Debt Counseling
Budgeting, Credit Counseling, Credit Score, Debt, Finance, Holiday Tips

Debt Counseling and Holiday Credit Card Debt

Debt Counseling and Christmas

Most people love spending money on their family and friends, wrapping presents with shiny bows and watching their expressions as they open gifts. However, Christmas is a bittersweet holiday for people with excessive credit card debt. By seeking debt counseling before or after the holidays, you take control of your holiday credit card debt.

According to an article in the Huffington Post, many shoppers experience the shopping hangover after major shopping days such as Black Friday. Even if you shop on major sale days, you don’t get ahead by using credit cards if you can’t pay them back. Revolving credit card debt is at the highest level it has been in several years, according to the Federal Reserve. Debt counseling gives you an edge so you start the New Year on the right path.

Credit Card Debt Repayment

If you can only afford to pay the suggested amount due or minimum due, you will benefit from debt consolidation. By receiving debt counseling, you find out how to budget to pay back all of your credit debt as well as monthly bills and expenses. With a debt repayment plan, you figure out how to get out of credit card debt for good.

By consolidating debt you pay off credit card debt and satisfy your creditors. If you take a different approach such as using a balance transfer credit card, you could end up running up even more credit card debt. Debt counseling helps many consumers overcome the temptation to keep putting items on credit instead of setting the credit cards aside.

Credit Counseling and your Finances

If you just want a short-term fix, pay your minimum balance or transfer credit card balances to a new credit card. However, experts say most credit cards charge a 3 percent transfer fee. Also, paying the minimum amount doesn’t lower your interest rate. A credit counselor helps you actually lower the interest you pay on your credit card debt so you pay it all off in less time. A long-term fix is about examining your spending habits, learning how to boost a credit score and budgeting. Many consumers fall into traps. You can change your spending and savings habits with a few simple personal finance tricks.

Although the holidays are all about giving, it is a good time to treat yourself to debt counseling. With a proper budget, you can buy loved ones holiday gifts and avoid lingering 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 Instead of Dipping into Your Savings

    Saving Money for your Savings Account

    When it comes to credit card debt, some experts recommend dipping into your non-retirement savings to pay off your debt. However, people without adequate emergency savings rarely stop the cycle of credit card dependence.

    With a debt consolidation plan, you are more likely to get out of credit card debt for good. A trained credit counselor works to lower your interest rate, giving you a solid debt management plan with a target payoff date so there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    Tapping cash reserves is often risky because your credit card company could choose to close your account or lower your credit limit. If you are dealing with an unexpected financial emergency, it pays to have at least three to six months of living expenses set aside in a liquid account. Some consumers choose debt consolidation as a way to get rid of debt, but aren’t sure how to handle their savings goals and habits.

    Finances for the Future

    According to a Journal of Family and Economic issues study, people with household debt often feel depressed. By lowering debt and boosting savings, you improve your mood and outlook on life. Debt consolidation helps you get out of debt, which is especially important for people who are single, ages 51 to 64 and without a college degree, the study found.

    Saving More Money

    In addition to saving more money now by lowering your interest rate on credit cards, debt consolidation helps you lay a better financial foundation for the future. After you complete your debt management plan, you can shuffle the money used to pay off credit cards to beef up your emergency fund. It is also a good idea to set at least 10 percent of your income aside for retirement savings.

    With help from a Christian credit counseling agency, you repay your debt to meet obligations and set yourself free from negative guilt and remorse. Many people who complete a debt management plan feel motivated to advance in a career or save more for the future because of the fresh start and feeling of gratification and completion. In some cases, you pay off credit card debt 80 percent faster with debt consolidation compared to other financial strategies.

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      [button shape=”rounded” size=”regular” float=”none” circle=”true” href=”https://christiancreditcounselors.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Budgeting-Handouts.pdf” target=”blank” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]Free Work Sheet[/button]

       

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      Debt Counseling
      Debt

      Debt Counseling for First-Time Credit Card Holders

      Credit Cards and Financial Predicaments

      If you are a first-time credit card holder, you likely viewed the card as a vehicle for getting you where you needed to go in life. Whether you used your credit card to pay for a new computer, clothes or vacation, the idea of maxing out a credit card scares many new card users. By receiving debt counseling you can prevent a financial predicament as well as solve the problem of runaway debt. A recent article by cnbc.com suggests using the card to build up a good and solid credit card history. By talking to a trained and certified credit counselor, you learn what makes up a good credit report as well as ways to budget and plan for financial emergencies.

      Mounting Debt

      Experts say one of the reasons young credit card holders face a mountain of debt is because they associate a lot of fun and pleasure with credit card use. It is fun to swipe a credit card as opposed to parting with cash. To overcome the challenge, seek debt counseling. Budgeting, saving and planning is often fun when you get creative about your goals. For example, reward yourself with a special reward for staying on budget or meeting savings targets. Plan a major reward for yourself after completing a debt management plan to pay off all your credit card debt.

      Lowering Credit Card Interest Rates

      Many first-time credit card holders feel duped into credit cards with high interest rates. Instead of feeling helpless, rely on a Christian credit counseling agency to negotiate lower interest rates with your creditors. High interest rates of 18 percent or higher are not uncommon, but you can realistically achieve a lower rate by consolidating your debt.

      Monitoring Your Credit Report

      With debt counseling, you also learn how to monitor your credit report. When you become aware of what makes up a good credit score and report, you take the action steps to improve your situation. A good credit score affects your ability to buy a home, take out a car loan as well as get a job in some cases. Misusing credit cards is a common predicament but a credit counselor provides non-judgmental guidance.

       

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        [button shape=”rounded” size=”regular” float=”none” circle=”true” href=”https://christiancreditcounselors.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Budgeting-Handouts.pdf” target=”blank” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]Free Work Sheet[/button]

         

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        Debt Counseling
        Credit Counseling, Debt

        Debt Counseling – When Financial Problems Sneak up On You

        Signs of Financial Trouble

        Past due statements, accounts closed without you and payments that reflect the minimum due are of few of the red flags that you need debt counseling. If financial problems are sneaking up on you, the best solution is to confront your reality and take positive steps to remedy the situation. According to a piece by cheatsheet.com, there is nothing to feel ashamed about if you have credit card debt that is higher than you realized.

        Relying on your credit card too often is an innocent habit that turns into a larger problem if left unchecked. Instead of remaining in denial, consider the signs of financial trouble. By enrolling in a debt management plan through a Christian credit counseling agency, you turn a negative into a positive situation. When you are completely debt free, every purchase you make will feel sweeter because you can afford the item.

        Borrowing money from others

        If you borrow money from family and friends, it can either be a positive or negative sign. Some people borrow money or take financial gifts from relatives so they can avoid running up credit cards. If you have to pay back a friend or relative, it can strain the relationship. Also, if you turn to friends or family because you have already maxed out your other sources of loans and credit, it is a major financial mistake.

        Dealing with bill collectors

        Another warning sign you your financial problems are interfering with your life is when you receive calls from bill collectors. With the help of a trained and accredited credit counseling agency, you don’t need to worry about bill collectors. A credit counselor talks to your creditors for you to come up with an agreed upon plan for debt repayment. For you, it’s all about making one monthly payment. For your creditors, it is about making right on money owed to them.

        Credit Cards and Debt

        If you rely on credit cards to pay for the basic necessities such as food and gasoline, it is likely you have too much debt. With debt counseling, you learn how to budget so you spend your paycheck on necessities first. Discretionary purchases include cigarettes, alcohol, entertainment, clothing other than work clothes and luxury items.

        Feeling paycheck dependent

        If you need your paycheck to make your monthly rent or mortgage, it means you don’t have enough in savings to cover one or two months of expenses. With debt counseling, you learn how to save up for emergencies as well as for fun vacations and holidays.

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          [button shape=”rounded” size=”regular” float=”none” circle=”true” href=”https://christiancreditcounselors.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Budgeting-Handouts.pdf” target=”blank” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]Free Work Sheet[/button]

           

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          Debt Consolidation
          Debt Consolidation

          Debt Consolidation – Forgiving Yourself of Credit Sins

          Credit Cards and Financial Health

          Misusing credit cards affects your financial health, security and future. You can easily forgive yourself of so-called credit sins by seeking assistance from a Christian credit counseling program. One of the most positive ways to get back on track is with debt consolidation. According to an article by cheatsheet.com, 30 percent of your FICO score relates to how much you owe on credit cards. If your balance gets too high and you can’t pay off the total balance, debt consolidation can help. The key is to stay calm and avoid several credit blunders.

          A Five Step Debt Management Plan

          Creditors and Debt Collectors

          One of the challenges you often have to deal with when you have a high credit card balance is debt collectors and representatives from your credit card companies. By working with a credit counselor, you put the problem in someone’s capable hands. Calls stop after you sign up for a debt management plan because your creditors agree to a specific monthly repayment plan. To get to that positive place, put aside anger.

          Your Personal Finances

          Another credit blunder is refusing to seek personal finance help because of pride. A lot of people seek Christian credit counseling because they don’t want to feel shamed or ridiculed for mistakes. A certified credit counselor with a Christian mindset will give you advice on debt consolidation without judgment.

          Embracing Frugal Finances

          No matter what your situation, you can find new and creative ways to practice frugality. Another credit “sin” is to pay only the minimum balance on a credit card. When you resist the temptation to overspend, you fix the problem instead of exasperating it.

          Credit Cards and Debt Management

          When you agree to a debt management plan to pay off debt, you stop using your old credit cards. It is also important to stop opening up new credit lines. A credit counselor helps you budget, plan and save so you can avoid repeating the same financial mistakes.

          Overcoming Credit Problems with Contentment

          When you find happiness with the things you already own instead of constantly wanting something bigger or better, many of your credit problems disappear. After getting on board with a debt consolidation plan, give yourself some space to feel happy. Instead of soothing your stress and troubles by spending money, find other ways to relax such as a free walk in nature or time with friends and family.

          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 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

              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 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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