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Why Higher Card Rates Make Credit Card Debt Reduction a Priority

March 11th, 2018 Comments off

Credit card debt reduction has taken on added importance lately. The reason? The average rates paid on credit cards has been edging upward since the beginning of this year. What does this mean for credit card borrowers is that there are greater risks. Here, we will explore three of the reasons for upgrading credit card debt reduction to the top of your To-Do list.

Higher Rates Mean Higher Costs

By paying higher rates on cards, borrowers are obviously wasting more money. It may seem like peanuts over the course of any given month, but over the course of a year or even compounding that potential growth gives a more accurate picture. Debtors realize that the more debt they carry at higher rates actually impedes their ability to save for a rainy day, something that has become a little more important with so many people out of work. By taking a strong credit card debt reduction strategy, people will improve cash flow and manage to save a little more.

Higher Rates Hurt Credit Scores

By bumping rates, even gradually, card lenders make the debt repayment process a lot slower. Consider that a 1% increase on a $10,000 balance translates into an extra $100 in interest, or 1/3 of most minimum payments. This means that Utilization (the amount of credit outstanding compared to what it is available) remains high. With Utilization contributing more than 1/3 of the FICO score, it makes credit card debt reduction even more urgent…

Higher Rates Can Increase Delinquencies

When you consider that many people are losing income right now, credit card debt reduction itself becomes difficult at best. However, when you bump rates, you make it even more difficult for regular folks to make ends meet and, consequently, delinquencies arise. The difference now is that the “delinquent” amounts are higher because interest has been capitalized, allowing balances to get out of control a lot of faster.

Evidently, credit card debt reduction has become a priority among individuals and government alike. The risks to the borrower are obvious, starting with reduced cash flow that will impact people’s ability to save; potential damage to credit scores which can sometimes last up to seven years; and higher delinquencies.

By making credit card debt reduction a priority now, borrowers will be better equipped to weather a worsening interest-rate climate. While higher rates might not seem like such a deal-breaker on a month-to-month basis, the trend has been that rates are rising at a pace of 1% every quarter, meaning the average card rate could reach 16% by the end of this year.

With more than 16 years of experience in the financial services industry, Chris has helped thousands of people with
debt management strategies. He maintains a regularly updated blog at How To Repay Debt.com.

Top Reasons To Avoid Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

August 7th, 2017 Comments off

When you first read about the provisions of Chapter 13 bankruptcies, it seems like an attractive debt management option. However, one of the top reasons to avoid Chapter 13 is that it sets unrealistic goals for the debtor. First, you need to understand what chapter 13 is.

If you have an asset that you would rather not lose through bankruptcy, such as a mortgaged home, your lawyer may advise you to file for Chapter 13. Debtors who have accumulated back taxes or assets with lower value than liens are also encouraged to file Chapter 13. You do not have to repay the entire loan amount, provided you can convince the court of your inability to repay the debt in full.

With the retention of non-exempt assets being such a big benefit, Chapter 13 appears to be a great alternative to Chapter 7 bankruptcy or to having to repay the full amount owed. Since debtors can file Chapter 13 every four years, it seems like a short-term commitment. However, the Chapter 13 repayment plan normally lasts for as long as three to five years, during which time debtors repay their debt based on an agreed upon schedule. At the end of this plan, the creditors write off the balance provided the debtor maintained his end of the bargain. Sounds like a great debt management solution. But it often is not.

One of the top reasons to avoid Chapter 13 is that debtors must meet certain eligibility requirements. This begins with having a steady income, which excludes people who might really benefit but who are currently unemployed and having trouble making ends meet. Often, people with this type of debt problem had arrived there as a result of the lack of income. The irony is that most debtors with a steady income would have repaid the debt in full. More interesting is that the Chapter 13 means test requires that a debtor’s income exceed certain thresholds in order to be eligible for this option. Go figure.

Another one of the top reasons to avoid Chapter 13 is that it requires adherence to the court’s approved plan. Although surrendering to such demands might seem like a small trade-off for the amount of debt that gets cleared, many debtors feel just as trapped as they would with a traditional budget. Not only that, but Chapter 13 is considered a public record, meaning that unlike a traditional do-it-yourself budget plan, anyone can look into the debtor’s financial affairs. In fact, the courts can even order changes if the debtor’s circumstances improve.

To clear the loan from your income you will need to forfeit any unexpected profits that come your way during the time chapter 13 is in force. Suppose you are gifted or willed a new car or make unexpected profits from a side business, the asset might be forfeited toward payment of your loan. Top reasons to avoid chapter 13 also includes the fact that your spouse may also be asked to provide detailed reports of their assets, income, and expenses, even if you don’t file for bankruptcy jointly.

Prior to filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy, debtors would be best served by creating their own, profession budget and repayment plan, especially if they have the means to do so. This not only enables the debtor to keep his financial circumstances out of the public domain but will actually improve his credit rather than ruin it.

Real Estate Investing And Bad Credit Reports

July 24th, 2017 Comments off

Today our credit score is everything. Creditors and bankers approve or disapprove loans based on your credit worthiness.

A good credit rating allows you to be able to apply for loans and/or credit cards easily. It will also mean that you will have more chances of getting certain jobs that may require a background check. You will be able to pay your bills on time.

Having bad credit can reduce the opportunities of things. You may get approved for a loan or for a credit card but with a higher interest rate. You are considered a “at risk” customer because the creditors are not sure if you will pay your bills. If you are trying to apply for an apartment complex the landlords may take a look at your credit score to determine if you will be able to pay your rent. Not to mention that most look at the report and will use it to form an opinion about you character.

These are just some of the many reasons as to why having a good credit score is very important in today’s world. However, what do you do if you happen to have a bad credit score? If you have bad credit it is important to fix the problem as soon as you can. Here are several ways to do just that.

First, you must stop your bad credit before it gets worse. So how do you do this? You pay your previous overdue debts as soon as possible.

Next, you can raise your credit score by opening a new savings or checking account. You should also apply for a secured credit card. This secured card will have a lower limit and a higher interest rate however,by paying the monthly credit card bills on time you will be able to see a significant rise in your credit history report.

If you continue to follow these steps you will eventually start to see a good credit rating. However, your past credit history will contain bad credit scores and ratings. This does not expire for 5 to 7 years. You must remember that it does take time to raise your credit rating. You must be patient and diligent to see a change.

That is why it is very important to make positive reports for your creditors. They then will pass those on to credit reporting agencies. Remember to pay your loans and credit cards on time in order to get a good credit rating. By doing so you will eventually end up with a good credit score and history. Never miss out on a future financial opportunity when they come your way.

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Disadvantages Of Bankruptcy

June 6th, 2017 Comments off

Without fully understanding the disadvantages of bankruptcy, a lot of people will file for the “protections” it offers. In most cases, filers believe that bankruptcy clears the slate. Without a complete knowledge of bankruptcy provisions, a lot of borrowers actually find themselves in a deeper financial rut than before they filed. After all, as a last resort, bankruptcy was created to penalize everyone involved, including you. With that in mind, you should have a thorough understanding of the disadvantages of bankruptcy before you file.

As a leading disadvantage of bankruptcy, the fact that a discharge will not always clear all debt is one that is often overlooked by borrowers. That’s right; in some cases, even after a trustee has liquidated your assets and repaid creditors, you could still owe others whose debt was exempt from the bankruptcy discharge.

Another disadvantage of bankruptcy is that you not only lose your existing property, including (in some cases) real estate, automobiles, investments and other personal belongs, but your rights to future property. In most cases, “future property” can include winfalls such as an inheritance.

It is almost impossible to withdraw a chapter 7 filing. Once you file for bankruptcy, it is done and you are subjected to all the disadvantages. Your credit score takes a major hit. Bankruptcy will stay in your credit rating for the next seven years. Lenders usually do not entertain previously bankrupt borrowers. Thus, after bankruptcy, it can be difficult for you to get loans.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be filed for almost any amount of debt. The one restriction is that debtors cannot file another petition within six years of their last bankruptcy discharge.

Many filers often overlook the fact that the process of filing for bankruptcy will take a psychological and physical toll. For most people, filing for bankruptcy takes a tremendous toll as the bankruptcy seems to constantly follow them.

In many cases, the stress from bankruptcy will result in relationship problems, including martial breakdown and divorce. Ultimately, this worsens the financial impact of bankruptcy, leaving bankrupt individuals feeling even more beaten down and defeated. Such relationship stress can also lead to problems within shared social circles and, not surprisingly, bankruptcy also increases the probability of substance abuse. In fact, the feelings of “loss” are greatly enhanced among bankrupt individuals.

Such feelings of loss, defeat and trauma often make managing regular relationships with other family and friends difficult. The difference in opinion among friends and family, combined with the feelings of guild and shame, often alienate bankrupt individuals from those who have been closest to them.

There are some advantages for persons in serious debts. However, for most people, they can get along without filing bankruptcy. There is a mandatory credit counseling three months prior to filing bankruptcy. This will help the persons find ways of managing their finances. File for chapter 7, only if you know as last resort. It is the option that makes better financial decision. If the advantages outweigh the disadvantages of bankruptcy, only then should you go for it.

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Yes! You Can Use Credit Cards To Rebuild Credit

May 29th, 2017 Comments off

You may not believe it but you can use credit cards to rebuild credit after bankruptcy. The last thing you want to do right now is get discouraged about your situation. The reality is that it could happen to anyone. I’d like to talk to you now about using credit cards to rebuild credit.

The Good News

The good news is that it’s not the end of the world. There is a way to regain the life you once had before bankruptcy. Without the ability to be positive in spite of your situation you cannot move forward. You might have to start over when it comes to your credit, but at least you are given another chance.

Building Trust

You will find that there are credit companies that will be willing to lend to you after bankruptcy. If your going to use credit cards to rebuild credit you can expect to pay high-interest on the money you borrow. You only want to establish trust by making regular on time payments.

Showing Responsibility And Restraint

The idea is that you will be paying off your debt in full every month. The credit lender will be looking at your ability to exercise restraint and responsibility. Let the lenders know that you have made some real changes.

Secure Credit Cards

Another option that can be used is to apply for a secure credit card. A secure credit card is often secured using a savings account. The funds may be claimed by the lender in the event that you default on your payments. This allows the creditor the ability to take on riskier applicants.

This Takes Time

Although it won’t happen as fast as you’d like you now know that you can use credit cards to rebuild credit. Learn from your mistakes to ensure you don’t make the same one’s twice. As long as you are patient and persistent and your credit will eventually improve.

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