10 Small Steps To Carry You Out of Debt

We often think of conquering debt in terms of the big actions that are required to get it under control. However, it is equally important to take small steps to get yourself out of debt. These small steps will not only help you to reduce your debt but will also help you save money in the future so that you don’t get into debt again.

Here are ten small steps that you can take to start getting out of debt:

1. Reduce your grocery spending by $50 per month. There are many, many tricks to reduce what you spend at the grocery store. These tricks are most effective, however, if you have a specific goal in mind. Track your grocery spending and spend $50 less next month than you do this month. Put that $50 towards your debt.

2. Give up one subscription. Select just one monthly payment that you make and give it up. It could be a magazine subscription, a cable TV subscription or a gym membership. Put that money towards paying down your highest interest rate credit card.

3. Spending more than $50 on an item? Look for a discount code or coupon. Of course it’s great to use coupons for everything but the whole coupon clipping process overwhelms many people. Focus on always looking for a deal on high priced items and you’ll have more money to put towards your debt.

4. Read one book about debt reduction. This will inspire you, encourage you and give you some fresh ideas about reducing your debt.

5. Sell five things that you own. Now is the perfect time for spring cleaning and de-cluttering. Identify five items in your house that you can sell. They can be small things, like books and CDs, or large items like furniture. List them for sale immediately and use that money to pay more down on your debt this month.

6. Pick one credit card to pay off and set a target date. Although it’s ideal to have all of your cards organized and a payment plan for everything, it can feel like a lot of work to people who carry multiple balances. Find the card with the highest interest rate and figure out a reasonable target date for paying off that card. Set your bank account to automatically make the required monthly payment to reach that target date.

7. Make one money-saving investment. For example, invest in a home energy audit to identify how to make your home more energy-efficient (and therefore more cost-efficient). Alternatively, invest in a good tune-up for your car so that it runs more efficiently and wastes less of that expensive gas you buy for it! This investment will be worth it down the line.

8. Give up one expense for one month. What do you waste money on? Do you smoke or go out to dinner frequently or take cabs when you could walk? Identify just one expense and give it up for just one month. See how much you save!

9. Find a money role model in your circle of friends. We all need to have people that we look to because they are smart with money. The easiest way to find a mentor is to find someone that you already know and can talk about money with. Brainstorm a list of your friends and acquaintances and figure out who your money role model is. Ask him or her one question about how they handle debt.

10. Repeat this phrase in the mirror every day : I can be happy saving money. Many people feel like saving money is a chore. It’s not. It can be a fun, creative way to live life. What is truly a chore is living with debt!

This is a guest post by Kathryn Vercillo. She writes about saving money for Discount Coder blog.
Read more

How to Finance Your Home Renovation

Guest post by : - Andrew

Through time, houses normally deteriorate. Renovation may not be an option but a necessity especially because you need to maintain the quality of your life as you live in it. You may also need to renovate if you intend to boost the property’s resale value. However, renovating your home may be costly.

Fortunately, there are now many financing options that are available. Your choice of the right option could depend on several factors. Those include the amount you need, your current home equity, the timeline, amortised payments, and your comfort level for repayment.

Before you get into renovation discussions with contractors, you should first obtain a pre-approval from a lender. This way, you would determine how much you could possibly spend for the project. Give your contractor a budget that is about 10% less than how much you have been approved for so you could still have money to spend for inevitable and additional costs. Here are the financing options to look at.

Home equity loan

In this credit facility, you would borrow an amount, which is secured against the property. The repayments would be amortised over a few years. Monthly payments and interest rates are usually fixed throughout the loan term.

You may opt to make additional payments on top of your conventional first mortgage. The home equity loan may carry a higher rate than a mortgage refinance. On the upside, closing costs could be lower. This is an alternative to refinancing.

Mortgage refinance

If you have an ongoing home loan, a refinance could be one way to get another loan using the same property as collateral. When you refinance a home loan, you could repay the existing mortgage in full (what is left) and use the excess amount to pay for your home renovation.

Mortgage refinance is like extending your current mortgage just so you could get an amount you need for the renovation. You could get a loan with the same or lower interest rate/monthly repayment. The loan term could be lengthened.

Line of credit

A line of credit on your home equity could be an ideal finance option for home renovation. It is good if you intend to finance the project in stages. You may obtain a loan approval for a specified maximum amount. You would withdraw only the amount you need, only when needed. Along the way, if there are additional expenses for the renovation, you could still withdraw some amount until you have fully used the amount allotted to you.

You may fully use up the loan amount or not. The good thing about this product is that you get to pay interest only for the amount you have withdrawn. This option would give you more freedom in managing the loan amount and the renovation expenses.

Personal loans

If the renovation would not cost a lot, you may cover it through a personal loan. Interest rates on personal loans could be lower compared to rates of refinancing but higher compared to home loans. But such loans are still more practical than using credit cards. The loans could be secured or unsecured and are usually obtained much faster. So which financing option is best for your home renovation project?
Read more

Reclaim Your Finance : Things You Should Do to Stay in Control

When your finances are controlling your life, you will be unable to build the life that you want for yourself, because you will be governed by debts, interest rates and due (and overdue) dates. So instead of feeling helpless when it comes to your finances you need to know that you can reclaim control, and you can maintain control, so that you can direct your life and what you want, with your money following your orders.

How to Reclaim Your Finances

Before you can maintain control over your financial situation, you need to get it back to where it needs to be. For whatever reason you may be looking at mounting debts, bills over due and maybe even a mortgage in default. Therefore, before you can start maintaining good financial behaviours you need to first get rid of the evidence of your bad past financial behaviours. You can do this with the following steps.

1 – Know your credit report

Once you decide you need to regain control of your finances, the time for excuses and ignorance is over. This means you need to know exactly what is going on with your money situation and the best way to do this is to get a copy of your credit report. Your credit report is how the financial industry views you, and whenever you get a loan, apply for a credit card, or any other sort of finance, your credit report will be scrutinized.

Therefore, it is important for you to know the state of your finances because once you know the problems which are marked on your credit report, you can start working to fix them. You will also be able to identify if there are any errors or fraudulent entries on your credit report so you can be sure you haven’t been the victim of identity theft. When a bad report is made on your credit report that is a mistake, you can apply to have it removed from your record.

2 – Become debt free

This can sound like an insurmountable task if your finances are currently the ones in control, however, before you can start implementing good financial behaviours, you need to be sure that your mistakes from the past have been rectified. When you become debt free you will be able to live within your means and when you spend less than you earn you can save that extra amount at the end of each month, or treat yourself as reward for your new good habits.

3 – Change your attitude

Before you can reclaim control over your finances you need to reclaim control over your attitude towards money. You need to acknowledge that there is a problem and work to fix it, but that’s not all you have to shift in your mind. You need to change your perception of yourself and your life, to make it your goal to live within your means. Instead of lusting after a new pair of shoes and finally putting them on credit, think about putting them on lay buy instead and paying them off gradually, or saving up for things you want to buy.

How to Maintain Control of Your Finances

Being in control of your finances requires constant maintenance because it is easy to slip back into bad behaviours – that is why there are so many people just like you, who want to manage their finances better. To maintain control of your finances, you need to look at the following steps.

1 – Budget

This means creating a budget, sticking to a budget and maintaining a budget. It is not enough to do just one of these things, but you instead need to be committed to all three parts of new, controlled budget.

First, create a detailed budget of all of your income and every single outgoing expense from your car park costs to your mortgage and everything in between. Hopefully there will be some income left over after all of the expenses, and if there’s not, you need to look at where you can cut down – eating out less often, fewer new suits or making your own coffee at home before heading to work. While you want to cut down your budget so you spend less than you earn, make sure you are cutting in places which are maintainable, because longevity is the key to control.

Secondly make your budget easily accessible by having it on your phone, in your diary or on your computer. This will help you stick to your budget because you’ll be able to see at any point how much money you’ve spent, how much more is outgoing this week, and whether you can afford dinner and drinks out with the girls, or whether it needs to be a girls’ night in.

Finally, maintain your budget by entering your day to day spending as it happens. This will also help you remain in control because you’ll pick up on all of those incidental expenses you may have forgotten to enter in the beginning, and you’ll find new ways to cut back on your spending.

2 – Stay organised

Staying in control of your finances can be as simple as staying organised. When you know which bills are due when and how much money is in your accounts at any one time, then you can remain in control and avoid heading for debt and bad finances again. When you look at late fees and interest charges which can accumulate on bills and credit cards if you don’t pay them on time, you will want to find the note book, app or spreadsheet which works to keep your finances in order.

3 – Stop overspending

Staying in control takes creativity and practice because you often need to find ways you can save money, to ensure there is money left over at the end of the month. Therefore, consider whether you could cut back on incidental spending such as :
  • Buying your lunch at work, when you can make your own lunch at home.
  • Buying name brand groceries, when you can buy the cheaper store brands.
  • Scrounging for change to buy coffee or chocolates, when you could put your change in a jar at the end of each day and save it.
  • Expensive phone plans, when you could get a prepaid card and spend only what you can afford.
  • Credit card fees, when you can pay cash and save on surcharges and even negotiate discounts..
Read more

Rise in students credit card debt

Now a days the ratio of credit card debts in students is increasing day by day as every students use 3- 4 credit cards for their minimal needs. According to a survey it has been seen that most of students are facing finance changes as they are not able to pay monthly payments on time. The median amount for credit card debts has increased to 3 times among college students in the last 5 years. As per Sallie Mae's survey the credit card debts among the students has increased from 373 USD to 939 USD in present days.

One of the most important reason in this rise in credit card debt among students is because credit cards are easily available now a days. The students using credit cards for their each and every needs.
A survey in 2007 reveals the fact that young consumers aged between 18-24 pay around USD 3 for every USD 1 in a debit card overdraft.

However its not true that credit cards are evil but the only thing which you need to understand is to proper use of it. Credit is helpful is so many ways like you can easily book your flight by this , you can pay your all types of bills online .It will help you in case of emergency. The thing which you need to do is to make your credit history strong so that in future it will be very easy for to take any kind if loans.

There are some steps which will help you to avoid credit card debts in your college life : -

1. Always avoid credit cards for your day to day purchases

2. You have to read the manual and guidelines for using credit card before the use because it will help you to know that how much you will have to pay for cash advances and late payments.

3. Always you need to be careful about tempting low interest rates, which don’t last long.

4 Above these all things , the main point is to payoff your bill in a monthly bases . It will be better for you to not use credit cards if you not financially fit to payoff your monthly payments.
Read more

Does debt settlement affect your credit score ?

Debt settlement is the process by which you pay less than the amount you actually owe to the creditors, and they agree to accept and settle the debt with this payment. It can be negotiated if you are lagging behind the payments. 

We opt for debt settlement when we try to qualify for certain loans that require good credit report with no outstanding debt. The debt settlement companies negotiate a reduced payment to the credit card company on behalf of the debtor.

How debt settlement is beneficial to your credit score : -

1. Rise in credit score : Settle your debt and request your creditor to delete your past credit record and your credit report would appear as settled. After a debt settlement if you receive a statement stating paid it is best for your account listing. This listing does not have any negative or positive impact on your credit report or score. There will be a raise in the credit score on the deletion of the account.

2. Myth regarding debt settlement : There often a misconception that a debt settlement would not modify or increase the credit score. While settling your debt try to negotiate with the credit rating as that would have a positive impact on your credit score.

3. Debt relief improves credit score : Debt settlement is a debt relief option it's goal is to improve the credit score in the long run and that would enable the debtor to recreate a positive credit history once they are over with the program.

4. A good debt settlement company can be your savior : A debtor who has graduated from a reliable settlement company has innumerable opportunity to improve its credit score. As he is free from the burden of debt he can re-establish a positive credit line as you can highlight the fact that you owe zero balance to the creditors.

Opting for good financial adviser can help to pull you back on debt free track. The debt settlement initially might seem to be harmful but in long run it helps to improve your credit score as you pay off your debt. You even get an opportunity save a lot of money as the debtor pays much less than what he owes to the creditor.
Read more

5 important debt collection laws you must know

If you have huge debt and you are not able to pay it then your creditors will pass on your accounts details to the  debt collection agencies to harass you and to collect the money from you. The main purpose of these debt collection agencies is to collect the unpaid debt from the persons who are not paying it and for the the bank give them commision on the payments.

The debt collection agencies will try their best to collect money from you and for this they will use lot of loopholes  because they know the fact that most of the people don't know about these debt collection laws. So if you will get to know about these laws then they will not be able to go beyond the law .

Important debt collection laws : -

1. Harassment : Debt collection agencies are not authorize to harass persons when they are collecting  debts and if they do so you can take legal action on them. They are also not allowed for any kind of noise or violence activity and they can't threaten to file legal case against you or confiscate your home.

2. Calling at inappropriate time : They are not allowed to call you at inappropriate time . According to the law the debt collectors are bound to call you in between 8. a.m to 9.00 p.m . Must must need to keep this in mind because its most important collection law.

3. False claims : Debt collection are not authorize to do false claims on you regarding you unpaid debt. They are not authorized to say that " you have done an criminal offence and they can take legal action against you " . They can't  misguide you by represent themselfves as a government employee.

4. Divulge information : The debt collection agency is not authorize you share your personal information to any other third party apart from your lawyer , gurdian , spouse etc

5. Debt validation letter : After initial communication of 5 days the collector ought to send you debt validation letter . In the validation letter they have to mention the total debt amount of yours and the name of your creditor.

If you collectors violate these laws then you can file case against them and if you win the case , the debt collection agency will need to pay you the damages or the judge may also order them to pay you an amount more then your damages .
Read more

Simple steps to avoid Bankruptcy

There are so many people who are struggling with financial times and finally they choose bankruptcy to solve their problems. It can give you relief from your financial hardship in some cases but in most of the cases its not the best option to choose.

Here are some steps which may guide you to avoid bankruptcy : -

1. Filling bankruptcy is not always save you from your debt . It does't matter whatever chapter you choose but still you have to pay some of your previous debts.

2. If you choose bankruptcy it will stick to you for so many years and in future it will be very hard for you to take a loan like mortgage , payday etc. and as well to get a credit card. It should not be treated as a simple issue but it is a serious issue for your future. So you need to avoid it if you can.

3. First of all you need to determine yourself before filling for bankruptcy that means if you have a debt or money problem due to some emotional or mental issue it will be sorted out soon after you file bankruptcy.

4. There is a one way which can help you is “ credit counseling “ . If you are not a good planner or if you can't control your budget expenses. This will guide you to to maintain your finances and get out of the mess to avoid bankruptcy.

5. Another place where you can get help is your bank which maintain accounts as well your loans. You need to explain your financial condition to them and you also need to make them understand that you can payoff your dues without bankruptcy.

6. One more helpful option for you to avoid bankruptcy to take help of debt settlement program because in this program your creditors will atleast get the 50 % amount your debt but if you will file bankruptcy they will not get anything and it is helpful for youalso because you can give payments according to financial condition and in a shore run you will be debt free without filing for bankruptcy.
Read more

Global Financial Instability at Its Peak

Guest post by : Sirangi Kalpana

The term global finance has become a very difficult term to be understood from a larger perspective. The recent recession has left millions of people jobless and the memories are still fresh for the people those who received the pink slip. There were lots of impacts and people even lost their lives due to the financial meltdown. Apart from the job loss, the real estate bubble left millions of house owners with absolutely no value for their properties and they saw a fall of about 60% of the prices in just a span of one year. It will take more than 5 to 6 years to regain the value and the crisis had spread around the globe to leave the same amount of impact.

Thanks to the immediate actions and recovery plans that helped the global countries to bounce back sooner than expected. It was the developing countries who had a strong growth in the post recession period. The developed nations struggled a lot to bounce back and most of these countries even had negative inflation rates. The central banks of every government had spend trillions of dollars to improve the money supply in the market. Global leaders like USA, Canada, France and other European nations are on their way to the economic revival. Even a 3% GDP growth is said to be superior under the current scenario.

Experts say that the worst is not over. The ongoing Middle East crisis has again triggered enormous amount of problems throughout the globe. These countries are rich in oil resources and remain as the largest crude oil exporters to the rest of the world. The ongoing crisis has halted the production of crude oil because of which the oil trades at 30 month high. This problem cannot be isolated and it will result in many other problems. For example, the price hike in this oil barrel will be impacted in the prices of the petroleum products. This will in turn affect the prices of essential commodities around the globe. This will even affect the basic prices of essential food commodities.

The food prices around the globe have remained high in the past 2 years. This has resulted in pushing more number of people below the poverty line and the number of malnourished children is on the rise. There are many families in Africa and Asia who still struggle to earn $1 per day. These people are deprived of food which ultimately results in starvation. People lose their patience and start fighting against the governments which will result in worst situations. The food inflation has remain in the double digits and the prices of commodities have seen a 15% rise in the past 5 months according to a UN report. The recent developments in the industrial and financial sectors increase the gap between the rich and the poor. The line of demarcation seems to be widening and people are unable to survive against the hard hitting price rise.

Sirangi Kalpana is a personalized coffee cups expert and write a lot about cheap coffee mugs, promotional flashlights, custom flash drives and other promotional products.
Read more