Category: Debt & Credit Tips

debt consolidation management 2 Jun

How to Be Debt-Free: Simple Strategies to Manage Your Debt

Becoming debt-free does not happen overnight.  You cannot expect a miracle to happen and wake up without debt the next morning.  So if you have outstanding debt, which has been stressing you for quite a while, learn of the top tips on how to be debt free and regain financial freedom sooner.

Effective Ways on How to Be Debt-Free

Pay debt on time

Don’t miss on your monthly payments. Pay on time so that you can avoid paying late fees and higher interest rates.  Now if you want to pay that card with the highest interest rate, you have to put more money on it monthly, while paying a minimum for the other cards.

Find ways to earn income

There are ways to make money from home, including selling your knowledge, such as working as a freelance financial coach, writer, editor or teacher.  You can also be paid for your opinion by filling up surveys or testing products.

List down your debts from largest to smallest

While it may be stressful to look into those monthly bills, you should know where you’re standing by taking all the bills and listing the debts according to interest rate. You may want to consider paying the one with the highest interest rate before the rest.

Set-up an emergency fund

Emergencies happen least expectedly. You must be prepared by having an emergency fund, where to put some of your money so that you’ll be ready when any catastrophic event in your life happens. For a start, you may want to keep $1000 into that emergency savings account for medical bills, car repair and other unexpected bills and expenses.

Create a budget plan

Having a budget is a simple technique that most people fail to do. By having a solid plan, you will know exactly where your money is going. Look into your expenses, including credit card and bank statements. You can also use Excel spreadsheet for tracking your expenses.

Here, you can input categories for every type of expense and set a limit for each.  You must see to it that your budget isn’t going beyond what you’re earning. Consider looking into your previous month’s expenses and determine those you want from needs. This is one of the best ways on how to be debt free to consider.

Treat yourself

Make paying off debt fun – think of it as a season of working on becoming debt-free. It simply means that this season of paying off your debts will eventually come to an end and you need it regain financial freedom. But when you hit each milestone, you should treat yourself. You can watch a movie or have coffee.

De-clutter and sell the items you don’t need

Clean up your closet space and pick those items you don’t need. You may also consider looking around your house and finding items that you can sell and earn money from in places like eBay and Amazon. By selling unwanted items, you can make some money for paying off debt, eventually decreasing your financial burden.

These simple strategies can help you become debt-free sooner than you think you’d be. Create a sound budget plan and stick to it, sell some items you don’t need and set-up an emergency fund, to name a few, and experience financial freedom faster. If you need more advice and tips on how to be debt free, feel free getting in touch with the DSC Consolidation team today!

money management for college students 2 Jun

9 Smart Money Management Tips for College Students

Are you looking for money management tips? Even if you’re still in college, it is not too early to think about your future as well as learn how to handle your finances. The following tips for money management tips for college can help you pass the test in forming a solid foundation when it comes to your personal finances.

Money Management Tips for College Students

  1. Review financial aids and loans: Know the exact debt size you’d have post graduation and make a plan on how to pay that back.
  2. Identify wants and needs: By identifying what you want from what you need, you can realize a budget plan as one of the best money management tips for college students. As a tip, you may want to give yourself a weekly cash allowance and avoid bringing along your debit card.
  3. Do not abuse credit cards: College gives you a start in building your credit. This is the crucial time when you can work on your credit, which is required for buying a car, leasing an apartment or finding a new job. Know the difference of building your credit versus overextending it.
  4. Keep your identity safe: Don’t be a victim of identity theft. Avoid reviewing your balance using a public PC.
  5. Open a checking account: Look for banks offering college students free checking and savings account so that you can avoid fund transfer fees and withdrawal fees.
  6. Create a budget plan and stick with it: This is the first step to managing your finances even when you’ve become a professional who’s earning an income. To start, list your monthly income, such as parental allowances, wages and savings and write your monthly expenses. Write down the costs for your meal plan, laundry, school supplies and personal care items. You can also use finance management apps to make a budget plan.
  7. Shop textbooks wisely: Reference materials and textbooks are big expenses.  You may want to avoid buying those in your bookstore, but use your mobile device to download your books, which are far more affordable than buying them in the bookstore.  You may also want to find used textbooks in some online stores and bookstores. Additionally, do not buy textbooks until you have your syllabus.
  8. Plan your meals: Meal allowances are one of the biggest spending for a college student living away from home.   Plan it ahead and consider a smaller budget for your meals. One tip is to avoid eating at restaurants and preparing your own meals.
  9. Use student discount: There are stores offering this type of discount for college students that you may want to take advantage of before buying anything you need. Using discount codes or vouchers can also save you much money, so be watchful on those.

Follow These Money Management Tips for College Students and Be Stress-Free

There you have a few smart money management for college students. College is the perfect time in building your credit and planning for your financial future.  Create a budget plan and stick with it, provide yourself with a weekly allowance and buy your textbooks wisely, among other things, for a better means of planning your student finances.

If you need more help, get in touch with us at DSC Consolidation today!

make money from home 2 Jun

How to Make Money from Home

There is no better feeling than being able to buy things for yourself, pay your bills and manage your finances well with a home-based job or business, which lets you earn unlimitedly while enjoying your very own time without commuting to work and dealing with colleagues. But then if you’ve just started working from home and you want to increase your earning potentials, check out the following ways on how to make money from home now.

Make Money From Home: Simple and Effective Ways

  1. Join websites that pay. You can be paid for testing products, doing data entry-jobs or taking surveys. While such opportunities won’t make you rich overnight, they’re some earning opportunities for moms and dads who are looking to increase their income flow.
  2. Work on freelance writing jobs. Earnings vary based on experience and negotiation with clients; usually, it is ranging up to several dollars per 100 words. If you want to do freelance writing jobs, you need to dedicate your time and have the discipline to meet deadlines.
  3. De-clutter and sell stuff. Use sites like Craigslist, Amazon and eBay for your listings. These are good channels for making money from selling. Be sure to have a PayPal account, take pictures of your items, and be honest in your listings.
  4. Blogging is another effective way of making money from home. How can you make money from it? There are simple ways, including affiliate marketing and advertising that can help you generate income through this activity.  Once you become popular, you can also be contacted by companies to test their products or services, and then blog about it on your site. Apart from these, you can also create an e-book and then use your website to promote and sell it.
  5. Sell your knowledge and expertise. For example, services like blog coaching, life coaching and financial planning are in demand. So if you’re a professional in a service area, then you may want to use it to make money from home.
  6. Run virtual errands. You can apply for work-at-home companies, which let you work in front of your home PC. With this setup, you can create your schedule and choose where to work, be in the coffee shop or a park. Just make sure you’re keeping up with the standards and set deadlines of these companies, and you’re all good.
  7. Teach online. One of the best ways of earning money from home is teaching English, exercise or any skills you have. As you may already know, people want to learn and pay for that knowledge. Some of them even pay for classes in dog training or yoga. Being a guru or teacher to host classes, however, need attention to detail and proper planning. Some things to consider include your schedule. For example, what times of the day or night are you willing to offer your students? Next thing is to determine how much your price is for the classes and set it accordingly based on existing prices and your experience, to name some.

Are You Ready to Make Money from Home?

The list above does not comprise all work from home opportunities to earn money, either part time or full time. Nevertheless, making money from home is possible – you can work remotely at your own schedule, while living the life you always wanted. Start with the “make money from home” opportunity that sounds like for you today!

personal finance management 2 Jun

How a Debt Consolidation Company Works

Are you struggling keeping track of your credit card bills, mortgage and other loans?  Are you finding it hard to make on time payments or sometimes you’re forgetting to settle them? If so, then you may be a candidate for the service of a debt consolidation company.  But before jumping into the conclusion of seeking help from one, you should know what to expect and if it is suitable for your situation. Get more guidance by reading below.

What’s A Debt Consolidation Program?

This service is not news at all; in fact, many people have been taking advantage of it for many years.   The concept is rolling your debts into one account so that you will be able to make a single monthly payment instead of having to pay multiple credit card accounts. The service is offered by an organization or company that forwards the monthly payment to the creditors.

debt consolidation

However, the term is sometimes interchanged with other tools. For example, a debt consolidation loan is different from a program because it is a new credit account used in paying off other loans.  So even if the two can produce the same result for you, they do not work in the same manner.

All debt consolidation companies aim at helping you make a single payment, not multiple payments monthly.   If you’re getting debt consolidation loan, you may be able to pay for a lower interest rate than you would with other debts.

Both a debt consolidation service and loan also helps you end up in taking longer time to pay off the debt. 

The difference between a program and a loan is that the latter is used in transferring your debt to the new credit or loan. On the other hand, a debt consolidation program is a type of service that helps in paying off the debts to the creditors.

Debt Consolidation Loan

If you qualify for debt consolidation loan because you have enough disposable income to cover the payment and you have a good credit worthiness score, then the better option may be a loan than a program.  Now before applying for a loan, you must compare the fees available from the different loan companies, and from there, you must decide which one offers you the best solution.

Debt Consolidation Program

It helps you manage your debt with multiple creditors. The service is offered by a for-profit company or a credit-counseling agency that can help you create a plan to eliminate debt within five years in most cases.

The first step to qualify is to have counseling with one of the staffs who will review your financial situation and budget. Later, they will determine if they can help or not, and if they can, they will come up with a repayment plan that works for you. 

Using the program, you may have to pay a setup fee and monthly fees. Compare different organizations and weigh your options well before picking one of them.

Ready to get help from a debt consolidation company?

There you have our guide on how a debt consolidation program or loan can affect your credit score as well as a brief overview about a debt consolidation loan and program.  Hope you picked up something and decide better about which alternative can suit you best today!

Can Debt Consolidation Harm or Help with Credit Score?

The next thing you may want to know when researching for options on debt consolidation is how it will affect your credit score – positively or negatively. There are many forms of debt consolidation plans or programs that exist, but one thing that makes them almost similar with each other is that they have the concept of rolling all the debt from multiple creditors into a single debt, making repayments easier. And when handled correctly, the program can give you that financial freedom in time, relieving you from the stress of having to pay multiple debts at different times of the month.  However, debt consolidation can affect your credit score.

What to know about debt consolidation loan

It’s a type of loan used in paying off other creditors. Take note that it is not a way of reducing debt, but it manages payments. It works by rolling your debt into one payment. Generally, this type of loan also has a lower interest rate than other types of loans.

The credit reporting agencies, on the other hand, are the ones that issue your credit score, which is based on your credit history.

can debt consolidation affect credit score

The credit score is used by the lending institution in determining your credit line and loan risk.  And without even saying, the debt consolidation loan can affect your overall credit standing.

How debt consolidation loan affects your credit score

In most cases, it can affect your score positively because the loan makes it appear that you have paid off your debt for the credit institutions. The loan is like a new credit account.

But in order to make that happen, you need to repay the loan consistently and on time.

Now if you’re using other credit accounts, take note that they also affect your credit score, so you should pay your bills on schedule for continued positive credit standing.

Is there benefit from a debt consolidation loan?

One of its most significant benefits is a single monthly payment. With it, you only need to pay once monthly instead of paying multiple credit accounts every month.

Such simplicity offered by this loan type makes it attractive for many people. It helps them get rid of debt issues, such as late fees.

In addition, the DCL also carries a lower interest rate than other debts, meaning you’re paying less using this type of loan as compared if you’d choose to settle the payments to multiple credit card accounts.

What’s the potential downside?

It is important that you stick with the payments of your debt consolidation loan, and avoid making late or missing payments to it; otherwise, your credit score will drop. So before considering a debt consolidation loan, you need to plan your resources in advance and make sure that you can stick with the monthly payment of a debt consolidation loan.

Bottom Line

The debt consolidation isn’t detrimental to your credit score; in fact, it is one of the best strategies to address your financial struggles and pay off debts easier and faster. And if you’re paying the new loan consistently – on time, then credit agencies will be able to recognize that you’re responsible to resolve your debt issues.

What Is A Debt Settlement Plan?

A debt settlement plan is another solution if you’re looking for an alternative to help you manage your debts and pay them back with less stress. It is chosen by people who do not want to declare bankruptcy and want to pay back a portion of debt.  The DSP may also be for those who cannot afford the payment as stated in a debt management plan and have stopped paying unsecured loans.  For more about a DSP, check out the following:

What’s a debt settlement plan?

Using this strategy, you’re making a monthly payment to a   deposit account.  The amount is predetermined as to how much you can afford paying. Under it, you’re not making the monthly payment straight to your creditors.

You’re also going to use a credit counselor service, which will be the one to negotiate with the creditors.  You do not make monthly payments to the credit card companies and the service provider negotiates with creditors for a lower repayment.

So how it works? The company will negotiate and reach a settlement with the creditors; the settlement payment will be paid using a separate deposit account.

debt settlement plan

However, you must weigh the upsides and downsides of using the debt settlement before signing any agreement with the settlement company.

Check out the following for the main benefits as well as a few factors to help you decide on knowledge and find out if it is the right service to use.

DSP Benefits

  • It may help in reducing your total debt.
  • A debt settlement plan may be a suitable alternative for bankruptcy.
  • A longer repayment period of up to five years may be negotiated and settled.
  • It lets you track your finances, plan ahead, and save the amount for the settlement.
  • It offers you flexible payment arrangements, although changes can be made if you need it. You just contact the DSP service and tell them about it.

Potential Risks

  • A DSP may affect your credit profile or score.
  • The creditors have the right not to accept such settlement proposals.
  • The collection activity, including calls, will drastically escalate.
  • You may be taxed on the debt’s portion that you failed to pay back.
  • The debt balance can increase due to interests and late fees, while the settlement negotiation is ongoing.
  • Usually, it takes at least six months before the first settlement happens..

Upon knowing all these things, you must also remember that agreeing to pay creditors less than the amount you owed must be avoided because it could hit your credit standing.   Additionally, the taxes and fees you’re paying under the settlement program may offset what you’ve saved through paring down the debt.

That’s why you need to seek counseling for advice if it will solve your problem or not, or if a debt management may be a better option for you, especially if you have a low income to keep up with debt or when you can notice that you’re borrowing from another creditor in order to pay for another.

But then if debt settlement is the right option for you, then you should know if the creditors are willing to negotiate because they’re not required to agree to a settlement proposal. For the best results, you must study your options well and figure out if DSP is the most suitable route to take in paying off debts. Consult an expert for sound advice today!

What Is a Debt Management Plan?

Consolidating your debt into a single payment is one of the best ways to get rid of stress, not debt. It is a strategy used by many people who want to combine their debt into one in order that they pay only a single monthly payment, usually lower interest rate and longer repayment period.  Now, what’s a debt management plan?   Take time and learn if this is the solution for you, so keep reading for more about it.

How a Debt Management Plan Works

A credit counselor sits down and reviews your personal finance and budget. He or she will spend up to 90 minutes in reviewing these things.  Then, he will provide you with an advice or recommendation on how you can control your spending and reduce debt. After, he or she will provide you a new budget plan, which suits your situation.

What to Remember

  • Under a debt management plan, unsecured debts may be included, but then secured loans, including home equity loans, mortgages, auto loans and student loans are not.
  • The collection debt may be included in the debt management plan only if the collector is yet to receive a wage garnishment following a court judgment.
  • Your credit cards should also be closed, so no new credits should be obtained under the plan.

At the end of the day, you must remember that the plan is only one component of the debt solution. The DMP is also a voluntary agreement that’s among three parties – the creditor, the client and the financial counselor.  If it becomes successful, each party will meet his or her expected goals.

debt consolidation management

How DMP Works

  1. You (the client) will attend a session, which will discuss the repayment plan and your budget. You will also be offered certain educational materials as well as finance advice from the counselor.
  2. The client’s financial and debt data will be entered into the DMP system. If you’re a qualified candidate, a plan will be proposed. The proposal will be submitted to the creditor according to the debt management plan that’s created using your information.
  3. You will then have to sign up for automated payments; each payment will be transferred from your bank account to that of the creditor’s using an electronic transfer to ensure you’re payments are on schedule.
  4. The DMP service will send you a monthly progress report that you can review and compare to the creditor’s statement.
  5. The DMP payment will stay the same, and the extra funds will be split and used to pay off the remaining accounts once one debt is paid off. **You can report any discrepancies or issues or if your current financial situation changed to the debt management company.

Is a Debt Management Plan for You?

There is no definite answer to this question. It pays off to consult an expert advice to understand if it fits your current situation and if it is what best works to help you pay multiple debts. For assistance you need, do not think twice consulting us today!

How to Choose a Debt Consolidation Service

There are many debt consolidation services online, promising the same thing – get rid of debt fast so that you can finally move on with your life, but these services are not created equal. So if you’re in the middle of deciding which one to select for help with an unmanageable debt, check out the following for a guide on how to evaluate several companies.

debt consolidation loan

Know what debt consolidation is

Don’t be someone who doesn’t understand what the term means, as it might put you into the further financial trouble. Know that consolidating debts is combining multiple debts into a single loan, letting you pay for one monthly payment and with one interest rate. It helps you manage payments with favorable terms, usually with a lower interest rate.

Understand what you will be getting

Take note that not all debt consolidation companies work in the same manner, with the same terms, etc; some may offer only settlement, others loan and the rest management. So if the service you’re looking is to ease payments and get better loan terms, you may want to get assistance from a company offering a debt consolidation loan, which amount may be able to cover the debts you’re looking to consolidate.

When approved, the loan with be used in paying off old debts, including credit card loans, car loans or mortgage.

Ask about repayment period and interest rate

Is the new loan’s repayment time longer than the old debts you’re currently paying? Will it just make you end up paying more debts? If the loan can help you manage payments, then it may be a good choice.

Know why you want a debt consolidation loan, which repayment period can be longer meaning you need to pay for a longer time.   But if you want to pay less in a monthly bill, then the only option for you may be a longer repayment period.

When getting a debt consolidation loan, see to it that the interest rate from it is actually lower than what you’re paying now; if not, then it might cost you more debts.  So at the end of the day, it matters to scout for and find the lowest interest rate for a debt consolidation loan. You can use online calculators to figure out how the low interest rate can affect the repayment plan as well.

Check for reviews

Read reviews about the loan company online to know the people behind it are. Look for both positive and negative reviews but shortlist those with mainly positive feedback.

Again, some companies are not loan companies, but simply counseling service or debt management/settlement companies. Such offers are for individuals who have a poor credit standing, which also means they’re not qualified for the loan.

Briefly, credit-counseling services are money management counselors, who can assess your current financial situation. They can also work with you in developing a financial plan that may be able to help you get you back on track with your finances.

Meanwhile, a debt management plan is a service that makes one payment to the credit counselor monthly or within a pay period.  Then, he will make the monthly payments to the creditors. In that case, this type of service will not be able to lower your debt.

The reason is that the credit counselors are not negotiating reduction in the owed amount, but they can help lower the monthly payment. They do it by negotiating period extensions over which you’d repay the loan and getting creditors reduce the interest rate.

On the other hand is a debt settlement plan. It is often used as a last resort, which you might not be ideal for consideration unless you’re on the verge of default or you’re on default.   What the company does is negotiating with the lender about withholding payments.   By considering this option, you will pay them, and then they will put the payment in escrow and allow your loans to be put into default.

Bottom Line

Know the people you are working with before settling for a debt consolidation company that can help in getting your finances back on track. Choose a debt consolidation service with the reputation in the field as well as can give you sound advice on which option to take – debt consolidation loan, debt management plan or debt settlement plan.

Top 5 Benefits of Debt Consolidation

What are the benefits of debt consolidation? Debt consolidation offers a solution if you’re struggling to repay multiple debts, including car loans and home loans.   But if you are qualified for this type of loan, you may be looking for information on the possible benefits with which it can provide you.

Debt Consolidation Benefits

  1. It lets you make a single payment

One of the major advantages of getting this type of loan is taking out a single loan in order to pay off multiple debt accounts, especially if you have different credit card accounts, each with balances on them.

With a debt consolidation loan, you can combine all your credits into a single source and avoid the burden of making multiple monthly payments, each with a different deadline. 

This type of program lets you focus on the debt, making a single payment and letting you pay the loan off faster. So without the burden of paying multiple accounts and sometimes losing track of your payments, you can pay only one monthly payment, which in most cases are smaller because you can pay the loan off within a longer period of time.

debt consolidation help

  1. You don’t need to take many collection calls

Collection calls are performed by credit card companies, banks and other financial institutions to collect payments from you.  If you have multiple debts, you can just imagine how many times you need to take calls from these companies almost every single day.

  1. You can improve your credit score

A debt consolidation loan can improve your credit standing or score, especially if you’re always making late payments. With one, you can rebuild your credit score easier and faster than without it.

  1. You will pay a lower interest rate

Another significant advantage of using a debt consolidation loan is reduced interest rate.  

If you’re having trouble with multiple loans and debts with high interest rates, then using a debt consolidation service may be the solution because you get cheaper interest rate that will save you money on monthly payments.

However, companies implement different interest rates and have debt consolidation plans as well. Take time in comparing your options, or better yet consult an expert for sound advice on what to expect using the service.

debt consolidation guide

  1. You can have an easier life

Just imagine consolidating multiple debts into a single account and paying only one monthly payment.

This is one of the stress-free ways of managing your finances, getting rid of worries about paying your debt or forgetting a credit account’s monthly payment. 

Using a debt consolidation plan that suits your financial situation, you can have an easier life, giving you more control of it, other than the debts taking over.

BOTTOM LINE

Debt consolidation offers plenty of benefits given you’re using the right company for it. Choose one based on its reputation, background and experts. Do your homework, study your options and weigh the pros and cons so that you can truly take advantage these benefits from a debt consolidation loan. For more help, don’t think twice contacting us today!