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There are over 600 million credit cards held by U.S. consumers and the average credit card debt per household averages about $16,000 according to the Federal Reserve’s February 2012 report on consumer debt. Just because your card company offers you a $5,000 limit, doesn’t mean that you have to come close or exceed this amount. Some of this debt can be a reflection of carrying a high credit card balance or maxing out on credit card purchases. With the average credit card holder owning 3.5 cards, it’s important to manage and keep track of purchases made with your card, so you don’t go over your credit card limit or cap.
If for some reason you are nearing your credit card limit or if you go over your limit, there are dire consequences. You should be aware and prepared for the penalties and fees that will incur. When you max…
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Credit cards. You can’t live with them and you can live without them. Credit cards are a necessity in the event of emergencies and for the very important factor of building a good credit composition to demonstrate to lenders that you are responsible and can handle having credit. Alot of people unfortunately find themselves in a debt spiral when they mistake credit for cash. In simple terms cash is money that may be spent usually without consequence. Credit cards when used frivolously and on items that are not needed will add up to debt which shortly brings you to struggle to just make the minimum payments. Then comes the “PP” syndrome which is stealing from Peter to pay Paul when you start taking from one credit card to pay another credit card: this usually indicates the beginning of the end!
Remember to use your credit cards responsibly. That includes but…
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As I see it, there are really only four options to getting out of debt. Here they are in my order of preference:
- Pay It offOn our Own.
-This is the best option for most people since there are no additional fees.
-This option gets pretty tough for households that have interest rates in the 20% to 30% range or higher (late payment penalty rates, pawn loans, payday loans, title and vehicle equity loans, etc.).
-While it’s not guaranteed or even a right to expect results, we can certainly call our creditors and attempt to negotiate lower interest rates, to get rid of penalty fees, and even move our payment due date back a few days in the month.
- Debt Management Programs (DMP) through nonprofit credit counseling agencies. Disclaimer: I am employed by a nonprofit credit counseling agency, so take that into account. However, I always try to “keep…
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This is good information.
Are you barely making ends meet? Dodging debt collection calls? Unable to meet your monthly expenses much less save money for emergencies or retirement? If this sounds familiar, you may want to consider credit counseling. Credit Counseling can improve many aspects of your life. It can help you get out of debt faster and improve your credit, just to name a few. And there are many agencies out there that would love to quickly enroll you in their Debt Management Program. However, not all agencies are created equal and not all agencies are truly looking out for your best interest. As with most things in life, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
This article will outline some guidelines in choosing a credit counseling agency, what questions you should ask and a few warning signs that you may not be dealing with an ethical practice.
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