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credit card debt relief

5 Tips for Credit Card Debt Relief

Debt is a monster that has attacked the lives, mental health, and relationships of millions of Americans.

It can lead to depression, a sense of failure, and overall unhappiness.

The good news is that every year, a large number of Americans successfully pay off their debts and live the coveted debt-free lifestyle.

Here are five tips on how to pay off your debt.

Tip #1: Enroll in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University

One of the wisest steps you can take towards becoming debt-free is to find professional help. Financial Peace University is one of the most reputable programs for debt relief. It was created by financial guru Dave Ramsey.

He has learned from his financial mistakes, as he was a millionaire in his twenties, only to lose it all by the time he was thirty. He has developed an excellent program with “baby steps” to help couples and singles become debt-free.

Chances are, there is a Financial Peace University class near you. It is a thirteen-week class where you will watch videos from Dave Ramsey, and then discuss them in a small group.

If you visit the Financial Peace University website here, you can type in your zip code to find classes in your area.

If there is no one near where you live (although I recommend even driving up to an hour for the class), or it doesn’t’ fit in your schedule, you can take Dave Ramsey’s classes online. Visit here to learn more.

Tip #2: Search for opportunities for additional income.

In order to pay off the debt, you need to have the money to do so. It might be wise to look for a temporary second job if you can fit it in your schedule.

Some places will need extra help around the holidays, or you can look at some opportunities such as a newspaper route, delivering pizza in the evenings, or a fireworks stand in the summer.

Obviously, that’s not feasible for everyone. And. of course, the job market in some areas might be poor. You can consider getting a work-at-home job.

If you think you’d like to work from home, read “Legitimate and Scam-Free Work at Home Jobs” and “Legitimate Work-at-Home Customer Service Jobs.” You might also check out Fantastic Home Based Jobs and Business Ideas.”

Additionally, I recommend reading “Best Forums, Message Boards, and Online Support Groups for Work at Home Moms” and “More Forums for Work-at-Home Moms.”

Tip #3: Make Changes to Your Budget.

It’s time to examine your budget and see what expenses you can eliminate and put towards the debt. For example, it’s to rethink those manicures, lattes, and new clothes.

Perhaps you might need to cut your grocery bill and buying generic and using coupons. Don’t have time to clip coupons or don’t want to buy a newspaper?

Read “Buy Coupons Online: Save Money, Time and Cut Your Grocery Bill” for places to buy coupons from.

Tip #4: Find Support Online

Another helpful task is to find encouragement online. There are thousands of other people in your situation, and you can find support from them at your computer.

Read “Debt Support Groups: Find Credit Card Debt Support Online” for some links.

Tip #5: Live Frugally

In order to destroy the debt, you might have to make some significant changes to your lifestyle. You might have to become more frugal and live within your means.

For tips on living a frugal lifestyle, you might join online frugal living message boards. Read “Frugal Living Message Boards and Forums” for helpful links.

These are just five tips for paying off debt. Congratulations on your decision. Good luck as you tackle the debt!

bankruptcy

Debt Relief: is Bankruptcy the Best Option?

Nearly everyone is seeking debt relief. Financial experts claim 17% Americans owe more than $10,000 in credit card debts alone.

Add in interest rates and late penalties and before long consumers owe nearly triple the amount borrowed.

Many consumers are turning to debt relief companies in an attempt to regain control of their finances.

Debt settlers can negotiate with creditors to reduce outstanding balances, lower interest rates, and eliminate late penalties.

Consumers who enlist the services of debt relief companies can oftentimes get out of debt in a matter of months instead of years.

scammerWhile there are plenty of legitimate debt settlement companies, there are also many scammers.

If you venture down this path make certain to engage in due diligence.

Take time to conduct research online or contact the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General’s Office.

Realize, you will be providing your most intimate financial details. Find out everything you can about the debt relief company before turning over your personal information. Otherwise, you could end up with the bigger problem of identity theft.

People facing foreclosure oftentimes file bankruptcy to obtain debt relief. Although filing bankruptcy can temporarily halt foreclosure proceedings, it may not offer a permanent solution.

In 2005, Congress enacted new bankruptcy laws which make filing bankruptcy considerably more challenging.

In the past, debtors filed chapter 7 in order to have outstanding debts discharged. Although debtors were required to liquidate non-exempt assets, they obtained a clean financial slate. The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act changed that.

Today, debtors are required to repay a portion of their debts through a chapter 13 payments. Debtors must submit to the ‘mean’s test; a financial tool used to determine the percentage of debt to be repaid. A repayment plan is submitted to the court for approval. The bankruptcy judge can approve, deny, or request a modification of the plan.

The problem with chapter 13 repayment plans is they require debtors to contribute a large percentage of disposable income toward repayment of debt. Payments are sent to the bankruptcy Trustee who distributes payment to creditors. If debtors are unable to adhere to the repayment plan, creditors can petition the court seeking dismissal.

bankruptcy judgeA bankruptcy judge will review the case and either modify the repayment plan; allow debtors to file chapter 7; or dismiss the petition.

When bankruptcy is dismissed, debtors lose all protection from the court, and creditors can commence with collection action.

Bankruptcy should be the last resort for obtaining debt relief. Options exist that can achieve the same results while lessening the impact on your credit.

Credit counseling is one such option. The Department of Justice established the U.S. Trustee Program to educate consumers about bankruptcy. The website provides a list of approved credit counseling agencies.

Debt settlement, debt consolidation, and budgeting are also effective ways to regain control of your finances.

Debt relief is an obtainable goal. Regardless of the amount of debt you owe, there is always a solution. Take time to become educated about money management, budgeting, and debt reduction. Start by conducting research via the Internet or visit your local library.

Finally, determine which debt relief program is suited for you. Locate the resource that can help you achieve your goals and put your financial plan in action. Always keep in mind there is nothing better than financial freedom!

debt relief programs

Regaining Financial Freedom

Have you been finding yourself constantly receiving maddening harassment calls from hostile creditors or collection agencies, demanding that you make a payment on the debts you owe?

Do you feel like you’re drowning in so many monthly payments, interest, and late charges, that you’ll never be able to catch up?

Well, if your debt has become more than you can handle, it may be time to look into a debt management program.

Debt relief programs are designed for people who can no longer afford their minimum monthly payments and are on the brink of bankruptcy. A program like this will help you by taking all of your debt and consolidating it into a single payment that is more affordable for you.

Normally, creditors are the ones who handle these matters, which in the end, can end up being a more problematic situation for you. The banks that hold the credit cards in question are the ones to decide the rate and payoff amount that you will be required to pay.

Unfortunately, you will usually have no say in this agreement and must abide by their terms and make every payment on time. If you can’t manage this new monthly payment, you’ll usually be dropped from the program.

That’s where a company that specializes in debt settlements comes in handy. You can find a variety of companies like these that are there to assist you and act as a sort of mediator between you and the creditor.

These companies will negotiate to get you a better term and interest rate than you would be able to get on your own. Sometimes they can even make sure that you stop receiving all those awful harassment calls while you are working on getting your debt paid.

Another aspect of debt management is what’s called Credit Counseling.

credit counselorSometimes, you will need to meet with a Certified Credit Counselor, who will work closely with you to provide possible solutions to your debt relief by helping you to develop a spending plan that includes your living expenses and payments to your creditors.

The other services they usually provide include money, credit, debt, and bankruptcy education.

If you need some information about what you can do and where you can find help, the Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS) and The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) will help you with these issues. You can reach them at 1-800-388-2227 or on their website.

Debt Management programs help thousands of people every year get out of debt and regain financial freedom. Therefore, if you’re at the point where you feel like no matter what you do, you’ll never be able to catch up-then give a debt management program a try.