Thursday, June 28, 2012

Debt and Credit Card Management Tips

Credit card debt can put your financial health at risk. In order to manage your debt and your credit card use, you should gather all the pertinent information that you need. It is also helpful if you know all the options open to you. This way, you can make knowledgeable decisions and get relieved from credit card debt eventually.

If you are struggling with credit card debt, one of the things that can make it really difficult for you to make payments is the interest. When you carry a balance, you have to pay for high interest rates. This is also true for those who only pay the minimum payment. Fortunately, getting out of debt is possible. All you have to do is to be a responsible credit cardholder.

Here are some tips that might help you get rid of debt:

Reduce Your Debt

If you are in debt, it makes sense to stop any further use of your cards. However, it is not recommended that you close your accounts abruptly. Doing so will have a negative impact on your score. Instead of helping you out, it may only ruin your financial capacity even more. The best thing to do is to practice self-control. Don't go into more debt unless you have already made payments on your existing dues. This way, you will be able to slowly solve your debt problem.

Have a Budget

Having a budget and sticking strictly to it is a good means of reducing debt. Create your financial plan and stick to it as much as possible. List all the amounts you owe as well as other fees, such as interest rates, annual fees, minimum payments, credit limits, and many other fees associated with your card. Prioritize bills that have the highest interest rates then decide how much you can readily pay off each month. If you can, strive to pay off the full amount so that you will no longer incur interest rates. If not, make a payment that is higher than the monthly minimum payment. Once you are done making a full payment with that particular account, you can then go on to the next one.

The Waterfall Attack

List of all your debt and arrange them from highest to lowest. Start paying with the highest amount and the one with the highest interest rate. Focus paying on that until such time that you have made a full payment. Once this is done, you can then move on to the next on your list. Getting rid of debt through this process may take several years to accomplish but you will be able to reap its benefits if you are able to stick to your plans.

The Snowball Method

An alternative to the waterfall method is the snowballing your payments. Instead of paying off the card with the highest rate first, you will pay first the debt with the smallest balance instead. List your debts in ascending order in terms of balances. The trick here is to pay only the minimum on all your other debts except for the one with the smallest balance, which you will have to pay in full if you can. The beauty of this method is that it not only helps you eliminate debt in the long run; it motivates you to make more payments as well. Since you are paying off the debt that has the lowest balance, you can quickly witness your progress and this will encourage you to pay all of your debt.

Seek Professional Help

Credit card debt counseling is valuable especially for those with really huge debts to pay. The problem though is that this type of service is not always affordable. Nevertheless, you can find free debt counseling from many financial organizations. With the assistance of an expert credit analyst, you will know which debt release solution is the best for your situation.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

6 Credit Card Services You Should Evade

Supplementary services on credit cards may sound appealing and even logical at times, but are they really worth having from financial standpoint?

Here are the six services that you should evade on your card.

Identity Theft Coverage

This service on your card is to prevent fraudulent charges after the card is stolen or used without your permission. It seems very attractive. However, this is not complimentary at all. As per the terms associated with the service, if the card is stolen, the cardholder has to pay maximum liability for fraudulent charges. This may be anything as per the charges norms concerned.

If you can use your card cautiously, you can avoid this service.

Missed Payment Insurance

This facility allows the issuer to put your credit card payments on hold for up to two years, if you lost your job or ran out of money. You will be charged for the outstanding balance on your card. However, this does not make any sense why you should take this service.

For example, are you sure if you ever be unemployed in future? Second thing, it is folly to believe you will not continue making payment for two years in future. Carrying outstanding balance never makes a good sense. Even your modest saving can help you pay off your balance. Hence, it is unwise and waste of money to have this service.

Credit Score Tracking

If you subscribe this service from your bank, you will be able to have 24/7 access to your credit score. This will surely help you stay updated with your credit score status. However, it is futile and waste of money. If you are getting monthly billing statement from the bank, you can know about your liabilities. Second thing, credit bureaus offer cost free access to know about credit scores. Apparently, you do not need to subscribe "credit score tracking" service when you can manage your needs with these cost free services.

Debt Consolidation

This service allows you reduce your monthly payment on your plastic money. However, you may end up accumulating more debts in due course of time. Thus, it would liable you pay hefty amounts plus charges to your bank. Debt consolidation may lower your monthly payment, it is unwise considering the consequence.

Credit Score Repair

Sometimes, credit card companies take advantage of cardholder's ignorance. This service exemplifies this well. It means, your bank will help you repair your credit score.

However, do not take this service as you can repair your credit score yourself. Just continue repaying outstanding balance on time to your bank and it will fix your credit score automatically.

Balance Transfer

This facility allows you transfer existing debt of one credit card to another one. However, the balance transfer process usually takes 7 to 10 working days. What if you miss the due date by the time your balance transfer is complete?

Therefore, if you can pay your outstanding balance in full before the teaser period expires, then do not take balance transfer service.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Golden Tips You Should Know About Credit Repair

Has your credit situation gotten to the point where it gives you many sleepless nights? The following golden tips are a helpful credit repair guide that will change your negative situation into a positive one.

Before you decide on a credit counseling agency, you should find out more about them. In spite the fact that some can be quite legitimate, others have motives that are less than kind. Even worst, some are just people trying to scam you. Consumers should always check to see if a credit counselor is reputable and trustworthy before deciding to use them.

The first step to maintaining or improving your credit score is to ensure that your bills are always paid on or before the due date. Setting up payment reminders is an effective way that can help you avoid missing a payment. There are indeed a lot of different ways to remind yourself to pay your bills. You can set up email reminders through your online banking or have text messages sent to you at specific time.

Avoid paying off high interest rates so that you do not have to pay too much. Some companies that charge high interest rates are running the risk of having those rates challenged by consumers. However, you signed a contract agreeing to pay off interests. If you want to sue creditors, you need to state your claim that the interest rates are too high.

If ever someone promises you to improve your score by changing your factual history, this is most likely a scam. The accurate negative information about your credit will stick around for seven years though it really seems unfair. If you can spot any error about the information, you should get it corrected as soon as possible..

If you are able to successfully negotiate a payment schedule for a debt, it is utmost important to request a copy of the agreement in writing. This is a great way to have documentation of the agreement if the creditor changes their mind or the company ownership gets changed. Once the debt is fully paid, you must get a statement verifying this from the creditor and send it to each of the major credit bureaus.

Also, make sure that you are never using more than 50% of your credit card's limit. Should you have a balance that is more than 50 percent, your credit score will drop. If you can afford, pay the balances on your cards; if not, do your best to pay as much as possible each month.

Your interest rate will be lower if your credit score looks good. By lowering your monthly payments, you will be able to reduce your debt more quickly. Getting better interest rates leads to an easily maintainable good credit score.

If your credit rating is too low to open up a regular credit card account, there are secured credit cards available. These types of credit cards normally require a good faith deposit to open a new account. Using this new credit card in a responsible manner will help to improve your good credit rating.

If you think it is hard to resist the temptation of credit, ask your creditors to lower your spending limits. However, you should do this when you are able to remain with a low balance, however. Do not lower the credit limit to the point where your current balance almost reaches the maximum.

When speaking with debt collectors, you should be honest about your current financial situation. They will be more apt to work with you and agree with you proposal if you are forthcoming with your current financial information. State clearly how much you are able to pay, and when you can pay it. Remember that they are usually open to negotiation.

From the above tips, you can see that your credit report does not need to be the cause of stress. Credit repair is possible and you do have the ability to fix your financial situation. You can greatly improve your credit record if you adhere to the tips within this article.