Debt Consolidation

Debt Consolidation: The Right Way Out of Debt

When it comes to debt consolidation, find an approach that helps you retrace your past steps so you don’t repeat past mistakes. In some cases, we run into unfortunate situations in life. Debt is often unavoidable, but how you handle excessive credit card debt is up to you. With the help of Christian credit counseling, you learn about debt consolidation. A recent article by time.com suggests ways of avoiding debt consolidation traps. When you are dealing with frugal fatigue after trying to make the minimum payments on credit cards, it’s time for a change. By consolidating debt, you solve many financial problems as long as you do it the best way possible. According to time.com, debt consolidation gives you a more manageable monthly payment as well as a lower interest rate. The average person has about $5,100 of credit card debt, a TransUnion study showed. Owing several thousand is a large or small amount of debt depending on your personal situation.

Acknowledge the root problem

The right way to consolidate debt is to do so after figuring out how you arrived at the current situation. Retrace your steps. Review your credit card statements. In some cases, it might be that you used a credit card while unemployed or after the birth of a baby. Setting up an emergency fund will solve the problem if future situations rock your financial world. Experts say a credit counselor will evaluate your situation and help you identify wants and needs.

Consider a debt management plan

One way to consolidate debt is to enroll in a debt management plan. The time.com article describes a debt management plan as an agreement you make with a nonprofit credit counseling organization and your creditors. Your credit counselor negotiates for you so you pay off debt at a lower interest rate. The wrong way to pay off your debt is by ruining your credit score with a bankruptcy or falling prey to a debt settlement scam.

Stop using your credit cards

When you sign up for a debt management plan, you agree to stop using your credit cards. While going through the process, it becomes easier to live on cash and debt cards. Some people get creative with the “envelope system” of budgeting, which entails dividing cash into different envelopes for various purposes.

Figure out your next step

Having a plan is essential, not just for getting out of debt but for staying out of debt. Saving 10 to 20 percent into an emergency fund, funding your 401(k) up to the company match and fully funding a Roth IRA are a few steps you can take while sticking to your debt management plan. Fortunately, it is easier than ever with automated systems of payment.

At Christian Credit Counselors, we help our clients avoid falling to common debt consolidation traps. We also show you a better alternative to bankruptcy and debt settlement scams. With credit counseling, you learn everything you need to know to live a financial success story.

Do you want to know more about debt and how you can make smart financial decisions now that will help you secure a more prosperous financial future? Sign up for our newsletter for monthly money tips.

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    Credit Counseling

    Credit Counseling, Baby Boomers, and Retirement

    If you are one of the millions of baby boomers in your 50s or 60s having trouble sticking to a budget, you aren’t alone. With the rising cost of food and housing, it’s becoming more difficult to retire on time. Many boomers plan to keep working past their full retirement age. When you reach out for credit counseling help before or during retirement, you eradicate debt so it’s easier to live on a fixed income. In fact, consolidating debt and agreeing to a Debt Management Plan could give you the practice you need to budget carefully in retirement. A recent article by U.S. News & World Report says people who are nearing retirement need to improve their budgeting skills to survive. The article cited a 2014 Bank rate survey that showed 60 percent of people can’t afford to cover unexpected expenses. With credit counseling, you can finally get a handle on your expenses including runaway credit card debt with high-interest rates.

    Bringing expenses inline with income

    A trained credit counselor makes sticking to a budget much easier. If you have several credit cards with high interest rates, a trained counselor will set you up with a Debt Management Plan that fulfills your obligation to creditors while saving you money with a negotiated lower interest rate. A budget gives you back control by bringing expenses inline with any social security or pension income.

    Knowing when to wait

    Another benefit of credit counseling and budgeting is that you determine how much to spend. Although almost everyone needs to spend money on food and housing, you will prioritize so you wait on non-essentials such as a new dishwasher or a cruise.

    Giving away more money

    If you don’t have money for your own bills, you likely don’t have money to give to your church, charities or family. At the same time, many baby boomers are generous people who like to share. By getting your credit card debt squared away before you retire, you’ll leave more money to your beneficiaries. When you pass away with debt, the probate process often kicks in so your creditors get paid before your beneficiaries. Your loved ones will appreciate anything you can do to pay off debt.

    Other benefits of credit counseling and debt consolidation are more money to manage-increasing expenses due to inflation as well as money for rainy days. At Christian Credit Counselors, we believe you are never too young or too older to get rid of debt. We help many of our clients get out of debt 80 percent faster with our debt snowball method.

    Do you want to know more about debt and how you can make smart financial decisions now that will help you secure a more prosperous financial future? Sign up for our newsletter for monthly money tips.

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      Christian Credit Counselors

      Credit Counseling – Getting Your Finances on Track

      Good people sometimes have bad financial things happen to them, knocking them off track. With Christian credit counseling, you can get your financial life back on track even if you have maxed out your credit cards. A trained credit counselor will guide you through the debt consolidation process if you have what seems like unmanageable credit card debt. You’ll also learn how to budget and plan for the unexpected. According to an article by U.S. News & World Report that cited a Voya Retire Ready Index, 17 percent of people planned for retirement. Half of workers have less than $50,000 saved for retirement. Of course, the closer you are to retiring, the more serious it is to lack retirement savings and carry too much credit card debt. To get you going in the right direction, credit counseling helps you set financial goals, pay back debt as part of a budget and understand your attitude toward money.

      Figuring out your financial goals

      To get where you need to go financially, you need to know what you want. If your goal is to get out of credit card debt, one positive solution is to consolidate debt through a structured Debt Management Plan. Let the professionals at Christian Credit Counselors negotiate on your behalf with your creditors so you achieve lower interest rates. Other financial goals to include in your financial life plan include saving enough to retire by a certain age, buy a home or pay for your children’s college.

      Preparing a flexible budget

      One of the mistakes people make is having a budget that can’t bend when situations change. With Christian credit counseling, you learn what to do with your money when you have more than you expect as well as how to handle a shortfall without using a credit card. Your Debt Management Plan’s monthly payment as well as housing expenses and food will be a few of the bills you pay first. When you cut back on discretionary spending, you are more likely to live below your means.

      Getting in touch with your money values

      Whether you know it or not, you have attitudes and opinions about money and debt. Some people value having things more than they value living a debt-free lifestyle. When you view money as “bad,” you are more likely to end up with credit card debt. The root of evil isn’t money itself, but the love of money that motivates some people to do harm to others. When you use money for good, you end up with financial prosperity and abundance.

      At Christian Credit Counselors, we take the time to work one-on-one with our clients. Let us explain to you how to benefit from a monthly Debt Management and get out of debt 80 percent faster.

      Do you want to know more about debt and how you can make smart financial decisions now that will help you secure a more prosperous financial future? Sign up for our newsletter for monthly money tips.

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        Debt

        Debt Counseling and Your Financial Reality

        It’s common for people to toss aside credit card bills when the amount due balance makes them feel down. But waking up to the financial realities in your life is the first step to overcoming credit card debt. An article by mainst.com suggests many Americans are delusional about credit cards because they pay so much money in interest charges. In your own life, a little denial could lead to years of being stuck in debt unless you seek help. With debt counseling, you learn how to budget, improve your credit score and manage money. Many people troubled by credit card debt enroll in a Debt Management Plan to pay off all credit card debt in monthly installments. In addition to debt consolidation, there are actions steps you can take to show you are awake to your financial truth.

        Earn more money

        According to mainst.com, people who are successful at cutting debt realize it’s not a glamorous process, but take steps to improve the situation. One move is to get a second job, freelance or pick up independent contractor work. Brainstorm ideas for different skills you have that could earn you money.

        Fight debt instead of others

        Fighting about money leads to stress in a relationship, especially when you are in denial about the source of the anxiety. Some couples go out to eat at expensive restaurants or to the movies to reward themselves and ease tension in a relationship only to get into more credit card debt. Be honest with other people when you can’t afford to eat out.

        Pay less in interest

        A MagnifyMoney.com study shows more than 75 percent of Americans who carry credit cards pay an interest of 15 percent or higher. The average person pays more than $1,700 a month in interest. By talking to a trained credit counselor, you can learn more about debt consolidation. Your credit counselor knows how to negotiate with the credit card companies you owe money to so you pay less in interest.

        It’s also wise to stop spending money to keep up with appearances or fit in with the neighbors or friends. Debt counseling gives you an action plan to identify your financial priorities so you don’t waste money and time on people you don’t need to impress. Your credit counselor will offer tips on how to open up to your family if you want to so you aren’t secretive about money or your debt. Paying off credit card debt typically takes hard work.

        At Christian Credit Counselors, we make it easier for our clients to get out of debt with an automated system. You make one monthly Debt Management Plan payment so you can get out of debt quickly. Some of our clients get out of debt 80 percent faster than methods they tried in the past.

        Do you want to know more about debt and how you can make smart financial decisions now that will help you secure a more prosperous financial future? Sign up for our newsletter for monthly money tips.

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          Christian Credit Counselors

          Credit Counseling Eases Financial Stress

          Financial stress can cause tension in your relationships whether married or single and leave you tense on the job. Credit counseling provides many people with the answers they need to solve financial problems. An article by credit.com points out personal finances is one of the main contributors to stress. Having a large amount of credit card debt and other financial bills creates daily anxiety for workers. If you are afraid a clerk will decline your credit card while buying something in the middle of the work day or on a date, you will feel relieved the minute you talk to a trained credit counselor. A certified professional who provides Christian credit counseling does not judge, but helps you identify the root of the financial problems and take steps to get out of debt.

          Identify your money problems

          In order to get the most out of Christian credit counseling, diagnose your money problems. Figure out what’s causing your financial stress. In many cases, it’s because you can’t save up for emergencies or retirement because you owe so much money to credit card companies. In other cases, you just can’t make the minimum payments on your credit cards. In many scenarios, the solution is to consolidate debt through a Christian credit counseling company that negotiates lower interest rates on your behalf.

          Listen to sound advice

          The next step is to talk to a credit counselor to learn about personal finance and money management. Once you start budgeting, much of your financial stress will disappear. In addition, consider going online. You can access an educational blog and newsletter on the Christian Credit Counselors site. Their education department also provides online classes on financial matters.

          Build up a safety net

          You should approach saving for an emergency fund as an emergency itself. If you lose a job or face a sudden illness, an emergency fund provides financial peace of mind. As part of your new budget plan, allot money for savings. By consolidating debt, you will likely have the cash flow you need to save more.

          Remain patient through the process

          It’s not likely that you’ll get rich overnight, but you will notice your stress levels slowly decrease as your debt dwindles and your savings increases over time. Developing good money habits is all about treating yourself and your money with respect. Money can’t grow if you don’t grow as a person. Part of growing is acknowledging you can use a little help from time to time. Experts point out that fear is often paralyzing. Make the bold move to get started with a Debt Management Plan so your future is happier.

          Do you want to know more about debt and how you can make smart financial decisions now that will help you secure a more prosperous financial future? Sign up for our newsletter for monthly money tips.

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            Credit Counseling

            Credit Counseling – Signs You need a Life-Altering Change

            Some people accept credit card debt as long as they can make the minimum payments every month. Even people with the best intentions to pay their minimum balances can end up with life-altering debt. By receiving credit counseling from a Christian company with integrity and a proven track record for success, you can make a positive change. A recent report by credit.com points out how easy it is to slip into massive credit card debt. Just missing the little signs or ignoring details can come back to haunt your credit report. If you aren’t sure whether it’s time to seek credit counseling, ask yourself a few key questions.

            Are you afraid of opening your mail?

            Whether it’s opening an e-mail from your credit card company or going out to check the mailbox, don’t feel afraid of your credit card statement. If you feel anxious, nauseous or sick when you look at your credit card bill, reach out for help. Talking to a trained credit counselor who is not judgmental is not intimidating, but often provides much-needed relief.

            Do you keep lengthening your payoff timeline?

            If you had a goal to get out of debt in three months, but had to change it to 8 months, you are not going in the right direction. Changing your debt-free timeline is a bad sign. By consolidating your debt with a Debt Management Plan, you will have a new timeline for becoming debt free. You won’t change your timeline because it’s realistic and is a plan that your creditors have agreed to as well.

            Are you shuffling around debt?

            If you pay for one credit card with a cash advance from another card or do a lot of balance transfers, you know you are in financial trouble. Experts say it’s better to consolidate debt through a credit counseling company than to push debt from one card to the next. Once you stop using your credit cards and follow a budget, your life will become brand new. You will still be the same person, but feel more on top of your game.

            Is your credit card score slipping?

            Another key piece of evidence that you need debt counseling is when your credit score falls. Running up debt affects what experts call your credit utilization ratio. Having a payoff plan such as a Debt Management Plan that you can pay automatically each month is the secret to financial success for many people who formerly had credit card debt.

            At Christian Credit Counselors, we strive to help our clients get out of debt 80 percent quicker than other debt repayment strategies. We negotiate with your creditors so you don’t have to pay as much in interest charges over time.

            Do you want to know more about debt and how you can make smart financial decisions now that will help you secure a more prosperous financial future? Sign up for our newsletter for monthly money tips.

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              Debt Consolidation

              Debt Consolidation – Guarding Against Rising Rates

              No one is certain when the Federal Reserve will raise the prime rate, but experts warn there will be a trickle down effect for consumers with credit cards. The Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen says the Fed is on track to raise rates later this year, according to report by the wsj.com. When it comes to your personal finances, don’t let rising interest rates catch you off guard. With debt consolidation, you can get out of debt just in time to avoid the sting of higher interest rates. An article by cheatsheet.com points out people who carry large credit card balances each month could owe significantly more in interest. However, when you consolidate debt through a reputable credit counseling organization such as Christian Credit Counselors, you enjoy a lower interest rate. Your credit counselor negotiates for a lower rate even as interest rates climb.

              Preparing for a higher APR

              Experts say the Fed will likely raise its rate target which affects the prime rate. Typically, a higher price rate means your credit cards have higher annual percentages (APR). While the interest rates vary on different credit cards, the average interest rate on variable-rate credit cards is almost 16 percent, cheatsheet.com reports. Financial experts predict the APRs will grow at least 1 percent in the next year, which might not sound like a lot. However, if you carry a high credit-card balance, it’s imperative to consider a Debt Management Plan.

              Saving the old-fashioned way

              As interest rates rise, there is an upside for people who are saving more. You will likely get a better return on money you invest in CDs or certificates of deposit. When interest rates are higher, you can invest in a CD with a decent interest rate. In the past several years, many people ignored such savings vehicles because of the low return. With debt consolidation, you end up with one monthly bill that pays off your creditors. You will likely have more money in your budget to put aside for future long-term savings. While CDs might seem old-fashioned, they will come back into vogue when interest rates increase.

              When it comes to raising rates, the Fed is cautious because inflation is low. By getting your personal finances in order now, you will be able to handle it when prices go up or if your income goes down.

              At Christian Credit Counselors, we work hard so you can relax about your credit card debt. In most cases, our clients get out of debt 80 percent faster. By agreeing to a Debt Management Plan, you satisfy your obligations to creditors while paying less on interest charges. Getting on the path to financial freedom is all about meeting your financial obligations so you stay prepared for future financial opportunities.

              Do you want to know more about debt and how you can make smart financial decisions now that will help you secure a more prosperous financial future? Sign up for our newsletter for monthly money tips.

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                Debt

                Debt Counseling – Wrong Ways to Pay off Debt

                If you are paying off debt, you might think you are on the right track. However, there are some foolish ways to pay off debt that end up causing havoc in your financial and family life. With debt counseling you learn about the right way to handle overwhelming credit card debt. By consolidating debt through a reputable Christian credit counseling organization, you can avoid bankruptcy, debt settlement scams and several other risky methods. According to an article by mainst.com, there are several “wrong” ways consumers pay off their credit card debt. With the Federal Reserve promising to increase interest rates in the near future, it is prudent to engage in debt counseling.

                Avoid balance transfer options

                Experts say it’s easy to get tricked into balance transfer offers that lure you with a teaser rate. If you don’t pay your balance off in time, you could be subject to a higher rate. Instead of transferring your balance from one credit card to the next, consider a debt management plan that gives you a target date for pay off and a lower interest rate across the board.

                Skip title car loans

                Another risky option is a car title loan. In some states, it’s even illegal to offer consumers a loan using a car as collateral to pay off a debt. Before you lose your car with a scam, talk to a trained credit counselor who won’t judge but will offer proven solutions.

                Don’t use your home as collateral

                If you are a homeowner, you have likely heard of home equity lines of credit. With more people having equity in their homes as home prices across the country rise, it’s tempting to use your home like a piggy bank. However, you could end up having a home with negative equity. Refinancing your mortgage is only a good idea if you can get a lower interest rate because lengthening the loan gets you in more debt instead of less debt.

                Other bad ideas include using payday lenders to come up with fast cash to make a credit card payment. By receiving debt counseling you learn the difference between debt consolidation and debt settlement. With debt consolidation, you actually pay back what you owe your creditors so your credit score eventually goes up. With debt settlement and bankruptcy, your credit score often plummets. It’s good to feel motivated to pay off debt, but do it the right way.

                At Christian Credit Counselors, our goal is to help our clients get out of debt 80 percent faster. We show you the benefits of debt consolidation and negotiate with your creditors to get you a lower interest rate.

                Do you want to know more about debt and how you can make smart financial decisions now that will help you secure a more prosperous financial future? Sign up for our newsletter for monthly money tips.

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                  Debt Consolidation

                  Debt Consolidation and the Year of Becoming Richer

                  You don’t have to wait until the New Year to set goals to become wealthier. If you want more wealth one year from now, the truth is time is money. Waiting just a few months to consolidate your debt can cost you. With debt consolidation, you don’t just make paying off your debt easier with one monthly payment. Trained counselors with a reputable organization such as Christian Credit Counselors will negotiate a lower interest rate. You don’t even need to talk to your creditors to make it happen. According to a piece by cbsnews.com, there are a lot of little things you can do to increase your wealth in just one year. In one year, you could have significantly less debt and money in the bank as well.

                  Put more in retirement savings

                  Not everyone has access to a company-sponsored retirement account, but if you have earned income and aren’t an exceptionally high wage earner, you can put money in a Roth IRA. Whether you increase the percentage you let your company automatically put into a 401(k) or move money into a Roth, you will be richer in one year.

                  Eliminate three expenses

                  Experts with credit.com suggest finding three expenses to cut that won’t hurt your lifestyle but could be life changing as far as your wealth. Instead of cutting out cable or cellular phone completely, just pick a less expensive plan. Cancel a gym membership as well as any magazine and newspaper subscriptions. By talking to a credit counselor, you can brainstorm other ways to cut costs and free up money for building wealth and paying off debt.

                  Resist the debt temptation

                  One way to resist the temptation to spend money is to leave the credit cards at home. While engaged in a debt management plan, you will refrain from using your credit cards until you are completely free of credit card debt. Although you can use a credit card in the future, you will likely want to continue with your all cash spending plan. Experts with credit.com advise using the debt snowball method, which is a strategy you’ll employ with a debt management plan.

                  Selling things you don’t is another way to get into the mindset of the debt-free lifestyle. When you live on less, you realizing it’s not you who owned things. Rather, it was your things that owned you. The sooner you start saving and investing, the sooner you receive dividends and interest. If you decide to invest in real estate, you will likely enjoy the appreciation in home value whether you own a primary residence or a rental property.

                  At Christian Credit Counselors, we help our clients consolidate debt so they can get out of debt 80 percent faster than other methods. One year from now you could feel lighter and happier as the debt load is no longer weighing you down.

                  Do you want to know more about debt and how you can make smart financial decisions now that will help you secure a more prosperous financial future? Sign up for our newsletter for monthly money tips.

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                    Credit Counseling

                    Credit Counseling Leads to a Higher Net Worth

                    Life isn’t a game that ends with a lot of worthless things you can’t take with you, but having a high net worth is still important. Experts point out your net worth provides financial security in retirement. Whether you are in your 20s or 60s, you are never too young or too old to receive credit counseling. A trained credit counselor can help you get out of debt quicker and improve your credit score so you can eventually buy a home if you don’t own one already. Homeowners typically have a higher net worth than renters. According to a recent article by thefool.com, the average person’s net worth is too low to fund a long retirement. The article explains that your net worth is a financial snapshot that lets you know how much money you would have after paying off your debt and liquidating all your assets. Some people have more liabilities than assets, which translates into a negative net worth.

                    Eliminate your credit card debt

                    You can boost your net worth by reducing your debt or completely eliminating it. By enrolling in a Debt Management Plan, you watch your net worth steadily increase each month as your debt balance shrinks. When you receive credit counseling, you learn the steps to take to consolidate debt, lower your interest rates, become debt free and stay out of debt. Once you have no debt, you won’t have to subtract anything from the assets you own.

                    Learn to follow a budget

                    A credit counselor will work one-on-one with you to make sure you have the most realistic and helpful budget for your personal situation. Some of the important expenses to budget include housing, food, transportation and a debt payment. Rolling all of your credit card bills into one monthly payment makes your life easier to manage. In addition to the basics, set money aside for a retirement account.

                    Qualify for a home loan

                    Once you know the rules of the game, you can boost your credit score and save up for a down payment on a home if you aren’t already a homeowner. If you already own a home, you can qualify for a step-up house in the future. According to thefool.com, home equity makes up the greatest portion of the average American’s net worth. People in the 35 to 44 age category have a net worth of $35,000 if you include home equity but only $14,226 without the equity. People in the 45 to 54 age category have a net worth of about $84,000 including home equity and about $25,000 without the home equity.

                    Even if you are decades away from retiring, it’s important to work with a credit counselor to learn how you can get prepared. Experts say social security is just a safety net. If you are dealing with credit card debt in retirement or at any stage of your life, consider working on a Debt Management Plan. At Christian Credit Counselors, we negotiate with creditors to get our clients better interest rates.

                    Do you want to know more about debt and how you can make smart financial decisions now that will help you secure a more prosperous financial future? Sign up for our newsletter for monthly money tips.

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