Category: Debt

Understanding the Current U.S. Federal Debt and Its Effect on You

debt and its effect

“Debt” is one of the most frightening words in the English language, conjuring up visions of peonage, deprivation, and prison. Caricatures of debt collectors, such as the mafia shark who breaks the legs of delinquent borrowers, or Shylock, the moneylender of the “Merchant of Venice” who required a “pound of flesh” as security on a loan, haunt our dreams and reinforce Benjamin Franklin’s advice that one should “rather go to bed without dinner than to rise in debt.”

The idea of the United States Federal Government borrowing is particularly scary, triggering images of “foreigners” taking over the country and foreclosing on valuable assets.

 

Click here to continue to reading…

Snowballs or Avalanches: Which Debt Reduction Strategy Is Best for You?

debt reduction strategy

Are you in debt? Well, according to Transunion, many of us are — at least when it comes to credit cards.

If you answered “yes,” then my guess is that you really want to get out of debt and need a debt reduction strategy.

Once you come to this decision and begin looking for ways to get out of debt, you’ll likely find two methods:

  1. The Snowball Method
  2. The Avalanche Method

Let me briefly describe both — and which one is better.

 

Click here to continue reading…

How to Slay The Debt Monster

debt

The Debt Monster

It all started one dark day while Kyle and Diana were on vacation celebrating their first anniversary. Kyle needed to visit the magical ATM wizard and decided he should check his checking account balance first to see how much was available. While examining his account on his phone, another number jumped out and grabbed him — their credit card balance. The couple’s balance was already dangerously close to their limit with much of the month still remaining.

 

Click here to continue reading… 

Four Strategies to Avoid Family Debt

debt

Financial threats can visit families in many different forms.

A health crisis, student loans or a broken transmission can all lead to unexpected debt.

While the average family share of credit card debt is $15,325, NerdWallet notes American consumers owe $11.16 trillion to creditors.

Mention a formal budgeting process to families, and you’ll most likely get an eye roll that would make any teenager proud.

When even seasoned economists can’t agree on where the economy is going, how is the average family expected to know what is best for their economic futures?

 

Click here to continue reading…

Common Financial Mistakes You Make in Your Twenties

financial mistakes

For many of us in our twenties, we experience the elation of suddenly earning substantially more than we’re otherwise used to; long gone are the days of babysitting and summer jobs. Of course we’re excited to treat ourselves for all of our hard work, but the decisions us ladies make in our youth can haunt us for years to come. Therefore, you should try your best to avoid the financial mistakes that are all too common among adults in their twenties!

Do You Know Your Rights When it Comes to Debt Collection?

1

One of the most difficult financial issues that many people have to deal with is debt. Not only can debt weigh you down when it comes to money, but it also causes stress in other ways. And once your debt is turned over to collections, it can become especially burdensome and stressful. Dealing with debt collectors is one of the top consumer complaints.

 

However, it’s important to realize that you do have rights when it comes to debt collection practices. The fact that the FTC has just fined one debt collector $3.2 million for harassing behaviors underscores that you do have rights, and you can see that they are enforced.

 

Continue reading here…

5 Things to Avoid Before You File Bankruptcy & Improve Credit Scores

 

Man holding printout from calculator.

Filing for bankruptcy is already a formidable task, so you’ll want to do everything you can to avoid shooting yourself in the foot and making the process that much harder and it doesn’t improve credit scores. Unfortunately, some actions that seem perfectly reasonable, and even prudent, can actually land you in even more trouble. In worst-case scenarios, the court can dismiss your case, leaving you responsible for paying your debts.

 

Click here to continue reading…

5 Mistakes You Make When Managing Your Debt

managing your debt

 

Not all debt is created equal. With that being said, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing your debt and avoiding excessive interest, fees and other penalties that could result if not handled properly.

Here are five mistakes consumers commonly make with their debt (and ways to avoid them).

1. Depleting Your Emergency Fund

 

2. Having No Plan Of Action

 

3. Getting Caught in the Minimum-Payment Plan

 

4. Robbing Peter to Pay Pal

 

5. Ignoring Statements and Credit Reports

 

Go here to continue reading…

Declare Your Independence from Credit Card Debt

credit-card debt

If you’re carrying credit card debt, you know it’s a financial anchor that’s holding you back from truly enjoying your life. With interest rates averaging about 13 percent to 16 percent, there is no reasonable way to get ahead — or even stay afloat — financially unless you get those cards paid off.
So in honor of the Fourth of July, take this opportunity to declare your independence from your credit card debt.

Go here to continue reading…

Restart Old Debt in Exchange for New Credit Card?

People struggling with bad credit know how difficult it is to get approved for a new card. But what if you were given the chance to open a new credit card with the agreement that you’d pay off an old debt? Would you accept the offer?

In December 2011, the Wall Street Journal reported a credit card arrangement just like this. Consumers with bad scores were able to get a new card, but it required them to pay several hundred dollars per month toward an old debt. Is it worth it?

Click here to continue reading…