowing that the payments are now under control.

The only real risk in this situation is that if your monthly payments are reduced to the point where you don't think about it too much, you could relax a bit too much. You could fall into the trap of spending some of the money you are saving and end up right where you started. So, don't lose focus on the goal of becoming debt free.

But how do these payments get reduced? One way is by increasing the life of the loan. This is in order of you to pay off the original amount over a longer period of time. In another scenario, lenders are willing to settle for lesser than their original amounts if they believe that they are more likely to lose everything due to nonpayment or a bankruptcy declaration. In this case, lower payments is a less riskier option for them.

Getting out of debt is lot like any other large goal. You have to be consistent an committed to it in the long-term to be successful.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Rebuild Your Credit - Using a Savings Account?

Did you know that in addition to a good credit card, you can also use a savings account to establish or repair your credit? You can, and it’s easy! Follow these 5 simple steps and you can rebuild your credit for next to nothing!

1. Open a Credit Union Savings Account
Call your local credit union tell them you want to open a savings account. Depending on the credit union you may need as little as $25 to open an account and between $300 to $500.00 to make this program work. If you don’t have enough cash yet, don’t wait. Open your account with the minimum requirement and begin to deposit as often as you can. Most credit unions require a small amount ($5-$25) to remain untouched to keep the account active. The remainder will be used for this program.

2. Take out a Loan Secured by Your Savings
Once your account is open and has the minimum available, take out a Secured Share Loan. This loan will be secured by your savings, and usually has a very low rate (avg 4-6%.) In most cases you can choose any repayment terms you like. If you plan to buy a home within the next 90 days, choose a 12 month repayment. Why? Once you have 10 months or less left, most lenders will not count the payment against your debt load! Also, request that the repayment to begin right away so there is no delay in building your credit!

3. Deposit the Loan Funds back into Your Savings Account
Don't go on a shopping spree! Have the credit union deposit the loan funds directly back into the savings account. Remember, this is to build your credit, not put you in debt! Now your account will show double the amount you placed in savings... For example: $500 for your savings (the secured amount), and $500 from your loan. This may also help if you need to show a mortgage lender additional savings!

4. Set up Automatic Drafts from Savings to Pay Back Loan
Ask to have the monthly payments for the loan drafted from your savings account. Now you are using the loan money to repay the actual loan, plus any interest. (For our $500 example, interest should cost you less than $25 a year!) Payments will be made on time and without any worry! You may need to add just enough money to cover the interest on the loan. One of the best features of this program is that if you ever need your $500 for an emergency, simply have the loan completely paid off with the remaining loan funds in the savings and your initial deposit will be released... With no additional debt!

Rebuild Your Credit... Using Your Savings!
Try to find a credit union that reports to ALL three major credit bureaus... Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You can use multiple credit unions if you need to... Just make sure that at least 2 bureaus get reported to or you are wasting your time. (2 scores will bring up the middle score!)

Add to the mix the right credit card with a low balance and great payment history, then you will be on your way to higher scores!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Why Online Banking Beats Standing In Lines

For those of you who have never tried online banking you really do not know what you are missing. It is such a convenient way to pay your bills, keep track of the money in your accounts and make your investments. The beauty of it is that it is all done on secure websites with passwords and layers of protection for your money. This is only part of the convenience.

As well, it is done from your home or office computer during the hours that are easy for you to manage and not necessarily the hours your bank is open. If you have your pay checks deposited directly into your bank account you may never have to visit your bank during business hours. An ATM can provide you cash and you can pay your bills over the Internet. Not only is this convenient, but it usually costs you less to use these services then to do your banking in person.

The use of an Internet service through your bank offers you many services beyond simply paying your bills. You can also get your bank statements this way instead of having them mailed to you. You can transfer money between your various bank accounts. This means all you need to keep in your checking account is just enough to pay your bills until you transfer funds in to pay the next bill.

That allows you to keep your money in your savings account for longer and so to make the maximum amount of interest on your money. You can even use your banks web service to apply for loans or change your loan repayment structure. These applications are all available online. There are even banks that operate solely by offering online banking services.

They have been nicknamed virtual banks. These have the advantage of doing everything for you over the Internet and so can offer higher interest rates and lower costs as they keep their costs down by not having a facility for you to visit.

Other reasons to use these growing web based bank services is that you will never get a check returned to you because bank personnel could not read your handwriting or because you wrote the wrong information on the check. It will be right all the time because you will be feeding it directly into the computer.

You will not have to worry about being late with payments either. As long as you pay the bill a couple of days before its due you will be on time every time. That means having to work late, being ill, or out of town will never again make your payment late; five minutes on a computer, even at an internet cafe and you will be able to pay your bills using your online banking service.