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What is Credit Card Debt Consolidation?

Credit card debt consolidation is a tool that you may be able to use to help you get out of credit card debt. If you find that you have multiple lines of credit open and you are required to make a payment on each line of credit every month, it can be hard to successfully manage your debt. Managing your debt when you only have to make one payment is a lot easier. So, as you shop for a consolidation program it is important that you keep these tips in mind.

First, you have to make sure that your debt consolidation program is a program that you use but you will also want to institute healthy spending habits. It is important that you are managing your money well and that you realize that a consolidation program is not a cure all. By managing your money well and consolidating your debt, you can have an easier time paying off any debt that you may have accrued.

Second, while you are looking through consolidation services it is important to understand exactly what they are going to provide for you and exactly what you are going to get from them. Often times, debt consolidation companies will charge a pretty penny for their services and they end up doing something that you can do on your own. You want to understand exactly how much you are going to be paying those that are helping you with your debt consolidation program. Look into the interest you will pay, the up-front charges you will pay and the monthly charges that you will pay so you can be sure that you are aware of your total cost. Then, start doing some research about any consolidation that you can do on your own.

Third, it is important that you know how much money you will have to pay to pay off all of your debt. This may sound like an obvious thing to do, but there are many people that do not realize that they can end up paying more when they consolidate their debt. If you are going to have to pay more in interest over the years, it may be better to simply leave your debt the way that it is. If you can consolidate your debt, pay it off quickly and save money then the consolidation process and the fees associated with the consolidation may be well worth it.

Fourth, there are some people that will put their house on the line to ensure that they can consolidate their loan quickly. When you put your house on the line, you will be securing your debt with a very important asset. You do not want to even consider this option if you do not have at least 20 percent equity in your home by the time you are looking to consolidate your debt. It is important that you are not risking your home without doing an extensive amount of research to understand the process.

Fifth, if you are going to use a debt consolidation company you will want to get to know the company well. Do some research about the company and read customer reviews online so you can better understand what kind of company you are going to be working with. It is important that you are working with a company that is rated well and that people have had a good experience with. More than likely, you will find that there are some negative reviews with every company. Rather than looking at just one review, consider the reviews as a whole and look for trends with the reviews that you are reading.

Finally, don’t be afraid to try to consolidate your debt on your own. You may be able to consolidate your debt without having to work with a debt consolidation company. By consolidating your debt on your own, you can save yourself a lot of money and even a lot of time. Don’t be afraid to do the research that you would need to do to in order to learn how to go about consolidating your debt.

Debt consolidation programs can be a great way to get yourself into a healthy financial state again. Don’t rule out the option, but make sure that you do your research ahead of time to ensure that your debt consolidation program is going to be the most beneficial way to attack your debt. Then, you can be sure that you are doing all that you need to do to get yourself out of debt and back on track to a healthy financial position.

How to Cut Back On Impulsive Spending

Many Americans today are struggling to make ends meet. While it may seem like everyone around you has money, the contrary is actually probably true. Lots of people in our country today do not make as much money as they wish they did. Sometimes this can be changed, and sometimes it cannot.

Sometimes people have the opportunity to go back to school and further their education, but sometimes they do not. Many times people’s lives don’t turn out the way they want them to, but they just have to keep trucking along in the best way that they know how.

This principle applies to money as well. People don’t necessarily have as much money as they would like to have, but they just have to deal with it in the best way that they can.

Although a lot of people don’t have as much money as they wish they did, they still manage to find happiness in this life. These are the people who quickly realize that money cannot bring them happiness.
However, money is necessary for life. Houses and cars must be bought, bills must be paid, and clothes must be worn. If money is tight, then how are you supposed to pay for everything you need to pay for?
The answer is simple: learn budgeting tips. There are thousands of different ways that you can save money today so you can have more money to pay for other things.

Fight The Impulse.

One great way to save money is to not buy items impulsively. Although this may seem like a ludicrous idea, it is a real problem for some people.

Some people, when they walk into a store, feel that they must buy something. Whether or not it’s something they need or want makes no difference.

These types of people often become impulsive buyers, and sometimes even hoarders. The negative consequences of such behavior are evident.

Impulsive buying usually leads to excessive spending and credit card debt. People cannot stop buying things, so even when they run out of actual money, they begin buying things on credit.

Having credit card debt that is out of control is not going to lead to good things. It is better to get impulsive buying under control when it is first manifesting itself in a person’s behavior. If you find yourself relying too much on your credit cards and racking up crazy amounts of debt, cut them up! For purchases where a credit card is essential you can always use a prepaid visa card.

How to Fight Impulsive Shopping

There are several techniques that people can employ if they wish to stop impulsively spending money. One of the most effective ways to curb excessive spending is to have a 24 hour ponder time before you buy anything.

Is This Item a Want or a Need

This may not need to apply to all things you buy, but if the spending gets that out of control, it may need to. Keep this in mind when you are about to buy something, think about if you really want or need it.

If you come to the conclusion that you do, in fact, need this item, set it down and walk out of the store. Wait at least 24 hours and then think about if you actually need that item.

If you find that you haven’t been thinking about it very much and you don’t really care if you go back and buy it or not, don’t go back and buy it. If you find that you are still thinking about the item and you definitely still need to go back and get it, then you should go back and get it.

While this can be a useful rule of thumb for some people, other people can use it as a crutch to pretend that they’re doing better with their impulsive buying. People will simply wait 24 hours and then go back and buy every item that they wanted.

The 24 hour waiting period only works if you actually show self-discipline and choose not to buy certain items. If you buy every item, then it’s like you were never trying to help yourself stop impulsively spending in the first place.

If you find that by employing this technique you have decreased your amount of impulsive spending, congratulations! You now have more money to save or spend on things you actually want and need.

As you go through this process multiple times, you will start to realize what things are necessary to buy and what things are impulsive and unnecessary. It will take time for you to go through this process, but you will get it eventually.

Making sure you do go through this process is essential. It is essential because it will help you decide what you actually want to be spending your money on.

Above all, it is important to remember that money is necessary in our world, but it is not everything. Money cannot buy happiness.

Common Credit Card Mistakes to Avoid

It seems almost everyone has a credit card these days, whether it’s a prepaid credit card or the highly sought after American Express Centurion card the benefits to having a credit card of some sort are numerous. Whether it’s an easier way to pay the bills, track your expenses or pay for something you might not have the money for right now, credit cards can help out in a number of ways, as long as you are disciplined about using them correctly.

How Credit Cards Work

Credit cards can sometimes be confusing, so here is a quick explanation of how they work. You buy items with your credit card, but you don’t actually pay for the items with the card right there.
Later, you get the bill in the mail for the items you bought with the credit card. You have to pay off this bill within a certain amount of time, or you will get charged a late payment.

Late payments are the most common downfall of credit card users. People get in over their heads and cannot make the payments on their cards, getting further and further in debt.

Consequences from not making your payments on time can also include late fees, higher interest rates, and even a lower credit score. It is important that you read the fine print on the card you are using to make sure you understand what happens when you miss a payment.

Is a Credit Card Right For You?

Some people do not realize the damage that late payments can do to your credit score. If your late payment is more than 30 days overdue, this is when the payment begins to do the most serious damage to your credit score.
The lesson to be learned from this warning is that you should pay your bills on time every single time you receive a bill. If you cannot do this, then perhaps you should not be using a credit card or you should look into using a prepaid credit or prepaid debit card.

Credit card companies are required to send out bills at least 21 days before the payment is due. This protects the consumer so that they have sufficient time to pay the bill and get it returned to their lender.
Many companies offer the chance for people to pay their credit card bills online, which can be very efficient for some people. You should look into whether or not your credit card company offers the option to pay online, because many people have chosen to pay this way.

Card Hopping Can Be Dangerous

Another common mistake that people with credit cards make is trying to switch between different plans. This can sometimes be a good idea, and sometimes not.

Most people try to transfer their debt from a high-interest-rate card to a card with a low introductory rate. This means that, on the new card, you won’t have to pay as much back on your debt.

This seems all well and good, but what happens is that people switch over to the new card, and then they are not able to pay back their debt within the time period of the introductory phase. They usually end up paying back more in total than their original debt.

Switching to a different card with a different rate is only a good idea if you think you can pay back your debt within the short introductory period that only lasts for a certain period of time. If you want to see if you should switch over to a different card, you should look into exactly how long the introductory period lasts.
Don’t fall for the gimmicky sales pitch of a salesperson. They are just trying to get you to switch to a card that will help them make more money.

Make sure that you make decisions about your finances based on your needs, not a salesperson’s needs. As mentioned earlier, salespeople more often than not do not have your personal interests in mind.

When you are trying to decide whether you should switch cards, make sure you know if there are any transfer fees that will apply when you do end up switching cards. There are very few cards that offer a completely free transfer fee.

Watch Out For Minimum Payments

Another pitfall comes when people decide they are only going to pay the minimum payments required on their credit card bill. While this may make sense, and you will have extra money left over to buy clothes or shoes, this will probably not be the best choice for you in the long run.

If you only pay the minimum amount that you have to every month, you will rack up quite a bit of money in interest that you hadn’t planned on paying before. Pay more each month and you will pay more overall.

Reducing Credit Card Debt Wisely

When you know that you need to reduce your credit card debt, it is important to understand that you will need a plan. Planning to reduce your credit card debt will enable you to track your progress and ensure that you are going to achieve the goals that you have set. Don’t be afraid to sit down and assess your situation to ensure that you are able to make a comprehensive plan that will help you get out of your credit card debt as soon as possible.

Lower Those Interest Rates

First, you should be sure that you know where you stand. There are a lot of people that do not have an accurate idea of how much money they really owe to their creditors. You should be sure that you take the time that you need to look through all of your debt and figure out exactly how much you owe and to whom you owe money.

Once you have figured out how much money you owe you will then want to figure out the interest rate for each line of credit. Paying off credit with a high interest rate first will ensure that you are not wasting money throughout the time that you are working on paying off your debt. Make sure that you have your interest rates correct when you are figuring out which line of credit you will want to start working on first.

When you know how much your interest rates are, you will then want to see if you can get them lowered. There are a lot of people that do not realize that by simply calling their creditor they can get their interest rate lowered and save hundreds of dollars as they are working on paying off their debt. Call each of your credit card companies and make sure that you ask politely to see if there is any way that you can get a lower interest rate.

Consolidate Those Debts

Once you’ve negotiated your interest rates as low as you can with your credit card company you should look into whether you could get lower rates with a debt consolidation loan. Getting a debt consolidation loan will often allow you to pay off all of your higher interest credit card debts with a more manageable lower interest loan. It will also allow you to focus on paying off one loan as opposed to making payments to several different companies each month.

After you know exactly what you owe and who you owe it to, you will then want to track the costs that you incur throughout the month. There are a lot of people that do not realize how much money they are spending on things that they do not need. You should take the time that you need to look through the different costs that you incur and then figure out which costs you can systematically get rid of. When you know which costs you can get rid of, you can put that money toward the debt that you are working on paying off.

Figure Out a Budget

As you get your finances under control, you will also want to create a reasonable budget for yourself. A reasonable budget will provide you with the money that you need to pay all of your necessary bills and ensure that you are not spending too much money. Don’t be afraid to reach a little outside of your comfort zone with your budget. You may need to cut some of your luxury expenses, but getting your finances under control will be well worth the cuts.

When you have your finances under control, you can then start making payments on your credit cards. The most effective way to eliminate debt is to put all of your extra cash toward the credit card with the highest interest rate. You want to make sure that you put as much money as you can towards paying down your debt. While you are doing this you will also want to make the minimum payments on any other credit card.

As you pay off a credit card you can then move the cash that you were using for that card and put it into another card. Continue paying off all of your cards to ensure that you do not owe any money to a credit card company when you are done.

Once you get yourself out of debt, it is important that you then stay out of debt. Working to stay out of debt can be frustrating when you are used to poor spending habits, but if you can recognize those habits and do all that you can to change them, you will be able to keep your debt to a minimum. One additional tool that you can use to help you stay out of debt is prepaid credit cards, this will allow you to still use the functionality of a credit card for paying bills etc.. but you will be more aware of how much you’re spending. When you keep your debt to a minimum, you can use your money as you wish rather than having your minimum payments dictate where you can spend your money.

Getting Out of Credit Card Debt

If you are like most Americans, you use plastic to pay for a lot of your major purchases. The term “plastic” here means a debit or credit card.

A debit card is a card that is connected to your specific bank account. When you make a purchase with your debit card, money is pulled directly out of your bank account.

A credit card, on the other hand, is quite different from a debit card. When you make a purchase with a credit card, the card pulls money out of nowhere to make the payment.

However, this money isn’t really coming out of nowhere. You have to pay back that money that you spent, just at a later date.

Credit cards are good in some ways and bad in many others. Credit cards are good when you’re making a big purchase and you don’t have quite enough money in your account to make the purchase.

You can just swipe your credit card and then pay the amount in full at the end of the month when it is due. This can be very useful when you are trying to catch a sale on an item, like a TV or furniture set, and you don’t want to wait to buy it because then the sale will be over.

As you can probably guess, credit cards have their downsides as well. Many times people don’t actually have the money to buy whatever it is that they want to buy, so they just put it on credit.

By the time the bill comes in the mail, they still don’t have enough money to pay the bill. What’s worse is that the bill comes with a certain amount of interest tacked onto it.

So with a credit card, you’re not just paying the amount for the thing you bought, but you’re paying interest as well. You can probably see how it can be easy for people to rack up inordinate amounts of credit card debt on their cards.

If you have found yourself in this situation, try not to panic. There are things you can do to help yourself get out of debt.

There is no panacea, however. There is no cure-all where you can snap your fingers and all of your debt will go away.

The process may take time, effort, and even more money, but you can get out of debt. And it is worth it to be free of debt.

One of the most important things you can do to start getting rid of your credit card debt is to take inventory of how much you actually owe. This can done by examining all of the statement your credit card company has sent you.

If you can’t remember how much you owe, or you’ve lost the statements they’ve sent you, give them a call or look online. There will be a way for you to find out how much you owe.

Another important thing you can do is to try to start making a budget. Figure out how much money you’re making and where your money is going when you spend it.

This can be difficult at first, but with time, you’ll get better at it. Budgeting is crucial to successfully managing finances.

One of the next steps you can take is to try to understand why you are in so much credit card debt. Think about the things you bought with your credit card and the justifications you made to yourself so you could feel good about buying each thing.

While you may have wanted the items you bought with your credit card, were they really necessary? Sometimes the answer is yes, but most of the time the answer is going to be no.

It is important to be honest with yourself in this process, because you are the one who has to worry about the credit card debt that is piling up. Try to pinpoint why you’re in so much debt and work on solving that specific problem.

The next step could be to stop getting into more debt. There are several ways to do this.

One way is to simply stop spending money using your credit card. This may sound easy, but if you’re used to paying for things with your credit card, it will most likely be very difficult to just stop your credit card usage cold turkey.

Work on cutting back on your credit card usage, and soon enough, you’ll have conquered your problem. If you find yourself in the midst of credit card debt, follow these simple steps. They will help you get back on your feet and out of your credit card debt.

Being Able to Manage Your Credit Cards

If you are having any kind of issue with credit card debt or problems with too many cards and lines of credit, it can seem a bit overwhelming at times. Such issues can be stressful to deal with and it can be a bit confusing figuring out where to turn or what to do. The good news is that there is always hope when it comes to credit card situations.

Being able to manage your credit cards is mostly about simplification and building up good financial habits over time. If you are having problems keeping a lot of cards and lines of credit separate, then cutting down on the total number of cards that you have is a good idea. You are going to ideally want to have one or two credit cards to use.

Please note that cancelling a card does not take care of unpaid credit issues. Therefore, pay off cards in full and then cancel them in order to avoid penalties there. Use your remaining one or two cards for all of your purchases, and try to pay them back promptly. Doing this will not only simplify things and make it easier to keep track of your finances, but this will also be a viable way to improve on your credit score.

Improving your credit score and getting all of your lines of credit under control are both great goals, and if you can combine them then that is even better. When it all comes down to it, a lot of people run into problems because they grab cards and lines of credit and think that it somehow equals more money. Instead of doing that, being consistent and careful with credit cards will lead to better financial power. Try it out! It is a very effective process overall.

If you’re sick of credit card debt and bank overdraft fees, try the Check City NetSpend Prepaid Debit Card! No hidden fees or overage charges.

3 Great Tips to get out of Debt Fast

Often times you may wonder how to get out of debt quickly. Here are 3 great tips to help you:

1. Spend What You Have

Start paying for things with cash or debit cards and resist the urge to splurge on a cute new purse or the latest smartphone. The sooner you stop spending money you don’t have, the sooner you will get out of debt fast.

2. Look for Ways to Increase Your Income

You might not be a reckless spender—you may simply need more income to eliminate debt. Consider the following ideas:

  • Sell things you don’t need. Do you have kitchen appliances that haven’t been used in 8 months or clothes you haven’t worn for years? Consider selling these items at a thrift store or garage sale. You can also sell new and used items online. Consider listing old video games, college textbooks, or that camera lens you don’t really need.
  • Find ways to make more at your current job. Are you overdue for a raise? Do you have an opportunity to apply for a promotion? Can you get paid extra for overtime work? Does your boss need someone to help with an extra project on weekends? Start looking for opportunities at your current job to make more money.
  • Look for a new job. If your current job pays too little, consider applying elsewhere. Job hunting can be stressful and time consuming, but you might find a great new opportunity.
  • Look for a second job. If you love your current employer, or can’t risk moving for a new job, consider looking for extra work. You may be able to do freelance work online after you get home from the office, or take a part time job coaching a high school soccer team.

3. Look for Ways to Reduce Expenses

While increasing your income is a great way to get out of debt fast, reducing your expenses is also an important step. This will help you avoid racking up more debt, and you can use the money you save to pay things off.

You can reduce your expenses by eliminating things you don’t need and making smart substitutions. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Cancel your cable subscription.
  • Reduce the data on your phone plan.
  • Make coffee at home.
  • Switch to a generic brands at the grocery store.
  • Plan a hike instead of going to the movies with friends.
  • Pack a lunch instead of going out to eat on your lunch break.
  • Sell your car and use public transportation to get to work.
  • Make dinner at home for date nights instead of going out to a restaurant.
  • Cancel your gym membership and go running in your neighborhood.
  • Eat leftovers.

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