Personal finance

Can Credit Repair Programs Help

Credit repair programs can be inexpensive or they can cost $1000 or more. Much of the cost difference depends on which program you choose and how much debt you have. If you’re very far behind, a program could cost a couple thousand dollars. Yet some credit repair programs can cost very little, especially those used by specific creditors.

When you’re trying to decide if you should look into a program of credit repair, consider how hard it will be for you to get out of debt. A credit repair program may be one that just fixes inaccuracies on your credit report, or it could be one that helps you with a system of repayment.

Some credit repair programs are designed for people who are struggling under crushing debt. These people may need someone to negotiate with their creditors for lower balances, lower interest or more.

Some programs can arrange for you to pay only a little more than half of what you owe. Other programs help settle your debts for less and may also negotiate for no more interest on what you owe. Some programs may combine both smaller balances and no or low interest, which can help you get your debts paid off.

If you really can’t make your payments on time or feel that you’re slipping under, a program could work for you. If you can keep up with your payments and keep paying the balances down, then that’s your best option. Any other options like credit counseling or credit repair programs do leave dings on your credit.

That’s because credit counseling programs may require the cards to be cancelled. Several cancelled cards with outstanding balances can hurt your credit score. And arranging smaller balances through programs for credit repair can hurt your credit because the charge-off amount will show.

Credit repair programs can help you in the long run, however. It’s better to have a charge-off than months of late payments and missed payments. Also, if you’re unable to make your payments on time, your amount of available credit is probably shrinking as the late fees add up.

When your credit cards reach their limit and you have less and less credit available, your credit score will suffer. When you have debt that equals too much of your available credit, it’s known as a bad debt/credit ratio. It can even make the interest rates on cards you do pay on time go up.

If you have a lot of cards that are cancelled at once, it leaves you with a lot of debt and no available credit. This is why credit counseling is not always a good option for your credit score.

You should do everything you can to resolve your credit problems on your own. But if you can’t, it’s better to get help than to keep missing payments or making them late. This will hurt you more than anything in the long wrong.

Each late payment is another month your credit score can’t start to improve. Look into credit repair programs before you do more damage.

Bill Consolidation Service – How To Choose The Right One

Using a bill consolidation service can be a way to become debt free for many people. To be clear it is not a way to just write off your outstanding credit or to walk away scot free from your financial obligations. No, it is a service offered by some companies to reduce the amount of your overall credit bill. Consolidation service is the name used by many of these companies to describe a service where by they will negotiate with your creditors.

It’s an especially useful service if you’re not a home owner but you have debts that you can no longer manage. You simply let the bill consolidation service contact your creditors and agree lower monthly or weekly repayments on your behalf.

Now I guess at this point you’re thinking hey, I could do that myself. Well, yes, you could and you may succeed. But I’ll wager that a credit counselling service can do the job better. And what I mean by better is that they will get you a lower repayment schedule.

Why? Simply because they have more clout and credibility than you would have as an individual.

The main thing is to choose carefully when you’re seeking out a consolidation service to act on your behalf. Choosing wisely will usually get you a lower repayment each month and possibly a shorter term as well. However go with the wrong credit counselling service and you’ll be paying out more and for longer.

To select your company you need to look out for some important points. Do they have a good record of helping people for example? Have you been referred to them by someone you know and trust? Are they non-profit or a profit making company?

As with any other major decision you should do some checks to make certain you are doing the right thing. Ask about them at your church. Consult the Better Business Bureau and speak to your state consumer affairs representatives.

One final point to keep in mind when you start to make your enquiries. All these organizations stand to benefit by having you as a customer. That means some, if not all, will try to get you to sign up straight away. Don’t! Remember to take your time and decide with a cool head. That way you will finish up with good and worthwhile bill consolidation service.

Bill Consolidation Loans What You Need To Know

Now that many of us are experiencing first hand the bad financial decisions that we have been encouraged to make over the past few decades, it’s time to start to take stock of our financial house and make things right. If you are considering bill consolidation loans then you need to read this article.

There are two major types of consolidation loans: secured and unsecured.

A secured loan will want something for collateral, usually your house. It amounts to a second mortgage. This isn’t a bad option as long as you have sound financial skills and a steady income.

Many people will get into trouble with this type of loan because they often have bad financial habits which is what lead to them needing the consolidation loan in the first place.

For example, someone who uses credit cards to live beyond their means could potentially lose everything with a secured loan. They will be able to pay off all of their credit cards which is good but they will also have another mortgage payment to make.

If they are responsible and don’t use their cards, and they pay their house payments on time, this can be an excellent option. But if they revert to their bad financial habits and start racking up credit card debt they will be in a lot of trouble because now they will not only have their credit card bills they will also have their second mortgage payment too. If they default on their mortgage payment they will likely lose their house.

An unsecured loan can be a safer option but you’ll need excellent credit to qualify. The bank is much stricter on who receives an unsecured loan because they don’t have any collateral and are taking on much more risk. If you have even minor problems with your credit you probably won’t be approved. If you are approved you will likely have a much higher interest rate.

This too can be an excellent option to help you get out of debt but you have to make smart financial moves from that point forward. You don’t have to get a second mortgage on your house but the bank will only allow you to consolidate your debt so many times.

You have to use this money to pay off your credit cards and then put them away. Only use credit for emergencies, and no, a plasma t.v. isn’t an emergency.

If you are financially smart and use a bill consolidation loans wisely it might be a good option for you. Just remember it isn’t a magic cure, you still have to be financially responsible.

Bill Consolidation Loans – Should You Get One

Bill consolidation loans can seem like the answer to your prayers if you are struggling with making your monthly repayments. But if you take one out what is the total cost of the bill? Consolidations loans are the same as any other loan when it comes to making a decision whether or not they are right for you.

It sounds great the way the banks and loan companies promote bill consolidation loans doesn’t it? Just one small monthly repayment covers all your outstanding debts. Well in some cases that is very true but every case is different and you have to do you own checking to make sure you will be better off.

It is important to remember that you are taking the existing balances of your bills and spreading them over the term of the new loan. Obviously you need to sit down with pen and paper and work out just how much that will add up to in interest. Will it be a worth while saving that you make each month on your existing repayments over how much you pay in the long term.

Of course if you are consolidating bills from credit cards you will probably find that the lower interest rate will make a huge saving in both the monthly repayment and the overall cost of the loan. Just don’t make assumption though. Check it out carefully. It’s your cash that we are talking about here and no one will take care of it better than you.

Another thing for you to keep in mind is that you should shop around for the best deal. And don’t hesitate to haggle a bit with the banks and loan companies. Play them off against each other. No matter how good their offer sounds always tell them that you will need to think about it. That not only does that make you sound financially responsible but it allows you to go back to other lenders and say hey I’ve been offered this by ABC Bank can you beat it? Of course if they do tell them you will get back to them and go back to ABC Bank and say I’ve been offered this by XYZ Bank can you beat it?

Think they won’t go for it? Don’t be so sure. There’s still plenty of room for negotiation in bill consolidation loans.

Best Saving Accounts What Must You Look For

Most people begin their financial journey by opening a regular account which they use for nothing more than depositing and issuing checks. A lot of these people allow money to remain in these accounts till it reaches a particular amount and then they begin looking at options for saving accounts. It is needless to mention why people would want the best saving accounts they can get at this stage, because their financial life is almost on the verge of or already has become stable. The account they are opening now is an instrument of savings.

Probably you are contemplating on opening a saving account too. If you are doing that, there are certain things you must look for. One of the first things that you have to remember is that the bank where you have your regular account is not necessarily the bank with the best saving accounts too. With a saving account, the stakes are higher because banks have to pay you interest on the deposits that you make. Naturally, the bank that can provide you the best rate of interest will be the best saving account bank for you. But there are some other considerations to make here.

Here we list the four important points you have to look at when you are scouting for banks that can provide best saving accounts.

(i) The first thing you have to look at is naturally the rate of interest. Since it is the bank that will be paying you the interest, you have to select the bank that provides you the highest rate of interest. This should be one of the primary points that you should be looking at, but certainly it should not be the only point.

(ii) The second thing you need to check is the amount that the bank needs you to deposit so that you can open the account. Different financial institutions have different limits here and hence you need to ask them personally or check their written brochures.

(iii) Since these are savings accounts, you will need to keep some amount in the bank each month. This amount is called as minimum deposit. It acts as a kind of security for the bank as well as it helps you to really save that amount of money, adding more meaning to the concept of savings accounts. But you have to see if you can really afford to keep this minimum deposit with the bank because if your total deposited amount goes less than this, you will have to pay an additional charge.

(iv) There may also be a limit on the number and the amount of withdrawals that you make from the savings account. See if that meets your needs. With some banks, you can make more withdrawals than the number that they allow but you will have to pay an additional charge for that.

(v) One more point that you have to check is the notice period before you can make a withdrawal, which is typical of most savings accounts. If this period stretches out to too long (in some banks it could be as much as three months), the account may not be suitable to your needs.

Hence, choosing best saving accounts is not a very easy task because there are several things that you need to consider. But being aware of what you need to look at, you are liable to make a better decision.

Best Online Savings Account- What To Look For

Even though interest rates are at historically low levels there are still a lot of good reasons to open a savings account. Some people will use an account as a safe place to keep their money until the markets cool down a little, others just want to build up a nest egg. Whatever your reason for opening a savings account take the time to find the best online savings account for you.

Not all online accounts are created equal. As with most things in life, some are better than others. You will not only want to look at the interest rate a bank is offering but other factors as well.

Here is a list of some things to consider when choosing and online bank:

1) Stability of the bank. Even with FDIC insurance you still want to make sure the bank you choose is secure and not teetering on the edge of disaster.

If it’s one of the banks the government has recently bailed out you should probably steer clear, if for no other reason than they ran their bank so poorly they had to be bailed out in the first place!

2) Customer service. This is particularly important with an online bank since you can’t always run down to the local branch and ask to speak to someone. At the minimum you want a customer service department with long hours that is easily accessible. The best combination would be phone accessibility along with email support, sometimes you just can’t wait for them to respond to your email.

3) How easy is the website to navigate? What good is an online bank if their website is so poorly designed that it is very difficult to make any transactions? You also want to make sure their website isn’t constantly down for maintenance. Again, you need to be able to make transactions when it’s convenient for you, not them.

4) Do they have offline locations? That is a nice plus if there are branches near where you live. As effective and time saving as online automation can be sometimes you need to be able to talk to someone in person. Any online bank that also offers offline locations near where you live should be put at the top of your list.

Take some time to find the best online savings account at the best online bank. Do some comparison shopping. This is your money, isn’t it worth investing a little time to make sure whoever you trust it with will take good care of it?

Best Financial Advice

There’s no such thing as the best financial advice for everyone. There’s only the best financial advice to suit your personal situation.

Your financial circumstances, your income and your goals are not the same as anyone else’s. When it comes to finding the right advice to help you meet your intended goals, it’s important to tailor your plans to suit your unique situation.

The best financial advice should consider every aspect of not just your investment goals or retirement savings plans or your insurance needs, but it should take into account tax effectiveness too. Once these things are taken into account, a tailored plan can be created to suit your personal needs.

People begin searching for the best financial advice when they realize that they need some direction and assistance in sorting out a particular financial situation. This could mean working to build a blueprint for debt management and mortgage reduction.

Your plans might include finding a more effective way to reduce the amount of tax you pay legally or it might be targeted towards increasing your retirement savings. It may also mean finding a way to begin an investment portfolio.

When you ask anyone who’s doing well financially what the best financial advice they ever received was, most of them will say it was a simple tip given by someone they admired. Those nuggets of financial wisdom can often build a basis for success.

That piece of best financial advice for you might be something as simple as ‘Pay yourself first’ or ‘live below your means’ or ‘save something for a rainy day’. No matter what inspires you to take the first steps to your own financial future, what matters most is that it motivates you to take action to get your own financial goals under control.

Of course, once you’ve found your inspiration to improve your financial situation, it’s sometimes necessary to seek out the help of a professional to get your plan right. This could be a financial advisor who is qualified to give expert advice on the most effective ways to create a blueprint that could help you reach your goals.

When you’re searching for the best financial advice company to trust your financial future with, remember to take some time to research your options. Always check that the advisor you’ll be working with is qualified to give advice on every aspect of your financial plans.

If possible, you should also check that the advisor is able to offer a broad range of financial and investment products and options to suit your goals best. Some advisers are affiliated with a particular bank or insurance company or stock brokerage or accountancy firm and so are more likely to only recommend those products and services available through their own company. While this is acceptable in most cases, it’s still wise to check that you’re able to access the broadest range of information available to you.

So if you’re seeking the best financial advice, remember to find the advice that most suits your personal goals.

Beginners Guide To Investing

Any beginners guide to investing is by its very nature a basic guide but it is important that anyone new to investing gets a few key points clear before they start. So in this beginners guide to investing we will cover some of the essential points but please keep in mind that investment in the stock market is a complicated and potentially risky business.

One of the very first things to cover is the need for every investor to work out for him or herself a level of risk that they feel comfortable with. For some they will only sleep well if they are almost risk free while others are equally comfortable with some of the riskiest options known to man. Just remember that there is no right or wrong there is only right for the individual concerned.

As part of assessing your own comfort level you will want to feel comfortable that you can afford to risk losing the money that you are planning to invest. Obviously you don’t want to lose it but if you absolutely can’t afford to then you should look for something which carries a significantly lower level of risk.

Likewise it’s important to feel comfortable knowing that you should be investing in the markets for the medium to long term. That’s generally regarded as 5 years plus. If you need ready access to your money then go for something which won’t be as easily affected by outside events. While markets fluctuate and at times quite wildly they do tend to rise over time but that won’t help you if you need to get your hands on your cash the day after tomorrow and the market’s in freefall.

As with anything else it’s vital to understand the rules of the game and how they apply to the position you are planning to take. For example if you don’t understand stock market terminology you shouldn’t even think of investing. Even with a helpful stock broker it would be foolish to risk your hard earned cash by investing in something you don’t fully understand. There are plenty of good stock market dictionaries that you can find either online or as a printed book.

Once you’ve got an idea of the terminology you might want to consider paper trading even when you’re getting a broker’s advice. That way you will begin to get a feel for how things operate for yourself and that’s by far the best beginners guide to investing.

Basics Of The Stock Market

Many new investors jump into the stock market based on hearing the hype of how it’s possible to make great money investing this way. They may have heard of a friend who made a bundle with day trading or a colleague who has a hot stock tip and so they figure they’ll jump into the market too.

Before you begin investing, it’s important that you understand at least the basics of the stock market.

While investing in stocks can help you to build a great investment portfolio, if you’re not careful about your strategies, you could also find it can be a great way to lose a lot of money too.

There are two sections to the stock market. The primary market is where shares are created by companies and generally offered to the public via an IPO (Initial Public Offering). The secondary market is where established stocks are exchanged and traded among investors without the involvement of the company issuing the stocks.

When people think about investing on the stock market, they tend to be talking about the secondary market.

Basics of Stock Market Shares

Shares, or stocks, are individual pieces of ownership of much larger companies. When companies need to raise capital, then sell off little portions of the company so that investors may become partial owners of that company. Each time you buy a stock, it represents a share of ownership in a publicly listed company. You become a shareholder. As you increase the number of stocks you have in one particular company, you increase the percentage of ownership you have.

As a shareholder, you are entitled to your share of the company’s earnings. These are usually paid as dividends, although not all companies offer dividend payments. You’re also entitled to exercise any of the voting rights that might be attached to that stock, however you don’t have a say in the daily operational running of that business.

Basics of Stock Market Pricing

There are several factors that can affect the price of stocks and you might notice that the price of stocks changes every day. While the price can be partially dictated by supply and demand, there are also other factors that can affect the overall price too. Economic changes, unemployment or bad management in the company are all individual factors that can also affect the pricing.

The price you see listed on any particular stock is based on the perceived profitability of the company and not the value of the company. This means the stock can often be priced based on what investors believe the stocks are worth. The value of the company is called the market capitalization.

When you see on the news that the market rose or fell by a number of points, it’s important to understand that not every single stock listed on the exchange followed the same movements. The index you see reported is a representation of a number of stocks and presented as a single figure to give a general idea of the market movements as a whole.

However, there will always be individual companies that move contrarily to the main market sentiment. It’s this contrary movement that day traders watch for, trying to find the next stock pick that will rise in value and gain profits for them.

Basics of Stock Market Investing

There are several types of stock market investment strategies. Day trading is growing in popularity as a way to smaller investors to begin building capital. The basis behind day trading is to buy a stock in the early part of the trading day and hopefully sell it again at a profit before trading closes.

Long term investors tend to purchase many different stocks in a diversified range of companies in various sectors to spread their risk. These investors tend to hold stocks for longer periods of time, allowing the value of their stocks to appreciate. They also receive dividend payments, either in the form of a check or as a dividend reinvestment plan, where the company issues stocks to the value of the dividend payments to the shareholder to add to his portfolio.

Bad Credit Debt Consolidation Loan – The Secret To Getting One

A bad credit debt consolidation loan can get you out of a financial hole very quickly. The question is if you’ve got a bad credit history will the banks still lend to you? The answer is probably. That’s because a bad credit debt consolidation loan can make as much sense for them as it can for you.

You see the banks really don’t care about you. I know, that came as a surprise right? But they do care about themselves – second surprise! So they might be happy to make a loan to help sort out your bad credit. Debt consolidation loan is just another way of saying refinancing of course. And the reality of that is the bank will take the money you already owe them and spread the payments over a longer period.

Now what happens is that because the money they are lending you is outstanding for a longer amount of time they can charge you more interest. See what I meant when I said they don’t care about you?

Of course from your point of view you are probably going to be benefiting by having lower repayments, less worry and you’ll get your credit history back on track. So it’s win-win.

Now to actually get a bad credit debt consolidation loan you’re going to have to convince the bank or loan company that they really are going to be benefiting. Just telling them that they will make more money in the long run won’t cut it. You need to present a well thought out case as to why it makes sense to consolidate your existing loans.

You need to sit down and work out a plan before you even think of contacting them. In that plan you need to be able to tell them how your bad credit came about. Was it a problem with your job? Was it down to ill health? You also need to explain what has changed now and how you will be able to meet the new payments.

Try not to be over optimistic here. And for goodness sake tell them the truth, if you don’t they will almost certainly find out and you’ll fail. They’re trained to spot lying by applicants.

The secret to success is having a good, well-though out reason why they should grant you a bad debt consolidation loan.