Posts tagged: debt

Keeping Score: How To Get Your Credit Rating Back In The Black

score your creditIn the modern era, just about the entire economy is built around credit. While many people think of credit and debt as inherently scary things, the truth is that most people find them to be incredibly useful. Whether you’re applying for a mortgage, buying a car, or paying for something on your credit card, your credit score is both affected by everything that you do and impacts what you’re able to do. However, a lot of people struggle with how they can go about improving their credit score. For something so important, it’s shocking just how many people don’t actually know how to go about improving it. With that in mind, here are some things that you can do to get your credit rating out of the red and into the black.

Consolidate your debts

Debt isn’t necessarily a bad thing when it comes to your credit rating. After all, being able to borrow money and show that you can pay it back in full and on time is one of the very best ways to building up a decent credit score. However, having a lot of debt from different creditors can have a pretty negative impact on your credit score and can make lenders much less likely to trust you with their money. Sites like consolidated.credit can help you to consolidate your debts and combine them into a single monthly payment. Not only can this improve your credit score but it can potentially help to reduce your monthly outgoings significantly.

Reduce your spending

One of the biggest issues for a lot of people is simply that they fail to pay close enough attention to how much they’re spending. Sure, you might not spend large amounts all at once, but it’s the little purchases here and there that actually make all the difference. It’s incredibly easy for those purchases to add up and before you know it you’re spending far more than you can actually afford. Ending up in your overdraft every month is a surefire way to wreak havoc with your credit rating and leave lenders highly reluctant to do any dealings with you at all.

Speak to the experts

Sometimes your financial situation can be so bad that it feels like you can’t deal with it on your own. If that’s the case, then don’t panic. There are plenty of organisations and debt based charities that can help you to manage your finances better and help to provide you with plans to pull yourself out of debt and improve your credit rating. Remember, no matter how bad things get, there are always ways to pull yourself back out and take back control of your finances.

Improving your credit rating isn’t necessarily going to be something that you can achieve right away. There’s a good chance that it’s going to require a good deal of discipline and patience from you. However, it’s important that you hold onto it because it’s simply too important to ignore. There are so many things in life that you cannot do without decent credit.

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4 Ways To Start A Business When You’ve Got Bad Credit

bad money businessWhen you get yourself into financial trouble, your credit score is going to suffer. Having a bad credit score affects in so many ways and it’s not a position you want to be in. Trying to borrow money or buy things on credit is a nightmare so your dream of starting a business seems so out of reach. But there’s no need to give up on your dreams just because you’ve got bad credit. It’s going to be made more difficult by your low credit score but if you’re serious about it, there are ways to deal with it. If you’re worried about your credit score affecting your business goals, check out these tips to get around it.

Increase Your Score

The first thing you need to do is to try to increase that credit score, even the smallest increases will help your situation no end. Paying down debts is the simplest way to do it. If you’ve borrowed a lot of money, seek the services of companies like consolidation.creditcard who can help you to combine all of those separate debts into one easy to manage payment. Clearing those debts will put you in a better financial situation and improve your score so it’s easier to borrow the start-up capital that you need for your new business.

Find A Partner

Having a business partner is always a bonus. Two heads are better than one and it also helps to reduce the financial strain that starting a business will put on you. If you’re struggling to get loans in your name, consider collaborating with a business partner that has better credit than you. They will be able to borrow the money that you need for start-up costs but make sure that you make clear agreements beforehand because they will be shouldering the lion’s share of the risk so you need to be bringing something to the table as well.

Crowdfunding

The internet has given birth to lots of alternative lending streams that aren’t bothered about your credit score at all. Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter are perfect for your situation because they offer a platform where you can showcase your business idea. If people like it, they can make small donations to help towards your costs. It runs solely on the quality of your idea so you aren’t hindered by any financial mistakes you’ve made in the past.

Peer To Peer Lending

Another new lending stream that has started to become more relevant in the past couple of years is peer to peer lending. These sites pair up investors that are looking for opportunities with entrepreneurs that are looking for alternate lending streams. Again, you won’t be bound by your credit score and you can find investors that are willing to take a chance on you based on your ideas rather than your financial history.

Having bad credit makes it more difficult to start a business, but there are so many successful businesses out there that are run by people that have been bankrupt multiple times, so don’t give up on your dream of owning your own business.

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Why choose federal student loans?

Students loan debtStudents with a financial need for managing their education would opt for a student loan and the best amongst all of them is the federal student loans. There are a lot of supporting factors for this particular loan which make it a huge success amongst students. More than 80% of the students in the country opt for a federal student loan for their education. Of this, more than 50% of the students seem to be undergraduate students. An overview of why to choose a federal student loan is explained in detail as follows.

There are different types of federal student loans offered, few of those include Perkins loans, Stafford loans, PLUS loans etc. Each and every student would be able to obtain the loan of their choice easily. Federal student loan is offered for both undergraduate and graduate students. Being eligible for a federal student loan is one of the easiest things to do since, most of the students would be eligible for the loan and there are no restrictions placed on them apart from the requirement that the borrower should be US citizen and should have no criminal record against their name.

Eligibility & Interest rate charges

Being eligible for a loan would make the job easy for the borrower since they need not worry about the complications that might occur during loan application. Application procedure is also simple and easily understandable. Coming to the most important aspect of any particular loan program, which is the interest rate charged on the loan. All the federal student loans carry lower interest rate charges. Considerably lower interest rate charges would mean that the borrower would be able to manage their repayment in a better manner.

Repayment terms

Due to lower interest rate, the amount of monthly payment that has to be made towards the loan repayment would be lower and manageable. Apart from the interest rate charged on the loan amount, federal student loans would not have any other costs associated with the loan. Subsidized Stafford loan offered to undergraduate students would help the borrower with the repayments since the interest rate charged at the time of schooling would be paid by the Federal government directly and the borrower need not pay them.

Repayment period would be initiated only after 6 months from graduation and so this would allow enough time for the borrower to secure a job and start earning money to pay for the repayments. In case of unemployment or any other financial stress situations, the borrower would be able to opt for a deferment period which would allow them to postpone their repayment period for a fixed period of time. This time period can be utilized by the borrower to recover from their bad times and gain some finances.

Suppose, in case the borrower files for a bankruptcy or forbearance, he or she would be forgiven for the amount of money they would have to make towards the loan repayment and this amount would be paid by the federal government themselves.

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How To Decide If You Should Focus On Saving Or Paying Off Debt

Saving or paying off debtThere’s no shortage of personal finance information on the Internet. You’ve probably lost count of how many times you’ve read that it’s important to save money every month. While that sounds great in theory, when you have a cloud of debt hanging over you, focusing on saving becomes even harder.

Regardless of how good your intentions are, it’s hard to convince yourself that funneling money into your savings account is the best course of action when you’re receiving daily phone calls about payments that are past due.

Since this is a dilemma that millions of Americans face, you’re not alone in wondering how you should deal with it. And as you may have guessed, there’s not just one answer to this question. Instead, it really does depend on your individual situation. To decide which option is right for you, there are several factors that you need to take into account:

Rainy Day Fund

While it’s obviously important to think about the future and take steps to help secure your retirement, in terms of what currently matters most for you and your family, that would be having a sufficient rainy day fund. Also commonly referred to as an emergency fund, the reason having one is so important is you simply never know when a significant expense may come up. Although you can plan and project your budget all the way down to the penny, if an emergency situation arises, the last thing you want is for it to also be a financial catastrophe.

Given the importance of this fund, if you don’t have one yet or it’s not even close to the amount you actually need, it’s worth focusing on this type of saving before you begin dealing with getting rid of your debt.

The Real Cost of Your Debt

One important calculation to make is comparing the true cost of your debt to how much you can earn from saving. As an example, let’s say you have $8,000 in credit card debt with 9% interest. By multiplying the two, you can see that specific debt is costing you $720 a year. Then once you decide how much you either want to pay off or put in savings, you can calculate the savings yield you’ll receive and then determine which option will put you in a more favorable position.

Your Short-Term Financial Goals

The other factor you need to take into account is what your priorities are in the short-term. If you’re doing something like starting a business, it makes sense to prioritize saving so you’ll have the funds necessary to get your venture off the ground.

As previously mentioned, although there’s not a definitive answer to this question, you now have all the information you need to make the right decision for your specific situation.

James Freemont is a freelance writer who blogs about income tax planning and financial advice.

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Live Debt Free In Eight Baby Steps

live debt freeIf you want to stop relying on lenders and creditors to get you through the month, then it’s time to learn about debt free living. Follow these eight steps to live debt free. Many of the steps are small and can make a big difference.

1.       Create a budget and stick to it.

Financial experts recommend that you spend a certain percentage of your monthly income on the necessities, leaving the remainder for savings and incidentals. Reserve 35% of your budget for housing, 15% for transportation, and 15% for food.

2.       Pay more than the minimum on your credit cards.

If you only pay the minimum on your credit card debt, you might only be covering the interest. Pay more than the minimum to achieve debt free living.

3.       Check your credit report.

The last thing you want is to have your credit ruined because of a forgotten debt or because of identity theft. Take a peek at your credit report every 12 months to make sure all things are in order.

4.       If you want something, save money for it.

Need new siding on the house? Want to take a trip to Paris? Wishing you could give all the kids their own iPads? Save money for the extras and pay for in full right away.

5.       Look at all your debts and pay them in order of size.

List every debt you have in the order of size. Pay off the smallest debt first and work your way up.

6.       Have a rainy day savings.

It’s recommended that you have 9-12 months of income in a savings account just in case. If you are often tempted to dip into that rainy day account, move the funds to an interest bearing account at a different bank where you do not have a checking account or debit card.

7.       Call and ask for lower interest rates and payment plans.

Many lenders and creditors will lower your interest rate or create or adjust a payment plan, but you have to call and ask. You may also have to prove your facing financial hardship.

8.       Ask for help.

Along with asking for lower interest rates and payment plans from creditors and lenders, ask a financial advisor to help you get on the path to debt-free living. Many professionals charge a fee for this service, but you might also find free help from organizations such as the Salvation Army. They will show you how best to handle your existing debt and give you advice on other money-saving tips such as health savings accounts, IRA contributions, and more.

This is a guest post by Allison Murray. Allison recommends finding more information about debt free living at Dialog.Scarborough.com.

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