Debt Counseling
Debt

Debt Counseling – Five Steps to Financial Freedom

When debt gets out of control, it often means you acquired too many credit cards with high interest rates and not enough money to pay off the balances. Instead of potentially ruining your future by declaring personal bankruptcy or falling for a debt settlement scam, try debt counseling. With a trained credit counselor to advise you on getting out of the debt hole, you take back the control of your finances. According to a recent article by usnews.com, there are 5 signs your credit card debt is out of control. It is never too late to manage your credit card debt with the help of a debt management plan that involves debt consolidation. In fact, it is one of the options you will hear about from a trained and certified credit counselor that specializes in positive solutions for your debt problem. The usnews.com article reports that the average American household carries $15,000 worth of credit card debt. Even if you don’t have the average amount of credit card debt, you will benefit from credit counseling and learn ways to regain and maintain control of your finances.

Getting out of Debt Denial

With debt counseling, you step into financial reality instead of staying in denial. After writing down all of your credit card balances and interest rates, you get a clear picture of where you are.

Having a specific payoff date

Also, once you make the choice to sign up for a debt management plan, you find out exactly how long it will take to get out of debt and how much you will pay each month to fulfill your obligations to creditors. In some cases, people get out of debt 80 percent faster with a debt management plan compared to other methods of debt repayment. Experts recommend keeping your goal specific instead of having a goal to get out of debt someday.

Ending the balance transfer habit

Another sign that you are over your head with credit card debt is when you repeatedly resort to balance transfers. Even though you could end up with a zero interest rate for a period of time, most people end up acquiring even more debt. The better option is to consolidate all of your credit card debt so you can start fresh.

Eating up your savings

If you are constantly tapping your savings account in order to pay your rent or mortgage as well as other major bills, consider debt counseling. A trained credit counselor will not only help you work out a debt repayment plan, but will show you how to budget, plan, set goals and save. Saving only works when you make it a long-term habit so you have more than what’s needed for occasional financial emergencies.

Feeling insecure about your Financial Future

People who have anxiety often deal with financial problems. If you have a solid job or career, it should give you a sense of financial peace. However, some people try to keep up with appearances by running up credit card debt to impress others. If your credit card debt causes you anxiety or keeps you up at night, consider debt counseling.

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.

    Full Name (required)

    Email (required)

    Are you a current client of Christian Credit Counselors? (required)

    Type the code below in the text box. (required)
    captcha


    CCCc2abutton

    ​Read More
    Debt consolidation
    Debt Consolidation

    Debt Consolidation and Your Summer Vacation

    Most people look forward to their summer vacations but few people appreciate the reality that vacations come with baggage in the form of credit card debt. Learning to budget for a vacation is not as easy as it seems when you feel saddled with high credit card balances or double-digit interest rates on cards you can’t manage. With debt consolidation, you can make your financial situation more manageable so there is the wiggle room in your budget to pay cash for a summer or other vacation. According to a recent article by usatoday.com, more than 50 percent of people embarking on a summer vacation do not have enough savings for the trip. A survey by Experian Consumer Services revealed 46 percent of people used a credit card to pay for their vacation. If you plan to go on a vacation or have already returned home to maxed-out credit cards or high balances, consider debt consolidation.

    Finding a balance in your budget

    One way of balancing your budget is to make sure you don’t spend more than you make. In addition to living below your means, you can also balance wants with needs or mandatory bills with discretionary spending. By consolidating debt through a debt management program, you figure out exactly how much you need to pay each month to satisfy your creditors. Your remaining income gets divvied up between housing expenses, food, shelter, utilities and miscellaneous bills. Experts say vacationers tend to use credit cards to pay for airfare, hotels, entertainment and dining. One strategy to afford a vacation without credit cards is to save an extra 10 percent when budgeting for transportation, housing, entertainment and food/eating out. You can use money from your monthly budget to supplement a vacation fund.

    Transferring money into savings

    Another tip to avoid massive credit card debt is to set up an automatic savings plan for a vacation or travel fund. The usatoday.com article recommends an automatic transfer of funds from checking into savings. If you don’t have enough money leftover after paying your debt consolidation plan and other bills, look for ways to cut back on spending. Getting rid of a land line, eating out less often, selling clothes on consignment or getting rid of subscriptions are a few easy ways to save money. One of the great things about debt consolidation is the fact that you can set up automatic monthly payments so it is easier.

    You can save money on vacations by finding people to visit and places to see closer to your home state. Consider staying with friends or family to avoid hotels costs.

    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.

      Full Name (required)

      Email (required)

      Are you a current client of Christian Credit Counselors? (required)

      Type the code below in the text box. (required)
      captcha


      CCCc2abutton

      ​Read More
      Debt Consolidation
      Debt Consolidation

      Debt Consolidation as a Credit Card Debt Exit Strategy

      Good Debt vs Bad Debt

      When it comes to debt, there is good debt and bad debt because some debt allows you to achieve the goal of owning a vehicle or a car. Credit card debt becomes a problem when you can’t pay off the balance and pay more in interest than you earn from putting your money to work in other places. According to an article by gobankingrates.com, falling into debt is a snap, but getting out of it is a different story. By reaching out for help from a Christian credit counseling organization, you identify an easier credit card debt exit strategy. Many consumers find success with debt consolidation, a strategy that involves a debt management plan. Before you consolidate debt, your credit counselor helps you understand what brought you to the current situation. Understanding how you got into debt and how to break the debt cycle in the future gives you greater financial peace.

      Thriving in a Credit-Driven Society

      Experts with gobankingrates.com point out that we live in a credit-driven society. It is not surprising many people take on more debt than they can handle. Some pitfalls to avoid when obtaining financial assistance in the form of loans or credit cards include underestimating the cost once the interest rate kicks in. Also, you might deal with unexpected situations that cripple your ability to repay credit cards such as a job loss or illness. Other people live with a spouse or child’s financial mistakes.

      Breaking the Debt Cycle

      When you receive credit counseling, you receive help not only with debt consolidation to lower your interest rates, but also insights into what keeps people in debt and why it is so hard to break the debt cycle. One reason it is difficult to get out of debt on your own is because of penalties and interest. Your credit counselor goes to bat on your behalf to reduce the interest. Other challenges include the temptation to spend more because of lifestyle habits as well as a feeling of defeat.

      Changing Your Financial Future

      Experts say a great credit card exit strategy is to consider debt relief options including debt consolidation. Professionals assist you with a debt management program so you only have one monthly debt repayment to make. To avoid a negative debt cycle in the future, you pay bills on time and take on only the debt you can manage on your income.

      At Christian Credit Counselors, we teach our clients how to use credit to help them get ahead and reach their goals instead of letting credit card debt destroy their dreams. With debt consolidation, you can simplify your finances and save money on interest as well as speed up your payoff date.

      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.

        Full Name (required)

        Email (required)

        Are you a current client of Christian Credit Counselors? (required)

        Type the code below in the text box. (required)
        captcha


         

        CCCc2abutton

        ​Read More
        Debt Counseling
        Debt

        Debt Counseling to Stop Using Credit Cards as a Lifeline

        Credit cards are not just a convenience or a backup plan for many members of Generation X and baby boomers. According to a recent study cited by usatoday.com, a lot of people between the ages of 35 and 67 assume they will always have credit card debt. With debt counseling, you learn to stop using credit card as a lifeline. Instead of credit card dependence, you take control by budgeting, planning, saving, setting goals and paying off debt. The study by Allianz Life revealed 48 percent of Gen Xers and baby boomers said they use credit cards for financial survival. By consolidating debt through a reputable Christian credit counseling you receive unbiased support and guidance as well as prayer and resources. The interest you save by following a debt management program could be money you use to save for retirement. If you aren’t sure whether you need debt counseling, consider some of the warning signs you are using credit cards as a lifeline.

        Failing to pay the Balance

        The survey showed 46 percent of Gen Xers only pay part of their credit card balance every month instead of paying it off. Thirty-two percent of baby boomers only pay some of what they owe. The great thing about credit consolidation is you take care of your financial responsibility to various credit card companies. The creditors get on board with your debt management plan.

        Putting off Retirement Savings

        If you are always telling yourself you will save for retirement next month, next year or when you get a tax return or bonus, you are likely living on credit cards. Twenty-three percent of people in their late 30s and 40s said they don’t think they can even start saving for retirement while they feel burdened with credit card debt.

        Feeling stressed out and exhausted

        Although most people feel tired at the end of a productive day, it is not healthy to feel mentally exhausted from financial stress. Forty-one percent of the Gen Xers feel uncomfortable with debt versus only 25 percent of baby boomers. Even if you accept your credit card debt now, you will benefit from debt counseling. Many baby boomers will not enjoy a comfortable retirement due to excessive debt.

        Accepting debt as a fact of life

        Another sign you need debt counseling is when you simply accept debt as a fact of life. Twenty percent of Gen Xers and 14 percent of baby boomers surveyed said they don’t see a way around credit card debt. With debt counseling, you receive the facts, information, support to get your credit score up, save, budget and plan. Your certified credit counselors provide you with a custom debt analysis so you can learn to live within your means.

        At Christian Credit Counselors, we want our clients to enjoy the benefits of financial freedom and peace. Our program helps people with credit card debt by giving them a manageable plan and strategy to get and stay 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.

          Full Name (required)

          Email (required)

          Are you a current client of Christian Credit Counselors? (required)

          Type the code below in the text box. (required)
          captcha


          CCCc2abutton

          ​Read More
          Credit Counseling
          Credit Counseling

          Credit Counseling – A To-Do before Marriage

          If you have fallen in love and plan to get married, it’s an exciting time. Many brides and grooms come into a marriage with credit card debt that creates challenges for a new life together. According to an article by time.com, there is hope for people who fall in love with someone who has credit card debt. As a married couple, you can seek credit counseling together to learn about solutions that are part of God’s plan for your life. By signing up for a debt management plan, your future or current spouse consolidates credit card debt into one simply payment. Trained credit counselors with Christian Credit Counselors get on the phone with your creditors to get them on board with a lower interest rate.

          To find out you aren’t financially alone

          When you receive credit counseling, you find out you aren’t alone. As far as credit card debt, the situation is not that uncommon. According to a survey by NerdWallet, 35 percent of couples with combined financing have at least one person in the relationship with credit card debt. Forty-five percent of young people in their 20s and early 30s have revolving credit card debt, which means they don’t pay off the balance every month.

          So you can achieve your financial goals

          Even as a Christian, it is not bad to have financial goals such as owning a home or having money to fund a vacation, wedding or honeymoon. When you receive credit counseling, you learn to budget so you part of your income goes toward short and long-term savings goals. According to time.com, most people enter a marriage with about $4,000 in credit card debt. Some of the negative consequences include having so much debt that they can’t enjoy life or reach goals.

          To minimize marital friction

          Credit counseling lets you get a handle on your finances so debt and personal finances do not create conflicts. One poll by time.com found two in 10 couples argue about money. However, younger respondents accepted debt more than pre-retirees and retirees. Money problems are one of the main reasons cited for divorce.

          At Christian Credit Counselors, we help young and older couples consolidate debt, budget and improve their credit scores. If you are planning to get married or recently tied the knot, consider the value of being open and transparent about money. Open up about your credit card debt with a partner early in the relationship. By paying off your credit card debt with a debt management plan, you give your spouse and new marriage a major blessing.

          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.

            Full Name (required)

            Email (required)

            Are you a current client of Christian Credit Counselors? (required)

            Type the code below in the text box. (required)
            captcha


            CCCc2abutton

            ​Read More
            Christian Credit Counselors
            Christian Credit Counselors

            Credit Counseling Helps You Budget

            Budgeting is essential if you want to learn to live below your means. For many people, budgets seem too restrictive. If you try too hard to save, you could end up spending rebelliously or throwing the budget out the window. With Christian credit counseling, you access tools and education to finally get a handle on your budget. According to a piece by time.com, there are five reasons behind a budget that isn’t working. Christian credit counseling will give you the support and knowledge to solve your budget woes.

            Start paying better attention

            The first reason a budget fails is because people tend to ignore a budget. One easy way to become more conscious of your spending patterns is to keep a spending diary. You can use your cellular phone or old-fashioned pen and notebook. Having a budget isn’t the same as following a budget.

            Take a realistic approach

            With Christian credit counseling, the goal is to come up with a realistic budget. Of course, it would be great if you could max out your 401(k) at work and save up $30,000 for a down payment on a home. After you pay off your credit card debt, lofty financial goals become more attainable. By consolidating debt and signing up for a debt management plan, you take a realistic step toward improving your personal finances and being able to live within your means.

            Put money aside for taxes

            Another pitfall to avoid when budgeting is failing to put money aside for income taxes. Check your paycheck to make sure you have the right number of exemptions. People with several dependents often put down a higher number of exemptions so their employer takes less money out of the paycheck. If you feel concerned you could end up owing taxes, reconsider your exemptions number. Put money in a regular savings account to cover a tax bill if necessary.

            Get your budget and goals in alignment

            If your budget doesn’t reflect your goals, you are less likely to follow it. A trained credit counselor with integrity and Christian values can help you figure out your priorities. Many people value paying what they owe. Debt consolidation with a debt management plan is one way to follow through on your obligation while also getting the benefit of a lower interest rate.

            Leave some wiggle room

            Another way to guarantee success with a budget is to leave some wiggle room for discretionary spending. While there are a lot of different formulas for saving and spending, figure out what works best for you. Start by saving 10 percent aside for the future. After allocating money for all of your bills, figure out how much money you have left. If you can’t make it work with your current budget, consider consolidating debt.

            At Christian Credit Counselors, our trained credit counselors don’t judge you for your spending or savings habits. We get our clients motivated to succeed in the future with a solid budget and debt consolidation help.

            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.

              Full Name (required)

              Email (required)

              Are you a current client of Christian Credit Counselors? (required)

              Type the code below in the text box. (required)
              captcha


              CCCc2abutton

              ​Read More
              Credit Counseling
              Credit Counseling

              Credit Counseling: Closing the Debt Gender Gap

              When it comes to credit card debt, the burden is one affecting men and women, but women tend to carry more debt. By receiving credit counseling, members of each gender receive benefits that help them improve personal finances. According to a recent article by usnews.com that cited National Debt Relief survey, only 33 percent of men carry credit card debt versus 66 percent of women. The male and female differences related to money often create friction in a relationship or marriage. With credit counseling, wives and husbands gain insights to help them each contribute more to the financial solutions, goals and shared plans.

              Paying off debt

              With a debt consolidation plan, your credit card debt will quickly start to shrink. A National Debt Relief survey found women tend to carry more debt compared to men no matter what their age. Sixty-three percent of young women carried debt compared to 36 percent of young men in the 18 to 24 age category. In the 55 to 64 (baby boomer) category, 66 percent of women versus 33 percent of men had credit card debt. By consolidating debt, you can close the debt gender gap as a woman.

              Earning more money

              Some experts point out women earn less money than men. In fact, women now make 81 percent of what men make. With credit counseling, you brainstorm ways to budget and earn more money. For some females, the answer is to start a side gig by monetizing a hobby such as painting or consulting. Experts point out many women also fail to negotiate their starting salaries or ask for pay raises. A credit counselor will give you the confidence boost you need to ask for that raise.

              Following a budget

              Whether you are a man or a woman, the key to staying out of credit card debt is to stop spending more than you earn. With credit counseling, you become a master of budgeting and tracking spending. You can include a debt management plan monthly payment into your overall budget. With proper guidance, the monthly payment to repay your creditors will not interfere with day-to-day expenses for food, rent or mortgage and other essentials.

              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.

                Full Name (required)

                Email (required)

                Are you a current client of Christian Credit Counselors? (required)

                Type the code below in the text box. (required)
                captcha


                CCCc2abutton

                ​Read More
                Debt Counseling
                Debt

                Debt Counseling – Avoid Frugal Fatigue

                Getting out of credit card debt often takes major financial sacrifices accomplished by a frugal lifestyle. During the Great Recession, a lot of consumers stopped spending money. But adopting frugal habits for long periods of time results in frustration or what’s often called “frugal fatigue.” According to an article by time.com, frugal fatigue is one of several debt consolidation traps to avoid with proper debt counseling. When you receive debt counseling, you learn to take a more balanced approach to paying off debt. By working with an accredited company such as Christian Credit Counselors, for example, you likely learn how to pay a realistic portion of your income toward a debt repayment plan.

                Using it Debt Consolidation as a tool

                When you consolidate debt, don’t think of it as the end of your personal finance journey. Instead, think of it as one step in the process. Debt consolidation is a tool that helps you get out of debt, but it won’t change your spending patterns. With debt counseling, you dig a little deeper into the why behind your credit card debt. You brainstorm solutions for the future, setting goals and planning with emergency savings. To avoid frugal fatigue, make sure to budget for some fun activities as well as the necessities. A trained credit counselor will free up money in your budget by achieving a lower interest rate on the debt you accumulated over time.

                Avoiding debt settlement

                In most cases, debt settlement is a scam intended to dupe consumers into spending money without actually getting to the root of the problem. Your credit score will likely be ruined by failing to work with creditors or pay back what you owe. Instead of debt settlement, sign up for a debt management plan through Consumer Credit Counselors. In some cases, you pay off your debt in just three to five years. Some people think debt settlement is the better solution because they don’t pay anything toward debt. In reality, you could end up being sued by your creditors or being forced into bankruptcy.

                After getting out of debt with your debt management plan, don’t fall into the trap of spending wildly. You can keep your frugal habits such as using discounts and coupons, buying generic brands, watching movies at home and buying less expensive cars. The key is to only splurge on special occasions when you can comfortably afford to treat yourself or your family.

                At Christian Credit Counselors, we help our clients pinpoint the reasons they got into debt in the first place so they stay with the debt-free lifestyle. Find out how freeing it is to pay off what you owe in terms of 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.

                  Full Name (required)

                  Email (required)

                  Are you a current client of Christian Credit Counselors? (required)

                  Type the code below in the text box. (required)
                  captcha


                  CCCc2abutton

                  ​Read More
                  Debt Consolidation
                  Debt Consolidation

                  Going on a Money Diet with Debt Consolidation

                  Achieving financial fitness does not require a lot of workouts at the gym or even a lot of discipline. Debt consolidation is an easy and simply path to succeeding on the money diet. According to an article by goodhousekeeping.com, it is important to start with a plan when you want to get out of debt. By talking to a trained credit counselor at a reputable organization such as Christian Credit Counselors, you find out how to enroll in a Debt Management Plan. Your credit counselor does the work for you by contacting your creditors to lower the interest rate. Instead of paying on three, five, eight or more credit cards, you end up with just one monthly payment handled through Christian Credit Counselors. Contacting a credit counselor is not just about consolidating debt. It is also about learning how to keep out of debt for good just as you maintain your weight loss after a diet.

                  Plan of Budgeting attack

                  The goodhousekeeping.com article points out saving and dieting require a plan of attack. Another word for plan is budget, at least when it comes to personal finances. Different budgeting strategies work for different people, but the main principle is to live below your means. Also, make a list of all of your fixed expenses or bills as well as the variable expenses. In some cases, you start guessing how much you need for groceries or clothing, making adjustments along the way.

                  Manageable Financial goals

                  It does little good to set financial goals that are impossible to maintain. Although some people claim it helps keep them motivated, the truth is you are better off with goals you can actually manage. The great thing about debt consolidation is you agree only to a Debt Management Plan that is doable with an end goal or timeline in mind.

                  Financial Flexibility

                  When you consolidate debt, you typically end up paying less every month to meet your credit card debt obligations. With extra money, you can set aside at least 10 percent of your income for emergencies as well as spend some money when you need to pay for unexpected bills.

                  The Budgeting Buddy system

                  Another tip for a money diet is to find a dieting buddy to help keep you accountable. Your credit counselor is a great go-to person to talk to about budgeting, temptations to overspend and credit scores. A buddy system keeps most people on any kind of diet. Instead of depriving yourself, you can still spend money on the things that matter most to you.

                  After dieting, people step on the scale. With a money diet, you simply look at your savings balance, credit score and credit card debt. By consolidating debt, you know you are on the right path to a financially fit life. At Christian Credit Counselors, we help you come up with a realistic budget and consolidate debt to get out of debt 80 percent faster than other methods.

                  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.

                    Full Name (required)

                    Email (required)

                    Are you a current client of Christian Credit Counselors? (required)

                    Type the code below in the text box. (required)
                    captcha


                    CCCc2abutton

                    ​Read More
                    Debt

                    Debt Counseling Increases Take-Home Pay

                    When you pay more money than you have to in interest on your credit card debt, you have less money each month. By consolidating debt with a debt management plan, your take-home pay increases. By making the move to receive debt counseling, you can also develop a budget that lets you keep more of your paycheck. A recent article by nerdwallet.com, there are several strategies you can employ to increase your take home pay. Before making any changes regarding taxes, consult with your tax adviser first. As far as budgeting and consolidating debt, rely on a trained and certified credit counselor.

                    Increasing tax exemptions

                    One way you can end up with a higher paycheck every month is by increasing your tax exemptions. In most cases, you have to fill out a new W-4 form. Your employer may allow you to use an online version with electronic signature. Again, check with your tax adviser before changing your tax withholding. The higher the number of tax exemptions, the less money gets withheld from your paycheck for federal taxes. You will not get as much money back in the form of a tax refund if you increase your exemptions, but you’ll get more money now.

                    Consolidating your debt

                    When you consolidate debt through a reputable agency such as Christian Credit Counselors, you pay back what you owe. Your credit counselor will help you score a lower interest rate on your credit card debt. Instead of paying several creditors, you only make one consolidated or merged debt payment. With debt counseling, you learn how easy it is to reduce your credit card debt.

                    Working overtime or two jobs

                    Another way to increase income is by working two jobs, asking for overtime or finding a side gig as a freelancer or independent contractor. Before you claim overtime, check with your supervisor or boss to make sure you have approval. Some companies insist their employees stop working after they work 40 hours because they don’t want to pay time and a half compensation. In those cases, you can find other ways to earn income on your days off.

                    Tracking your spending

                    When it comes to building wealth, it’s not just about earning more but about keeping more of the money you do make. Whether you “lose” money by paying a high interest rate on a credit card or by spending too much money on things you don’t need, it pays to build a budget. With debt counseling, you receive all the tips you need to create a monthly budget that works. You can set financial goals, track spending, evaluate your progress and stay accountable.

                    At Christian Credit Counselors, we make it our mission to help our clients get out of debt and stay out of debt. Ask us about how debt counseling will give you the tools you need so you keep more of your take-home pay. Whether your money ends up in savings, a Roth IRA, 401(k) or in your home’s equity, keeping your take-home pay means building wealth.

                    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.

                      Full Name (required)

                      Email (required)

                      Are you a current client of Christian Credit Counselors? (required)

                      Type the code below in the text box. (required)
                      captcha


                      CCCc2abutton

                      ​Read More