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Debt

Managing Household Debt

Many people are of the opinion that people who end up with insurmountable debt are irresponsible and only find themselves in that situation because they have made poor financial decisions in life. Although this may be true in some cases, there are many more cases where our spiraling debt is as a result of us being dealt a bad hand in life that we do not have much control over. Many hard working individuals with all of the right intentions sometimes just fall on hard times. The loss of a job, ones own serious health condition or the serious health condition of a loved one, student loans, ballooning mortgages, the death of a loved one, are among some of the main reasons where unforeseen circumstances lead us down the path to debt crises.

So what do you do when you have been dealt a bad hand? For many people we have to make a mental shift to move ourselves from where we are to where we need to be. I have spoken to so many people who know that they need to do something but feel so stuck that on their own, they see no way to get out of the vicious cycle that they have found themselves in. For those of us who have taken on our debt burdens and have made them more manageable, we tend to look at these people as irresponsible. Unfortunately, there are many people for whom debt management is not a priority.

They see it as a necessary evil. They go about spending on their credit card as if there were no end and are quite content to not make payments and dodge those debt collectors. On the other hand there are those who try to take a more responsible approach. Instead of dodging the debt collectors they religiously make only the minimum payments on their credit cards every month and still continue to spend as of there were no end. Credit card companies love those people who make minimum payments on their cards. Every time you make the minimum payment you pay the interest only on the card and you still owe the card company all that you have borrowed. What does that mean? It means that for as long as you keep on spending and making the minimum payment you keep the credit card companies in business. Something else to be mindful of is that there is a benefit to those who make minimum payments. It is called your credit scores. Yes, paying the minimum on your credit cards will keep you in good standing and your credit scores will improve. You will receive more offers from other credit card companies because you are not at risk of default and do you see what is happening? The cycle continues…

Now that you have all of this information and you are wiser about how you got there, how do we fix the situation? Below are a few simple things that you can do to change your situation. I know a lot of people who were serious about reducing their level of debt and have applied some of these techniques that actually work.

  1. Make a commitment to get rid of your debt and stick to it
  2. Identify all your debt. Make a list of everyone you owe whether individual or institution
  3. Write down the amount you owe and the interest rates on all your debts
  4. Take note of the minimum payment that you must make on all of your debts
  5. Decide on whether to pay off the debts with the smallest balances first or whether you want to pay off the highest interest rate debts first
  6. Put your plan in to action and stick to it
  7. Apply any extra income you have to paying off the first debt on your list
  8. When the first debt is paid off, add the funds you were paying on that debt to the next one on your list
  9. Keep repeating the process until all your debts are paid off
  10. Enjoy the financial freedom when all your debt is paid off from following these simple steps.

Save Money While Avoiding Debt

Debt can cause stress, unhappiness in one’s life, and anxiety. Having too many debts can limit and restrict a person’s options. Having too many debts can also ruin families’ relationships and cause someone to work longer hours and further contribute to all types of health issues.

One reason to avoid debt is that it limits your options. Debts can force you to work long hours in a job you don’t like and limit the amount of quality time you spend with your family. Debts and too many of them can lead to divorce. In fact, expert agrees that the number one reason for divorce is too much debt. Another reason to avoid personal debts is the stringing interest banks are charging you. Too much debt can lead you to file bankruptcy.

Strain of debt usually results in breakups or divorces. In fact, experts cite debt as the number one cause of divorce today. Another reason why we should avoid debt is that it can send us in a never-ending debt cycle that is complicated to get out off. Any type of debt or credit option is stringed with an interest increasing at high rates. If you are unable to act immediately, your finances will be engulfed for long-term, which may result in bankruptcy.

The solution to debts is to save money and do it fast. Another solution is to earn money while saving. You can save money by cutting down on expenses, live within or below your means, and managing a budget. The third solution to debt is avoid personal loans altogether because they come with high interest rates and don’t appreciate in value. If you don’t need that new car, boat, sofas, or furnitures then don’t buy it. If you must purchase then use cash.

Payday Loan Debt

In such cases, the intelligent thing is to opt for a settlement and not sitting and thinking what to do as with every single day, the problem is going to intensify. A short summary of the procedure of payday loan settlement has been listed below.

Firstly, tell the lender that you are presently not in a place to clear the payments. Unfortunately, with this notification, your account will be sent to some collection agency for verification.

Next, ask the collection agency to contact you only through writing. If they refuse, let them know that you are full aware of the consumer rights and as par the national Federal laws, the agency is bound to follow a legal procedure in making transactions.

Inform the agency that you are willing to settle your payday debts. The agencies might try to threat you with necessary legal actions but does not panic as agencies generally never turn to the courts simply because it is not worth neither money nor time.

Hire a payday loan settlement company to negotiate with the collection agency. Hiring experts will not only make the task simpler for you but at the same time speed up the process.

Everyone who has borrowed money at some point of time is certain to realize pretty quickly that it is much easier to borrow but far more than difficult in clearing the debts. With the upcoming of the modern-day debit and credit cards, company’s tries to convince clients to spend more and more using the cards but with the high percent of interest that is charged on these cards, the job of repaying becomes increasingly difficult with time, which often leads to a lifetime burden. Take a look at some of the basic points following which will certainly help to drop credit card debt related issues.

Role Of Debt Negotiation Companies- There is several agencies specialized in debt management that offer competent services related to clearing the dues within a limited span of time. The agencies will take the responsibility to sit with the creditor on behalf of the debtor and convince the creditor to settle for an amount that the defaulter can manage to afford. This way, a part of the dues can be saved which is definitely profitable for the defaulters.

Monthly Payments On Monthly Bills- If you find yourself to be in a messy financial situation,, apart from planning the way out to this problem, another thing you need to do is to try to pay a little more as monthly bills for the cards.

Debt Management Companies

This makes the first logical question that someone dealing with this issue would ask and it would be something along the lines of why they should in fact pay for a service they can get for free? Obviously the free choice on the surface appears to be the way to go and it then simply becomes a matter of locating the particular charity that one will be working with.

The fact of the matter is though that in the UK there are still over four hundred of these debt management companies doing business for profit. This fact should raise the next question which should be how are they maintaining their business when others are giving away the service for nothing? There has to be some sort of viable explanation explaining this. Exactly what are the specific differences that separate these two different potential options?

Let’s try to take a look at both and see if the answer to this question can be discovered. The charity debt management companies offer online at no charge their anonymous advice. The counselling they offer is truly impartial. In many cases for those that feel they require even additional assistance there is often a telephone number provided which they can call. One of the problems with this is that anytime a call is made to that number provided the odds are in favour of the fact that it will be a different person the one calling will be speaking with.

Dealing with a different person every time one calls for further advice and direction complicates the efforts to gain debt negotiation and management resolutions. This is probably the biggest differential between the commercial debt management company and the non-profit charity. The services one is actually paying for are more personalised for exactly that reason. One is assigned to a specific debt counsellor and unless there is some sort of conflict preventing them from getting along well they will stay exclusively with that same person as they work through the entire process.

Although most of the people working for the non-profit charities are well qualified and caring individuals, the fact of the matter is there are also some who lack total knowledge of how to properly deal with the issues. This is not something that happens regularly but it certainly is a consideration to be reckoned with.

It is vital that the final plan arrived at be one that all involved are comfortable working with and in total agreement on continuing. These matters are going to go on for some time and it is important one is totally at ease with that which will eventually lead to a positive conclusion. It is a big decision and only you can make it, as choosing a debt management company can make or break your financial future.

Debt Settlement Companies

Now, how do the debt settlement companies work? These companies work in close collaboration with the banks and financial institutions. Once you approach them they will let you know about their debt settlement help services, which starts with debt counseling. If you are not in favor of this then they go for negotiation with the banks where you have a loan or own a credit card. You may be paying the credit card bills for a quite a long time now but your debt has not decreased due to the high rate of interest. In all such scenario, the amount of time you are paying the due is taken into consideration. If you are paying the card dues for more than 10 years you may possibly get a discount of 50 t0 60 percent of the amount that is remaining and will be able to pay the due within 12 to 60 months in easy EMI and low interest rates.

When choosing a debt settlement company the most important thing is to check for the fees that they are offering. There are many companies that will promise you a service but will fail to deliver. It is best to choose a company that has good experience in this field or gives you a service guarantee.

Debt. This four-letter word can ruin your peace of mind when it becomes bad and takes away all your income and comfort. Debt can arise from many situations such as a divorce in the family, medical expenses, or a legal problem in the family. It can also result from over spending using the credit cards. But when it starts hampering your life, you look for debt relief help, which is the only way out when you want to lead your normal life again.

Debt relief can be attained in many ways from debt consolidation, debt negotiation and reduction to bankruptcy. There are many agencies that will tell you to go for bankruptcy but you need to remember that this is the last option that you may take. Though it may seem the easiest option, the frustration and humiliation that it may bring is not possible for everyone to bear. The good debt relief companies will rather make you go for debt consolidation and credit card debt negotiation.

The debt consolidation measure taken by debt relief companies includes consolidating the debt into one single account with low rate of interest or asking you to take a loan that can repay all the debts. If that does not help you get relief of the debts then you can even go for credit card debt negotiation that can even save 50 percent of the money that you needed to pay to the credit card companies. This is possible only when you have paid the credit card companies for quite a lot of time. You need to pay the remaining due within maximum 60 months in easy installments. The last option is bankruptcy but for that, there are certain processes to follow. The fee company charges depend on the service and you may need to pay them only when you get the benefit.

Negative Aspects of Consolidating Debt

Finding a debt consolidator company right for you

When you are in the market of consolidating your debt, the number of companies available is not the problem that you have to worry about. Finding the right consolidator for you is what will become the major task.

It will be in your best interest if you compare and contrast multiple companies before making a final decision. The interest rates in which you will have to pay can vary depending on the debt consolidator. What you want is the lowest interest rate possible. If you rush too soon you may miss out on a great opportunity to not only pay back your debt, but save money in the long run.

High interest Rates Can Increase

Unfortunately, it seems that high interest rates are justification of the risk of helping your business. However false this assumption may be, if you miss a payment and do not consult with your debt company or agent specifically to set an alternative payment date, the interest rates could skyrocket even more. This is not a situation you want to be in as you are trying to pay off debt, so make sure that your monthly payments are manageable. In the worse case scenario, call your company and inform them of the situation at the moment.

Possibility of spending more money than you should

Once you begin to re-build your credit after the consolidated debt the improvements in your score will occur. A top-notch credit score may seem like a number you can get more credit with, but it is important you do not get too comfortable. If you end up spending more money than you are putting towards your debt, then you will simply set yourself up for disaster financially and in regards to your credit score.

Debt Reduction Plan

Many people imagine that they could solve their financial problems if they only made more money. They wish for a raise or a better job and believe that would help them overcome issues they are facing. The truth is that they would likely end up with more issues if they had more money. The behavior of the spender needs to change rather than the income stream that they generate. Making more money is good if you use that cash to pay off existing credit, but it does not help if you continue to charge and spend beyond your means.

The first step in reduction plan is to track all of your consumer debt. This includes all credit cards, student loans and any vehicle loans. You do not need to include a home mortgage at this phase. After you have accounted for the source of your different debts, arrange them from smallest to largest. The trick is to begin paying off the smallest ones first while continuing to make the minimum payments on your other debts. You must attack the smallest debt as aggressively as possible. After that debt has been paid off, you can take the money you were throwing towards that debt and apply it to the next debt on your list. Motivation comes from seeing the smaller debts eliminated and this motivation is more important than any interest rates that may be involved.

An effective debt reduction plan must work to change the behavior of the spender. The snowball method of debt reduction works because it plays upon human nature. We naturally like to build upon our successes and seeing debts eliminated provides the needed incentive to keep going. Practitioners of this debt reduction plan will find themselves debt free and will gain the needed skills to remain debt free for the remainder of their financial lives.

Become a Corporate Authorised Representative

Organisations or companies holding a license (AFSL) are able to legally provide the full range of financial services, including providing advice on investments and financial products such as savings plans, pensions, RSA products and insurance or selling products directly to clients. They are also permitted to act as investment managers and can look after a portfolio of investments for clients and engage in dealing activities. They can invest and sell stocks, shares and commodities on behalf of their clients, alter financial products or underwrite securities and interests. Many also deal in foreign exchange contracts, securities and off-market Over-the-Counter (OTC) derivatives.

Since it is possible to sub-authorise individuals, some of these companies offer a programme under which they agree to train and appoint a corporate authorised representative under the terms of their license, allowing individuals to become accredited by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (RG146) and start to offer some or all of the financial services provided by the licensee.

There are a number of benefits to talking this route to becoming accredited and fulfilling ASIC obligations. If you sign a contract to act as a corporate authorised representative and provide financial services under its license, the company will usually provide a full training program to teach you about the financial products, the benefits and drawbacks of each and will provide you with the knowledge you will need to be able to deal successfully.

Many even provide dedicated one on one support during training to make becoming accredited as easy as possible. It is worthwhile looking for a company that does offer this service as it makes it far easier if you ever need some assistance, and being trained one on one means you are able to take things at your own pace. This can be especially important when learning the ins and outs of some of the more complex products such as derivatives. You may also be able to carry on with training after becoming accredited to help you provide a better service to clients or develop your own business. Many companies offer a range of optional continuing professional development training sessions to its corporate authorised representatives, making it much easier than going it alone.

Eliminate Debt Forever

Most debts can be divided into good or bad debt, depending on whether it is tax deductible or not. You might decide to start with your bad debts before tackling the good debts, however you will eventually want to pay off all your debts, good as well as bad. True wealth comes from your net worth and the assets you own that bring you an income. Financial independence comes from making enough money from your assets to exceed your expenses. Remember, DEBT IS NOT WEALTH. Debt is debt and will eventually have to be repaid.

Firstly, work out what extra money you can put aside to add to your debt repayments. Any extra amount you can add to your repayments will help reduce the debts so much quicker.

Next, compile a list of all your debts. Include your mortgage, car loans, credit cards, store cards, loans from friends and family, school fees, anything that you owe basically.

Write them on a piece of paper down the page or put them into a spread sheet.

  1. Write down what it is, eg. home loan, credit card, car loan store card etc.;
  2. List the remaining balance owed (what is left to repay, not the initial loan amount, so unless you haven’t made any payments yet, this should be less than the value of the total loan);
  3. Then put the minimum monthly payment;
  4. You can also put in the interest rate for your information.

You should have four columns. You will need a fifth column. This is for your debt ratio calculations on each loan to work out your order of repayment.

Taking the first debt, divide your monthly payment into your debt balance. This should give you a number. So for example, if you have a $2,000 loan, and your monthly repayments are $100, the debt ratio is 20.

$2000 ÷ $100 = 20

Now do this for all your loans to give you your debt ratio number for each loan.

Rewrite your list or rearrange your spread sheet in order of the loan with the lowest debt ratio to the highest debt ratio.

This is the order in which the debts will be repaid. What’s important to note here is that the earlier debts to pay off are not necessarily the debts with the highest interest rates. The ratio lists the debts in the order that have the most impact on your cash flow.

Add the extra money calculated earlier to the first debt payments on the list, while still making the minimum monthly repayments on all the other debts. Keep paying off the number one debt on your list, with the extra payment until this one is paid off.

Now, if this was a credit card or store card debt, this does NOT mean that this is now available for spending again. Remember the goal here is to eliminate all your debts, not incur new ones.

In addition, this money is not available for you to spend yet. We’re on the path to financial independence remember, so we will have some short term pain for long term gain.

The entire amount that was used to pay down the first item is now available to be put into the second debt on your debt ratio list AS WELL AS the minimum monthly payment for this debt.

When the second item on the list has been repaid, the entire amount is now used to pay off the third item on the list.

So now the repayment amount is the minimum monthly payment for this debt PLUS the minimum monthly payment for the previous debts PLUS the extra amount you were able to put aside in a bid to actively reduce your debt.

You will find that because you are making extra payments, your repayment time is drastically reduced. You might even find that a debt further down the list which you haven’t gotten to yet, actually gets paid out before you have a chance to get to it, as you are still making the minimum monthly repayments into this debt. If this happens, add this minimum payment to your other debts.

Because you were already making minimum monthly payments to the other loans with just a bit extra into the current loan, you’ll find you don’t even miss the amounts you are directing into the next debt on your ratio list, as you were already making this payment anyway. Now it’s being put to a good purpose in reducing the amount of “dead money” interest you are paying.

Keep doing this until all your debts are repaid. Now, and this is very important, DON’T GET INTO FURTHER DEBT. Keep one of you credit cards if you must, and pay it off IN FULL at the end of each cycle.

Since you didn’t miss the money when it was being used for debt reduction, you can now redirect this “spare” money into your savings and investments.

Debt Of A Nation

In two distinct periods in our history has a sitting President tried to empower the public while reigning in the Nations debt. One during a time of the greatest internal struggle for national preservation namely the Civil War and another were we were headed into one of the greatest challenges that perplexed a nation primarily the Vietnam conflict. In 1861 President Lincoln needed money to continue to fund the Civil War. Bankers at the time were charging over 28% interest. Rather than pay up that high interest Lincoln pressed congress to authorize the Treasury Department to print full legal tender treasury notes [this is what the Constitution originally implied with no interest attached] to pay for the costs incurred form the war. When congress passed this legislation Lincoln stated ” We gave the people of this republic the greatest blessing they ever had. Their own paper money to pay their won debts.” Thus Greenbacks became the name this currency was called. To Lincoln’s credit the passage of the Merrill Tariff Revenue Act in 1861 along with establishment of the first ever income tax, a flat 3% on incomes above $800 [today equates to $19,000] all increased financial revenue to fund the Civil War.

Lincoln’s troubles began almost from the time he took office. By 1862 congress repealed the flat tax and instead established what was to become the basis of the complex tax system that we have today. A more progressive tax structure putting more of a burden on the less wealthy. Another set back was the National Bank Act of 1862. This act let banks become national in that they are charted by the Federal Government and authorized to issue interest bearing notes secured by Government bonds similar to what Alexander Hamilton did after the Revolutionary War in the creation of the First Bank of America. Passage of this bill ensured a market for the Federal Debt since the new National Banks would now be required to buy those bonds.

Had the National Bank Act failed to pass Congress Lincoln stressed that “Money is a creature of Law and the original issue should be maintained by the exclusive monopoly of national government. the Government should stand behind it’s currency, credit, and bank deposits of this nation. No individual should suffer a loss of money through depreciation or inflated currency or bank bankruptcy;” would have benefited the American public in a time of great uncertainty. Look what happened in 2008 with the Federal Reserve Bank running the show. Millions of our citizens suffered great financial loss. All the Federal Reserve does is loan money to the government at interest. What drives up our national debt higher are privately owned banks, the Federal Reserve, and a nation that continues to be engaged in armed conflicts anywhere in the world.

The London Times in 1863 who favored the Bank of England’s monetary policies wrote ” If that mischievous financial policy, which had it’s origin the North American Republic, should become indurate down to a fixture, then that Government will furnish it’s own money without cost. It will pay off debts and be without a debt. It will have all the money necessary to carry on it’s commerce. It will become prosperous beyond precedent in the history of the civilized government of the world. The brains and the wealth of all the countries will go to North America. That government must be destroyed or it will destroy every monarchy on the globe.” The wealth of the United States is in the hands of the private bankers not the American public. It is no wonder that the English were trying to help the Confederacy. When Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 the British populace who were opposed to slavery quietly withdrew their support of the Confederacy while Russia grew more supportive of the Union cause which helped the North and Lincoln preserve the Union.

In repealing the greenback law congress passed the National Bank Act in it’s place. All national banks were to be privately owned and the national bank notes they issued were to be interest bearing. The National Bank Act also provided that the greenbacks be returned as soon as possible as they came back in the payment of taxes. A hundred years later the United States Treasury Department computed the amount of interest that would have been paid if 400 million dollars would have been borrowed at interest instead of being issued by the Treasury Department as Abraham Lincoln initially did. Because of the greenback resolution the United States Government saved 4 billion dollars in interest. President Lincoln followed the exact interpretation of the United States Constitution by the government creating it’s own money interest free.

More recent President Kennedy in 1963 almost one hundred years after Lincoln undertook the gauntlet of reducing our national debt again following the Constitution issued Executive order 11110. This order circumvents the Federal Reserve Bank an makes possible the Federal Government not the banks print interest free money. In 1963 the Treasury Department under President Kennedy issued $4,292,893,825 interest free money. What is so startling is that not long after Kennedy’s death all the United States notes, which Kennedy had issued, were called out of circulation.