Debt Consolidation Credit Counseling In Austin Debt Consolidation Credit Counseling In Austin

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Before Accepting that Credit Counseling Service

By Paul J. Easton

Are you the type who is not disciplined enough to stick to an already tested workable and personalized budget? Or probably you are among those who cannot work out a plan to repay your creditors. Maybe you cannot keep track of your bills that's why it has amassed into the amount you currently face. Why not consider the help of a credit counseling organization?

Today, there many non-profit credit counseling organizations that can be trusted to work with your financial problems. Of course, be conscious of the fact that for these non-profit organizations to survive, they have to monetize their services in a way or two. Despite their claim that their services are free, they can ask you some form of a voluntary contribution. Nevertheless, it is affordable than most commercial credit counseling services for big companies. And if they are legitimate and well worth your trust so far, the contribution is justifiable.

In contrast, some credit counseling organizations out there charge fees pushing you deeper into debt. These may come as a surprise in the form of hidden fees so always ask for payments and rates before committing to any financial service.

With today's convenience and high demand for these companies, credit counseling services are everywhere with local offices, online, and they can also be contacted through phone. If available, find an organization you can visit for in-person counseling. Ask friends, colleagues, and family members for referrals as well. They might know one they already have trusted in one way or the other. Always search for valuable information in choosing a reputable credit counseling organization. Since these companies offer their knowledge in the filed of financial services, ask for a sample of how they employ their expertise. Ask them what they can advise you on managing your debts. Can they do it for free?

Request further if they can help you create a workable budget or find some problems with your current one. Inquire what other free educational resources like workshops can you get before finally signing a deal with them.

Remember, only the well trained and certified counselors follow these standard protocols in providing their customers a guaranteed satisfaction in their services. Take the time to find your counselor; after all they are the answer to solving your problems.

For more information on financial directory, get FREE Articles Tips at Get debt-free today with tips on how to get rid of debt here. Start improving your personal finance today.

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Simple Steps to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Online Identity Theft

By Curtis Adams

The world wide web has made life so easy for most people nowadays. You can access unlimited information, communicate with people anywhere in the world, and send and receive important documents. But there's a downside to all this convenience. Thieves are also taking advantage of the easy availability of information by accessing your private data.

Many people these days keep a lot of sensitive information stored on their PDAs, laptops and desktop computers. This often includes data such as banking and credit card information along with the relevant passwords. The amount of damage that can be done to your credit can be devastating if a criminal is able to get his hands on your electronic data. Another way to grab the information he wants is to hack into your computer from a distance and dig out any useful information.

Here are some tips for identity theft protection that might help you to avoid this disastrous situation.

1) Set up your computer so that it requires a password in order to access any files. This includes your laptop and PDA as well.

2) Change your computer settings so it doesn't automatically remember your passwords. It might be convenient to have your computer instantly enter passwords for all your accounts. However, identity thieves will find it just as convenient to access your financial accounts.

3) On a regular basis, change your passwords.

4) Use antivirus software, and make sure it's always running. These programs can keep hackers from infiltrating your system and stealing your information.

5) Another area in which you should use caution is with regard to file sharing. If your computer is set up to allow the transfer of information between two computers, you're more vulnerable to hacking.

6) Phishing is among the fastest growing methods of illegally collecting confidential information. Typically, you will receive an email that appears to be sent by a legitimate organization. Once you click on the link, you will be asked to verify your password. This information is then captured and used to take over your identity.

In response to the increased problem of identity theft, many institutions now offer identity theft insurance. These policies typically cover any expenses you incur related to the theft of your identity. Postage, the cost of phone calls, and related legal fees are all usually covered. It can also cover lost wages if you have to take time off work to deal with all the issues that will arise. If you don't think you could deal with these kinds of costs on your own, your best bet is to take out some coverage.

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How to Refinance Your Home

By Joseph Ryan

If you've been considering home refinancing but aren't sure about how to proceed, read on.

Home refinancing is an obvious decision if you wish to lower your mortgage payments, reduce your interest costs, or cash out. By "cash out," I mean using your home equity as collateral for a low-cost loan which you can then use to finance other things, like a vacation, a new car, or a child's education.

Here are the three steps in refinancing:

1. Do some Internet research and locate a new mortgage that offers you better terms than your current one.

2. Apply for the better mortgage.

3. Pay off your first mortgage.

Four Caveats

First, note that refinancing is only one of a several ways you can tap into the equity in your home? You may also wish to consider a second mortgage, a home equity loan, or a home equity line of credit. It's a good idea to talk with your broker or lender about these options before going the home refinancing route.

Second, there's often a huge difference in the terms you can get from various brokers and lenders. It's important to not jump too fast. Shop around for your refinancing deal. Yes, you should definitely contact your present lender and give them a chance to keep your business. But also apply through several other lenders as well. Even a seemingly tiny difference in your loan terms (such as a quarter or half point in the interest rate) can amount to a very large difference in your monthly payment or the total interest you pay, or both.

Third, be careful about advertising pitches about refinancing offers that promise unusually good terms. Often, these pitches are applicable only to people with excellent credit scores (700 or above). In any case, home refinancing is a decision you should make based completely on whether it will be financially beneficial to you, not on what deals are out there at any given time.

Fourth, beware of prepayment penalties. Does your present mortgage have a prepayment penalty built in? This could render refinancing uneconomical. Research this out before proceeding. And try to avoid agreeing to any such penalties in your next mortgage.

The Basics of Refinancing

You'll quickly find that refinancing is not a lot different from the experience you had in getting your original mortgage. You'll have to jump through most of the same hoops all over again. Your goal, presumably, is to get a significantly better deal the second time around. For this you'll need one or more of the following:

-A higher income than you had when you applied for your first mortgage -A higher credit score -A substantial build-up of equity in your home -A history of on-time mortgage payments

Unless you can get a better deal, forget it. You will probably incur substantial closing costs in refinancing. Unless you can recoup the costs of refinancing, and do so quickly, it's usually not in your best interest to refinance. (An exception would be if you absolutely need to lower your monthly payments, even if it costs you some money to do so.)

Notice, however -- and this is a point a lot of people miss -- it's not always necessary to get a lower interest rate. You may be able to get a better deal by switching to a different kind of mortgage, such as a variable interest mortgage, or maybe you can extend the term of the mortgage and thereby lower payments.

Understanding the Complexities of Home Refinancing

The Internet can be helpful in understanding and dealing with the complexities of refinancing. Financial calculators are widely available which can help you crunch numbers and quickly figure out how long it will take you to break even -- i.e., recoup your loan costs -- for a given mortgage. You can also check out mortgage rate data nationwide and get referrals to lenders and mortgage brokers nationwide.

One of the better websites for researching refinancing deals is, which is the Internet's leading financial rate information website. But in addition to any research you do at, it's also a good idea to discuss your specific situation and financial goals with a reputable lender/broker before signing for a new mortgage, which, after all, is one of the most important decisions of your life.

You'll need to sit down and figure out exactly what terms you must get in order for a home refinancing package to be beneficial to you, given your specific goals. There are, as I said, financial calculators on the Web which can make this reasonably painless. One is at Home Finance.

Assume for example you now have a $200,000, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 7.25 percent. Given this, your monthly payment is (as the financial calculator shows) $1,364.35 and the total interest you'll pay over the term of the loan (30 years) is $291,166.

Now suppose you receive an offer from a lender for a 6.75 percent loan for the same $200,000. That's just a half a point lower than your current mortgage. However, the financial calculator reveals that your monthly payment would drop to $1,297.20 and the total interest you'd pay would drop to $266,992. So you'd save $67.15 per month and also $24,174 in total interest paid in 30 years.

The important question is, Would this amount of savings be worth the time, effort, and cost of refinancing? For most people, probably yes.

Of course, to benefit in this way, it's not necessary that general interest rates decline. You may be able to refinance and obtain a somewhat lower rate even if rates have held steady provided your own credit standing has improved or you've built up a good deal of equity in your property. Another possibility is to take out an adjustable rate mortgage that offers lower rates. This need not involve greater risk. Suppose you plan to move in three years and you can find a mortgage whose interest rate is fixed until the fourth year, at which time the adjustable rate feature kicks in. Then you don't really care -- you're selling the property at that time anyway.

Paperwork You Should Prepare For

Remember the paperwork hassle it was when you took out your first mortgage? The second will be a repeat performance plus one or two additional irritations. But if you prepare the documents you're going to need to get the loan ahead of time, the hassle will be greatly reduced. Here's what you'll need --

- All the following: the current value of your home (the lender will arrange an appraisal to verify your estimate); amount owed on your mortgage; terms of your mortgage, including interest rate; your credit report and credit score

- Pay stubs from at least the last month

- W-2 forms for the past two years (or, alternatively, tax returns for the past two years if you are self-employed)

- Your bank statements for the past two months (three months is even better)

- Investment and IRA account statements for the past two months

- Copies of your present mortgage documents which you received at the closing

Major Points to Remember about Refinancing

-Refinance only if it makes financial sense, given your particular goals. Most people's goals involve one or more of these: obtaining a lower interest rate, shortening or lengthening the duration of the mortgage, cashing out the equity in the property.

-Always shop around for the best deal. The Internet can help a lot here.

-Do the numbers. Use financial calculators to figure out what your break-even point is given various financial scenarios. is a good source for these tools, as well as much additional information.

-Remember that most refinancing ads are targeting unusually credit-worthy individuals (those with credit scores above 700). Average consumers usually won't qualify for the great deals they're promoting.

-Don't focus entirely on the interest rate or the monthly payment. You must also figure out the fees involved. When comparing the refinancing deals offered by various lenders, always focus on the loan's APR, which reflects the total cost of the loan.

-Today, much or all of your home refinancing-deal comparison shopping can be done via the Internet. It's no longer really necessary to personally visit banks and other lenders, unless you are more comfortable doing it that way.

There are innumerable refinancing businesses on the Internet. Spend some time researching them to find the one likely to be of most benefit to you.

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How To Buy An Owner Financed Home in Austin, TX

By Laeverneus Homebuysky

If you are on the market for buying a home of your own but don't meet the requirements for a traditional mortgage, you might be surprised to learn that owner financed homes can help you on the path to becoming a homeowner. Instead of throwing away money each month on a rental payment, you can take advantage of an owner financed home in Austin, TX to begin to build your own home equity. With owner finance options, your payments will someday allow you to own the home outright.

The way owner finance homes in Austin work is that instead of borrowing from a bank or mortgage finance company, the seller of the home can actually finance all or part of the purchase price. While partial financing is more common " if you lack funds for a deposit, for example " 100% financing may be possible depending on the terms the seller is willing to offer.

If you've been looking for an owner finance home in Austin, TX by perusing real estate listings and ads, chances are you haven't seen too many owner financed homes for sale. Don't get discouraged " they are available " you just need to know where to look, and how to approach a seller about an owner finance option. Though a particular seller might not advertise owner financing, if a home has been on the market for a while and the seller does not want to budge on the price, then they might be willing to consider owner financing. Of course, this depends on whether the current Austin owner is in a good financial position to take on an owner finance contract, but you'll never know unless you make a proposal.

There are also websites, which specialize in marketing owner finance homes. You may not have to meet normal lending criteria but you will have to be able to prove your capacity to pay the required monthly payment. These payments are often higher than if you took out a traditional mortgage, however if you are able to make them they can be a means to an end. Once you build a history of payments and create equity in your home, you may be able to refinance with a bank or other traditional lender at a lower interest rate.

One of the most important things to do if you are considering buying an Austin, TX owner finance home is to hire an attorney to go over the contract and any other pertinent paperwork. You need to clearly understand what you are agreeing to, and you will want to make sure there aren't any stiff pre-payment penalties that would prevent you from refinancing down the road. Understanding your rights and obligations is very important before signing a contract.

Austin area owner financed homes are a popular way for owners to sell their properties at prices they want and do so quickly. However, buyers need to beware that sellers are not doing them a favor. Buyers need to be very careful before agreeing to purchase using seller finance. You should obtain a building inspection report and have the property professionally surveyed.

It is important to proceed carefully, even though you may be eager to seal the deal quickly in your quest for homeownership. Owner financed homes in Austin can allow you to become a homeowner, but dont rush " make sure you aren't buying a problem home or succumbing to a predatory loan contract. Treat owner finance homes with caution, and make sure you do your research before signing on the dotted line.

With careful planning and research, an owner financed home in Austin, TX can create a path to homeownership when other avenues are not available. If you have a long term plan for your success in buying an owner finance home, you can switch to a traditional mortgage later on when circumstances allow.

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Repair Your Credit Score By Reducing Your Debt To Credit Ratio

By Bart Icles

One of the major factors that makes up your credit score is your debt to credit ratio. It actually makes up about 30% of your score. You can easily calculate that ratio by yourself by taking your existing credit card balances and divide it by the total amount of credit that is available to you. Even though this is a very simple calculation, it does provide valuable information as to how easy it is to manipulate your credit score.

So, what if you have a low credit score and want to improve it? You can take advantage of any of the following strategies to push your debt to credit ratio to a more favorable position. There is no magic ratio that you are trying to stay under, but it has been said that under 45% is the safest.

1- The first thing you can do to increase your credit score and lower your debt to credit ratio is to increase your credit limits. The more credit you have available the lower your ratio will be. You should get in the practice of calling all the lenders with whom you have made on time payments for the last 6 months and ask for a credit limit increase. Do this every six months!

2- Take time to review your credit report and reactivate all old accounts. Did you know that most lenders will deactivate your credit card if it is not used for 3-6 months? Inactive card limits are not counted towards your debt to credit ratio. You need to make sure to use every one of your cards to make small purchases over 3-6 months to keep the card active and counting toward your ratio.

3- You can raise your available credit by applying for a new credit card (if you can stay in control of your spending). By adding another card, you are adding available credit without adding to your credit balance. The more credit you are issued and have available, the better your debt to credit ratio will be.

4- Have you ever heard of an authorized user? Most of us havent. Sometimes, due to our lack of credit history, it is hard to build a large available credit limit. If you ask a friend or family member, who has excellent credit and a long credit history to add you to their account, you will immediately receive the benefit of their history and credit limit without the responsibility of making payments.

5- The last and probably the hardest for most individuals is to pay down your balances. As I said above, you should try to get your debt to credit ratio below 45% for the maximum benefit to your credit score.

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Debt Management Plans: the Pros and Cons

By Paul J. Easton

A debt management plan is on of the methods used for paying personal unsecured debts. This usually involves taking note on all the debts, assessing income versus a budget, and negotiating lower interest rates.

A debt management plan also incorporates in the plan the schedule of payments with the lenders. With a guided debt management plan, the interest is best achieved with the end of the lender to collect all the debt. This is due to the well-studied evidence projected by your counselor to your lenders that there will be a higher likelihood of collection due to the more realistic monthly repayment from the debtor.

A debt management plan is best suited for individuals who acquired certain credit card debts which were taken to the level where they have already no control with. In this situation, the client have already late payments and the amount due are taking a huge part of income or even exceeding it. If the above mentioned situation is very familiar, your financial problems are probably stemming from your inability to repay your credit card debts. It is then recommend that you enroll in a debt management plan.

Consult your certified credit counselor and spend some time discussing with him or her possible pros and cons of enrolling yourself with this plan. Only sign on those plans after a thorough analysis of your financial situation and you are prepared to follow the plan strictly.

Here is a warning before you get started with the debt management plan. When someone participates in a debt management plan, the probability that the credit rating will most likely be damaged is very high. But it is not the debt management plan per se affecting the credit rating. It is rather the inability of the debtor to meet with their contractual payments they signed before getting that credit card. These details will be recorded on their credit file in the form of a default notice, thus leaving a negative impact on their credit report.

Before deciding on these plans, ask yourself first. Is debt management plan really for me? I hope you are guided.

For more information on financial directory, get FREE Articles Tips at Get debt-free today with tips on how to get rid of debt here. Start improving your personal finance today.

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Getting to understand Chapter Seven Bankruptcy

By Jim Smith

Most people in the U.S. have heard or even read about the new bankruptcy laws, which was insituted in 2005. The purpose of the new laws are to safeguard the interests of both the creditors and the debtors. As you see, there are many different laws of bankruptcy that you would want to apply for. It is not easy to decipher the details of each law.

Most individuals would prefer Chapter 7 bankruptcy because it seems that this law have many favorable terms for the debtors. However, there are many criterias that a debtor must present in order to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Whether or not you are going to file under this law, here are the following steps will assist you to apply for chapter 7 bankruptcy in the right manner:

- Bankruptcy should always be the last option and consider it only when no other assistance available.

- Hire a bankruptcy attorney. An attorney will have the technical know-how and proficiency to help you in the filing procedure.

- There is a rule that you must attend credit counseling.

- File a petition. It will stop your creditors from going for any court proceedings against you.

- Finish the required paper works correctly.

- Make sure that you pay all your fees promptly.

- After you have filed a petition, a meeting will be held after 20-40 days. Your creditors will be present and questions about your property and financial status will be asked and you must reply to them. You cannot miss this meeting, it is very important.

So all in all, once you have taken the abovementioned advice you should be able to manage your debts.

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Start Planning Your Finances

By Kay Riter

Do you deal with your finances? Does someone else do them for you? Do you just ignore them and figure you're doing just fine? How organized are you with your money? If you don't deal with your money, do you ever worry that there is some kind of problem?

If it sounds like I'm implying that you are bad with your money, you hit it right on the head. Anyone that is disorganized financially, has no control over the finances. Having no control can mean very bad things down the road.

No matter who you are, how old you are, if you're married or single, or if you make a lot of money or not much at all, you need to plan your finances. Planning when you have little money will help you make it through tough times and planning when you have a lot of money will keep you from wasting it and wondering where it went.

Don't think that financial planning is just to hard to bother with, because it's not. It's really not hard at all. IF you don't think you could handle it, you could hire a financial adviser. To start planning, you need to take a look at where you are in your life.

First, add up all your assets. Add together the value of your home, investments, and checking and savings accounts. Subtract out all your debts and you get your total net worth. This is how much money you have.

Next, make your goals. Do you want to pay off your debt by next year? Make it a goal. Do you want to retire at age 55 with $2,000,000? Make it a goal.

Don't think any goal is impossible. If it looks too big, start with smaller goals or break up the larger goals into smaller short term goals. For example, you may think could never save a $12,000 emergency fund in 2 years on a $35,000 salary, but if you make a good enough plan, it can happen!

Once you have your goals, you need to come up with a plan. Figure out how much you need to put aside each month. Then make a budget to help you save each month. Make sure you follow your plans. They will mean nothing and do nothing for you if you give up sooner or later.

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What are Debt Negotiation Programs?

By Paul J. Easton

A debt negotiation is different from the credit counseling or the debt management plan. It can be a very risky decision and if not handled well can create a long term negative impact on your credit report. As an end result, it can hamper your ability to get credit in the future.

Debt negotiation agencies claim that they are actually nonprofit. And that they can arrange for your credit card debt. With such an ambitious claim, it even further assures you to pay off for anywhere from 10 to 50 percent of the balance owed.

To exemplify, a credit card debt amounting to $10,000 can be handled by a debt negotiation firm. By claiming it can arrange for you to pay off the debt with a much lesser amount like $4,000, you will likely think that this is too good to be true.

The debt negotiation firms often pitch their services as a better alternative than bankruptcy. They even assert that their way is the best for you to save yourself from bankruptcy.

Debt negotiators assure you also that their services will have little negative impact on your ability to get credit in the future. In the event that you have a negative rating with your credit score, they always guarantee that this negative information can be removed when you complete the debt negotiation program.

Debt negotiation is actually the process of negotiating with a creditor to pay off just a percentage of your unsecured debts like credit card balance.

Since this process is commonly used in debt arbitration, this type of solution to get settle debt is often in the best interest of creditors to negotiate appropriate debt repayment schedules. With debt negotiation, the firms usually tell you to stop making payments to your creditors directly. You send the payments instead to them as the debt negotiator. The firms then promise to put your funds in a special account and pay the creditors on your behalf. With most of their clients experiencing hardship, debt negotiators could be the final hope.

Only be wary with using this process though as many states have laws regulating debt negotiation companies and the services they offer. Their claims might just be an exaggeration and a false hope for your part. It always pays to check the fine print and do your homework.

For more information on financial directory, get FREE Articles Tips at Get debt-free today with tips on how to get rid of debt here. Start improving your personal finance today.

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Several Ideas To Help You Maintain Your Healthy Credit

By Frank Froggatt

If your credit rating is sound and you don't even wish to discover yourself in need of a repair or consolidation service, keep track of your record and stay up to date with the activity on your report. Some people have awful credit because they didn't watch out for modifications or anomalies in their credit reports.

Credit history plays a profound role in discovering whether you are qualified for a loan or not. Good credit is truly worth a thousand words and it says a great deal about the consumer. Not only can it impact your finance but some other aspects of your life as well. Several counselors and services agree upon one thing: maintaining a healthy credit rating is crucial in leading a fit financial life.

It can likewise be important info used by parties, employers, and even landlords these years to determine how responsible you are and whether you pay off your debts on time. Those with solid, dependable payment histories will invariably be chose over those with past dues, willful neglects, bankruptcies and other financial problems.

Earning and holding a favorable credit history can be daunting. It entails creating a budget and actually following it carefully, keeping overabundant spending to a minimal and always establishing prompt payments to all creditors to guarantee debt reducing and little interest.

In the topic of managing your debt, the first thing you can do is to keep track of your expenditure habits. You can do this by creating blueprints of what you spend and track anything that you might owe. Monthly financial statements should be gone over when they arrive and invariably watch for any possible inconsistencies. Additionally, always remember to report them immediately.

To hold your account in positive standing, perpetually remember to pay the creditor on or before the due date usually printed on the financial statement. Do not pass over any payments and strain to pay back more than the minimal or, if possible, pay the whole remainder each month.

You should likewise be careful to never exceed your credit limit. In fact, if you hold what you owe on the charge cards to around 50% of your limit, it appears more pleasing on your record than maxed out cards, hence amending your rating another way.

In summary, take control of your finances. Establish that budget, cut back expenditure, produce prompt payments, drastically cut back or stop using credit cards entirely until you are in the black and resolve to follow the plan. Follow through to culmination and you'll observe you've built a strong credit history.

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The Debt Collectors Following You

By Paul J. Easton

Secured debts are tied to an asset like a car loan. If you stop making payments in this situation, lenders can repossess your car. This also applies with your home loan. On the other hand; unsecured debts are not tied to an asset, including most credit card debt. Because of this risk, most unsecured debts especially with credit card companies are very aggressive with the debt collection. They even offer free credit counseling to educate clients with their debt repayments.

When having trouble making ends meet, contact your creditors immediately. Tell them the reason for your current hardships and why it is difficult for you to pay your debts. Try to work out with them a modified payment plan. This move will likely reduce your payments to a manageable level. Most lenders, to your surprise, are actually willing to work with you if they think you are acting in good faith and the situation is just temporary.

Never ignore this situation and let your accounts be turned over to a debt collector. With your account in the debt collection list, your creditors have already given up on you and the worst is yet to come.

With debt collection, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is the federal law that regulates how and when a debt collector may communicate with you over your financial obligations. As stated in the Act, a debt collector cannot call you before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. In instances where you specified before applying for that credit card that your employer doesn't approve of any calls while at work, your debt collector cannot call you too.

Collectors are prohibited from harassing you or using unfair practices when they try reaching you to collect a debt. In addition, they must also honor a written request from you when you wanted them to stop the further calling.

At the end of day, you should always be vigilant for your name not to be blacklisted with the debt collectors. It certainly has its negative impact with your job later, your credit in general, and your reputation Take the responsibility to pay your debts as soon as you can. Debt collectors are just doing their part; fulfill your part as well.

For more information on financial directory, get FREE Articles Tips at Get debt-free today with tips on how to get rid of debt here. Start improving your personal finance today.

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Protecting Yourself with Credit Counseling Agencies

By Paul J. Easton

Protect yourself with credit counseling agencies! That's the main concern right now with the financial meltdown. With your hard earned cash, it is time to only trust with a legitimate and the sincerest credit counseling service you can find. Always be careful with credit counseling organizations that charge high monthly fees, or even excessive upfront money, just for enrolling in their credit counseling services or a debt management plan.

Most so called non-profit organizations will likely pressure you to give voluntary contributions. Be wary as these are just another name for their fees. Others will not send you free information regarding their services without you to providing personal financial information such as credit card account numbers. These companies have high motive at the very beginning and these are signals for red flags.

With the haste of making you commit with their service, some companies will just simple recommend to enroll you in a debt management plan without spending a good amount of time reviewing your personal financial situation. This can have certain consequences on your credit report and you have to protect it yourself. The companies don't mind about your financial situation, but you should.

As one of the requirements before enrolling in a debt management plan, ask a counselor to teach you budgeting and money management skills. If the company or the counselor refuses, you refuse their service right away too. In addition to a free information that are valuable, companies should never demand immediate payments from you into a debt management plan. Much more if they demand payments even before your creditors have accepted you into the program. Run as fast as you can if they do, they are only after your money.

Personal bankruptcy can be long-lasting and far reaching. Thus, it is generally the last option in your management of your debt. As a last resort, do not let your credit counseling agency make your route to bankruptcy a little faster than you thought. At this time when you are seeking their help, you only should trust companies that truly care for you and those that will help you with your troubles.

Play your cards well; let them build first a relationship with you. It is their responsibility to do so as it is their business. Talk to them in person. Ask for free information and let them present to you their service. From their words and actions without you paying first, you will know if they can be trusted.

For more information on financial directory, get FREE Articles Tips at Get debt-free today with tips on how to get rid of debt here. Start improving your personal finance today.

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Bad Credit? Improve It With These Tips

By Linda Seamore

In the times we're living in, many people can easily attain consumer credit. People living in the United States are constantly finding themselves under a mound of debt that only seems to continue to grow. Being as much as $15,000 in debt is now more common than one might think.

The desire for sure and proven ways to rebuild and renew credit history is indeed on the rise, with more and more people getting into debt and feeling the overwhelming pressures of it. Unfortunately for most people, the term "budget" has a negative connotation. It seems more like hell than a save haven of rescue. However, the use of a particular type of credit card has proven to not only rebuild personal credit and credit scores, but to dispel the negative connotation of the word budget.

In addition to being extremely helpful, these credit cards also provide consumers with bad credit, who've been denied traditional credit cards and bank account, a way out of their misery. It is common knowledge that here in the United States, there must be two people earning income in a household for a comfortable lifestyle to be maintained. Moreover, if two people are working outside the home, then who is left to do the budgeting and financial planning?

They say that the way to eat an elephant is one bit at a time. Let's take our first bit and analyze both secured and pre-paid credit cards, and the cons and pros with each for your situation.

Secured Credit Cards Pros - Obtaining a secured credit card account is a quick, easy, and affordable way to build your credit. These cards will also help to better your damaged credit by slowly rebuilding it. They are used the same way you use any other card and are taken by vendors anywhere a regular debit or credit card can be used.

Disadvantages - A slight drawback from these types of cards is that in order to get one, you must put down a significant deposit, somewhere between $200 and $300 in order to secure them. The credit companies may also charge you yearly fees that make the card expensive. In addition, the interest rate on these cards tends to be higher than the norm. However, these cards can be your resolution to getting a better credit score.

Pre-Paid Credit Cards Pros - A pre-paid credit card can be a great way to provide you with the freedom and flexibility of having your own credit card, without having to be in debt. While these cards look and feel like every other credit card, and can be spent in all the same places, these cards require you to put money on the. In effect, you are spending your own money just like cash. The approval process for this type of card is easy and is a definite guarantee.

Cons - If you are looking to rebuild or establish your credit however, beware. These cards may not report your repayment history to the credit bureaus. If the creditor does not report your account, this type of account will not help you improve your credit. By carefully selecting these cards, you can assure yourself that you receive the most bangs for your proverbial buck.

You should also take into consideration that pre-paid cards are not accepted in all circumstances. For instance, rental agencies for cars and hotels may not allow you to make payment using one of these or to secure the rental. To be safe, you should call in advance and verify the various payment methods that vendors like these accept.

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Your plan will not always cover all of your possessions

By Rem

It is a sad fact of life that accidents happen and often things are taken from your home but by starting a home insurance plan, personal things you possess can be replaced after events of this nature. If you own your house, you may be offered a joint policy that safeguards both the building and the contents as well although this may not be worth it if you rent where you live.

It is always a good practice to make a list of everything in your place that has any value, doing this on a room by room basis and preferably before you actually take out the household insurance. While you are carrying out this stock, why not make a camcorder record of all your rooms, paying extra attention to personal and costly personal possessions, or use a still camera if you do not own a camcorder. This can be added to your stock and will furnish a unique record of your household and possessions. Numerous individuals forget to keep there house insurance inventory current though and neglect adding new personal possessions to the list as well as taking photos to accompany that list.

Hundreds of providers now provide their own particular policies online, so before settling on the one you would like to take out, be sure to obtain a few of quotes so that you can compare. One apparent advantage to using online services is that you can have your quote within a matter of seconds.

Insurance providers call the amount they protection as the sum assured and this amount is the most they will pay out on your plan should you make a claim for complete loss through damage, accident or burglary. Luckily, some firms will include the sum insured in their contents quotation automatically. Others nevertheless, will appraise your place and provide cover based on their estimates or request how much cover you would like and then calculate the premiums on your behalf. This situation may also help your special needs as your individual contents worth may be much higher than the general sum assured, in which case you would be under insured.

Although the contents of your household may all be important to you, remember your policy will not always cover all of your personal possessions. household workers for instance should be conscious that stock used to run that business from home is not always addressed as standard. Also, if the sum assured does not cover high value possessions, such as jewelry and electronic equipment, you may have to pay extra on your house insurance plan to insure them at the level you require.

Although the contents of your house may all be significant to you, do not forget your plan will not always cover all of your personal possessions. Many people who work from house are caught out by this as business stock is not ordinarily addressed automatically. High value items such as jewelry and electronic equipment are often not included in the household insurance and may have to be covered at extra cost. The house owner should be mindful that whatever the conditions of the insurance policy, it is the house owner who is responsible if a claim is refused for something that the plan does not allow for so it is important that these issues are verified in advance of any decision being made.

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