debt problems

Don’t Leave Your Options On the Table

If you’re in debt, then it does without saying that you’re probably pretty stressed out. You’re probably wondering what you can possibly do to get out of the situation that you’re in. You might even be worried about not being able to handle everything on your plate, and that’s okay. You don’t have to handle everything on your plate at once. You just need to prioritize and then attack the problem in pieces. Everything can be overcome with time and patience, and your debt problems are no exception.

When you’re in debt, you might not want to actually look at your debt by the numbers, but that’s really what you have to do. It can even be a pretty emotional process as you have to dig through all of your bills, everything that you owe someone else. But it’s necessary in order to really know not only how much you owe, but who you owe it to. Sometimes when the debts pile up and switch hands through debt purchases, it can be even more stressful. We start thinking that there’s really no way that we could ever get out of debt, but that’s just negative self talk that’s going to push you further away from your goal.

If you need a word, here it is: options. You need to just stop and look at your main options.

If you don’t have a lot of debt, we can tell you that bankruptcy really isn’t your best option. For one, the hit to your credit is so long lasting that you won’t be able to really achieve any of the goals that you have on the table, like buying a house or even a new car. Unless your debt problems are caused by medical bills, we definitely suggest avoiding bankruptcy if you can really help it.

That leaves debt settlement and debt consolidation. These are good options for people that have small to moderate amounts of debt that want to clear it up as fast as possible. You don’t have to be super rich to take this option either — as long as you have regular income you are going to be able to take care of your debt over time and get it paid off.

Does that mean that you need to call up Chase Bank and start making demands? Definitely not. For one, the credit card companies really have no incentive to make a deal with you if you’re just on your own. IF you are really thinking about debt settlement or even just debt consolidation, you really do need to get an advocate on your side. You need someone that ahs done the negotiation process a thousand times and thus are not afraid to get dirty if that’s what it takes to win the negotiation round. You need someone that isn’t afraid to ask tough questions or to remain firm. You shouldn’t beat yourself up if you’re really not as good of a negotiator as the pros. Remember that you don’t work with the credit card companies day in and day out, but the best debt consolidation experts do all of the time.

Debt consolidation brings a lower interest rate, which means that you will have a lower monthly payment. This means that you will have better chances of actually paying your debts on time. This in turn improves your credit score; because you’re actually paying your accounts rather than just assuming that you have no way of actually taking care of the problem. That’s a hard pill to swallow and we suggest that you try to avoid it as much as possible — getting help with your debt is much better than just assuming that you have no recourse at all.

In order to pursue debt consolidation, you are going to have to let someone else look at all of your debts in order to come up with a battle plan. It’s very important that you’re as honest as possible. If you hide debts or mess with the numbers, you will essentially be giving your debt specialist an uphill battle when it comes to getting your needs handled properly. Anything that the credit card companies can use to stall, they definitely will. There’s no reason that you should have to put up with that, so make sure that you give the right information the first time.

Is it a tough road to travel? Definitely — debt puts a lot of stress on you and your family but you don’t have to walk down the road to a debt-free life on your own — why not pursue professional debt consolidation today?

Credit Cards Are a Tool – How Sharp Are Yours?

It’s time to end the tension between we the consumers and the credit card companies. Well, to some degree. We’re not saying that credit card companies are always right and consumers are just plain wrong. However, we are a bit concerned when people feel that credit cards are evil. We do get a bit more concerned when we find that people feel that credit cards should be outlawed (yes, we’ve seen it said online), and we’re even more concerned when people feel like they would just be better off going cash only.

There are so many mistakes here that we don’t even know where to begin. So let’s go ahead and start from the top: credit cards are just a tool. Tools can’t be good or evil. They’re neutral entities in the great sea of life. So when you assign them an alignment towards good or evil, you’re really making a big deal out of something that really isn’t. Do you get mad at the hammer when you accidentally drive it through a wall, or do you assign blame where it belong s — on your shoulders.

Deceptive advertising is a very touchy subject, but we believe that there is some level of responsibility that the credit card holder needs to take as well. It can’t just be a matter of blaming the credit card companies and expecting to get bailed out. Wall Street gets bailouts, but that doesn’t mean that you need to run in with your hand out. If you’re having debt problems right now, it’s important to look at the root of the issue rather than think a bailout or any corporate windfall is going to make your true credit issues go away.

The reason why most people feel that credit cards are a bad idea is because they’ve gotten “burned” in the past. However, when that shiny credit card comes in the mail, did you really read the fine print or even attempt to? In the digital age, there really isn’t any excuse for ignorance anymore. If you’re not sure about a section of a credit card’s legalese, you can definitely find someone to answer your questions and concerns. Is it always going to be free? Not always. There will be times where you will need to get serious legal assistance in order to know what you’re getting into.

In its simplest form, a credit card is actually the start of a contract. In order to use the card, you’re agreeing to be bound by certain terms. Generally speaking, this is to pay the credit card company back for them letting you spend their money. If more people thought about credit this way, their debts would be smaller. A lot of people have the assumption that credit cards are for frivolous purchases that just can’t wait, and that’s not the case.

It’s a tool, people. How do you want to use your tool? That’s going to be the real question that you should answer.

We’re not saying that you can’t ever treat your sweetie to a romantic dinner on American Express, Visa, or MasterCard’s dime. However, we do suggest that you keep those things to a minimum. You don’t want to wake up and find that you owe a lot of money for something that isn’t really going to get you ahead in life. While that’s not a pleasant or even a popular viewpoint to take, we think it’s necessary.

The bottom line is that we all get 24 hours in a day to create the life that we ultimately want. What you do with your time, money, energy and spirit matters. If you want a great life, then you need to continue seeing credit cards as a tool. Look back on your purchases — are those purchases sending the message that you see credit cards as a tool, an evil, or a crutch?

When you’re charging everything to your credit cards to make ends meet, that’s when you’re building up into a problem that could overwhelm your family for a long time. Credit problems don’t just go away – you can’t just hide and hope that they will stop pursuing you. If you refuse to pay the credit card companies back, you are breaking your initial contract.

This is another arena where feigning ignorance of the rules is unlikely to get you any special treatment. For one, you need to understand that if you use their credit card, then you will be bound by their rules. It’s really as simple as that. If you have a problem with a credit card company’s terms and conditions, then you are always advised not to charge even a penny to their card. Borrowing even a dime of their money really isn’t the way to go.

If you want to use credit cards as a tool to pick up travel reservations, that’s one thing. If you want to use it as a way to treat friends and family special for a night, that’s not a bad idea either. However, when you’re maxing out all of your credit cards, that’s a bad sign and you should definitely try to avoid that as much as possible.

Remember that credit cards cannot force you to do anything — they cannot make you behave in one way or do things a different way than you already do. You might be swayed by the idea of reward points, miles, or free hotel stays. However, those are things that you have to decide are worth it. If you’re not into that at all, then you will really want to make sure that you use your credit cards sparingly.

The road ahead is long, but it doesn’t have to be an impossible road. Make sure that you are tracking your credit card spending and making sure that “treats” are low on the list and convenience is moderate. If you want to book your travel plans on your credit card, that’s perfectly fine — but do mark sure that you can pay that card off in full when the bill comes due. That’s the best way to stay out of trouble from the start!