Debt Counseling
Debt

Debt Counseling Teaches You 4 Easy Ways to Get Out of Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt is a problem for people of all ages. Experts say cash-strapped college students often live on credit. Meanwhile, young couples use credit cards for miscellaneous wedding and honeymoon expenses. Retired people often use credit cards to supplement their Social Security income. With debt counseling, you learn about different ways to get out of credit card debt including debt consolidation. According to a recent article by U.S.A. Today, the average family in American owes about $15,000 in credit card debt. Paying off credit card debt once it surpasses your yearly income is especially difficult and feels impossible.

Consolidating debt the right way

Some people open a low-interest rate credit card to consolidate their credit card debt. In many cases, people with low credit scores can’t even get a low-interest credit card. Instead sign up for a debt management program that lets you pay off debt with a specific monthly plan. Your creditors get on board. Most consumers love the fact that they don’t have to negotiate a deal because credit counselors work behind the scenes to help you. If you have credit card debt that totals half or all of your yearly income, a debt management plan is ideal. Your creditors work with the income you have. They often lower the interest you owe and forgive late fees.

Making the minimum payment, for now

Continue to make the minimum payments on your credit card until you get everything set with a debt management plan. Another possibility with debt counseling is that you develop a budget and strategy to pay more than the minimum on some credit cards. The point of paying at least the minimum is to keep your credit score at a healthy level. With debt counseling, you learn all the tricks and tips for improving your score over time.

Asking for a better interest rate

Experts say if you have a credit score of 710 or higher, you can often ask creditors for a better interest rate. Of course, most people struggling with credit card debt also struggle with a low score. Receiving debt counseling gives you an edge because you find out about debt consolidation for a reduced interest rate on credit card debt. Boosting your score is key to better personal finances. Once you reach the 700 or 800 mark, it’s easier to get mortgages, car loans and lower interest rates.

Making two minimum payments a month

Another tip is to make two minimum payments a month on a particular credit card. By doing that, you reduce the balance owed and pay off the debt quicker. Making two minimum payments is a good holding strategy until you can pay off your debt completely with a debt management plan. If you get paid twice a month, you can often budget to make credit card payments with each paycheck.

At Christian Credit Counselors, we help consumers battling credit card debt and desiring a more positive financial future. For more tips on how to quickly improve your finances with debt counseling, please contact us.

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Debt Counseling
Debt

Debt Counseling for an Upbeat Debt Escape Plan

Wishing away your debt does not get you too far, but there are foolproof plans to pay off credit card debt. With debt counseling, you figure out how to keep your finances in check so you feel empowered in all parts of your life. Debt affects not just your physical surroundings, but your spiritual and emotional health. According to an article by U.S. News & World Report, the average American household has about $7,300 in credit card debt. The article interviewed author Beverly Harzog, who wrote the book, “The Debt Escape Plan.” After receiving debt counseling, consumers often devise a budget and plan so they don’t rely on their credit cards as they should an emergency fund. Interestingly credit card debt appears as a greater problem for women in the 18 to 24 age category with 63 percent of females carrying credit card debt compared to only 36 percent of men. It’s not just younger women who carry more credit card debt. A study showed 66 percent of women versus 33 percent of men in the 55 to 64 age category carried credit card debt. Whether you are male or female, consider some of the author’s tips to escape debt.

Making specific goals

A credit counselor helps you come up with financial goals. Experts such as Harzog recommend making specific goals with a timeline. She says the most difficult part is just getting started. By receiving debt counseling, you motivate yourself to nail down specific financial goals.

Cutting back instead of eliminating

Instead of trying to do without certain pleasures, the author suggests scaling back on lifestyle choices. Maybe you can’t give up coffee, but at least choose a less expensive brand. Instead of giving up pedicures, look at your history and make adjustments. If you used to go every other week, go once a month.

Knowing your triggers

With debt counseling, you often identify your spending triggers. For some people, the spending trigger is looking at sales on the Internet or shopping at particular stores. If you tend to buy more when you shop with your sister, consider exercising or going to the library with her instead.

Consolidating your debt

Experts recommend people make more money and consolidate debt. Making more money involves starting a side gig and working overtime. Consolidating debt is easy with a debt management plan through a credit counseling agency.

Once you pay off debt with a debt management plan, you feel free and enjoy your other goals in life. At Christian Credit Counselors, we provide debt counseling to consumers. For more information on consolidating debt, please contact us.

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Credit Counseling
Credit Counseling

Top 5 Things You Could Do After Receiving Credit Counseling

When you are drowning in debt, it is so hard—maybe impossible—for you to take advantage of many of the luxuries we have access to here in America. Maybe you started out in luxury, living outside of your means. But now have more debt than you can handle and are wondering how your next paycheck will even cover your bills. Receiving credit counseling could be a great option for you. Christian Credit Counselors is a non-profit organization that wants to help get you on the right track so you can pay off your debt and start paying for the things you need to and want to be paying for that you haven’t been able to. Here is a list of the top 5 things you could do after receiving credit counseling.

Pay off debt. This is a huge one. It may take a few years but it will take a lot less time if you consolidate your debt and start paying a lower interest rate.
Build your savings. Any smart person has an emergency fund of savings for those times when things just come up. The bigger the emergency fund, the fewer life events will seem like emergencies.
Start saving for retirement. Hopefully you have already been doing some of this but if not, after paying off debt it is time to start! Set yourself up for a successful future.
Save for your kids. Many parents like to have a college fund for their kids so they don’t have to start off their careers in debt. With college costs continually on the rise, your children will be thankful for whatever you can give them.
Actually have some fun! Once you don’t have debt looming over your head, you can save money for vacations, that new camper or boat you’ve been eyeing, or whatever else your heart desires.
If this sounds like a distant dream to you, contact us today at Christian Credit Counselors. We can turn this dream into a reality.

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Debt Counseling
Debt, Debt Consolidation

Debt Counseling to Get out of Debt on a Limited Budget

Most people who seek debt counseling want to get out of debt but struggle with limited funds. If you had more money, you would likely pay off your credit card debt. According to an article by cheatsheet.com, most people would love it if their debt just magically disappeared. When you sign up for a debt management plan, your credit card debt doesn’t disappear but your stress often does. That’s because you finally have a debt repayment plan that is simply and doable. When you live in a tight budget, it helps to enjoy lower interest rates that come with debt consolidation. If you can’t afford to make extra payments on your credit cards, consider debt counseling to figure out solutions for you. Otherwise, all of your payments simply go toward interest. You end up treading water when it comes to your debt. Financial experts suggest 5 ways to get out of credit card debt with scare funds.

Start a plan

To get out of credit card debt, open yourself up to debt counseling. A credit counselor looks at how much debt you currently have as well as which lenders you owe money to. With a debt management plan, the plan is simple and straightforward. A credit counselor negotiates the payment plan with lenders so you get better terms and lower interest rates.

Make it automatic

The next step to getting out of debt on a strict budget is to set up automatic payments to your debt management plan. You make one monthly payment, which is easily deducted from a bank account. By putting your finances on autopilot, you have more time to devote to making money. An automatic payment plan takes away your excuses. All you need to do is focus on making sure there is enough money in the account, which means budgeting and planning.

Cut spending

Learning to live below your means takes a lot of practice for natural spenders who love shopping and buying for themselves and others. Cutting spending is common sense when you have limited money. Most people find places to cut by looking in the entertainment category. Think of ways to have fun that cost nothing. Focus more on the experiences you share with loved ones as opposed to material items you buy.

Change your habits

Another good tips is to adopt new financial habits. To become debt-free, you need to avoid situations that tempt you into overspending. If you buy impulse items at certain stores, go shopping with someone who will hold you accountable. Avoid driving past tempting coffee shops or restaurants if food is your weakness.

Seek help

According to the cheatsheet.com article, people who feel overwhelmed by their credit card debt benefit from debt counseling through a credit counseling agency. You can often get affordable or free advice as well as help setting up a debt management plan. Some possible solutions include consolidating loans and learning to follow a comprehensive budget.

At Christian Credit Counselors, we offer financial advice and help for consumers struggling with debt. Whether you have a high-paying job or a tight budget due to limited income, we can help you get out of credit card debt. For more information about how debt counseling frees consumers with excessive debt, please contact us.

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Credit Counseling
Credit Counseling

Credit Counseling and Other Ways to Get More Conscious About Spending

One of the reasons people get into debt is they spend almost effortlessly without any real thought. By submitting to credit counseling, you actually take back control of your personal finances. When it comes to money, it’s all about staying in the present. Take a mindful approach by creating awareness of your financial habits and credit card debt. With credit counseling from an established Christian credit counseling agency, you can trust the advice you get based in positive core values and Christian principles. According to a recent article by time.com, it’s quite common for extra expenses to creep up over time until you notice you’ve reached a credit limit. The article points out a BlackRock survey of wealthy people showing almost half believe inflation is a high risk to their personal finances. Other top concerns include an expensive mortgage that prevents them from saving for retirement. To get spending under control, your credit counselor will assist you with four simple financial habits and practices.

Getting a simple budget in place

Your budget does not have to complicate your life. In fact, it is extremely simple to reduce anxiety. Experts with Bankrate.com say one fifth of people in the U.S. do not even have a budget. Another one fifth of people walk around with a “mental budget,” in their minds. When you meet with a Christian credit counselor, you design a budget that is similar to a life’s mission statement. The process starts by collecting all of your credit card statements and evaluating the real possibility of debt consolidation.

Using more cash

Another tip is to use more cash to pay for what you need and want. Sadly, experiments find that people with credit cards willingly pay as much as 80 percent more for something they want compared to people using only cash. Stick to your gut instinct by putting credit cards away while paying down debt with a debt management plan. A debt management plan often rewards you with a lower interest rate while you meet your financial obligations.

Going retro with finances

Whether you are a baby boomer who remembers the days of using post-it notes and cash or a young millennial who does everything online, consider a few retro practices to keep it real. Using a post-it note or piece of paper with your financial goal written on it encourages you to reduce spending when you stick the note around your debit card. As far as harnessing technology, use it to remind yourself constantly of how much you spend. Sign up for notifications that remind you anytime you use your bank car. Keep track of your spending online and on paper.

At Christian Credit Counselors, we work hard to help our clients manage their finances and get out of credit card debt. We also help you lift your credit score. For more tips on controlling spending, please contact us.

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Christian Credit Counselors
Christian Credit Counselors

Ways Christian Credit Counseling Helps Beyond Credit Card Debt

Christian credit counseling provides more than financial coaching for people who are drowning in credit card debt. With the Christian approach, the focus is on spiritual growth, financial responsibility and compassion. According to a recent article by U.S. News & World Report, credit counselors help people with money problems. People who can’t afford to pay off their credit card debt often tap Christian credit counseling services as a more affordable way to handle the situation. A Christian credit counselor withholds judgement, helping to work with your creditors and get you a lower interest rate. Debt consolidation is only one of several benefits. While experts say consumers are in more debt than in the Great Recession, there are positive steps to take.

Learning to set a budget

People who set up a budget figure out where they can cut back on spending and how much they can save. Credit counseling helps you to put your financial situation in perspective with the facts. In most cases, you find all of your credit card statements and other bills so you can track your progress. By signing up for a debt management plan, you get out of debt on a specific timeline. Meanwhile, your budget keeps you on track for the rest of your life by helping you spend less than you make.

Improving your low credit score

If you have a low credit score, Christian credit counseling helps. Some tips you learn include how to check your credit report and dispute inaccuracies. Also, pay your bills on time. Instead of moving debt around with credit card transfers, simply pay off the debt. If you need help paying off a large debt load, turn to debt consolidation through a credit counseling agency. Avoid opening new credit card accounts, closing accounts you already have and falling prey to a debt settlement scam.

Receiving Christian credit counseling isn’t just about freeing yourself from credit card debt. It’s also about understanding your overall financial picture. You can easily reduce stress by resolving financial difficulties. Getting financial advice based on Biblical principles gives you greater financial peace. At Christian Credit Counselors, we help you get a refreshing new viewpoint of your financial situation with positive solutions. If you want to eliminate your debt so you can build true wealth, talk to one of our credit counselors. For more information about debt consolidation, please contact us.

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Debt Consolidation
Debt Consolidation

Debt Consolidation Before Credit Card Rates on Existing Debt Goes Up

If you have put your credit card statements aside, figuring you will get to it eventually, it’s more important than ever to consider debt consolidation. When you sign up for debt consolidation, you lower your interest rate so you can pay off all of your credit card debt in less time. It’s becoming increasingly more important to pay attention to credit card debt. According to a piece by bankrate.com, rates on existing credit card debt will likely go up as the Fed increases the prime rate. Last year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found a person with about $15,000 worth of credit card debt will most likely deal with about $150 of interest rate charges if the Fed raises the rates by as little as one percent. While rates begin to go up, consider locking in on a lower rate. A trained credit counselor will talk to your creditors to negotiate a debt management plan. Unlike a debt settlement plan, it’s not about walking away from your debt. It’s about facing your debt head one, but enjoying a break given to you by your creditors who decrease the interest rates and often forgive late charges.

Getting honest about the problem

Experts say the first step you can take when you have a lot of credit card debt is to get real or honest about the situation. Consider your future goals and plans. Do you want to retire in five years? Do you hope to get out of debt so you can buy a home in two years? When you figure out your goals, you will likely find the motivation to make positive changes. A Christian credit counseling company will show you how to accomplish your goals with debt consolidation.

Making room in your budget

Some people make the mistake of having an extremely strict budget that is impossible to maintain. When you consolidate debt, you find out how much you will pay every month to satisfy all of your creditors included in the debt management plan. If you owe, for example, $150 a month to satisfy a debt management plan, you know how much is left for other bills, rent or mortgage, food, gasoline, cellular phone, cable, utilities and other items. Make room in your budget or retirement savings and emergency savings. Also, allow for a little breathing room for discretionary spending and entertainment.

At Christian Credit Counselors, we put the joy back into managing your finances. Talk to us about the benefits of debt consolidation before rates on your credit cards go up. For more details about how to get out of debt 80 percent faster than other programs, please contact us.

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Credit Counseling
Credit Counseling

Credit Counseling Results in Household Drop in Credit Card Debt

As more consumers receive credit counseling, an incredibly positive result is a drop in household credit card debt. According to a recent piece by nerdwallet.com, household debt for American consumers went up this year, but mainly due to mortgage and student loan debt. The good news is credit card debt went down by 3 percent. For people who sign up for a debt management plan, credit card debt quickly becomes a burden of the past. The Nerd Wallet research showed the average debt balances for different types of debt. By eliminating credit card debt, it’s easier to tackle all other kinds of debt including mortgages, auto loans, student loans and personal loans.

Looking at the average balances

Sometimes it’s fun to compare yourself to other consumers, getting an idea of what kind of predicament other people face with their finances. A Christian credit counselor gives you complete privacy and helps with a positive approach. Instead of reinventing a formula for success, consider consolidating credit card debt. The debt consolidation approach works for many people who want to find financial peace. As far as average balances, Nerd Wallet found in just one-quarter or three months, credit card debt went down about 3 percent while mortgage debt went up almost 2 percent. Student loan debt went up 1.69 percent.

Figuring out your net worth

When you receive credit counseling, you lay everything out on the table as far as credit card bills. It’s also good to get a financial checkup. Figuring out your net worth is a simple calculation that involves adding up all of your equity, assets, money and then subtracting what you owe. The Nerd Wallet study showed the average balance on mortgage debt is about $171,000. The average auto loan balance is about $27,000, while the average student loan balance is about $49,000. The average credit card debt is much less at about $15,000, but the interest rate on credit card debt is significantly higher. Paying off credit card debt with a debt management plan is a key secret to financial success.

At Christian Credit Counselors, we help you improve your credit score over time with financial education and tools. We help consumers get out of credit card debt by positively confronting their debt. Talk to us about how we work with creditor to lower your interest rate and work out a plan. For more information on credit counseling, please contact us.

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Credit Counseling
Credit Counseling

Opt for Credit Counseling Before Your Debt Gets Out of Hand

It is easy for debt to become overwhelming, especially when you do not have a concrete plan for eliminating it over a set period of time. Many individuals will let things fester for a while, thinking that they will eventually start making more payments when they become more dedicated or get a raise. If you do not feel completely confident with your plan to get rid of debt, you should get credit counseling.

Let Professionals Guide You

While you may have your own expertise, you can get guidance from a professional who knows their finances. Instead of struggling to come up with your own financial plan, you can follow a path that is guaranteed to leave you in a positive financial position after everything is said and done.

Tackle the Issue Early On

If you do not manage to catch your looming financial issues early on, you may end up digging yourself a huge financial hole, in which climbing out becomes even more challenging. By catching it early on, you will not only take a huge step by asking for help, but you will set yourself up for a bright financial future.

Live Positively

Problematic finances can easily keep someone from feeling happy on a daily basis. It is a problem that does not just go away, so it requires direct action to start making progress. Getting credit counseling is the first step towards making a change that will help you live your life positively.

The longer you remain in debt, the more money that you pay towards interest charges. These charges can prevent you from making any progress on your debt, even when you are making consistent payments.

Asking for help can set you on the right financial path, so please contact us today.

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Debt Counseling
Credit Counseling, Debt

Debt Counseling When You Aren’t Sure if It Is Ever OK to Pile up Debt

New Federal Reserve Data shows Americans owe the most revolving consumer debt since 2009. With so many people acquiring more credit card debt, you might wonder if it’s ever OK to pile up credit card debt. With debt counseling, you get the answers to enigmatic personal finance questions. According to a recent article by Bloomberg.com, a lot of cardholders carry debt from one month to the next. With a high interest rate, consumers often pay a large portion of their monthly budget to debt. While a high credit limit doesn’t obligate you to spend more, some people can’t resist using all available credit. Typically, credit card debt is negative. However, when you use credit cards responsibility, they can often serve purposes. Debt counseling helps you figure out not only how to get out of debt but how to improve your credit score so you can borrow in the future.

Using credit for job hunting

A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found credit cards assist job seekers striving to turn their lives around for the better. If you faced unemployment in the past, you most likely needed help paying for work clothing, tools or gas to get to interviews. The study found a higher credit limit gave job seekers time to find a better job. By receiving debt counseling, you learn how to save for emergencies or job losses so you remain prepared for unpredictable situations.

Tapping credit instead of retirement

Another time when it pays to use credit cards is when you feel tempted to use our retirement funds. If you have to pay a 10 percent penalty to the IRS as well as pay taxes on an early distribution from a retirement plan, you lose money that could have grown for your future. Debt counseling gives you a chance to reflect on the best ways to handle financial tight spots. Also, you will likely decide to consolidate credit card debt so you pay off what you owe in less time and at a reduced interest rate.

While there are a few situations when it pays to have credit cards, generally it’s best to keep a zero balance on any cards you already carry. Avoid using credit cards unless you know you will have the money to pay them off. Also, answer honestly when applying for credit cards.

At Christian Credit Counselors, we help consumers get out of credit card debt in less time. For more tips on using credit cards responsibility and advice on getting out of debt, please contact us.

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