Credit card debt is one of the most common types of debt and often times the hardest type of debt to pay off. While you may only owe a couple of thousand of dollars on your credit cards, if you are only paying the minimum amount due you could actually end up taking several years to pay off the credit cards and in total pay more than double the amount you actually owe. To avoid this problem, it is imperative that you pay off those credit cards as quickly as possible. As we all know; however, that can be easier said than done. Read on for several tips on how to pay off debt with no money.

How To Pay Off Debt With No Money

Start off by looking at your current budget.  There are online budget calculator and budget worksheets that can help you manage your budget better.  Understand your expense is step to paying off your debt quickly.   http://www.ourdebtfreelives.com has some great articles on decreasing your budget, which will allow you to come up with some extra cash you didn’t have before.

You should take in paying off your credit cards is creating a habit of paying more than the minimum amount due listed on your monthly statement. Generally, the minimum amount due represents only about 2% to 3% of the total balance. Keep in mind that paying only this small amount will take you that much longer to pay off the entire balance and that costs you even more money. Pay as much as you possibly can over the minimum amount due. In the end, you’ll pay off the cards faster and actually save a ton of money.

If you have more than one credit card, take the time to sit down and find out which ones have the highest interest rates. These are the credit cards you need to focus on paying off first because these are the ones that are costing you the most money and will take the longest to pay off. When you finally pay them off you can take the money that you were putting toward paying off that card and apply the same strategy to the next highest interest rate credit card.

“How To Pay Off Debt With No Money?  Moving Credit Card Balances To A Card With 0% APR Allows You To Pay The Balance Quicker”How To Pay Off Debt With No Money 0% APR

Another way you can pay off your credit cards is to take money out of your savings account and investments. Of course, this wouldn’t be the first choice of many people; however, when how much damage you could be doing to your financial future by not paying off those debts you can quickly realize that it will actually benefit you more to just bite the bullet and pay them off. Then you can focus your attention on building your savings and investment portfolio back up.

You might also consider taking out a home equity loan, if you own a home. With the money you receive through the loan you can pay down or pay off your debt and also obtain a much lower interest rate on the new loan than what you currently have on your credit card debt. In addition, for most people, the interest on the home equity loan will be tax deductible, which your credit card debt certainly is not.  Related Article: Debt Settlement Company

You may be asking your self what are the different types of bankruptcy out there?  Considering bankruptcy as a solution to your debt problems? Before you take that step, be sure that you are aware of all the facts surrounding bankruptcy.

2 Main Types of Bankruptcy

First, it is important to understand that there are actually two types of bankruptcy. These are known as Chapter 7  and Chapter 13. Below is a basic rundown of the differences between the two.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy refers to when your debts are completely discharged(Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Checklist). This means they are wiped away under a court proceeding. You are not required to pay off the debts under this type of bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy refers to a type of bankruptcy where a trustee is appointed by the court to administer a repayment plan for your debts. Under this plan you would pay back a percentage of your debts. Typically, the money will be paid to the trustee in one lump sum and then the trustee will pay the creditors according to whatever repayment plan has been worked out. Once all the debts are paid then you will be released from further obligation regarding the debts.

You should be aware that it is typically more difficult to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 in order to wipe out your debts. Generally, the court will find that if you are able to make payments, then you must instead file for Chapter 13 and repay at least a portion of your debt, if not all of entirely. So, don’t count on being able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if you considering filing. Most people are now required to file Chapter 13.

Proceeding With The 2 Different Types of Bankruptcy

Types of Bankruptcy Chapter 13 Chapter 7

Typically, you will be required to obtain a certificate from a debt or credit counseling agency that is approved by the court before you can file for bankruptcy. This is a relatively new requirement. The point behind the requirement is to ensure that you learn how to manage your debt and credit in the future to avoid any further problems. To obtain the certificate you will generally be required to attend educational classes regarding debt and credit management.

You will also be required to turn in income and expense statements.  In addition to information regarding any debt repayment plans that you may have also entered. The information you will be required to submit will also typically include your pay stubs as well as tax returns and whether you anticipate any increase in income in the future. This information must be gathered within 45 days of filing a petition for bankruptcy. If you fail to provide the requested information within that time frame your case will usually be automatically dismissed.  Now you need to decided between the two types of bankruptcy.

Raise credit score 100 points overnight… Is that even possible? Yes! As more and more consumers
succumb to the guilty pleasure of easy credit, the unfortunate side effect is that many consumers are
experiencing low credit scores. The good news is that there are ways to raise your credit score,
regardless of whether your credit score is bad because of a bankruptcy or simply too much of a good
thing; in this case, credit.

Steps to Raise Credit Score 100 Points Overnight

The first step in raising your credit is understanding exactly what is on your credit report. Credit
information is collected by three main collection bureaus and you should know exactly what each one of
them has to say about your credit history and score. So, get started by requesting copies of your credit
score from Experian, Trans-Union and Equifax. You can usually find offers which will allow you to receive
one free credit report from each bureau once a year. www.Creditkarma.com offers a free copy of your credit
score report from two of the credit bureaus above.

Raise Credit Score 100 Points Overnight Credit Karma

The second step to raise credit score 100 points overnight is to look on your credit report to be sure that there is nothing reported incorrectly. An incorrectly posted collections account can easily drop your credit score 50 points or more. If you do find errors, take action to have them corrected by writing the reporting agencies and supplying supporting documentation to prove your claim. Follow-up to make sure that errors are removed. This step alone could raise credit score 100 points overnight.

Once you know exactly where you stand in terms of your credit score, regardless of how bad it might
appear to be, get ready to take action to clean it up and raise your credit score.  Checking this monthly is a good idea for continuously improving your credit score.  You most likely won’t be able to raise credit score 100 points overnight, but you should see month over month improvements.

Credit Score Explained

When working to raise credit score 100 points overnight, it’s important to understand which specific
factors contribute to your credit score. The most important items include account balances, payment
history, number of recent inquiries into your credit score, age of established credit, number of open
accounts and the mix of your credit.

Work at paying off balances one by one. Make sure you pay above the minimum payment due on all
accounts in order to whittle them down quicker. Make a point to pay all bills on time. Be sure you drop
them in the mail several days in advance in order to avoid any problems with mail delay.

Don’t give into the temptation to simply close out accounts because this usually won’t improve your
credit score. Instead, lock away your cards and work at paying cash for your next purchases. Try to keep
your accounts at a balance of only 25% of your available credit limit.

Avoid consolidating credit card balances, making transfers and in general, a lot of moving around of your
credit. This can be a red flag to lenders and may cause more harm than good to your credit score.

As you can see it is possible to raise credit score 100 points overnight. Over time, with dedication and
diligence, you can improve your credit score.

Today there are a large number of debt management plans and consumer credit counseling service
companies operating today. In fact, it may seem as though your mailbox, telephone and television are
littered with them. When choosing the right company for you; however, it is important to keep several
important tips in mind.

Determining if You Need a Consumer Credit Counseling Service

Consumer Credit Counseling Service Credit Card
You may not even need a consumer credit counseling service. These questions will help you determine
if a consumer credit counseling service is applicable to your situation. First, realize that these
companies should really only be used if you have a serious debt problem and not what is considered to
be a small problem. So, how do you know if your debt problem is serious or merely small potatoes?
Well, one of the first indicators can be that your minimum monthly credit card payments are taking up
at least 15% of your take home pay. If you have more than one delinquent revolving credit account this
can also be a good indication that you have a serious problem. Other tips include maxed out credit limits
on all your cards and the need to take cash advances just to pay your bills.

So, if any of these scenarios fit you then you may determine that you do in fact have a serious debt
problem and would benefit from a consumer credit counseling service. Be sure to choose the right
company; however, by doing your research first. If you choose the wrong company you could actually
have a bigger problem than you started out with.

Always check to see what kind of rating the company you are considering working with has with the
Better Business Bureau. If their rating is unsatisfactory, look for another company.

Selecting the Right Consumer Credit Counseling Service

It is also important to always make sure you understand exactly what kind of fees they will charge. Even
though they claim to be non-profit, and most of them do, debt consolidation services are not free. They
must charge a fee in order to cover the counseling services and monthly processing. You should not pay
any more than $50 a month in service fees.

Try to get a feel for how much time they are willing to spend with you. Companies that promise a fast
enrollment generally won’t be of much help to you. Look for a company that is willing to spend some
time with you to make sure you understand everything and are comfortable working with them.
Make a point to find out what the payment schedule will be for your bills. After all, regardless of who
sends out the payment, you will still be responsible to your creditors and if they send it out late if will be
you the creditors call. Stay on top of things and make sure your payments are being mailed timely.

Finally, make sure any company you consider has been in business for at least ten year and are
accredited by the Council on Accreditation. You can also look at reviews online for consumer credit
counseling service companies.


Related Article: Using A Debt Settlement Company

Using a Debt Settlement Company Can Simplify Settling Your Debt

Have you considered using a debt settlement company?  If you have found yourself with more debt than you care for or can handle you may be considering ways in which you can consolidate and/or pay off your debt. The term debt settlement is frequently heard in connection with debt consolidation; however, before you jump in feet first it is important to fully understand what is involved in debt settlement.

Basically, debt settlement is the process of eliminating outstanding debts. As much as 60% of your debt can be actually reduced using this process. A debt settlement company is used in order to negotiate the exact percentage with your creditors. This allows you to more easily pay off the remaining amount of debt.

You may ask yourself why any creditor would agree to such an arrangement. In reality, it is much cheaper than trying to collect all of the original debt through collection agencies and agents. Keep in mind that you do not necessarily have to be several months behind on your payments in order to settle your debts. Waiting until you are several months behind on the debt or even until you are the point where the creditor is threatening to sue you could mean that a large amount in late fees and financial charges have been added to the original amount, which means that even if you do settle the debt, the amount remaining will be more than if you had settled it earlier.

The Advantages of Settling Your Debt

Debt Settlement - Advantages Debt Settlement Company

There are actually a number of advantages to settling your debt. One of the most important benefits is reducing the total amount that is owed, especially before additional fees are accumulated to the original amount. In addition, if you use a debt settlement service for more than one account you gain the advantage of paying just one monthly installment instead of several payments.  A debt settlement service also gives you the option to negotiate the repayment of your debt over an extended period of time. Generally, you can extend this period from about two to four years, perhaps even more, depending on your situation. For many people, one of the best benefits of debt settlement is avoiding debt collectors and harassing phone calls.

If you make the decision to settle your debt, always make sure you do your homework first in regards to the debt settlement company you choose. Check with both the Better Business Bureau and your state’s Attorney General to ensure you are dealing with a reputable company.


Related Article: Understanding A Debt Consolidation Loan

What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

You may be asking yourself “What is chapter 13 bankruptcy?  What are my options with chapter 13 bankruptcy?”  When considering bankruptcy as a solution for your debt problems there are several factors of which you should be aware before taking this important step. While some people do decide that bankruptcy is still in their best interest, taking the time to understand all of the facts up front can help you to make the most informed decision possible.
Since Chapter 7 bankruptcy is becoming more and more difficult to obtain these days due to changes in bankruptcy law, we’ll focus on Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, also commonly known as reorganization.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy allows you to file a repayment plan in bankruptcy court for your debts. It is important to understand that your debts are generally not repaid all alike under this plan. For example, some debts must be repaid in full while other debts can be repaid as only a percentage of the original debt. Still yet, some debts no not have to be repaid at all. The plans usually last from three to five years.

After Filling Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

What is Chapter 13 Bankruptcy reduce spending
Now, the debts that cannot be discharged include those that are not listed in your bankruptcy papers, the majority of all student loans, child support and alimony, most tax debts, debts for personal injury or death that were caused while driving under the influence and fines and penalties that are imposed for breaking the law. The latter would include any traffic tickets and criminal restitution.

When filing this type of bankruptcy you should be aware that the court will generally place some restrictions on how you can spend your money. As unfair as this may seem, it is best to know up front that the court can and usually will set a specific amount of money that is to be garnished from your wages to cover the repayment of your debts. A trustee of the court will be assigned in order to make the payments to your creditors on your behalf.

The amount of time that the repayment plan will be in effect will vary, but it is usually not more than five years. If you are able to maintain the repayment plan all the way through to the end it is not uncommon to be able to once again obtain credit at the end of the repayment plan. Don’t forget; however, that even if you are able to obtain credit once again, the bankruptcy will still remain on your credit history for six years, even if you’ve paid everything off.  Hopefully this has helped answers your questions about what is chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Manage Your Debt

How can you manage debt?  Many people feel as though debt is truly a nasty four-letter word and for some people it is—when it has gotten out of control and reached epic proportions. Debt in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing; however. In fact, it can actually be a good thing. Like everything; however, it must be used in moderation. When used correctly, debt allows you to develop a good credit history which in turn helps you to make large purchases, such as homes and cars that most people cannot pay cash for at one time.

The problem with this theory; however, is that many people never learn to manage their debt and before they know it is out of control and ruling their lives. One of the first tips in learning to manage your debt is understanding how credit cards can affect your debt load. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind when considering charging something on your credit card is that if you can’t realistically see yourself paying off the charges within a two month time span, you shouldn’t charge it. The high interest rate on credit cards are the number one contributor to the debt load of most people. Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to this problem simply from lack of discipline.

Reduce Spending To Manage Debt

Reduce Spending To Manage Debt

Reduce Spending To Manage Debt

It’s also a good idea to routinely take a good look at exactly what you’re spending your money on. Ask yourself if you really know where your money is going. Consider keeping a journal to write down everything you spend for a period of time, such as one month, and then sit down to see which categories your expendable income fall into. This will help you to analyze how you’re spending your money and take one step closer to controlling it.

Of course we all know that emergencies can be a large factor when it comes to racking up debt. Something you didn’t plan for pops up and you feel you have no choice but to stick it on a credit card. When you’re analyzing your income and expenses be sure to figure in at least a small amount that you can put in savings for such emergency expenses, even if it means cutting out a luxury item here or there.

Also don’t forget how important it is to pay more than the minimum on the debt that you owe. You may not think that an extra $10 applied to your credit card debt could make much of a difference but in reality if you have an 18% interest rate on a balance of a few thousand dollars, by paying an extra ten bucks you could actually pay off that credit card much sooner than you might imagine. If you manage your debt, you’ll notice the behaviors quickly turn into effortless habits.

Manage Debt to Income Ratio

Manage Debt to Income Ratio

Manage Debt to Income Ratio

You might be asking yourself “How do I manage my debt to income ratio?”  Understanding your debt to income ratio is extremely important in managing your debt. Unfortunately; however, many people fail to understand this very important concept and as a result their credit scores suffer. Regardless of whether you are currently considering taking out a loan or you are looking at ways in which you can pay off your current debt load it is imperative to always keep a watchful eye on your debt to income ratio.

Basically, your debt to income ratio is a simple formula used to describe the percentage of your income that is available for a loan payment after all of your other financial obligations are met. While other factors are also taken into consideration when you apply for a loan, the debt to income ratio is an extremely important deciding factor regarding whether you can be approved for a loan.

Generally, there are limits regarding what a conventional lender will accept for your debt to income ratio. In the mortgage market, lenders do not like to see anything above 28/26. The 28 in the ratio describes the amount of your monthly income that is applied toward housing expenses. This includes not only your actual mortgage payment but also other expenses such as property taxes, homeowner’s association dues, hazard insurance and private mortgage insurance.

What Should My Debt To Income Ratio Be?

What Should My Debt To Income Ratio Be
The second number in the ratio, 36, refers to the amount of your monthly gross income that is applied for recurring debt, including your housing expenses. It doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that if a lender will only allow 28% of your income to go toward housing and if you are at that cap already, you only have roughly 8% left to go toward other types of recurring debt. Lenders include such expenses as credit card payments, car loans, child support and any other obligations that won’t be paid off within about a year’s time frame in the term ‘recurring debt.’

As you can see, if you have a lot of recurring debt already, this can tremendously affect your ability to receive a mortgage loan. Each year many people apply for mortgage loans only to be turned down because the amount of monthly recurring debt they are already carrying is so high it doesn’t leave enough room in their debt to income ratio to allow for even a modest mortgage payment.

By keeping a vigilant eye on your debt to income ratio you will be better able to manage your debt and not become victim to an unpleasant surprise the next time you need to take out a loan for a large purchase.  If you can “manage debt to income ratio” you’ll be able to qualify for a higher mortgage loan.

Stop the Harassing Bill Collectors in Their Path

Are you receiving calls from harassing bill collectors?  Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, also known as the FDCPA, debt collectors are prohibited from engaging in abusive behavior. While you may think they can get away with a lot, it’s good to know that you do have certain rights and can take specific steps to keep debt collectors from engaging in abusive behavior.

First, it is important to realize that the Act does not actually cover debt collectors who are employed by your original creditor; the first person who loaned you money or extended you credit. The Act only covers individuals who are working for a collection agency and who break the law.

Harassing Bill Collectors Can Be Stopped!

Under the Act, it is illegal for debt collectors to do the following:

  • Call you at an unreasonable time. This means that they are not allowed to call you before 8:00 a.m. and not after 9:00 p.m. They are also not allowed to call you repeatedly.
  • Debt collectors are not allowed to use profane or obscene language.
  • They are also not allowed to threaten you with violence.
  • If your employer does not allow it, they are not allowed to call you at work.
  • Are not allowed to claim that you owe more than you actually do or to claim to be an attorney if they are in fact, not an attorney.
  • They are not allowed to tell you that you will be imprisoned or that they will seize your property if the debt is not paid.
  • Debt collectors must always identify themselves as a bill collector in all telephone calls.
  • They are not allowed to contact third parties, other than your attorney, a credit bureau or your original creditor, regarding the matter. They are allowed; however, to contact individuals such as your spouse or your parents for the purpose of locating you, if necessary.

What if the Harassing Bill Collectors Disregard the Act?

Harassing bill collectors

If a debt collection agency exhibits behavior that is specifically prohibited under the Act, there are steps you can take. First, you absolutely have the right to tell them to stop contacting you. You can do this by sending them a letter telling them to stop all communications. At this point they can send one more letter, but that’s it. Of course, you should always try to resolve the debt, but if you are being harassed, this is an option.

You can also document the behavior by writing it down in a log or journal and then file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. It may take awhile to hear back from your complaint, but there have been cases in which agencies that made particularly bad violations of the Act were shut down.

It is also within you rights to turn around and sue the debt collector, particularly if the behavior has been quite abusive and repetitive. Under the law, you may be entitled to actual losses as well as up to $1,000 for any one violation of the FDCPA.

Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft

Protecting yourself From Identity Theft

Protecting yourself from identity theft is not something we thing about every day, until we are affected by identity theft.  We all know that identity theft is on the rise; however, you may not realize just how prevalent it actually is. According to statistics every 79 seconds someone becomes the victim of identity theft. In many instances identity theft isn’t petty business, either. When someone steals your identity it can mean having thousands of dollars in debt racked up in your name on existing accounts as well as new accounts you never authorized. Your credit score and history can be ruined and for a few poor unfortunate souls it can even mean facing criminal charges for something they never did.

Considering all of the risks, it is imperative that we learn how to protect ourselves from identity theft. When someone steals your identity and perpetuates these kinds of crimes it can actually take years to undo all of the damage and in some cases you may never be able to fully recover financially.

If you think you’re immune from identity theft, it is important to consider that this particular crime has been noted as the fastest growing crime in the United States; affecting practically everyone from all walks of life regardless of age, gender, race or income status.
While this prospect can sound quite frightening the good news is that there are steps you can take to protect yourself, your identity and your credit. When looking at ways in which you can manage and control your debt it is also imperative that you consider ways in which you can protect yourself from becoming the next victim of identity theft.

Steps For Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft

The first step you should take is understanding how much power lies in your Social Security Number. With this number, a dishonest person can do almost anything. Never give out your Social Security Number unless it is absolutely necessary. Also be sure to keep an eye on not only your credit report but also your Social Security earnings report. This will help you to ensure that no one else is using your Social Security number.

For all of you who do not make it a routine habit to review your bank statements and credit card statements, be sure to reconsider. If you suspect that a statement should have arrived and it has not don’t hesitate to report it to the appropriate institution. Missing mail could mean someone has stolen your identity. Delaying a report gives the criminal more time to do more destruction in your name. It’s also important to make sure there are no unauthorized charges or transactions on any of your statements; even if it appears to be small. A small charge could just be a thief’s way of testing the waters to see if they have found a good target.

It is also important to make sure you are monitoring your credit reports at least once every six months. Look to make sure there have been no new accounts opened in your name that you did not authorize.


Related Article: Raise Credit Score 100 Points Overnight