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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Collaborative Divorce Can Save You Money

By Mike Mastracci

You're probably not looking forward to all the spending that comes along with the holiday season. It's expensive out there, isn't it? Saving money seems to be on everyone's mind these days, doesn't it? Divorce is expenses and protracted litigation can increase costs exponentially, leaving you and your spouse with staggering legal bills to contend with as you each struggle to begin a new phase of life.

While collaborative divorce is not necessarily cheap, it does allow you to exert better control over your divorce costs. The exact costs will largely depend on the complexity of the issues and the number of meetings required to resolve them. By choosing collaborative divorce, you and your spouse make a commitment to spending your resources on your family and not on a contentious legal battle. You make a conscious decision to place the needs and support of your children above expensive and often needless battling with your spouse.

Most often, children of separation and divorce face a future with significantly less financial security than children from intact marriages. It simply costs more to maintain two households. Funds for school trips, enriching activities, and college are often limited or non-existent. Collaborative divorce allows you and your spouse to design a child support arrangement that meets the unique needs of your family.

While tracking the money spent on divorce is simply a matter of accounting, the intangible benefits are harder to see, but, they are priceless. When ending conflict is a common goal, your quality of life is much better. If there are children involved, there are a whole host of reasons to consider collaborative law. Show your children that you love them more than you dislike your ex.

So, where do you find collaboratively trained professionals? The biggest and most valuable network can be found at You can also find many useful articles on collaborative law at

How much you spend on a collaborative case, much like any other domestic cases, will largely depend on the degree that the parties truly cooperate to reach acceptable resolutions of their respective issues and concerns. Fighting and bickering is expensive. It is much cheaper to"play nice.

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Having a Frugal Mindset

By William Blake

Many people confuse being frugal with being stingy. A stingy scrooge saves their money, but has nothing but misery to show for it. Someone who lives with a frugal mindset, however, knows how to make sound financial decisions in an effort to improve their life.

Whether you have tons of it or none at all, there is always an ample amount of ways to spend your money. For example, some people choose to buy food at work, while others buy groceries and prepare a lunch to bring along with them. Frugal people prepare their own meals so that the money they save can be used to purchase something special, like a day at the spa, a vacation, or a new pre-owned car.

You can have a frugal mindset when it comes time to receive your income tax refund. This extra money could be spent on a stereo system for the house or as a down payment on a flashy new car. The thrift individual, though, saves some of the money, pays off debts with some, and then uses what is left to enjoy themselves with something special, like a new outfit.

Frugal people do indeed save much of the money they receive, but that doesn't mean they don't enjoy their money as well. Even though thrifty people blow money at times in splurges, it is always controlled spending.

Being frugal is about spending money the best way it can be spent. You learn to compare items and opportunities and decide which one is the best choice for you. It requires a willingness to do some research, a boldness to ask questions, and the ability to walk away until another day (or for good).

It takes a special mindset to live a frugal life. You have to understand the bigger picture and be willing to sacrifice a little now in order to gain a lot tomorrow. The trick is that you may not be able to see the gain for some time. It's a walk of faith that in the end it will be better.

A great way to start on the frugal path is to meet some truly frugal people. They will be the happy people who have no hefty bills weighing them down because they have paid them off. Talk to them about their walk and see if they will help you along your own journey.

Learning to be frugal will help you to save money, but it is not just about the money. A frugal person learns to make the best choice in financial situations so that he can enjoy his life to the fullest.

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Buying good credit with trade lines purchasing

By J. Ochs

A common question these days is regarding whether or not you can raise your credit score simply by buying seasoned tradelines. Let me see if I can give you a simple answer to a somewhat complicated question.

The goal of purchasing seasoned tradelines for your own credit reports is to gain points in your credit scores. To purchase a seasoned tradeline, you must pay a monthly fee to get your name added as an authorized user to the account that is seasoned and in good standing. Once your name has been added to the account, it will report on your credit report.

Pro reasons to buying seasoned tradelines: It's often a successful process for consumers with positive credit just needing a little boost in scores to be approved for a loan, for financing, etc. The needed accounts stay on consumer's reports just long enough to benefit scores and once they are no longer needed, payments are stopped and the seasoned accounts will be removed from reports.

Con reasons to buying seasoned tradelines: The credit bureaus and federal officials are now wise to this practice and while not illegal, many issues arise when purchasing seasoned tradelines to cause concern. Consumers must already be in possession of positive credit, and lots of it, for this practice to work. For those consumers with less than perfect credit, purchasing seasoned tradelines will prove to be a waste of money because the newly added tradelines won't do enough to negate the negative credit already appearing on the credit reports. Additionally, the credit bureaus are stating they will cease reporting authorized user accounts in relation to accounts used in the scoring model, thus making the process of purchasing seasoned tradelines completely useless.

The bottom line: For those seeking to improve their credit, there are far better, less costly, and more effective ways to accomplish this. For some great tips, visit our credit repair articles area. In addition, if you have bad credit and are in need of credit repair, there is no company that does it better than NCA Credit Repair. Call today and get a free consultation and make the decision for yourself.

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Personal Signature Loans and The Art of Borrowing

By Mark Lundersenn

The global economy is a big foul-up right now, and all the credit (or blame) can be placed squarely on the shoulders of irresponsible borrowers everywhere. Borrowing intelligently is really an art form, and the large majority of credit users are doing it as stupidly as anyone ever could. What we're bringing in in the form of income doesn't come close to what we're sending out in the form of borrowed spending, and we seem to have given up entirely on putting money away for a rainy day - that's right - nobody saves anymore.

The biggest indicator of how poorly we've borrowed over the last few years is the housing market; let's face it - you can't afford a $300,000 home when you earn less than $60,000 per year. It's simple math, and it's not the government's fault you can't pay your mortgage. Now the responsible members of society will pay the bills of the irresponsible in the form of tax-funded bailouts.

We have to do better next time, and doing better means using credit intelligently. Most of the time borrowing wisely means not borrowing at all, including avoiding personal signature loans and other quick cash borrowing tools. Stay away from them no matter what - even if it means taking a part time job to get by in the meantime.

Why not? Well, because these types of loans nearly always carry terrible interest rates and bad terms. If you choose to borrow cash in this way you can end up paying in excess of 100% interest as well as hundreds of dollars in fees. How could that ever be a smart move?

So, it's always going to be a terrible move, but sometimes I suppose using these kinds of loans will be unavoidable. You might lose your job due to an unfair boss who fired you just because you nicked his car pulling out of the parking stall at the office. Next thing you know you're out of a job.

Of course that's not fair and technically you could sue him. But do you have the money for a lawsuit? I doubt it.

The only remaining option may be to bite the bullet and head to your local bank or loan store. After all, your mortgage company isn't going to let you skip payments just because you have a crazy boss; they have big time cash problems of their own.

The only sound advice I can offer you is to only take from the bank the minimum necessary funds to keep your bills current until you get a new job and get back on your feet. And Don't be choosy when it's time to find that job. In these crazy times, we'd all be wise to take whatever employment presents itself to us.

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Local vs National Commercial Collection Agency.

By JR Rooney

Whether you choose a commercial collection agency based in your company's town or your debtor company's town depends on how many different past-due accounts on which you are trying to collect.

If you are dealing with only one bad account, you could hire a commercial collection agency that is local to the debtor. The local agency may have dealt with the debtor before and know the company's finances and the best way to collect from them. If they have had no dealings with the debtor than there is no advantage.

If you have bad accounts from customers in many locations, hire a national collection agency, or one that is located in the same city as your company to ease the reporting process. It's rarely smart to deal with more than one commercial collection agency at once -- you'll just end up confusing yourself and mix up which company is trying to collect which debt.

As a rule, there is never a discount for using a local agency -- either one that is local to your company or the debt dodger. Typically, you will be offered a discount rate only if you are contracting to have multiple past-due accounts collected.

The bottom line is. No matter where the collection agency is located, they are still required to follow the law. They can not go to the debtors house and scare them with physical violence. In fact, many agencies will not accept accounts from debtors in a 50 mile radius of there office to avoid a crazy debtor coming to the office to start trouble with the collector.

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Small Business Owners Feeling The Pinch Of The Economy

By JR Rooney

You would have to be living on Mars if you don't know that we're in the worst financial crisis in our lifetimes in America. If you find yourself worried about your business and what can happen next, you're certainly not alone.

As I write this, the next few days bring great uncertainty about what the government is going to do to try and help bail out the banking system in the United States. While it's not clear what form the assistance will take, it appears almost certain that the United States government will have to do something to fix the mess created in the financial system by rampant greed. What is going to happen? Who knows! What is obvious is that the vast majority of Americans are very unhappy with the situation and quite angry about spending billions of dollars to bail out an industry known for greed.

The unfortunate truth is that a bailout is not the end to the troubles for those of us who run small businesses. The US economy is in deep trouble and is not likely to be fixed very quickly. All the major news outlets have commentaries about what's happening and what to expect. It seems the consensus is that it's unlikely we're going to experience a level of unemployment seen during the Great Depression. That's the good news. The bad news is that things are ugly and their likely get much worse before they get better. And if that wasn't enough, things are probably not to get better very quickly!

Small-business owners are unlikely to be able to get the credit that they need in order to expand their business in the near future. So what can you do? No one can tell you what you need to do in your particular business, but I've always been a strong supporter of the low-cost direct marketing style in my businesses. I suggest you start rethinking all the creative ways you can seek out more revenue at a minimum cost. This means not only getting new customers at minimum cost, but equally important, you need to try to sell more services to the customers you already have.

The situation is a lot more complicated than simply not being able to obtain credit, but it is also going to be difficult for many business owners to even make it through the next several years. There has already been a big drop in consumer spending in the US, and getting new customers as well as maintaining the ones you already have is going to get more difficult. That is why this is the time to get yourself back to the basic and most important task which is to get your business well marketed. There is nothing more important for your business in difficult times such as these than your marketing efforts.

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Uncontrollable Spending Of Credit Card

By Mike Carbeck

Misusing credit cards is the main reason people run into uncontrollable spending and find themselves facing large payments combined with interest and penalties. Because it is so easy to use a credit card many people do not realize that every little penny adds up.

It is very easy to pull out a credit card and spend, spend, spend. For people who have a credit card with no preset spending limit, there is no amount of money limiting to what they can charge up on their credit cards. With no limit set, people spend money dangerously and do this without taking the time to think about the bigger picture, what happens down the road can be an ugly outcome.

Not only do you have to pay the monthly minimum, you are also charged with what can be a very high interest rate. If you find yourself in the horrible situation of out-of-control credit debt, there are several agencies that can help you out. These agencies will assist you in getting your spending under control and may even help you get a consolidation loan to pay off business or personal debts.

You apply for a consolidation loan in the same way as you do for credit cards, however this is where the similarities end. These loans will roll all of your credit card debt into one lump loan and will eliminate the individual interest rates that some credit card companies charge.

A consolidation loan allows you to make one lump sum payment per month, to one company. You take control over your credit card debt, lower your interest payments per month and can possibly preserve your credit rating. A consolidation loan can take the place of making many payments, to many companies, and by only paying the minimum monthly payment on your credit cards, you will continue being eaten alive by debt. These loans are a step in the right direction for some people.

It does not matter if you have perfect credit, the credit agency you choose can put you in touch with lenders who will still enable you to secure a loan. Your agency will negotiate with your creditors to get lower interest rates and may even be able to get them to waive possible penalties, thus saving you even more money.

There are two types of consolidation loans for consumers in trouble, one is a secured and the other is an unsecured loan. A secured loan requires collateral be guaranteed before this loan is approved. An unsecured loan requires no collateral before it can be approved.

These are just two of the many options available to you when facing mounting credit card debt and the results of reckless spending. The end result is that as a credit card holder it is up to you to make sound financial decisions, and if you find yourself knee deep in debt there are alternatives out there to help you get rid of the debt. This will allow you to rebuild your good credit and get out of the bottomless pit of credit card debt.

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Payday Loans With Direct Lenders

By Maxwell Smithson

There aren't many people that don't need an occasional boost in income for a short period, but we would prefer no to take out a loan for a small amount of money. To get over this short term financial situation, a 'payday loan' can be arranged which until recently normally require a bank checking account to arrange. If you haven't heard of this before then this is how it works and why so many people find it convenient.

Perhaps you have had some unexpected medical expenses or had repairs carried out on your car or home. If this is the case and you know that the following month's money can cover the amount then a payday loan is an ideal method of arranging early payment of the bill. Lenders will forward you a sum, usually less than 1,000 dollars and once your next paycheck comes through they take the money when you get your next paycheck; it is a quick and easy way not only to get money but also to pay it back.

Most people with internet access now arrange their payday loans online as it is much more convenient. This is an easy way to arrange to funds and once approved, the money is in your account almost straight away. Until recently, the only way you would be granted a payday loan was if you had a bank checking account which would ensure the money would be repaid without any hiccups as soon as you were paid.

The same hassles do not exist today with lenders much more flexible in their approach, even lending to people with adverse credit histories but normally proof of a savings account is enough. In fact the rules of lending have been relaxed so much that often it is just enough to prove you are employed in a permanent position. If the situation arises again where you require some cash short term in the form of a payday loan you will know what to do.

As the process is simpler, you will only need to prove that you have a job or some money in a savings account. Words of warning though; do not use this facility regularly as that is not what they are designed for and the interest can become costly if used all the time. It is easy to forget that it doesn't take much to start relying on these types of loans for the wrong reasons; you need to improve your financial position rather than continue to use this facility as a crutch which will eventually cause more problems than it solves.

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Dispute Credit Letter - Remove Bad Credit On Your Credit Report

By Justin Hutto

A dispute letter is your method of challenging the accuracy or validity of a bad credit mark on your report. In your letter you need to include the reason for your dispute and the mark that you are disputing.

Common reasons for a dispute are; account is not mine, account paid in full, item is out of date and more. When the credit bureaus receive your dispute and deem it valid they will investigate the dispute.

The bureaus will contact the lender or collection agency and verify the account, the dates and the amount of the debt. If the account can not be verified then the bureaus must remove the item from your credit report.

Frequently investigations result in bad credit marks being removed from your credit. This is often because businesses do not want to spend the extra money and time validating disputed debts.

There are rumors that credit bureaus do not check public records to verify debt. This means that bad credit marks such as a judgment or foreclosure are often removed through a dispute.

Another option is to hire a service to perform your disputes for you. This can help tremendously especially if you are disputing multiple items.

Frequently dispute letters will result in the credit bureaus requesting more information from you. In addition you must dispute a bad credit item with each credit bureau separately.

Thus the organization during your credit repair can become a challenge on its own. Also credit services can use advanced dispute techniques such as; creditor direct intervention, debt validation and escalated dispute information requests to remove a bad credit item.

Frequently these services will have lawyers on their staff which will enable you to go to court if it is required. Also with a service you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against a collection agency for illegal debt collection practices.

Credit repair is not only your right it is your responsibility. There are estimates that 1 in every 4 people have inaccurate information on their credit report.

In sum, dispute any inaccurate or unverifiable bad credit marks on your report. You do not have to wait 7 years for a mark to be removed from your credit.

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