Freedom From Debt

Freedom From DebtChoosing the best time to consolidate debts depends on many factors. Although debt consolidation companies are very effective, many consumers are hesitant to receive help for managing their debts. Besides, if using a debt management service, some creditors will report third party assistance on your credit report. If this information is included on your reports, other lenders may consider you a risk.

Knowing When to Consolidate

Although using a bill consolidation company may be slightly damaging to your credit score, the long-term effects of having a negative credit rating are worse. Thus, if your debts are getting out of control, a debt consolidation may be a way to avoid bad credit. Even if your credit score has already declined, a debt consolidation company can help raise credit rating. If contemplating a debt consolidation, look for three signs.

Finance Charges and Late Fees Exceed Credit Limit

Keeping credit cards at the maximum limit can become a serious problem very quickly. A high balance credit card equals a higher monthly payment. When unable to pay the minimum, some consumers stop paying creditors altogether. However, just because the account is maxed-out does not mean that creditors will no longer charge fees.

To avoid a snowballing effect, continue making credit card payments, and never go over your limit. By exceeding a credit limit, additional fees are applied. In turn, you are stuck paying late fees, finance fees, and over-the-limit fees.

Harassing Phone Call from Creditors

If you do not submit regular monthly payments to creditors, expect several phone calls throughout the day. Unfortunately, creditors have a right to call homes when attempting to collect a debt. Thus, registering with the national "do not call registry" will not stop harassing phone calls.

If creditors begin to call, the only way to stop the phone from ringing is to setup a payment arrangement. However, if payment is not received by the arranged date, the creditor calls will continue.

Unable to Afford the Minimum Payments

Understandably, the majority of people want to handle their debts themselves. However, if you have too much credit card debts, it may become difficult to afford the minimum monthly payments. In this case, a debt consolidation and bill company is necessary. Because these agencies negotiate lower interest rates, monthly payments become more affordable.

Choosing the Best Bill Consolidation Company

Stated simply, bill consolidation is getting loan to pay for other loans so that the borrower is left with only one loan to finance. Debt consolidation is a step taken by borrowers for the advantages it may allow like lowered interest rates and focusing his payment to a single loan.

This often takes placing a property as collateral. When collateral is guaranteed the interest gets lower because the risk to the lending company is decreased. When the borrower fails to meet his obligations, the lending company forecloses the property as payment for the debt.

People with multiple credit cards often resort to debt consolidation. Carrying multiple credit cards is almost surefire formula to carrying high interest rates. Credit cards are one type of an unsecured loan. As such, credit cards carry high interest rates and people with multiple credit cards are often tempted to spend more than they earn.

One good way of solving this is through debt consolidation. Secured loans from the bank or a lending company (one that is covered by collateral) have less interest rates than the unsecured loans for credit cards. Paying then all his credit cards from a secured loan from the bank enables the borrower of saving from the lowered interest rate. As mentioned, this is a good way of doing it, if the habit of spending more than what one earns is not changed. The process starts again and the interest rates will soon start to climb, sometimes, worse than it was resulting to foreclosure of properties.

There are many ways to consolidate debt. There are for example the student’s consolidation loans and the home finance debt consolidation. But no matter how it is termed, debt consolidation is little more like transferring one unsecured loan to another unsecured loan. The debt is still there and most people thought that by consolidating the loan, something has already been done. Again, nothing has been done if the habit that started it all is not resolved.

A better way to real freedom from debt is, when the debt consolidation has been done and is working, have a plan and stick to it. One of the generic approaches to that are the obvious:

Do not spend on that one single credit card the way you were spending when you have many. This seems to be very obvious and so people who have consolidated their loans starts out fine. After a while, the temptation to spend on loans starts. One of the many reason is that the interests are lowered, the other one is by habit. So once the debt consolidation is on, have the plan not to spend on the things that you can live without and stick to it.

Then, have a plan to pay for the loan that was secured with collateral. About 80% of the time, people who consolidated their loans dos not have a plan to assure the payment for the loan with an extra job and other ways of generating extra income. When emergencies strikes, the most convenient way is again to resort to additional lending and the debt grows back over time, higher interests are charged and the cycle continues.

The best way to get out of debt and gain back that freedom is to consolidate and then have a plan that one can stick to. No amount of loan consolidation will work if the habit that placed one in debt is not avoided.

Your a Financial Plan

Your a Financial PlanHaving a constant plan to get out of debt will help you keep your finances in order.

When you keep your focus on your debt and money situation, you are able to better control it.

Most advisors will tell you that you need to be debt free. Yes, that is the ultimate goal, but for many people, it isn’t exactly reality. There are situations, like buying a home, in which you have to accept debt.

There is good debt and bad debt. Good debt is debt you can afford and bad debt is debt you can’t afford. That’s all there is to it. If you can afford your mortgage, car payment and RV payments, then it is alright. If you can’t, then it isn’t good debt.

When it comes to credit cards, however, they are bad debt, regardless. You will eventually reach a point where you can’t afford them. That is almost guaranteed.

The key is to constantly work to paying off yoru debt. Start with your credit cards and high interest loans. Focus on paying off the cards with the highest interest rates to start with. This will save you money in the long run.

Once you have all of your credit cards and personal loans paid off, start working towards your autos and student loans. I like to focus on what has the lowest balance to pay off first. This helps you knock things off rather quickly -- adding to your gratification. If everything is about equal in balance and interest rate, I pick the highest monthly payment.

When you pay off a high monthly payment loan, you free up more money to put towards the next debt.

When you have your cars and student loans paid off, the next thing you have is your mortgage. You can be working on your mortgage throughout the process as well. By adding as little as $100 a month to the average mortgage, you can knock several years and thousands of dollars off the mortgage.

That’s the overall game plan. But be aware that it can change.

For example, you may find that you are in a situation in which you must have a new, reliable vehicle. You don’t want to spend your emergency savings. The only debt you have is your mortgage. You are able to afford the monthly payments, yet plan to pay it off as quickly as possible. Then go ahead and finance a reasonably priced vehicle. Transportation is very important for work, school and other obligations.

What you must do is adapt your debt-reduction plan around the new car payment. Although you have added debt, it doesn’t mean that you still can’t work to be debt free.

Financial management is built around the idea that you must be flexible and able to adapt to the situation with smart choices. Too many people believe that there is a right way and a wrong way. That isn’t necessarily true.