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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    Debt Consolidation
    Debt Consolidation

    Three Reasons To Go With Debt Consolidation

    It does not take long to realize that debt is a real problem. When paying bills or trying to ignore a collector’s calls gets overwhelming you know that you need help. It seems as though the solutions are impossible. Money will not fall from the sky. Is bankruptcy your only choice? No! Debt consolidation is a real solution and here is why:

    Debt Consolidation means Less Hassle and Less Fees

    With so many bills due each month, it is easy to lose track. Different amounts, different companies, and different due dates make it very easy to miss a payment or send one in late. This means more fees and more calls. When you consolidate your debts, you have one payment to make. You are able to pay on time. You no longer have to worry about which one is due. You no longer have to juggle the bills depending on how much money you have. You make one simple payment.

    Debt Consolidation Allows You to Pay Your Debt

    You are not looking for a hand out. You want to pay what you owe. With debt consolidation, you are able to do just that. By simplifying how you pay, you can actually pay off what you owe. This not only gives you the satisfaction of knowing that you paid it off, but is much easier on your credit report than other methods.

    Debt Consolidation makes the Goal Clear

    In order to accomplish anything, you must have clear goals. This is true of your debt. With debt consolidation, you have one clear goal. Each month, you will see how that goal draws closer and closer. By making the goal clear, you are far more likely to achieve!

    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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      Creditt Counseling
      Credit Counseling

      Safely Accelerate Debt Repayment with Credit Counseling

      Paying off your credit card debt quickly by falling prey to a debt settlement scam is often disastrous to your financial health. By receiving credit counseling, you learn about the best ways to accelerate the debt payoff process without jeopardizing your credit score. According to a recent article by thestreet.com, a new study out of Texas A&M shows people who take small steps and set reachable goals are more likely to become free of debt. When you talk to a trained credit counselor, you don’t get caught up with frustrating ways of handling debt or embarrassing solutions such as bankruptcy. Many people love the fact that their credit counseling sessions remain confidential. Because taking small steps lead to the best results, consider some of the ways to overcome a slow climb out of credit card debt.

      Setting Reachable Financial Goals

      Whether called reachable or realistic, your short-term goals provide the traction needed for the longer term goals. Some reachable financial goals include enrolling in a debt consolidation program. By meeting your small short-term goal of paying the monthly debt repayment plan amount, you get closer and closer to your loftier goal of a debt-free life. Experts say goals are measurable, realistic, specific, actionable and time-sensitive.

      Aligning Budget with Income

      Another small step you can take is to come up with a more reasonable budget that is not based on the income you wish you had but on actual income. Aligning your budget with your income is trickier if you receive commission checks, work on speculation or freelance. Independent contractors who receive variable income each week should wait until they receive their money and then revise a budget based on the actual income instead of projected income.

      Stopping the Urge to Spend

      While consolidating credit card debt is important, it’s only part of the solution. With credit counseling, you learn how to avoid the spending temptation as you pay down your debt. You can get out of debt 80 percent faster with some credit counseling services, but you need to create a stable financial foundation before using credit cards again. Once you are out of debt, the goal is to charge only what you can pay off in full each month.

      Once you decide to get out of debt, you don’t want it to take an eternity. At Christian Credit Counselors, we help people overcome the urge to backslide into credit card debt as they make small steps to pay off their credit card debt.

      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 When Underestimating Your Debt

        When it comes to unpleasant realities such as massive credit card debt, a lot of people underestimate what they owe. It is natural to want to believe things are in a better financial situation than you really are. With the help of a certified credit counselor, you can face your debt as well as address it with a debt consolidation plan. According to an article by Nasdaq.com, the typical American household owes more than they admit do themselves. Research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York indicates a major discrepancy between self-reported debt and bank data for bankruptcies, home equity loans and mortgages. As far as credit card debt, the people studied stated they had $2,000 of debt, while actual credit report data showed they actually owed $3,500. Instead of staying in personal finance denial, consider consolidating your debt with a debt management plan.

        Overcoming the Social Stigma

        Experts say one reason people deny how much credit card debt they have is because they feel ashamed. By receiving Christian credit counseling, you enjoy the support of a non-judgmental counselor who cares about your financial and spiritual health. Paying off your debt with debt consolidation gives you a feeling of empowerment. Once you pay off your debt, you will likely enjoy the social benefits that comes with greater wealth. After paying off you credit card debt, you can use the money allocated for debt for retirement savings.

        Feeling Motivated to Pay Off Debt

        A credit counselor often acts as your personal finance cheerleader, motivating you to get and stay out of debt. Debt awareness is a major factor in turning around your financial situation. Once you are aware of how much credit card debt you have, you can start a plan for financial change. Your credit counselor will negotiate better interest terms so you will spend less money on your repayment plan.

        Setting up a Realistic Budget

        Another important part of becoming debt free is working on a realistic budget. Some people make the mistake of only guessing how much money they spend each month. To get out of denial, write down all of your bills and expenses. Learning to live within your means helps you on the path to wealth.

        At Christian Credit Counselors, we work hard to teach our clients about budgeting and debt repayment. We will show you how to improve your credit score, consolidate debt and budget for future goals. Instead of financing your dreams, you can save up for specific financial goals including a new home, retirement or college.

        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

          How Debt Consolidation Can Help You Climb Out of Debt

          It’s easy to get in over your head financially. An unexpected expense or unforeseen circumstances can make it impossible to pay your credit card or medical bills. It’s not your fault, but unfortunately creditors aren’t so understanding. If you’re seeking options to get out of debt, you’re already on the right track. Christian Credit Counselors is a non-profit organization that provides credit counseling services. Our credit experts will evaluate your unique financial situation and explore various options, including debt consolidation.

          How Debt Consolidation Works

          Debt consolidation allows you to lump your unsecured debts (personal loans, medical bills and credit cards) into one easy, affordable monthly payment. Instead of having to make multiple payments to different creditors each month, you’ll make just one monthly payment. You won’t need to worry about keeping track of when each debt is due. The amount you pay each month is based on the amount of debt you owe. Since Christian Credit Counselors has a relationship with hundreds of creditors, we’ll help negotiate to get the interest rates reduced. Your consolidated payment may result in you paying much less each month.

          Benefits of Consolidating Your Debt

          Consolidating your debt helps improve your credit rating. Negative debts can affect for your score for up to seven years. Once you enroll in our debt consolidation program, the accounts will appear on your credit report as “managed by a credit counseling agency.” Payment history is the largest component of your credit score. By making timely payments your credit score will begin to rise. The positive account history can help offset some of the negative accounts that may already appear on your credit report.

          You’ll also get out of debt faster when you choose to consolidate your debts. Our average client actually pays off their debt up to 80 percent faster.

          Facts about Debt Consolidation

          Debt consolidation won’t erase your debt, but it will make your debt more manageable. Calls from creditors and collection agencies will stop. You won’t continue incurring late fees or over-the-limit fees. Even if your aren’t currently late or behind on your bills, we can still help. Our consolidation program is designed to help people climb out of debt.

          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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            Please contact us today for to determine the best option for you.

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            Christian Credit Counselors
            Christian Credit Counselors

            Credit Card Counseling When Debt is at Pre-Recession Levels

            Experts say credit card debt declined for years, but is back to pre-recession levels. Many individuals leaned how to save and practice frugality during the Great Recession. By receiving Christian credit counseling, you can get a refresher on budgeting and financial goal setting as well as learn how to consolidate debt and boost your credit score. According to a recent article by cnbc.com, credit card debt in the U.S. will likely hit $900 billion by the end of 2015. The average American household’s credit card debt will end the year at about $7,810, which is the highest in 7 years. Instead of reverting to poor financial habits of the past, consider Christian credit counseling.

            Working on your FICO Score

            Experts say the average FICO score in the U.S. is 695. When you receive credit counseling, you learn about your own credit score and how to improve it. With a bankruptcy, your credit score rapidly falls. However, many people who go through a debt consolidation program with a reputable non-profit agency notice their credit score greatly improve over time.

            Paying off Your Credit Card Debt

            The cnbc.com article points out many people think it is fine to have a high outstanding balance on their credit cards. A bankrate.com study discovered 77 percent of people didn’t know a high outstanding balance hurts their credit score. With Christian credit counseling, you overcome the misconceptions and myths regarding personal finance issues. When you sign up for a debt management plan, you pay off all of your credit card debt so you no longer have a high outstanding balance.

            Diving into your Spending Behavior

            Another benefit of credit counseling is you learn not only how to get out of debt but the risk factors you face as far as perpetual debt. When you understand how you got into debt, you can make changes to your behavior and attitudes. You will likely have more money to save for retirement and goals when you stop trying to impress friends or relatives with purchases you can’t truly afford.

            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
              Budgeting, Debt

              Baby Boomers, Debt Counseling, and Retirement

              When Baby Boomers Budget

              If you are a baby boomer in your 50 or 60s, you are likely wondering if you will ever experience retirement bliss. A growing number of boomers have massive credit card debt in addition to mortgage and student loan debt due. In some cases, boomers take out mortgage and student loan debt to help children and grandchildren. With debt counseling, you can find out how to balance your desire for a debt free life and continue to show your generous spirit by helping loved ones.

              According to a recent article by pressherald.com, financial advisers recommend baby boomers concentrate on their credit card debt before retiring. Retirees live on a fixed income, whether the money comes from Social Security benefits, dividends from investments, Roth IRA or employer-sponsored retirement accounts and pensions. If you have lived with credit card debt your entire working life, consider following a debt management plan so you can live free of credit card debt in retirement.

              Budgeting for Household Expenses

              Before you pay off your mortgage or pay it down, talk to a certified credit counselor. You could be better off devoting your money to a debt repayment plan. When you consolidate credit card debt, you often pay a lower interest rate. Still, mortgage rates have been extremely low in recent years. You will most likely come out ahead by allocating money for credit card debt before paying down a mortgage. With debt counseling, you learn to budget for housing whether you own or rent.

              According to research by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the median senior citizen mortgage debt is up by 82 percent. If you are an average baby boomer, you could owe as much as $79,000 in mortgage debt. After you get out of credit card debt, you can think about strategies for paying off a mortgage early.

              Clearing away the Debt

              Experts say members of the Greatest Generation were much less likely to retire with debt. When it comes to credit card debt, set a goal to be debt free by the time you claim your Social Security benefits. If you can finish a Debt Management Plan by age 62, treat yourself to an early retirement.

              When you have credit card debt, it is difficult to pay for variable expenses in retirement such as travel, vacations and gifts. A credit counselor will help you figure out how long it will take to be completely debt free so you can tweak your retirement age. Don’t be afraid to delay retirement if it means entering your golden years with more gold in your pockets and less debt.

              At Christian Credit Counselors, we specialize in credit card debt. You can pay off your debt 80 percent faster with our approach to debt management. Our team helps you lower your interest rate and enjoy the benefits of debt consolidation through one easy 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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                Debt Consolidation
                Debt Consolidation

                Benefits of Debt Consolidation and Bumps of Bankruptcy

                If you have more credit card debt than you can handle, there are different avenues to take to resolve the burden. Some people turn to debt settlement scams because they aren’t aware of the negative consequences. Other people believe bankruptcy could be the solution. Before paying an attorney thousands of dollars to handle a bankruptcy case, save yourself the embarrassment and money by receiving debt counseling. A certified credit counselor will help you understand the key benefits of debt consolidation. Sometimes it is helpful to examine all of the options. If you have a lot of debt, you already know how stressful it is to function day-to-day knowing your credit cards could be declined. By choosing debt consolidation, you leave open a lot of doors for your financial future. According to an article by theglobaldispatch.com, there are distinct advantages to signing up for a debt management plan through a reputable credit counseling agency.

                A single Monthly Payment

                Most people who feel overwhelmed by credit card debt have more than one credit cards. When you sign up for a debt management plan, you only make one payment each month to satisfy your creditors. You no longer have to worry about misplacing bills or keeping up with the various due dates.

                Less Financial stress

                Juggling several different credit card bills is a source of stress for the average American. With a debt management plan, you can automate your monthly payment so you know you’ll pay the bill on time each month. If you have your paycheck automatically deposited into your checking account, it’s another way to simplify your finances.

                Lower Interest Rates

                Another major advantage of debt consolidation is the fact that you’ll likely pay a lower interest rate. If you are the typical person, you likely have credit cards with double-digit interest rates. Your credit counselor will talk to your creditors to negotiate a lower interest rate across the board. When your counselor helps you achieve a lower interest rate, it saves you hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars depending on your total amount owed.

                No collection calls

                Once you get on board with a plan, your credit card companies will no longer bother you with collection calls. If you do receive a collection call, just give them the information about your debt management plan.

                A better credit score

                With bankruptcy, your credit score takes a major hit. In some cases, lenders will not approve you for a home loan or car for several years. When you take a debt consolidation approach, your credit score starts to go up instead of down. It’s a smart way to repair a damaged credit score.

                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 to Recover from Summer Overspending

                  A lot of people go on summer vacations to the beach, visit theme parks or dine out more frequently during the warmer months. Overspending in the summer often leads to massive credit card debt. When getting a second job or cutting back on day-to-day spending doesn’t put a dent in what you owe, consider debt consolidation. According to an article by hngn.com, it’s common for people to splurge in the summer. A survey by Experian shows a lot of Americans run up credit card debt in the summer. If you don’t tackle your debt as soon as possible, you could end up in a worse predicament during the holidays. By getting on a debt management plan before the holidays roll around, you will already have a financial survival plan in place. Part of consolidating your debt is receiving general credit counseling so you budget and plan for vacations, gifts and summer camps.

                  Hold off on using Credit Cards

                  When you consolidate debt, you hold off on using credit cards until you pay off your debt. A trained credit counselor will help you deal with your creditors. In many cases, your creditors will drop any late charges and penalties as part of the debt management plan. With credit counseling advice, you will have no problem living without credit cards. Since you know what the payoff date is for your debt management plan, you can plan better for the future.

                  Budget for Different Scenarios

                  Your budget while on a debt management plan is not exactly the same as your budget after you pay off your credit card debt. With the plan, you make one monthly debt repayment. Most people take the same amount for their monthly debt management bill and automatically move it into an emergency savings or retirement saving fund. Once you learn to live on less than your full paycheck, you don’t miss the money. Some experts believe the key to success is automation. Set it up so your debt management plan payment gets deducted automatically each month. Once you can afford it, set up an automatic contribution to a 401(k) or other retirement plan.

                  Plan for next summer

                  Even if you went too far with spending this year, you don’t need to repeat the spending cycle every year. Break the pattern by going on a “stay-vacation” next year in which you check out the local sites and attractions for less money. Visit relatives who will provide complimentary accommodations or let you stay in their home. You can also plan ahead for next summer by finding deals for airline tickets and other deals. Another option is to vacation during the off-season.

                  By consolidating your debt and adopting good financial habits in fall, you prevent an even greater problem of relying on credit cards to get through the holiday gift-giving season. Although spending for the holidays is fine, it is best to plan and save.

                  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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