Credit Counseling
Credit Cards, Credit Counseling, Debt, National Debt

Credit Counseling and Rising Debt

Debt and Credit Counseling

Household debt is reaching unsustainable levels, according to a report by NerdWallet. Another article in The New York Post states the average household debt in the U.S. is about $16,000. By arranging credit counseling or yourself and your family, it is possible to deal with staggering credit card debt. Most Americans pay a lot of money to cover interest charges over the years.

Though, those statistics only take into account families carrying debt. Experts point out many Americans defaulted on their credit card debt in 2008 during the Great Recession. Instead of declaring bankruptcy, a positive solution is debt consolidation. A trained and certified credit counselor helps you avoid debt settlement scams and bankruptcy.

Credit Card Debt and Your Roth IRA

According to some reports, many Americans pay as much as 20 percent every month in interest. The best way to deal with staggering debt is to consolidate your payments through a debt settlement plan. Your creditors typically agree to lower the interest rate while you pay back the money you owe. The plan is simple because you only make one payment every month to satisfy all your credit card creditors. With an automated payment plan, the process becomes simple and stress-free.

According to the report, American households pay more than $6,000 a year in interest. With an extra $6,000 each year, you can easily max out a Roth IRA or other retirement account as well as save for the future.

Revolving Credit Card Debt

According to an article in Mainstreet, paying down credit card debt is a top priority for Americans. But it could take up to 40 years for some families to pay down their credit cards, if they only pay their minimum payments every month. With the New Year on the horizon, make paying off debt a resolution.

With credit counseling, you learn how to stop the revolving credit card debt trap. A debt consolidation plan stops the bad cycle because you stop using credit cards as you pay off a debt management plan.

 

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
    Christian Credit Counselors

    Credit Counseling – Five Steps to Crush Debt

    Crushing Credit Card Debt

    People who struggle with a crushing amount of credit card debt often feel motivated and positive after receiving Christian credit counseling. Trained and qualified credit counselors work with consumers overwhelmed by debt without passing judgment. According to a recent article by wisebread.com, there are 5 action steps you get a grip on personal finances. Christian credit counseling helps with all of the steps. Debt statistics by NerdWallet shows the average family in the U.S. owes more than $16,000 in credit card debt. Although some consumers feel helpless and frustrated by debt, having a realistic debt management plan helps you turn around the situation.

    Stop using Credit Cards

    One action step to take to crush debt is to stop adding to your existing debt. When you agree to a debt management plan, you agree to stop using the credit cards. A debt consolidation program often lowers your monthly expenses so you can save more. Most people find it easier to pay bills and live below their means when they money put aside in savings.

    Lowering Your Credit Card Interest Rate

    With Christian credit counseling, you receive the help you need to lower the interest rate on your credit cards. A credit counselor negotiates for lower interest rates. Experts say some credit card companies will not lower interest rates for consumers even when you ask nicely. However, the expert credit counselors know how to negotiate and help you meet your financial objectives.

    Agreeing To Down Debt

    Instead of agreeing to a payment plan with each credit card on your own, you will likely find more success by consolidating debt. It is a lot easier to make one debt payment each month, especially when you can enroll in an automatic repayment plan through a bank. In some cases, people who consolidate debt through a Christian credit counseling agency get out of debt 80 percent faster than those who take the DIY approach to debt repayment.

    Spending Less Money

    Although it is important to pay your utility bills, try to limit mindless spending. Also called discretionary spending, some of the items skip include clothing, entertainment, cable and vacations. Once you are debt free, you can resume the spending. Some people continue to treat themselves with free rewards such as a hot bath or walk.

    Earn More Money

    A final action step to take is to increase your income so you pay off your debt. The secret is to funnel any extra money you have into your debt management plan payment first. The second priority is savings.

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        Credit Counseling

        Credit Counseling – Paying Down Debt

        Debt Management Programs

        A lot of people who receive credit counseling wonder if they qualify for a debt management program to pay off debt. Debt management programs are so appealing because a trained and certified credit counselor negotiates a lower interest rate so you can make a monthly debt payment. Many consumers dream of living a debt-free life. Credit counseling makes it simple and easy. To qualify for an intensive plan to pay off debt quickly, it is important to look at where you are and where you want to go. According to a piece by the Great Fall Tribune, credit counseling gives consumers a chance to take control of their situation. However, not everyone qualifies for a more intensive plan to pay off debt.

        Credit Cards and High Interest Rates

        If the interest rate on your credit cards are 24 percent or higher, you are likely a good candidate for an intensive plan to pay off debt. Struggling consumers often deal with high interest rate credit cards that put them on a never-ending debt cycle. Credit counseling provides a positive solution to the financial dilemma.

        Earning Extra Money

        If you aren’t making a lot of money, consider getting a second job or better position so you can afford the agreed-upon monthly debt management program payments. With credit counseling, you learn how to set income and savings goals.

        Your Credit Score and Credit Counseling

        People with low credit scores inevitably benefit from good credit counseling. Whether you decide to consolidate debt or pay off your debt on your own, you will grow wealth more easily by knowing the secrets of a good credit score. Having a good score often means lower interest rates on car loans and mortgages and better job opportunities.

        Life Beyond Credit Cards

        When you enroll in a debt management program you agree not to open up any new credit cards. You can still benefit from the sage financial advice of credit counselors even if you don’t enroll in a program. However, most consumers do well when forced to live within their means by relying on debit cards and cash.

        Other benefits of credit counseling include advice on reducing spending, paying off debt and changing poor financial habits that led to excessive debt. At Christian Credit Counselors, we help consumers struggling with substantial debt. For more information on credit counseling and tips for paying off debt quickly, please contact us.

         

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          Credit Counseling – Financial Habits for the Future

          Managing Money Management

          Some behaviors predict poor money management down the road, but you can take positive steps for a positive future with the help of Christian credit counseling. According to a piece by cheatsheet.com, there are 5 main behaviors that foreshadow financial difficulties in the future. When you receive Christian credit counseling, you open up yourself to positive solutions instead of negative patterns. People who succeed in the area of personal finances establish good saving and spending habits early in life. Even if you are older, it’s not too late to learn how to keep a budget, save and plan.

          Budgeting not to Overspend

          When you get in the habit of keeping a budget, you curb the urge to overspend. People who spend more than they earn often use credit cards. By agreeing to a debt management plan, you set aside money every month to pay back your credits. With the help of trained credit counselors, you end up paying less interest on the credit cards as part of the debt management plan.

          Avoiding Poor Financial Habits

          One habit that frugal people have is to buy used items or accept clothing for items from loved ones and relatives instead of always having to buy new. Buying everything new is a poor financial habit that also affects credit card behavior. Most people don’t use credit cards when they barter or trade with friends or family, but they do use credit cards when buying overpriced new items. New merchandise simply costs more.

          Money and Your Spending Habits

          Whether you earn all your income or receive money from relatives or stock dividends, it is important to know exactly how much money is coming in and how much is going out. If you consistently spend more money than you have, you likely rely on credit cards. People spending more money than they make often feel stress and anxiety, experts say.

          Money and Retirement Planning

          Another good financial habit to adopt is saving. If you save just 10 percent of your income for retirement, you will likely have enough to supplement social security when you are older. By having a debt management plan and budget, you can put aside a certain amount to pay back debts, a percentage for retirement savings and the rest of daily expenses and bills.

          Avoiding Financial Troubles

          Experts say people who fail to save for emergencies have financial trouble in the future. With Christian credit counseling, you receive the education and tools to improve your financial habits. Because of the Christian mindset, you don’t experience any judgment.

           

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            At Christian Credit Counselors, we want people to experience financial peace. For more information about how to adopt better money management behavior and to get out of debt, please contact us.

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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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                Credit Counseling
                Credit Counseling

                Credit Counseling: A Strategic Guide for Paying Off Debt

                If you are thinking about receiving credit counseling to deal with a debt burden that’s too heavy for you to carry, consider working with trained counselors who know how to help you change. According to an article by forbes.com, there are steps you can take so you aren’t enslaved to debt. When you deal with a reputable Christian credit counseling agency, you know any actions you take aligned with your core values and beliefs. For many Christians, it is important to pay what they owe. Debt consolidation lets you pay what you owe so you don’t have past obligations holding you back from your future. The U.S. Federal Reserve reports that most Americans carry about $15,000 worth of credit card debt. Living paycheck-to-paycheck has a negative impact on your psychological well-being, career, physical health and relationships. It is exhausting to owe money you can pay back to creditors. However, you can follow a step-by-step plan to a debt-free life.

                Face the Financial Facts

                One way to motivate yourself and make a change is by facing the facts and dealing with your financial reality. If you don’t choose 100 percent transparency with a spouse or relative, get real with yourself. You will likely feel comfortable laying out all of your debt as you engage in credit counseling with a trained and non-judgmental counselor.

                List all of your Bills

                In addition to facing the facts of how much money you owe in terms of credit card debt, you also need to know about your monthly financial obligations. List all of the fixed expenses such as rent or mortgage, utilities, phone, cable and insurance. Make a list of all your flexible living expenses including food. As part of credit counseling, you use the information to formulate a realistic budget and debt management plan.

                Lower your Interest Rate

                When you sign up for a debt management plan, you end up with allies who go to bat to lower your interest rates on credit cards. The reason debt consolidation works so well for thousands of people is because you can pay off your credit card debt a lot faster with a lower interest rate.

                Choose a Payment Method

                You can choose different methods for paying off debt. The advantage of debt consolidation is you benefit from the psychological and emotional satisfaction of getting out of debt 80 percent faster than other methods. Also, you feel good knowing your fulfilled your promise to pay back what you owed. If you declared personal bankruptcy or chose debt settlement methods instead of credit counseling, you would likely feel like a failure or person lacking integrity.

                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 Free Living

                  One of the most important steps in Christian Credit Counseling is developing a plan for getting and staying out of debt. Obviously, your current income isn’t enough to support your lifestyle. You’ve borrowed money to make up the difference, but paying it back has become a big problem. The first step to getting out of debt is cutting your current expenses and making paying creditors a priority. Once you’re used to living on a more restricted budget, you might be surprised by how many things you can live without.

                  Step One: Look for Expensive “Extras”

                  There are plenty of bills that many people take for granted that might not be absolutely necessary. For example, do you have an expensive cable bill each month? How often are you really using your cable package? If the bulk of your television watching is mindless, “I don’t really care what’s on, but I want to watch something,” you can get Netflix or Amazon Prime for a much lower monthly cost than paying for cable every month. What about your cell phone bill? Do you and your kids really need those expensive smart phones with all the bells and whistles? Consider reducing your data package to a minimum amount and only using your apps or browsing the internet when you’re connected to WiFi. You’ll be surprised by how many locations make it available to their customers! Then, there’s your gym membership. If you don’t go to the gym several times a week, you’re probably better off working out at home. Look to see when your contract is up or if you can reduce to a lower-cost membership.

                  Step Two: Reduce Your Bills

                  Look for ways to conserve water and electricity in your home. Try contacting your utility companies and asking them about ways to reduce your bill. Some places will be willing to offer you a better plan, especially if you have multiple providers in your area.

                  Next, take a hard look at your food budget. Food is definitely a necessity, not a luxury, but you may be surprised by some ways that you’re spending far more than necessary on food. Eating out is the obvious example: if you eat out two or three times a week, you’re draining your food budget fast. The biggest food budget buster, however, might already be in your fridge: waste. Take a hard look at what is actually being consumed in your home. Are you throwing out more fruit than your kids actually eat? Do you have great plans for all those fresh vegetables, but find yourself tossing them out at the end of the month uneaten? Cutting back your food budget in this area is simple: don’t buy what your family won’t actually consume. Set your hopes for healthier eating aside and focus on a more realistic view of your family’s consumption.

                  Step Three: “Need” vs “Want”

                  Your daughter grew three inches over the summer. She needs new clothes for school. She wants all the name brand clothes that the kids at school are currently wearing. Your son needs a new pair of shoes because his are tattered. He wants the expensive ones with all the bells and whistles. It’s easy to identify the difference in your kids, but it might be harder to identify it in yourself. You need new work clothes, but that doesn’t mean that you have to shop at the most expensive store in town. Checking out sales and discount stores might take a little longer, but it will be a lot easier on your wallet in the long run. You need to take care of expensive car repairs in order to keep your vehicle running, but you might be able to wait on some cosmetic issues or some concerns that don’t actually affect the vehicle’s ability to get you from one place to another. Make it a habit to avoid giving in to wants until you have taken the time to save up for them and carefully consider what you really need out of your purchase. In the end, your choice might surprise 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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                    Debt Counseling
                    Debt

                    Debt Counseling Boosts Financial Literacy

                    Even if you are no longer in school, you can still learn helpful financial lessons and improve your “grade” in personal finance through debt counseling. According to a recent article by nerdwallet.com, 2 out of 5 Americans say they would earn a C, D or F if someone graded them on their personal finance knowledge. The article cited a survey on financial literacy. If you have more credit card debt than you can comfortably manage or are barely able to make the minimum payment on credit cards, consider lessons many people learn from their credit card debt. A certified and trained credit counselor will work with you one-on-one to educate, inform, guide and teach you about budgeting and boosting your credit score.

                    Understanding future consequences

                    Some people fail to realize the debt they take out at an earlier stage of life can easily affect their opportunities later in life. If you ruin your credit score by declaring personal bankruptcy when you are in your late 20s, you will likely have a difficult time buying a home in your early 30s. Having too much credit card debt often affects the debt-to-income ratio used when qualifying for a home. Credit card debt also affects your ability to afford rent, a car and miscellaneous expenses. By receiving debt counseling, you lay the foundation for a better financial future.

                    Setting priorities and goals

                    Another benefit of debt counseling is receiving clarity about your priorities and goals. According to the nerdwallet.com article, it is important to understand how buying low priority items you don’t value often prevents you from affording purchases that hold more importance or meaning. In other words, it is not smart to use credit cards to fill up your home with a lot of stuff you don’t even value.

                    Achieving a life, not a lifestyle

                    If you used credit cards to achieve a certain lifestyle, you could be missing out stability and security in life. It is not smart to use credit cards to impress other people only to sacrifice your own financial security as credit card debt spins out of control. With credit counseling, you learn how to manage your life instead of faking a lifestyle. Many people decide to consolidate debt so they pay off their debt in a set number of months. When reaching out for debt counseling, ask about how a debt management plan makes it easy for you to fulfill your financial responsibilities.

                    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 Counseling and Your Money

                      Some people have a negative attitude about money even though managing personal finances benefits family and the overall society. According to a recent piece by time.com, there are 10 characteristics of people with zero debt. When you get Christian credit counseling, you might not adopt all 10 habits immediately, but you begin a transformation that results in a debt-free life. By consolidating credit debt and enrolling in a debt management plan with the help of a trained Christian credit counselor, you people more like those people who seem to have complete control of their finances. The article by time.com points out it is never too late to achieve financial freedom, which is the goal of the accredited counselors at Christian Credit Counseling. While there is no one trait that makes a person financially successful, there are several characteristics of debt-free people worth adopting.

                      Becoming more detail-oriented

                      One positive characteristic of people with a positive relationship with money is attention to detail. With Christian credit counseling, you pay attention to every penny that you spend. You know exactly how much you’ll owe each month for a debt management plan payment to creditors and how much you’ll have to spend on different bills and priorities.

                      Earning dividends instead of owing

                      People who owe a lot of money in credit card debt sacrifice future earnings. When you consolidate debt as part of credit counseling, you lower the amount of money you owe in interest. With the money you save, you can invest so that you earn dividends, profits or interest for a wealthier future.

                      Making practical decisions

                      Experts say people who are prudent with money are pragmatic. They avoid brand names to save money. They aren’t interested in impressing others.

                      Other important debt-free habits include living within your means or becoming more self-reliant and believing in personal responsibility. When you enroll in a debt management plan, you take responsibility for your credit card debt. Through Christian credit counseling, you pay back your creditors as part of the debt management plan. Although the pursuit of material possessions is not inherently evil, debt-free people tend to live simple lives that don’t require material excess for happiness.

                      At Christian Credit Counselors, we don’t judge our clients. Rather, we provide a safe and positive place to receive debt counseling and other education and services. We help people get out of debt quickly and with no stress. For more information about Christian credit counseling and how it can change you life, please contact us.

                      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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