The summer after college graduation is always a vital time for recent grads to make sound financial decisions and to adjust their budgets. Transitioning into the real world, earning a steady income and changing your lifestyle as a new grad, can have a significant impact on your financial future. Paying off credit card debt, minimizing purchases and developing both good saving and spending habits can position you for financial freedom. Here are some credit-management tips to get you off on the right track.
Checking Your Credit Report
There are websites where you check your credit report for free every 12 months. Make sure to take the time to review your credit report for errors. If you find any discrepancies, follow up with the appropriate parties to make the necessary corrections. Keep in mind that your credit report is screened by future employers, mortgage lenders and any institution that offers credit. It’s always important to have a good credit score.
Use Credit Minimally
Even though you likely relied on credit to pay for books and everyday expenses in college, it’s time to break this habit. Taking on new debt as you’re embarking on a new career can make life more stressful. If you want some luxury items like a new computer or vacation, save up the money and pay with cash. Just use credit for emergencies and small purchases.
Create a Debt Payoff Plan
As a recent grad, you’re juggling student loans payments and paying off other debts. Make sure to develop a payoff plan based on your current income, or work with a student loan consolidation company like Credit Guard. If you stick to it, you can begin to whittle down your debts over time. Paying your bills on time will help you establish a good solid credit history and help you to maintain good credit. Keep track of due dates and make those payments at least seven business days in advance to make certain that the payments are processed by the due date.
Get Credit Counseling Services
If you’re falling behind or struggling with student loan debt and other debts, be sure to take action and get help. You can get credit counseling services from a number of non-profit financial organizations. A financial advisor can assist you with creating an effective budget to meet your financial obligations. They may even advise signing up for a student loan debt consolidation plan to lower interest rates and to simplify payments. You’ll also be able to take advantage of the free classes and workshops for savvy money management and financial planning.Read More
If you are in debt, the solution may be as simple as credit management and debt consolidation. Seeing debt consolidator can give you options that you never realized you had to make debt payments more affordable without causing harm to your credit rating.
Before you can reduce your debt payments or even develop a plan to handle your finances, you need to make a decision. The first step to achieving debt relief is accepting that you need to take action. Once you’ve decided that this is the course you need to take, the next step is to find a professional debt consolidator to help you with your situation.
A debt consolidator will serve three purposes. He or she will provide counseling so you understand your finances and make the right decisions in the future, liaise between you and your creditors to negotiate lower monthly payments or lower interest rates, and consolidate your debt payments into one manageable number.
Often the first thing a credit management service will do is consolidate your debt. This is not a new loan, and it will not affect your credit rating. True credit management services do not take out another loan to pay off your existing loans; rather, they take over payment of all of your loans. In return, you pay them a single, consolidated lump sum.
Credit Guard New York debt consolidation can actually improve your credit rating, as it ensures that you don’t forget to make a payment. You only have to remember one payment. While your total principal debt remains the same, the interest rate and monthly payment requirement is less with the consolidated payment than with the total of all the monthly debt payments you have accrued.
Credit management services are able to lower your monthly payments by negotiating directly with creditors regarding your debt. While ordinary debt holders often have a difficult time negotiating and communicating with banks, loan providers or credit card companies, debt consolidation services tend to have more pull as professionals in the field. They are effectively vouching for you, which is usually enough to convince creditors to offer a manageable monthly payment. These negotiations also lower your interest rates so that your debt doesn’t rise faster than you are paying it off. This will pave the way for a five-year or ten-year plan to get out of debt for good.
The third and final part of credit management is counseling. Credit counseling gives you the tools you need to stay financially stable for the rest of your life. These tools involve learning how to make and keep to a budget, how to manage your debts and how to determine whether it is okay to take out more credit. A professional credit counselor will sit down with you and help you make a plan, give you emotional support and encourage you to follow best practices to keep yourself and your family financially solvent for good.
Debt relief is in sight! All you have to do is go to a credit management provider and sign up for debt consolidation. The decision is yours. Do you want to get out of debt? If so, consider consolidating your debt today!Read More
Debt consolidation may be the lifesaver that you need. With a debt consolidation program, you can get personal debt under control, reduce it and eliminate it over time. Overwhelming debt is a reality that many consumers face today. Debt can be the end result of unemployment, illness, divorce, injury and an array of other life factors well beyond an individual’s control. While some may be able to create a budget and resolve debt on their own, others may need the help of a professional to help guide them to solvency. There are many non-profit debt consolidation agencies available today that charge little or no fees and provide consumers with certified financial advisors to help alleviate debt.
Consolidating Similar Types of Debt
With a debt consolidation program, you can combine debt that has similar terms and interest rates into one debt sum with a single monthly payment. For example, student loans may only be consolidated with other student loans for one monthly payment. Unsecured installment loans and credit card debt can also be consolidated together.
Assessing the Amount of Debt
If you sign up with a non-profit debt consolidation agency like Credit Guard, your assigned financial advisor will help you access the amount of your debt and help customize a debt consolidation plan that works for you. Consideration will be given to the amount owed and compared to income and assets. Your professional advisor will consult with each creditor to reduce interest rates so that the debt can be managed with a smaller monthly payment. This professional will also negotiate to eliminate any penalty or late fees.
Once your financial advisor has made arrangements with your creditors, a report will be issued to you outlining the proposed monthly payment amounts and terms. Once you sign the report, you then begin making payments to the financial organization, which will then forward payment to your creditors.
Staying on the Right Track
After you sign up for a debt consolidation plan, it’s important that you stay on the right track. You’ll find that many non-profit debt consolidation agencies offer excellent educational programs for debt management and other money matters. These programs can help you create a workable budget that helps ensure smart spending and encourage you to save. With the right education and cultivation of new financial habits, it’s highly likely that your debt won’t grow back. Taking advantage of these free educational programs is the surefire way to stay on the path to financial freedom.Read More
Interest charges make it very hard to pay off credit card debt, but using practical credit management skills and developing sound financial strategies could reduce the total interest charges you pay, resulting in more discretionary income. The best way to reduce your debts is to pay more than minimum balances each month to reduce principals and the interest charges that you pay each month.
Unfortunately, shopping around for credit offers with low introductory rates or lower interest could cause you to take on more debt by offering a quick fix for your financial problems. People who are struggling to make monthly payments often feel as though they can’t make additional payments, but debt consolidation offers one solution, and financial management could free up funds for paying down your unsecured debt balances.
Financial Management Strategies
You would be surprised at how much money you can save each month by adopting some sound money-management practices.
- Increase your insurance deductibles, and you could lower your monthly premiums by up to 25 percent. The strategy works for both homeowners and auto insurance.
- Adjust income tax withholding so that you receive higher net pay. Applying this windfall to your loan balances reduces your interest charges and provides you with more income all year.
- Study your communications-services plans to find duplicate services or unnecessary benefits. You can drop landline phones and premium cable or Internet services that you don’t really use.
- Track your daily expenses for at least a month to get a better understanding of where your money goes. Most people spend nonessential funds on ATM charges, snacks, gourmet coffee beverages and fast food.
- Use any unexpected windfalls to pay down balances or earn interest in insured savings accounts.
- Keeping an emergency fund provides extra cash to deal with financial emergencies so that you don’t need to tap into retirement savings or use high-interest credit loans.
Debt Consolidation Works When Budgeting Doesn’t
Sometimes, debts become so unwieldy that you can’t pay down balances without some help. Debt consolidation programs offer credit management counseling and a proven method of paying off your unsecured debts quickly.
- In debt consolidation, a third party negotiates with your creditors to reduce interest, remove penalties and fees, and consolidate your debts into one payment that you can afford.
- Credit card debt consolidation protects your credit rating and satisfies your creditors legally.
- Debt consolidation help includes financial counseling to assist you in meeting your financial goals and living within your means.
Dealing with Emergencies
Everyone faces emergency needs for cash, but good planning can help you deal with unexpected expenses without compromising your credit or sacrificing essential services. When dealing with credit card debts, be sure to reserve some income for emergencies. Most financial experts recommend that you have at least three to six months income saved to manage unexpected expenses.
Unexpected expenses or changes in your employment situation could threaten your debt management plan, so getting planning help from experienced credit counseling specialists helps you organize your finances to deal with various situations. Many people lack basic credit management skills, but a debt consolidation program can help you rebuild your finances and weather financial crises.
Are you looking for a simple way to avoid taking on more credit card debt? A recent study suggests that turning off the television may be a step in the right direction. Conducted by researchers at New York City’s Hunter College, the study reports that the emergence and growth of television-viewing in the late 1940s and throughout the ‘50s was associated with a sharp increase in consumers’ levels of non-mortgage debt for consumer goods. The study used household finance data culled from the annual Survey of Consumer Finances conducted from 1946 through 1958.
Specifically, the study considered whether homes that had TV early during the survey period tended to rack up more debt than those who did not have television in their households until much later in the survey time frame. The study is one of the first to provide empirical evidence that television is associated with both a greater tendency to buy consumer goods and to amass steeper non-mortgage household debt for those goods.
The researchers say one possible explanation for these effects is the regular and repeated exposure to new products that goes hand-in-hand with the television-viewing experience. Interestingly, the study also revealed an increase in the male labor force among those who had television for longer periods, indicating that perhaps these people tried to work more to pay for more goods before turning to consumer debt.
Although few studies have provided solid data with regard to the relationship between TV and consumer debt, the results of this initial empirical study are not surprising. According to data from marketing research firm ACNielsen, the average American watches more than four hours of television each day. That kind of repeated exposure has the potential to cause significant behavior changes.
In addition to decreasing debt levels and avoiding the acquisition of more debt, there are other advantages to turning off the TV. For instance, several studies have shown a direct relationship between the amount of television watched and levels of obesity.
Of course, time not spent watching television can be spent learning new skills and developing other, more beneficial habits. Consumers with debt can double the impact of giving up TV by using their newfound spare time to find ways to pay down their debt faster.
One of the fastest and most straightforward ways to help yourself get out of debt is through a reputable debt consolidation program. Debt consolidation counselors can work with your creditors to decrease the interest rates you’re currently paying, which means your overall debt will decrease. In addition, they can help set up a payment program that combines – or consolidates – all of your debt payments into a single payment that you make each month.
Because most of these programs are managed by debt and credit counselors who are trained to provide consumers with financial management tools and guidance, consumers who enroll in debt consolidation programs find they are much more prepared for future financial ups and downs after undergoing credit counseling.
So, turn off the TV, or at least cut back on the time that you spend watching it. You might find it’s the first step towards a better financial future.Read More
Many employers use the credit score to evaluate a candidate for a position. They look at the credit score as a way to measure the applicant’s aptitude for handling money. Some employers look at the low credit score as a potential fraud risk if the role one is being considered for is related to handling money. Others use the credit score to determine trustworthiness and reject candidates with low credit scores. Many people will have their credit score pulled as a part of the screening process when applying for a job.
How Common Is It for Employers to Use a Person’s Credit in Screening Applicants?
According to research, 60 percent of employers are using the credit score to evaluate the job candidate during the screening process. Research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management states that 47 percent of employers report using the credit score to screen their candidates. Before the recession, only 15 percent of the population had a credit score lower than a 600. In 2011, 25 percent of people had a low credit score.
What Changes Can People Expect with This Common Practice?
The unemployment rate combined with low credit scores has made it hard for many people to get a good paying job. Legislators have become sensitive to the credit challenges unemployed people face in their inability to find a job because of their poor credit. Job seekers can expect the rules toward credit checks to become more stringent in the coming years. Some states have already implemented legislation limiting the use of credit scores in hiring for non-essential, non-managerial positions. Oregon, Washington, Illinois, Maryland and other states already have laws in place prohibiting the use of a person’s credit score in screening a job candidate. Over 17 states currently have bills pending that will restrict the use of a person’s credit history in screening applicants.
A person can improve their chances of getting a better paying job with a good credit score. A better credit score can improve a person’s job prospects. A debt consolidation help program gives a person a chance to reduce their debts and create a more lenient repayment plan, which improves the credit score. Joining a debt consolidation help program or working independently to improve the credit score will help a person become a more attractive job candidate.Read More