How to Pay Off Credit Card Debt Quickly

Christmas and holiday spending can be brutal on any household budget, considering most families significantly overspend during the holiday season. It is estimated that the average American household has more than $8000 in credit card debt. After all the fun and festivities are over, you should take control of your household budget and expenses. Unfortunately, one of the biggest yet most controllable expenses for most individuals or households is their revolving debt. The payments may not only handcuff your spending ability, but they can limit your financial options to purchase a car or house. In order to escape from the trap of credit card debt, you will need to determine the best way to pay down and eliminate your debt. The following is a list of suggestions on how to pay down your debt and improve your financial situation.

• Collect Your Information – Gather your last pay stub and all your latest credit card statements. Write down the name of the creditor, balance, interest rate, due date, and the minimum payment for each card. Then add up all the minimum payments for each account. Based on your disposable income after you pay your mortgage, utilities, and other necessities; do you have enough money left over each month to make the minimum credit card payments? Also, write down how much interest you are paying monthly and annually. This is the amount of money that is being wasted.

• Make a Plan – Once you have a basic budget that includes your income and debts, you can then decide if you want to consolidate your debt, start to reduce your debt by paying off the cards with the highest interest rates first, or start by paying off the cards with the lowest balances first. Choose a plan you can stick to, no one knows your financial situation better than you do.

• Consolidate Your Debt – Turn your revolving debt into a term loan. If you close your credit cards after consolidating them, you will no longer have the ability to add to your debt. Also, part of your payments will be reducing the principal balance of your debt, unlike minimum credit card payments that are usually just paying the interest on the outstanding balance. Therefore, you will be paying down your debt and the consolidation loan should be paid off within a certain number of years. If you are financially capable, it would benefit you to make more than the minimum payment, thereby reducing the principal balance on the debt faster. If you decide to consolidate your credit card debt, take the time to thoroughly compare your options and shop for an interest rate that is lower than your credit card interest rates. Also, set up an automatic payment arrangement for your consolidation loan. This will prevent you from falling behind in the payment and potentially facing penalties and/or a higher interest rate.

• Debt Settlement – This is the program that is an alternative to bankruptcy. When you go through your finances, if you find out that your monthly payments exceed your financial ability, you will need to seek alternative options, such as: working with a financial institution to consolidation your credit, discuss your options with a bankruptcy attorney, or talk to the credit card companies directly to reduce the principal balances owed on your debt.

• Stop Charging – Once you make your plan to pay off your debt, you will need to be committed to stop charging on your credit cards and creating new debt until your finances are under control. Your plan will not work unless you reduce your spending.

Taking control of your finances may create short-term hardships and limit your ability to purchase items over the next few years, such as: a new car, new house, or a vacation. Nevertheless, it is imperative that you control your spending, so you can improve your finances and get out of debt. Once your debt is paid off, you will have a significant increase in disposable income. In addition, you should have higher credit scores and a lower debt to income ratio; therefore in the future, you should qualify for preferential rates on auto and home loans.

Top Reasons to Get Out of Credit Card Debt

According to recent studies by the American Institute of CPAs, more than half of American adults (51%) say they delayed at least one important life decision, like having kids or retiring, because of financial reasons. In this article I will talk about the negative effects of credit card debt and I will go over debt relief options.

Lawsuits and Garnished Wages

There are more than one way that a credit card issuer can get their money, one of the most common being lawsuits. Very often they file a civil suit; If a creditor obtains a judgment against you they can place a lien on your assets to recover the money or even worse: garnish your wages by sending the required documentation to your employer, which is required to comply by law. A good way of preventing these problems is to seek help from a professional credit card debt settlement company.

It will make it harder to find a new job

If it wasn’t hard enough to find a job with all the competition out there, staying in debt can make it a bit more difficult for you. This is because employers in many states can check the credit reports of job applicants, and a record filled with late payments and court proceedings may not let you be seen as a reliable candidate. Employers are able to do this because of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Companies must have your permission to view your credit reports.

However, this usually only affects people who are searching for a upper management financial position. The reason is because your potential employer may view you as a person who cannot make responsible financial decisions because of your own financial problems. Before applying, check any accounts that may have debt. If you see anything that may cost you from getting hired, quickly work on repairing the problem.

Mortgage, Rental and loan rejections

In addition to your debt issues, reports indicating nonpayment of credit card debt not only decrease your chances of securing a mortgage, you are also less attractive as a rental candidate, since in many cases landlords often check the applicant’s credit before agreeing to hand over the keys. Likewise, if you are trying to apply for a loan at the bank, by having active debt somewhere else your chances of getting approved for a loan are between probably not and absolutely not.

Your debt can increase

In some cases people find themselves in a tight situation financially and they may chose to default on one high-interest card to keep the lower-interest ones to make purchases. What many people are not aware of are the penalties that come with not paying and/or paying late.

The reason that strategy will not work is because many credit accounts have “universal default” clauses in their agreement, which state that if you’re more than 30 days late on any one account, they’re allowed to raise your interest rates based on the increased risk, hence increasing the debt balance.

Potentially losing a job promotion

Again, this only affects for people that are in line for a promotion to a position where they have to handle money, credit checks, or make financial decisions. If you believe you may receive a job promotion in the future make sure to settle any debt you have because it could keep you from getting promoted.

Debt Collectors

One of the things that major credit card companies do is that they often sell your delinquent credit card debt to debt collectors. Debt collectors buy the debt for a fraction of what you actually owe, they then try to collect the debt by getting you to make voluntary payments over the phone, internet or through the mail. The debt collector can also sue you in court just like the credit card company can. If a judgment is awarded to the debt collector, it too can garnish your wages.

How to Protect Your Wages From Credit Card Issuers

Wanting to pay a debt is great, but limiting your resources is not. Before making any decisions make sure that you are aware of the various debt relief programs available to you.

If you are in danger of having your wages garnished by a credit card company or debt collector and you know that you need this money to eat or pay other important bills such as medical bills, there are steps you can take to avoid garnishment of your paycheck.

Very often credit card companies are willing to accept a settlement in lieu of going through the courts to garnish your wages, this allows you to avoid a lawsuit and wage garnishment, you can negotiate a settlement of credit card debt with the bank or credit card issuer.

Settle the debt

Millions of American struggle under a load of high credit card debt, if you are having trouble paying your credit card bills or are worried about high credit card balances, don’t hide. Instead, learn what you can do to better manage your credit card debt, sometimes, with strict budgeting and strategically closing some credit card accounts, you can start paying off your debt.

If the balances are very high and the stress unbearable make sure to talk to a reputable debt settlement consultant. You will be surprised how one simple phone consultation can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.

State exemptions

In some circumstances, states allow you to protect a portion of your wages, these are called exemptions. When you receive the wage garnishment notice, you need to find out if your state’s laws allow you protect a portion of your wages. If they do then you can file a document in state court claiming the exemption and the judge will decide whether it is valid or not.

File for bankruptcy

If you are really in over your head, bankruptcy might be your best option, bankruptcy immediately stops garnishment of your wages for a credit card debt, however, filing for bankruptcy affects many aspects of your life and should not be taken lightly. In many cases, you should not file solely to stop a garnishment.

The Bottom Line

It is important to point out that during the first three months of 2015, consumers paid down $34.7 billion in debt owed to credit card companies, that is about 7 percent above the average of the past two years, this means that people are educating themselves about all the possible solutions. There are many ways to fix your credit card debt problem, now it is just a matter of you choosing to make it happen.

Not All Debts Are Bad

“They are the same thing – loaning money I don’t have – I’d rather not risk my lifestyle having a debt!”

The best way to define a “bad” debt, is when you borrow/ leverage money to purchase something that generates a loss (also known as a liability). A good example of this is a car, flat screen TV or a doodad, simply because they depreciates in value. The best way to define a “good” debt, is when you borrow/ leverage money to purchase something that generates profit (also known as an asset). A good example of this is an investment property.

Most people generally tend to have more bad debt than good, such as;

– Credit cards
– Car loan
– Personal loan
– Holiday finance
– White goods finance

Sounds familiar doesn’t it! Don’t get us wrong, it’s not an offence or anything, but keep this in mind – by decreasing these debts, you are more likely to steer yourself in the right path of financial success.

On the other hand, some people think having a debt is a taboo/ sin/ whatever they want to call it – so they don’t believe in buying a property until they have earned their money to pay their house in cash. That can do – it’s just going to take them longer that’s all. Yes, debt is a risk, it is leveraging the bank, and you may not be able to repay that if you quit/ lose your job.

That’s why without a doubt, you must budget. Manage your finances as early as possible. Good debts are risks worth taking, so you can generate more income. If you don’t take the risk, you won’t know what you can achieve.

Likewise, bad debts are risks too. Having them might be inevitable but sometimes you can prevent it! A simple formula to avoid bad debt is: if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it.

If you decrease your “bad” debts the banks are actually more likely to provide you with “good” debts such as home loans, which if you use correctly, will grow your wealth.

TIP: Chat with a mortgage broker about your ability to leverage “good” debt. They should let you know if your level of “bad” debt is acceptable to the banks or not, and how to get rid of these as soon as possible.

How to Manage Your Finance When You Are a Freelancer?

If you are thinking about freelancing as a career, the most important aspect to look into is managing the finances in your career. As in any business, finance is an essential part of freelancing and you can get an accountant to start with bookkeeping and maintaining accounts for your business. If you cannot find a good accountant where you live or find it expensive, you can even pick a freelance accountant online!

It is best to get everything in order right from the beginning to avoid the end of the year tax hassles. You can begin by collecting all invoices and bills of the purchases to get better rebates. When you start freelancing, you will realize that there are many more business related expenses that can get you tax benefit.

You can also keep a daily account of expenses and payments received. Take some advice from your accountant about maintaining your accounts intricately, especially about maintaining your account books, tallying them and keeping a record.

To be able to budget your expense is another important aspect of managing your finance as a freelancer. As with any business, it is difficult to ascertain how much money you will be making through online projects. So, it is best to make a monthly budget for yourself and spend accordingly. If you are lucky and get more than what you are spending, look for good investment opportunities.

Setting financial goals for yourself each month or on a quarterly basis is another good idea to manage your finances best. Look for venues to make these goals happen. Not only will you feel more motivated but you will find that you have a better chance at achieving these targets every month. Stick to your budget expenses and try to save some for days when work is low.

Register yourself as a self employed or independent agent for taxation. If you do not know the process, take help from your accountant to get all the formalities done within 3 months so that there is no hassle before you file for year.

When you start freelancing, you may earn more one month and maybe not even get one job the next month, so keep a margin of finances available to meet your expenses when you have no or very less work.

Writing down your money inflow and outflow, balancing budget, setting up financial goals and keeping a bookkeeper will help you manage your finances when you start freelancing.

Best Tools to Digitize Your Finances

It’s certainly no secret that almost everything these days has gone digital. Pretty much anything you want or need to do, can now be done on your laptop or smartphone quickly and easily. With endless amounts of online tools, electronic options and smartphone apps, driving to the bank to manage your finances is becoming nearly primitive. Completely digitizing your finances can help make your life easier, here are the best online tools to use.

Almost every bank (especially major ones) have online websites to utilize. Not only will you be saving stress with checking the mail and sending in bills on time, you will also be helping to save the planet and be kind to the Earth. Online banking tools include both direct deposits as well as bill pay.

Direct deposit: Direct deposit means that your paycheck will be automatically sent to your checking account. This will ensure that your paycheck is never lost or stolen, you can avoid trips to the bank, your money is always deposited even if you forget (which is unlikely) and some banks even offer discounts or free checking accounts that use direct deposit.

Pay Bills: Automatic bill pay is an awesome digital tool to help manage finances because it makes payments nearly instant so you don’t have to worry about sending in bills to get there on time, or spend money on postage. You will be reminded of when your bills are due, you can transfer funds quickly an easily and you can also use recurring payments.

Financial planning: Managing your money has become easier with digital tools that aim to help simplify your financial life. You can formulate a financial plan and keep track of your finances through a number of online devices. Bookkeeping through virtual sites like Quicken can help you organize your expenses into categories and track your income as well. You no longer have to use a bank book or paper bills and checks. Simply plan out your finances in an easy and simple manner using online tools.

Budgeting: Keeping a budget would be much more difficult if digital sites weren’t around. There are a number of websites that help you create and track your spending and saving, making it much easier to track where your money is going, and stick to a budget. spending, saving and investments. Anyone can become a master money manager with these digital tools.

Mobile Apps- You don’t have to be sitting at a computer to manage your finances. With smartphone apps catering to almost everything and anything these days, there are plenty to help you digitize your money on the go. Many banks offer a number of ways to use smartphone applications to bank from your phone. With these apps you can make transactions, text banking options and find bank and ATM locations near you via geo-location tracking.

secure online and mobile service is an award-winning digital tool to help you manage everything from bills and accounts, to household utilities and magazine subscriptions. one-stop place where consumers can see all of their expenses in a single spot, and can even use sites like Netflix and Groupon to make life easier. A great feature of this website is that is provides free, unlimited online document storage which automatically organizes, stores and pulls account documents. This amazing digital tool also sends automatic email or text message reminders to you when your bills are almost due, when its time to use a Groupon or LivingSocial voucher, or when your travel points are about to expire. Not only does this website help you stay up to date on all of your payments as well as keep all of your money in order, it also has amazing smartphone apps for the iPhone and Android.

Credit Sesame- Credit Sesame is a free online service to help consumers track and manage credit and debt. This digital tool provides automatic loan and debt tracking tools that will help consumers better manage money and know where their finances are. A great feature of this online instrument, is that after you sign up, the site automatically pulls your information to show you your free credit score. Managing credit and debt has never been easier with this site, and it’s a great way to ensure you are taking care of managing your money in the right way.

3 Tips to Formulate Best Financial Accounting Services Provider Team For Excellent Services

“A business is known by its employees”, a very well known proverb, which in real life is hardly considered. Everyone look for a good business without considering the inner capabilities. It is a real careless attitude among people. During a financial crisis or so the business gets affected because of its fellow workers who run the business, but instead of understanding the real cause we unnecessarily blame the business. Team spirit is something which should be nourished well so that it can ultimately benefit the organization.

Business accounting services is something which should be taken care especially. Business finance that supports any big or small organization has to be managed well. That means, the group of people who are planning to manage the finance must be knowledgeable enough and should be able to meet the financial need of the organization. If the financial management services provider is stronger enough then it will make the financial standard of the business stronger. A business with a strong financial support always reaches high.

Role of Financial Accounting Services in Organization:

Finance is a key term used now and then. To manage the finance and to use it in a profitable manner is a real difficult job. In the organization, finance is used for all kind of expenses considering the sales, purchases that occur regularly. In order to keep a check on the annual budget, the expenses has to be tracked sequentially in the accounting ledger. These transactions are then revised at the end of the year to check out the cash flow of the business.

Business financial accounting services management needs skilled person to take care of it. Accounting management is the most complex amongst the rest. A minute mistake can result into the demolition of large infrastructure. The finance is that particular entity which helps in running the business. Generally in an organization the finance department is managed by a huge team and these financial accounting services management team supported by the organizations are trained sporadically for latest updates.

3 Tips to Formulate the Best Accounting Team:

Now, while you know the importance of the accountants and finance, to manage your business finance is your headache but definitely there are few tips that can guide you the best, to formulate the financial accounting services provider team. The various tips are as follows:

* Selection of Knowledgeable Individuals:

It is important that you should not select a layman for your business activities especially for the management of small business accounting services. Knowing the importance of this specific field try to recruit someone who has got immense experience in the field of accountancy or who can manage the finance well. If you think that accounting management is becoming too complex for your organization and wasting your productive time then you can always hire an accounting services provider firm. These firms work after getting the financial details of your organization and work dedicatedly by sharing their expertise in the respective field.

* Transparency among Team Members:

Coordination is very important among the team members. Financial activities are composed of managing the daily financial transactions, generating payroll, recruitment process etc. All these are managed by different individuals of the same department but each and every works are interrelated. Thus, people should have the idea of each and everyone’s work to better schedule the work culture and manage the work flow. So train the team members for their respective work properly.

* Implementation of Intellect:

Knowledge is measured through its implementation. Simply recruiting knowledgeable employees would not make any sense till they implement their intelligence. The financial accounting services providers should be quick enough for taking important decisions which could benefit the firm in near future. They should be efficient enough to change the financial strategies and policies based on statistical analysis of the firm’s expenses. Test the knowledge of individuals separately before forming the group.

These are three key points which will help you in formulating the team for providing the business accounting services in an efficient way. The finance should be managed properly to enjoy its benefits therefore think twice before choosing a single pathway for tackling your organization’s financial accounting services.

How to Manage Your Personal Finance

Managing ones personal finance is quit different form managing business finances. With personal wealth, the key is only to spend when you have no otherwise and save as much as you can. For better personal management, it is advisable to first know where your money comes from, where your money goes and how much goes where. In short, one should keep a spreadsheet on how money is received and spent. This can be easily done by taking the total amount of annual salary and dividing by 12 to get the amounts per month. From the monthly amount, take away federal taxes, insurance premiums and any other deductible amounts.

Next, make up the list of payable bills such as rent, electricity, cable TV, internet, water, phones and other expenses. No single expense should be left out. After all deductions are taken care of, determine the amount of money that is left behind. The amount that one is left with after all the expenses have been taken care of, is the basis for personal finance management. To become a successful personal finance manager, develop the culture of saving ‘excess’ amounts of money. Be sure to force yourself to have some measure of discipline to the set saving regimes.

Once substantial savings have been made, the savings should be applied to investments that provide good returns. This is relatively easy to do. The most important mater is having a clear picture of your immediate finances and how these finances are spent. With a good personal finance, it is very easy to become rich. All that is required is a slight change in lifestyle and the knowledge of the things you need and those that you don need. It is also wise to keep your eye on how events change and change appropriately.

How to Manage Family Finances in a Time of Financial Meltdown

When the world economy was booming, business and families where in a spend spree and there was laxity in spending, corporate governance, regulatory surveillance and controls. This has resulted in a mountain of debts in both family, corporate and government circles. Consequently, people are losing jobs in millions all over the world as businesses are folding.

The question now is how could families manage the family financial in a time like this and avoid falling into future quagmire because of squandering future family money. Families were lured into spending frenzies by Shylock soft loan lenders that hid under ostentatious good dealers to dish out the loan with well hidden fine prints that tend to hang the unsuspecting families who as a result spend beyond their family budgets and or even personal budgets. In the process many families with children have lost their family home. Though, spendthrift families are also not innocent as quite a few of them never built nor used family plans and family budgets. Some never even sought family help when they became aware of their circumstance in their family financial.

Now that the veil is uncovered, families may take some steps including the following, in preventing the occurrence of future financial hardship:

Family Financial Planning And Budgeting

Families should plan in advance how much they may spend during the following 2 to 5 years in line with their expected family income during that period. In doing this, they should make allowance for any shortfall in their expected family money in that period. They should also put together their expected expenses in the coming 12 months matching it with their expected family money they will receive in that period making sure they will not spend more than they would receive.

Using Family Templates Or Family Sheets

Using family templates or family sheets they should continually monitor the budget so that they are not spending more than they plan to. Where they find some item(s) in the budget are going up more than expected, like family bills, they should adjust expenses on other items that they could reduce or forgo. Having the family planner is good but having the discipline to follow it is best for families.

Buy Only What You Can Afford Today

Families should avoid enticing lending gimmicks and buy-today-pay another time interest free scorns used by dealers because there is never free lunch. Behind any of this there are always hidden condition that profit dealers and their embedded lenders. The key is buying only what you can afford today if it is practicable.

Government Assisting Families

Governments should also assist in ensuring that families are maintaining financial discipline by providing some assistance in this. From time to time government should consult with the family about their financial management or even provide family forms requesting information that would help them assist families in managing their finances.