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.

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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 Counseling
    Debt

    Surviving the Holiday Spending Trap With Debt Counseling

    After the school season starts, many people start getting ready for the holidays. Following Labor Day, the major holidays that often run up debt for the average American include Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. By receiving debt counseling in the fall, you gain valuable insights and information about how to pay off debt, budget, and set financial goals. You may decide to enroll in a debt management program so you can get a fresh start. A debt management plan is an agreement to pay back creditors, but typically with better terms. In most cases, you pay less money toward interest and pay off your debt much faster by consolidating the debt. To save money for the holiday season, consider consolidating old debt while resisting the temptation to take on any new debt. According to an article by marketwatch.com, one of the best way to tackle holiday credit card debt is to lower your interest rate. Talk to a credit counselor about how you can pay a lower interest rate by consolidating debt.

    Living below your Financial Means

    One of the lessons you learn with debt counseling is to live below your means. By having a budget, you know exactly what you owe to creditors, what you owe to the mortgage company or your landlord as well as how much you have for discretionary spending. Buying holiday gifts or costumes for Halloween and other parties is not a necessity. However, you can put aside money for gifts as long as you save some money for discretionary purchases. Living below your means does not mean you can’t spend money on others, but it’s about spending less than you earn.

    Figuring out how much your time is worth

    Another way to improve your financial situation is figuring out when you should do something yourself or when you should hire another person. If you can earn more money working at your career, it could make financial sense to pay someone else to clean your house, mow your lawn or cook for you. On other hand, you also have to think about your core values as well as hobbies. If you get exercise from mowing and love the outdoors, it’s more than a financial decision. When it comes to the holidays, save money by making your own costumes if it makes sense. If you earn a lot by working, consider hiring someone else to put up your holiday lights or deliver your Christmas tree.

    Spending time and not money with family

    If you are having trouble balancing your budget, avoid hosting holiday parties or buying a lot of gifts for others. Taking holiday trips also tends to run up credit cards. On the other hand, if you consolidate your debt prior to the holidays, you will have a firm grasp on how much money you have leftover in your monthly budget after paying on your 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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      Debt Counseling
      Debt

      Debt Counseling, Credit Card Debt, and Retirement

      Some seniors use credit cards as a way to fund their travels in retirement, while others use them just to get their basics needs met. By receiving debt counseling you can prevent the senior credit card trap in the future. Young people who talk to trained credit counselors often learn the basic personal finance rules that help them save for retirement. According to a recent article by thestreet.com, many members of Generation X and the baby boomer generation worry about a cloudy financial future due to credit card debt. Even if you are under the age of 40, you can adopt better savings habits now as well as eliminate debt with a debt consolidation approach.

      Changing your view of Money

      Experts say one reason credit card debt will darken retirement for many senior is the fact that people no longer view debt as “abnormal.” By accepting massive credit card debt as perfectly normal, you reduce the odds of living a debt-free life. Successful savers pay off their credit card balance each month while simultaneously putting money aside for the future. They don’t pay interest because they have money in savings to pay any unexpected charges. A certified credit counselor helps you crunch the numbers so you can also build up a financial cushion.

      Feeling embarrassed about Debt

      When you receive Christian credit counseling, no one will shame you for your financial situation. In fact, most people open to debt counseling experience a total release of embarrassment and shame attached to failure because they are making a bold move toward success. Experts say the stigma of being in debt no longer exists with half of the people older than age 40 saying credit cards are survival tools.

      Escaping the Downward Spiral

      When you have a lot of credit card debt, it quickly impacts your future. Someone who has $20,000 saved up for retirement can’t get ahead when they can’t pay off high interest rate credit cards. Instead of giving up, the positive solution is to consolidate debt at a lower interest rate. By the time you enter retirement, you could have zero credit card debt and tens of thousands saved in a 401(k) or Roth IRA.

      If you are afraid of credit card debt in retirement, consider debt counseling. A debt management plan lets you avoid bankruptcy. Some seniors fall prey to predatory debt settlement scams and programs that promise you will be debt free tomorrow. With some hard word, education, budgeting, planning, saving and paying on a debt management plan, you can enjoy a brighter retirement. By the time you retire, your personal finances will be a blessing instead of a curse.

      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 and Credit Card Debt Responsibility

        Financial experts say some Americans are becoming more responsible with credit card debt. One of the secrets of taking responsibility for your consumer debt without going broke is to consolidate credit card debt at a lower interest rate. With the help of trained professionals at a Christian credit counseling organization, you can fulfill your obligations to creditors while enjoying your life with debt consolidation. According to a recent article by npr.org, the Great Recession changed some consumers’ financial habits.

        Stop the credit card carry over

        The National Federation for Credit Counseling reports that one-third of households move credit card debt from one month to the next. To get going with debt consolidation, you sign up for a debt management plan through a reputable credit counseling agency. Because you pay your monthly debt management plan payment, there is no credit card debt carried over from month to month.

        Streamline your Finances

        While engaged in debt consolidation, you will likely cease to use credit cards. If you have never managed finances without credit cards, the practice will strengthen your resolve to stay out of debt and find other positive ways to finance your lifestyle. Some ideas include saving up money in an emergency account, contribution to a Roth IRA and selling items you don’t need when you need cash. When you complete a debt management plan, consider owning fewer than three credit cards. Pay off your balance each month while continuing good savings and budgeting habits.

        Spending less, but living more

        When you feel spiritually and emotionally enriched, you are less likely to seek material possessions to fill a void in your life. In the fall, many families spend money on back-to-school shopping. A survey by Deloitte discovered consumers plan to cut back on back-to-school spending. Even though a debt consolidation plan often frees up more money in your budget, you will feel happy without overspending. Budgeting and prioritizing helps you separate the back-to-school shopping necessities or needs versus the wants.

        Other ways to become more responsible with your finances is by dividing your money up between different goals. Some people put 10 percent aside for charity. Other people make sure they save at least 10 to 30 percent for retirement or the future. You have complete power over how you spend and save. By paying your debt back and avoiding bankruptcy and debt settlement scams, you protect your family and financial future.

        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
            Christian Credit Counselors

            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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              Credit Counseling
              Credit Counseling

              Credit Counseling, City Living, and Debt

              Whether you live in a city where people have the most credit card debt or are struggling with personal debt in a city where people live below their means, you can benefit from credit counseling. A recent report by The Washington Post named the cities where people carry the most credit card debt. If you live in a city where the cost of living is high, you could consider moving to a less expensive city. However, if you want to stay put, there are other ways to get the help you need without relocating.

              Managing your debt

              According to washingtonpost.com, most credit counselors say your monthly credit card bills should make up 15 to 20 percent of your income or less. If you owe more than 20 percent of your income just to pay the minimum balance on credit card bills, consider credit counseling. A certified and trained credit counselor will help you enroll in a debt management program so you consolidate debt and lower your monthly payment to something more manageable. On top of that, you end up paying less in interest payments when a credit counselor talks to your creditors about lowering the interest rate.

              Living below your means

              Again, if you can’t live below your means in a more expensive city, consider moving a half hour to an hour out of the city and commuting. If you can telecommute, it could add up to significant savings. According to the report by creditcards.com cited by The Washington Post, people in Washington, D.C. had the highest credit card balance of about $5,000. However, the study also took into account how much money people make in various cities. For someone living in San Antonio, it could take 16 months to pay off a credit card balance assuming a 13 percent interest rate and monthly payments equivalent to 15 percent of your salary. Other cities named as having people with high credit card debt included Miami, Atlanta, Dallas, San Bernadino, Portland, Los Angeles, Tampa, Phoenix, San Diego, Houston, Sacramento, Pittsburg, Detroit, St. Louis, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Seattle, Boston and San Francisco.

              Learning to budget

              By receiving credit counseling, you don’t just get started with a debt management plan. You also take the time to budget. Most people have thought about budgeting, but rarely take the time to organize all of their bills, prioritize, plan and crunch the numbers for an actual budget that is realistic. A credit counselor works with you on your budget so you have someone to bounce off ideas and concerns.

              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
                Christian Credit Counselors

                Credit Counseling, Paying Off Debt, and Building Wealth

                Reducing Debt and Building Wealth

                One of the most common financial conundrums people have is whether to pay off debt or save for retirement and other goals. With Christian credit counseling, you learn how you can pay off your credit card debt while also building wealth. Paying off debt is a top priority for people who want to have financial freedom and reduce stress. With the help of a certified and trained credit counselor, you learn about a debt management plan which lets you dig out of debt 80 percent faster than a lot of other methods. Simply put, a debt management plan is an agreement between you and your creditors that involves a fixed monthly payment to satisfy the credit card debt you accumulated to that point. With Christian credit counseling, you have trustworthy counselors who go to the negotiation table on your behalf to secure you lower interest rates as well as forgiveness for late payments. By receiving credit counseling, you also figure out how to prioritize.

                Paying your creditors

                Although some people say to “pay yourself first,” the best strategy for getting out of credit card debt is to pay your debt management plan monthly bill before allocating money for savings goals and paying for other necessities and bills. The idea of paying yourself first is that you will put money aside for savings before tackling debt or daily living expenses. In most cases, you can afford to put a percentage of your income into an emergency account. However, that percentage is ideally flexible until you complete your debt management plan. Once you are out of credit card debt, you will likely contribute significantly more to a retirement and other savings accounts. If your goal is to get out of debt, make paying off creditors your top priority.

                Maxing out tax-deferred accounts

                To get the most for your efforts, make every effort to maximize a tax-deferred or tax-free retirement account. If you receive matching funds from your employer for a 401(k) or other company-sponsored retirement account, take advantage of the free money. You can build wealth more rapidly by knowing how to get the most money back on your tax returns in the form of tax credits and tax deductions.

                Setting up a budget

                With Christian credit counseling, you can enjoy working with trained counselors who don’t judge you, but support you on your journey. It is exciting to finally have that spiritual revelation that God wants you to manage your money properly and will support you in building wealth to care for yourself and your family. As part of your budget, you will create a small nest egg for temporary hardships while simultaneously paying off credit card debt through a debt management plan. Even if you can’t fully fund all tax-deferred retirement plans while paying off debt, you can make it a future goal for your budget.

                Do you want to know more about debt and how you can make smart financial decisions now that will help you secure a more prosperous financial future? Sign up for our newsletter for monthly money tips.

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                  Debt Counseling
                  Debt

                  Debt Counseling – Five Tips for a Fresh Perspective

                  When you feel hopeless about your credit card debt, it is common to have an outer environment that reflects your inner turmoil. By getting a fresh perspective with debt counseling, you overcome the signs of financial neglect such as unopened bills, disorganized purses stuffed with crumbled up receipts and tags left on clothing or other impulse purchases. A certified and trained credit counselor gives you that support and upbeat guidance you need to get a better attitude to face that bank account balance, credit card bills and tax returned that you did not yet file. To get back in the driver’s seat with your financial life, take a few concrete steps toward a better future. If you don’t know where to begin, start with a free consultation with a certified and trained credit counselor.

                  Completing a Financial task

                  One way to get a fresh perspective on your financial situation is to complete a financial task from start to finish. As part of debt counseling, you will learn to create a budget. Take the time to complete the task by gathering together all of your fixed and flexible expenses as well as discretionary spending desires.

                  Reviewing your Taxes

                  If you have already filed your taxes on time, review the situation. If you didn’t file on time, make that a financial priority. While you won’t pay back taxes through a debt consolidation program, you do need to know how any IRS payments will fit into your overall budget. Until you do your taxes or review your current year’s tax situation, you won’t know how much to put aside for the IRS.

                  Organizing and Cleaning

                  Even though it does not seem that sanitizing a kitchen or bathroom relates to personal finances, it is just one way to help clear your environment so you lose that feeling of hopelessness. Having an uncluttered home or apartment helps you find missing papers or bills. Once you locate some of your bills, get all your account numbers gathered together for your debt counseling session.

                  Setting your priorities

                  You could get a fresh new perspective on debt by setting priorities. Once you focus your attention on your high priorities, you feel gratified by the progress. It is easier to save up for a home, for example, if you stop wasting money on low priority issues such as movies out on Saturday.

                  Getting out of denial

                  Some people deal with debt by simply denying they have a problem. Unfortunately, those people also end up feeling stressed. By facing your debt with debt counseling, you gain peace of mind as well as practical and concrete strategies for improving your financial situation.

                  A debt management program can solve many of your problems by giving you a lower interest rate and allowing you to repay your debt up to 80 percent faster than other methods. You will gain that fresh perspective with one consolidated 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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