Debt Consolidation

Debt Consolidation – Understanding how it can Help

Avoiding Financial Struggles

Anyone who has been through a collections process knows that it is a very emotionally shaking experience. Calls at all hours of the day, demands being made that you simply can’t afford to live-up to, and even court orders and garnished wages.

There are some answers to avoiding that hassle, but one stands out as a way to avoid having to declare bankruptcy, and do the Christian thing by paying back what you owe. That answer is debt consolidation. But what exactly is it?

Pay Creditors Back Without Breaking the Bank

Essentially, debt consolidation is taking out one large loan to pay off all the smaller loans that people pick-up in their lives. This allows for you to clean the slate, without leaving the creditors in a bind and without the money that they’re owed.

It also simplifies the financial aspect of the debt, bringing the entirety of the bill under one roof. Instead of writing multiple checks to multiple different financial organizations, it involves writing one check to one place, making.

Will it Hurt my Credit?

The great thing about debt consolidation from a trusted group is that debt consolidation is treated just like any other loan. It’s impact on your credit score is in direct relation to how you handle the loan itself. By showing effort to repay the loan, your credit score can increase. Failing to pay it back will have you seeing your score go down.

Christians Helping Christians

Debt consolidation is one of several services offered by us at Christian Credit Counseling. We are a not-for-profit group, meaning our actions are not driven by us making a profit, but rather by helping you get through this challenging situation. If you are in need of our services, contact us and we’ll help you through this struggle and get you on the road to debt recovery.

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 is Not a Simple Solution

    The Cause vs. Symptoms of Financial Struggles

    People sometimes think that debt consolidation is a simple solution that will solve the worries of accumulated debt, and put you on the right track toward living within your means. The popular wisdom, for instance, is that if you already have a mortgage, that an equity loan will serve nicely to put your worries behind you.

    While there is some validity in this belief, it is important to place importance upon the cause of the problem, not the symptomatic relief. If your debt is a result of medical problems, or a family catastrophe, or a natural disaster loss, then the act of debt consolidation may help you to get back on track.

    Evaluating your Financial Lifestyle

    But if you find yourself in a constant state of not having enough funds to support your lifestyle, then you may need to fix your lifestyle before deciding what is going to help you. An inappropriate solution may be counter-productive.

    For instance, getting a refinance on a home that includes paying off personal credit card debt may compromise your ability to deduct mortgage interest on your home on Schedule A at tax time. Deductibility of mortgage interest depends on several factors, including the fair market value of your home at the time of the refinance. And even if your loan balances are well within the limits of the fair market value, you are only allowed $100K of equity debt in that loan balance for the mortgage interest to be fully deductible.

    Examining Your Money Priorities

    It’s important to examine your priorities in your lifestyle before deciding on a solution. If you hide your unresolved issues in further debt, then the problem will only get worse, not better.

    The quality of your commitment to conquer debt is the most important factor, however. This includes an honest look at why the debt is there.

    Common reasons for debt include the loss of a job, a divorce, medical expenses, bad management of a one-time windfall, or simple ignorance about financial reality. Each of these situations, or each combination of them, will require a strategy beyond the initial solution.

    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, Debit & Your Credit Score, Debt, Debt Consolidation, Uncategorized

      Signs of a Good Credit Counselor – Service to Servanthood

      IDing a Good Credit Counselor

      If you’re reading this, you’re probably concerned about your financial situation.  You want to take control of your life, get out of debt and develop better spending habits in the future.  But you can’t always do all of this by yourself.  You may need a credit counselor’s help.  If you’re thinking about getting a credit counselor, here are a few things to keep in mind.

      Services they Provide

      Different credit counselors specialize in different things.  Some might be more interested in improving your credit score while others will focus on eliminating debt.  Some might want to make sure you walk away with a better idea of your spending priorities.  So you need to think about what exactly it is you need to do most and then go with the credit counselor who gives you that service.

      Number crunching

      If your main aim is to get out of debt, you’ll need to make sure that you get the lowest possible interest rate and the lowest possible monthly payment.  Of course, you don’t want to end up paying off your debt for the rest of your life either.  So you should also consider how long it’s going to take you in the plan set up for you by your credit counselor.  At Christian Credit Counseling, we try to give you a low interest rate and a low monthly payment while still allowing you to pay off your debt fast.

      Their Approachability

      A lot of people feel a little ashamed about the fact that they’ve gotten into debt.  In addition to this, you don’t need someone else judging you.  If you feel uncomfortable with the counselor working with you, then don’t choose them.  Make sure that they’re approachable.  You should be able to speak to them about whatever is on your mind.

      Who Recommended Them

      If the credit counselor has been recommended to you by a friend, they’re probably trustworthy.  You might want to sit down with your friend and get the details of their experience just to make sure that your situations are similar.  You can also read through online reviews which will give you a lot of information about the counselor, what they aim for and how they interact with people.

      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, Credit Cards, Credit Counseling, Debit & Your Credit Score, Debt, Debt Consolidation, Uncategorized

        Debt Counseling – Three Sign You Need it

        Debt Counseling Candidates

        Sometimes, it’s pretty obvious that someone needs debt counseling.  After all, you know when you’re in debt.  You know when you’ve spent money on credit without paying it off.  You know when you’ve taken out loans.  It all sounds simple enough.

        But, for some people, financial matters are anything but simple.  They keep trying to keep track of their money but find themselves floundering all the time.  If you suspect that your financial problems are beyond your control, then ask yourself the following questions to figure out if you need debt counseling:

        If you have Loan Payments

        Everyone’s taken out loans at one point or the other.  You may have done so to pay for your studies or for medical expenses.  If you don’t remember how much money you took out as a loan or how much of it is still remaining to be paid, then you’re probably in need of debt counseling.

        Sometimes, people deliberately ignore the notices that come to their door because they don’t want to see the sum they owe going further and further up due to lack of payment.  If this describes you, then you probably need debt counseling.

        If you have Credit Card Debt

        If you can’t even remember how many credit cards you have and what the interest rates are on each of them, then chances are you owe quite a bit of money and need debt counseling.  Most of us have a few credit cards but it’s important to keep checking how much you owe on a monthly basis and paying that sum off little by little.  If you are in the habit of only making  your minimum payments, you’re probably running  a huge tab which consists mostly of the interest on your purchases.

        If you can’t Afford your Basic Necessities

        Everyone needs food, clothing and shelter in order to live.  You don’t absolutely need to have additional comforts or luxuries but these three items are non-negotiable.  If you find that you’re struggling to make ends meet where food, clothing and shelter are concerned, then you probably need debt counseling.

        You shouldn’t have to pull out a credit card to pay for groceries.  And if your rent or mortgage payments are going through later and later in the month (or not going through at all), then there’s no shame in contacting us us at Christian Credit Counseling to help you with your problems.

        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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          Bankruptcy, Christian Credit Counselors, Credit Counseling, Debit & Your Credit Score, Debt, Debt Consolidation, Uncategorized

          Debt Consolidation vs Bankruptcy

          The Debt Consolidation Facts

          Are you facing the possibility of bankruptcy?  Take time to explore all of your alternatives before you go through with a bankruptcy.  Debt consolidation is a valid option that will not negatively impact your future as bankruptcy will.

          Bankruptcy

          Bankruptcy has a variety of negative implications.  For those enduring financial hardship and looking to escape the seemingly never ending bills you may be surprised to find out the costs associated with bankruptcy.  Filing for bankruptcy will cost $300 and attorney fees could be in the thousands.  Pre and post counseling will also cost you money.  If it doesn’t sound helpful for someone overwhelmed by financial issues, it isn’t.  Bankruptcy is time consuming and complex.

          In addition it has long lasting future implications.  You will struggle to obtain future loans for cars and a home.  It may be difficult to rent.  Bankruptcy remains on your credit report for 10 years.  Future employment may also be impacted.  Bankruptcy should only be a last resort after all other options have been exhausted.

          Debt Consolidation

          Enrolling in the Christian Credit Counselors Debt Management Program (DMP) will allow you to pay off your debts over time.  All of your unsecured debt (credit cards, medical bills, and collection accounts) will be consolidated into one monthly payment and Christian Credit Counselors will send the money to your creditors.  Often the interest rates are reduced and the majority of creditors stop their fees (such as late and past due fees).  Credit harassment will stop.

          Your credit score will not be negatively impacted by debt consolidation.  During the time you are enrolled in the DMP your credit report may show that you are managed by a credit counseling agency but your score will not be impacted.  In addition when you have completed the DMP the report will no longer show that comment which means you will be much more likely to obtain a mortgage or auto loan than those that experienced bankruptcy.  Future employers will view you as responsible for paying back the money you borrowed.

          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 vs Avoiding Debt

            Avoiding Debt Collectors

            Do you avoid answering phone calls from numbers you don’t recognize? When the envelope from the debt collector comes, does it stay unopened for days? Financial difficulties weigh people down. If it feels like your debt is spiraling out of control, it’s time to give Christian Credit Counseling a try.

            Hiding from the problem doesn’t make it go away. Unfortunately, interest will continue to grow, making the hole bigger. This adds to the fear, making the inclination to turn away even stronger.

            Finding Financial Freedom

            If you feel trapped by financial difficulties and debt, ask yourself how gratifying being free of the worry will feel. Are you ready to partner with someone, and take the first steps out of bondage? Are you willing to move in the right direction, away from feelings of guilt and helplessness?

            We can help you stop the cycle of fear and find your way to financial freedom. Our Biblically based services are certified and have helped over 300,000 individuals & families become 100% debt free.

            A Partner in Your Financial Journey

            You really aren’t alone. Our expert counselors understand the challenges you’re facing. And that’s the point. It’s time to face the difficulties, with someone who not only knows how to help, but who genuinely cares about what you’re going through.

            Let Christian Credit Counseling partner with you on this journey. From debt and credit counseling, to long term financial planning, we have the tools and expertise you need to stop being afraid. Contact us today to speak to a counselor, and learn how we can help. Let’s face your fears together.

            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 Counseling and Overcoming Your Debt

              Overcoming Your Debt

              Times are hard for many Americans. Unemployment rate is high and for those that have jobs raises are few and far between but the cost of living continues to increase. Many people are finding themselves in a financial bind and are either living paycheck to paycheck or are unable to meet their financial obligations each month. If you are in a hardship situation or are overwhelmed with debt, then you should consider debt counseling.

              Reduction of Expenses

              Upon calling the debt counseling agency, we will speak with you about your monthly financial obligations. After reviewing your expenses, we will come up with a payment plan that can fit your budget. The payment plan will still allow for any additional expenses you may accrue throughout the month.

              Once we have established a monthly payment plan, we will act as your advocate to the credit card companies. In many cases, we will significantly lower your interest rates allowing for a much smaller monthly payment. Instead of paying all of your creditors, you will make one payment to us, and we will distribute the funds to them.

              Light at the end of the tunnel

              Once we have established a payment plan, we will set up a time frame to where all of your debt will be paid in full. This usually happens within a five year period. Knowing your debt will be paid off in five years or less will help you breathe easier and allow you to climb out from the debt.

              Training courses

              In order to complete the debt counseling process, you will have to undergo training courses that will help you better understand how debt works and to help ensure that you never find yourself in a financial bind again.

              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, Debit & Your Credit Score, Debt Consolidation, Home, House, Uncategorized

                Debt Counseling Before a Short Sale

                Living through The Great Recession

                Sometimes even the best efforts to be a good steward of the resources we are given can seem to come up short. In 2008 an economic downturn began that has become known as “the great recession”.

                Through no fault of their own, but only due to buying their home at the high point of home prices before the recession hit, many homeowners have found themselves “underwater”.This means the current market value of their homes is less than their original purchase price and less than the outstanding balance of their mortgage loan. If they do a conventional sale, they will be without their home and still owe the portion of their mortgage loan balance that is not covered by proceeds from the sale.

                Understanding Short Sales

                In these circumstances, with the approval of the lender, it may be possible to sell a home for less than the balance of the home loan and have the entire debt excused. This is known as a short sale. As stated by a Bank of America official quoted on the federal website, makinghomeaffordable.gov, “In many cases, [a short sale] is a dignified exit strategy where the borrower can sell the home and avoid the negative impact of foreclosure on their credit report and return to a better financial position.” While it is true that a short sale may be a viable solution for many, it is wise when considering a short sale to also seek debt counseling.

                Debt Consolidation Programs

                A debt counselor can help you explore a variety of programs available through the federal government, including the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program and the Housing Finance Agency Innovation Fund for the Hardest Hit Housing Markets (HHF). But most importantly, a debt counselor will assist you in determining if a short sale is really the right solution for you.

                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 – Three Reasons to Love It

                  Securing Your Financial Future

                  When it comes to credit counseling, you’ll see that we don’t do things halfway. Although it is necessary for a financially secure future, many perceive credit counseling to be challenging. We understand that during these circumstances you need to know that you have someone in your corner that you can trust. We have three reasons to love credit counseling and when read them, we think you’ll share our feelings too.

                  Debt Advocacy

                  Your credit counselor serves as an advocate on your behalf. Their primary concern is to make sure that they hold you and your family’s best interests at heart. The days of your creditors harassing you are long gone. Your credit counselor will work diligently to negotiate payment options that best fit your budget and substantially eliminate any interest owed.

                  Money Education

                  One of the most important factors of credit counseling is education. Many consumers find themselves in debt simply because they lack knowledge on managing their money, on how credit cards really work, and on how to spend their money wisely. During credit counseling you will learn how to manage your resources in an effective and efficient manner. Once you are debt free, it is important to make sure that you stay debt free, and financial knowledge is key. The knowledge that you will receive is valuable because you will learn to how to live a financially free existence.

                  Eliminate Debt

                  Credit counseling is a very effective way to eliminate debt in a relatively short time period. Many people have eliminated tens of thousands of dollars in debt within 2 to 5 years. This process allows you to finally take charge of your finances. Depending on your situation you could be living debt free sooner than you think.

                  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 – More than Debt Elimination

                    American Debt

                    In the wake of the Great Recession, Americans now owe approximately $721 billion in unsecured credit card debt. If you feel overwhelmed with credit card debt, if you juggle your expenses just to make the minimum payments, and if it seems the quality of your life has diminished because you worry about your finances, you are definitely not alone.

                    Credit Counseling

                    Credit counseling began in the United States in 1951, and despite the reputable credit counseling services available today, only a small percentage of Americans in debt seek help. It might be because they are uncertain what happens in credit counseling, or perhaps the fear involved with opening up about chaotic financial situations keeps people stuck in the debt cycle. It takes great courage to talk honestly with a credit counselor about the reality of your finances. At Christian Credit Counselors, we are always honored when a new client comes to us in trust.

                    Christian Credit Counselors

                    Christian Credit Counselors provides a unique service. We are a non-profit financial services company and our fully certified counselors have helped over 300,000 people bring their debt under control. Yet unlike other agencies, we understand that getting your financial life in order is about more than just your bank account. Christian credit counseling is about working with someone who shares your values. It means you will have a counselor who knows financial integrity brings renewed growth to your spiritual life. Our goal is to be your compassionate ally as we help get your life back on track. We will work with you to bring your financial life more into accordance with Biblical principles. We will even pray with you in your counseling sessions, if you so choose.

                    Debt Management

                    With a debt management program through Christian Credit Counselors, you make one affordable monthly payment and can generally become debt free in 3 to 5 years. But the stress of financial worry may start disappearing after you make the first phone call and realize you no longer have to face your situation alone.

                    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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