Credit counseling: A ray of hope in a dismal debt scenario

Pancakes with a side of credit counseling
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Debts can cause you to lose sleep, have relationship problems and even major health related problems. In case you are suffering from rising debts, then do not worry and try to consider ways in which you can address this problem. One of the foremost ways that you should consider is credit counseling. It is a debt solution that educates you to take care of your finances better in such a way that you can get rid of your debts too and live a financially healthy life. Continue reading →

Taking Care Of Your Debt Situation

You can determine a financial emergency once you experience a situation that can render you moneyless, homeless or without any important property. You should differentiate this kind of emergency from a threatening phone call or letter from a bill collector.

When experiencing such emergency, it is crucial to act immediately and begin by contacting the creditor. Doing so enables you to work out a temporary solution, which can help you keep your properties. However, it does not always work and if so, getting in touch with your lawyer to negotiate with the creditor is helpful.

Face the Problem

The common misconception in debt problems is “the less you know, the less it hurts”. However, you must learn how to face your debt problems. You must be able to do this since rebuilding and repairing the credit will not take place when you do not know exactly where your money goes or where it must go instead.

Although it is not harmful to overestimate your debt, it is always beneficial to know how much money you really owe. You can do this by taking a look on the bills you have received. In case you have thrown out your bills without even opening them, you can still call customer service and inquire about the bills.

There are several creditors that use automated telephone systems. This can provide a balance and

information regarding the payments automatically. Additionally, information about your account might

also be available on your creditors’ Web sites. After acquiring the necessary details, sum it all up,

especially those past due installment bills and your monthly obligations.

Options Available for Your Debts

There are several options available when dealing with debts. One is to do nothing. This option is probably the most popular approach used by those who are deeply in debt. Most often, these people have very small income and property and do not normally expect any change in their lifestyle. If you do not anticipate any steady income any time soon, you can consider this option.

However, if doing nothing does not help, you can find money to pay your debts. You can do this by, first, selling a major asset, like a car or a house. This can be a good choice if you can no longer afford your car or house payments. Instead of waiting for a repossession or foreclosure to happen, selling a

property is always a better.

The proceeds you gain from the sales can help lessen your debt and enable you to pay off anything you still owe. More so, you should remember to pay off the liens placed by the creditors and use anything that is left to aid you in paying your other debts. However, before taking this step, make sure that you already came up with an alternative for your housing or transportation needs.

Another way, which can help you pay off your debts, is to cut your expenses. Not only will this eventually aid you in the payment but also in negotiating with your creditors. Try to shrink the cost of your food by clipping coupons, purchasing generic brands, buying when there is a sale or shopping at outlets with discounts.

Yet, if you cannot seem to cut your expenses, you can always borrow money from a tax-deferred account. Tax-deferred retirement account, like IRA or 401(k), can help pay off debts by withdrawing money from them before retirement. However, since you may need to pay a penalty or taxes, this should only serve as your last resort.

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Nonprofit Debt Consolidation

Nonprofit Debt Consolidation Loans

There are many nonprofit debt consolidation loans available and many people choose this type of loan above others. If you have a lot of small bills that you are paying off every month, a debt consolidation loan could be the answer. You take out one loan that pays off all of your other debts, so you only have one repayment to make each month. It is much easier to budget and to remember the payments. Often it can work out cheaper too.

Not for profit loans are available from credit unions. These are co-operative associations owned by all of their members. This is different from other financial institutions such as banks which are owned by shareholders.

The first place that most people try for a loan would be a bank or finance company that you already do business with. If you have had a checking or savings account with a bank for a number of years, they are likely to feel better about lending to you because they can look back and see exactly what has been happening in your account.

However, credit unions can be a better option because they can often offer you more choices. They work through a different set of laws and regulations than those applying to banks, and they also have a different approach. You are more likely to get personal advice that will consider all aspects of your financial situation from a credit union. The interest rate is often lower too.

In a credit union, some members save and put their money into the credit union. Other members need to borrow and they take money out. The interest that they repay (after administration costs) goes to the members who have saving accounts, as the interest on their savings.

In the USA, credit unions are regulated by the Credit Union National Association, or CUNA. Credit unions have a ‘field of association’ which is the definition of people that they will lend to. They are not open to everyone. They might only take members from a certain geographical area, church, school or employer. In order to join a credit union so that you can save or borrow with them, you need to be in the ‘field of association’ for that CU. You can search CUNA’s database to locate a credit union: http://www.creditunion.coop/cu_locator/index.html

When you find a credit union that will accept you, you also need to know if they offer debt consolidation loans. Then get a quote.

It is quite simple to figure out whether the loan will make you better off financially. One way is to look at the interest rate and compare it to the interest rates of your various small debts. If it is lower than most of the other balances that you owe, it will probably be a good deal for you. Or you can make an application or ask for a quote. Then check that the monthly payment that they quote you is less than the total of all the payments you are making right now.

Usually, the loans offered by credit unions have more favorable terms than a bank loan. Most people who are eligible would recommend nonprofit debt consolidation loans over loans from other financial institutions.

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