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Financial Planning – A Fresh Start for the New Year

Finances and the New Year

With the New Year approaching, it is the perfect time to evaluate your current financial situation, set new financial goals, and establish budgeting strategies. Whether your credit is in great shape or you are struggling to maintain or improve your credit, it is important to pull your credit reports at least annually and review them for errors.

Click below for instructions on how to pull your credit for free from www.annualcreditreport.com

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In addition to reviewing your credit, review your assets and take the time to think about your short, mid, and long term financial goals. The only way to make those goals a reality is to setup a plan to save money every month.

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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    Budgeting, Christian Credit Counselors, Credit, Credit Cards, Credit Counseling, Credit Score, Debit & Your Credit Score, Debt, Debt Consolidation, Debt Settlement, Finance, Holiday Tips, Money Management, Personal Goals, Saving

    Credit Card – Avoiding the Debt Trap this Holiday Season

    Gift Giving on Credit

    Staying out of debt can be almost as difficult as paying it off especially when our emotions take over. After all, buying gifts for our loved ones during the holiday season is a very emotional purchase.

    Preparing for gifting should begin way before the holiday season. In a survey conducted by The American Research Group, Inc., 2014 Christmas gift spending was up 8% over 2013 with an average of $861 spent per adult consumer. So what is the most efficient and painless way to save money for the holidays each year?

    Budgeting for Gift Giving

    Creating a management budget at the beginning of each year will ensure you achieve your financial goals, establish a savings, and have funds set aside for gifts and holidays throughout the year. First, calculate how much money you spend on the holidays annually and divide that by 12 months. This is how much money you will need to set aside in your monthly budget for holiday spending. There are many spending trackers and saving tools out there but sometimes its easiest to just create an envelope labeled holidays and put cash in it each month. This might seem like a tedious task, however when the time comes to buy gifts and holiday items throughout the year it will be nice to already have the cash available and not have to worry about denting your budget.

    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

      Debt Consolidation – Forgiving Yourself of Credit Sins

      Credit Cards and Financial Health

      Misusing credit cards affects your financial health, security and future. You can easily forgive yourself of so-called credit sins by seeking assistance from a Christian credit counseling program. One of the most positive ways to get back on track is with debt consolidation. According to an article by cheatsheet.com, 30 percent of your FICO score relates to how much you owe on credit cards. If your balance gets too high and you can’t pay off the total balance, debt consolidation can help. The key is to stay calm and avoid several credit blunders.

      A Five Step Debt Management Plan

      Creditors and Debt Collectors

      One of the challenges you often have to deal with when you have a high credit card balance is debt collectors and representatives from your credit card companies. By working with a credit counselor, you put the problem in someone’s capable hands. Calls stop after you sign up for a debt management plan because your creditors agree to a specific monthly repayment plan. To get to that positive place, put aside anger.

      Your Personal Finances

      Another credit blunder is refusing to seek personal finance help because of pride. A lot of people seek Christian credit counseling because they don’t want to feel shamed or ridiculed for mistakes. A certified credit counselor with a Christian mindset will give you advice on debt consolidation without judgment.

      Embracing Frugal Finances

      No matter what your situation, you can find new and creative ways to practice frugality. Another credit “sin” is to pay only the minimum balance on a credit card. When you resist the temptation to overspend, you fix the problem instead of exasperating it.

      Credit Cards and Debt Management

      When you agree to a debt management plan to pay off debt, you stop using your old credit cards. It is also important to stop opening up new credit lines. A credit counselor helps you budget, plan and save so you can avoid repeating the same financial mistakes.

      Overcoming Credit Problems with Contentment

      When you find happiness with the things you already own instead of constantly wanting something bigger or better, many of your credit problems disappear. After getting on board with a debt consolidation plan, give yourself some space to feel happy. Instead of soothing your stress and troubles by spending money, find other ways to relax such as a free walk in nature or time with friends and family.

      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 Consolidations
        Debt Consolidation

        Debt Consolidation – Combating Holiday Credit Card Debt

        Setting Financial Goals

        By planning ahead, it’s easy to combat holiday credit card debt that puts you behind with New Year’s resolutions and financial goals. According to an article by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the best approach is to plan ahead to avoid holiday binge buying. By talking to a Christian credit counselor, you learn about debt consolidation. Whether you sign up for a debt management plan before or after the holidays, you will have a strategy in place. Experts say paying off credit card debt is an important step to financial freedom and balance. Depending on your personality, financial habits and goals, the payoff date will differ. Thirty-eight percent of households deal with credit card debt, according to statics by Nerdwallet.com.

        Paying off Credit Card Debt

        One decision to make is whether you want to move around your credit card debt or get it paid off. Balance transfers buy you time if you want to take debt from a high interest credit card and move it to a zero percent card. The downside is the introductory interest rate doesn’t last. Most people get stuck paying an extremely high rate. A better option is debt consolidation through a reputable credit counseling agency such as Christian Credit Counselors. Because holiday shopping occurs typically at the end of the year, you will likely run up an old credit card if you transfer the balance.

        Debt Management and Gift Giving

        When you sign up for a debt management plan before the holidays, you stop using your credit cards. Although it is likely too late in the year to save up a holiday gift fund so you can buy gifts with cash, you can save money by making homemade gifts or providing gift certificates for services such as mowing a loved one’s lawn or back rubs. Your loved ones will likely appreciate a crocheted blanket more than a cash gift because it represents time spent and effort.

        Listening to Financial Experts

        If you accumulated a lot of debt throughout the year, it’s good to step back and evaluate where you have been. Before you get carried away with the holidays, talk to debt consolidation experts. In addition to consolidating debt, you find out how to budget, save, plan, improve your credit score and organize financial matters. Instead of leaning on your own understanding of financial matters, take the bold step to ask for help. A trained credit counselor doesn’t leave it to you to contact your creditors. Instead, the experienced credit counselors contact your creditors and work out a plan so you can pay back your debt. The holiday gift for you is a lower interest rate on what you owe as well as the peace of mind and joy of having a payoff date and realistic monthly payment.

        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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          At Christian Credit Counselors, we help our clients with debt consolidation so they get out of debt 80 percent faster than other strategies. For more information on how to financially plan ahead for the holidays, please contact us.

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          Credit Counseling
          Credit Counseling

          Credit Counseling as a Positive Solution to ‘Forever’ Debt

          Getting Unstuck from Debt

          If you feel stuck in credit card debt for eternity, there are positive steps you can take. With credit counseling, you learn how to adopt positive financial habits or a different outcome. According to a recent article by Kiplinger.com, one personal finance survey discovered that 13 percent of people said they will never pay back all the money they owe. Eight percent didn’t think they could pay back all of their debt until they reach their 70s.

          Forever debt or debt that feels hopeless stems from several factors including housing costs that are too high, interest rates that are too high and emergency funds that are too tiny. With the help of a certified and trained credit counselor, you can overcome the three financial challenges. Look or a credit counseling agency with a Christian philosophy so you feel encouraged in a positive way.

          If your mortgage or rent is too high

          A credit counselor will help you work out a realistic budget so you can pay all of your bills on time. If your mortgage or rent is not affordable, it could stand in the way of you getting out of credit card debt. By enrolling in a debt management plan, you receive a plan to get out of debt in less time. Your monthly debt payment to credit card companies will fit within your budget. While experts say the average mortgage is 69 percent of a family’s debt, you can lower the amount you pay for housing by switching to a less expensive rental unit or selling or refinancing a home you own.

          If your emergency fund is too small

          Experts say it is prudent to have six months of living expenses tucked away in an emergency fund. When you tap your emergency fund, you avoid running up credit card bills. Take several months to live below your means so you have liquid cash available for

          If your credit card interest is too high

          You can pay off your debt faster by letting responsible and trained credit counselors negotiate an interest rate on your behalf with your creditors. When you have a lower interest rate, you end up owing less money. Some people manage to complete their debt management plan in less than one year.

          At Christian Credit Counselors, we provide credit counseling to people who want a positive approach to personal finances. Our clients find a solution to what used to seem like forever debt. We educate consumers about their options for dealing with credit card debt and low credit scores. For more information about credit counseling, please contact us.

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