When Life Happens: What to Do When Life Throws You Curveballs

Let’s set a scenario: You’re going about your life and, for once, everything seems to be going smoothly. You’re doing well at work, your finances are under control, you’re generally healthy and content with the family and friends you have. Then suddenly, something unexpected and devastating happens. Maybe you lose your job, maybe an expensive medical emergency occurs for you or a loved one. And slowly, everything seems to hit you all at once and you feel like you have lost control.

Perhaps this was an exaggeration, but sometimes life throws you curveballs out of nowhere, many of which are out of your hands. Often, these major life events such as sudden job loss, medical emergencies or the death of a loved one can cause a lot of emotional stress. In addition, these moments might even cause prolonged financial hardships.

However, there are some concrete steps you can take to ensure you handle the curveballs and problems that life throws at you (though this might seem easier said than done). Nationwide Debt Reduction Services has some things you can do to fight back when life happens.

 

  1. Take the Time You Need

Before you do anything, give yourself time to process the situation that you are in. It is completely okay and necessary to take a break, to take time to step back and think about what you are going through. Often, people might push you to think of next steps, to “move on” past a problem, but it is best to ignore them and think of what YOU need in that moment. Taking care of yourself should always be a priority.

 

  1. Ask for Help

In a time of confusion and stress, it can be very difficult to reach out to someone for help. However, it is necessary. Take the first step to reach out to someone close to you who can recommend resources that can help you. Taking action, no matter how small, can help you in the long run. In addition, you should seek out support from professionals or reliable organizations that can help you. Here are some specific ways you can get help and support:

  • Unemployment Benefits, Health Insurance, Training Programs

If you are dealing with job loss, the first thing you will need to consider is filing for unemployment. Check your state’s requirements for unemployment eligibility and learn how to apply for unemployment. In Texas, to qualify for unemployment benefits, you will need to have worked in Texas during the past 12-18 months, have at least a minimum amount of wages that fall within Texas guidelines and must looking for work each week you request benefits.

In addition, if your previous job offered a health benefits package, you will need to consider your health insurance options following the job loss. Get in touch with your former employer’s human resources department and ask them about health insurance options. In addition, understand your rights under COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act), which is a law written to continue group health benefits for certain employees who deal with major life events such as job loss, reduction in hours, divorce etc.

Lastly, think of taking up free classes, training programs or workshops that can help create new skills. Start by looking at the Department of Labor’s and American Job Center’s training programs. In addition, look into your nearest community college and see if there are affordable courses you can take or workshops you can attend!

  • Support Groups, Therapy, Healthy Investments

Leaning on friends and loved ones for support during a difficult time can be good but seeking professional help or support groups are also great options. Seek out therapists near you and consider the qualities that you think might make a good therapist. Ask for a free phone consultation to gauge whether you want to go with the therapist or not and be honest about any financial concerns you have, because it is important to consider affordability. Making healthy investments, for your physical and mental health, can have a positive impact long-term.

  • Professionals Can Help with Financial Troubles Too

You don’t have to bear financial burdens yourself, no matter what has caused them. If you find your financial troubles increasingly overwhelming, there is no harm in reaching out to professionals who can help you understand credit, debt, bankruptcy etc.

 

  1. How Long Will Your Financial Resources Last?

If you have lost your job or a stream of income, evaluate how long your current financial resources will last. If you can, try not to deplete your savings or increase your debt. Do your best to create a budget plan that ensures the resources you have last longer. Here are some ways you can try saving up:

  • Limit Eating Out

Eating out, even if it’s a $5 coffee adds up quickly. Limit your expenses on eating out and cook at home instead. It is healthier too!

  • Limit Subscriptions

If there are some unused subscriptions that are eating away at your wallet, get rid of them. Make sure anything you are subscribed to is something you use.

  • Don’t Pay for Apps

Don’t pay for any smartphone apps. They are usually not worth it.

  • Go to Thrift Stores

You might have to sift through a few more racks, but shopping at thrift stores is cheaper than buying new clothes—it is also more environmentally responsible. Try some well-known thrift stores such as Buffalo Exchange, Upscale Cheapskate and Plato’s Closet.

 

  1. Don’t Blame Yourself—Come Up with Strategies Instead

Often life throws us curveballs that we aren’t responsible for. They are not caused by our doing, they don’t occur because it is our fault. They happen because unfortunately, that is the way life operates. Don’t get stuck in blaming yourself as that can be a step backward—instead, focus on how you can feel better and how you can make it through each day. There are some effective strategies and mechanisms you can come up with to fight your battles daily:

  • To-Do List

Whether it’s a messy list on a piece of paper or detailed planner, a to-do list is a great way to prioritize tasks, manage your time and maintain a productive and healthy day. There are few things as satisfying as crossing a task off a to-do list.

  • Take Breaks

If you’re having a particularly nasty day full of tough situations, you might get overwhelmed quickly. Try to take breaks often to ensure you get the “me time” you deserve. Your break can include watching an episode of your favorite show, talking to a loved one, spending time with a pet, going outside or going to the gym. Just make sure that even for just an hour a day, you get to do what you love.

  • Have a Back Up Plan

Life does not stop with one unexpected curveball—it throws a couple sporadically or at the same time. Having a back up plan or an emergency plan in place can lessen the blow of an unexpected problem. For example, if you make the decision to start saving up diligently or create a rainy-day fund, you can have a better cushion when dealing with financial troubles.

Call NDRS When Life Happens!

You don’t have to go through life’s difficulties alone—get in touch with Nationwide Debt Reduction Services for help when dealing with bankruptcy, settling your debt and other financial troubles that might be worrying you. For more information, check out this guide on how NDRS can help you in making the payments you need to, starting with a free debt consultation. To get started, call us today at 888-987-1325 or send us a message on our website!

 

 

 

 

How Debt Can Haunt You and Your Loved Ones - National Debt Reduction Services

How Debt Can Haunt You and Your Loved Ones

Halloween is right around the corner, but many Americans aren’t afraid of the dead. It’s debt they’re worried about.

Disquieting debt can loom over you like a black cloud, ready to rain down at any moment, with no sign of a kindly ray of sunshine. It makes strong people tremble with fear. There’s no doubt about it — debt is a scary!

In a recent survey, 30% of Americans say that they are constantly stressed out about money. 85% say they are sometimes stressed out about money. And 61% say that they live paycheck to paycheck (CNBC).

Throughout the day and night, Americans are haunted by debt demons. One event, such as a car crash, job loss, or medical emergency could throw you into financial chaos.

And what if you die? What happens to your debt? Your financial fears could end up haunting your loved ones.

How Debt Haunts Your Credit Score

How Debt Can Haunt You and Your Loved Ones - How Debt Haunts Your Credit Score

The decisions you make today may haunt you tomorrow. That $300 pair of sunglasses you put on your credit card? It could stay with you for a long time.

Your credit score is a number from 300 to 850 that represents a person’s creditworthiness. It is based on many factors, but over half of your score is based on whether you’ve paid your bills on time and how much debt you have.

The longer you have outstanding debt, the worse your credit score gets. Your credit score takes all of your debts into account and how many different accounts you have.

According to the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO), the amount of debt you have accounts for 30% of your credit score. 35% of your credit score is based on payment history. Long after you pay off your debt, the ghosts of debt past will continue to haunt your credit score.

The Horrors of Debt Collection

How Debt Can Haunt You and Your Loved Ones - Horrors of Debt Collectors

There are thousands of debt collectors in the United States and they can be terrifying and stress inducing. While there are laws that help prevent harassment, debt collectors may not follow all of the rules. It’s not uncommon for debt collection agencies to haunt consumers every day with constant phone calls. Additionally, debt collection accounts can really harm your credit score. That’s a double haunting!

If you don’t want to live in fear of every phone call, speak with the professionals at National Debt Reduction Services to chase away those ghastly deb collection agencies.

And don’t fall for fake debt collectors that may try to get you to pay for “phantom debts” that you don’t owe. They may try to scare you with threats of lawsuits, imprisonment, or having your bank account closed. Ask for all of their information, including name, company, address, and telephone number. If they can’t provide that information, they are most likely a fake. Don’t give them any information and don’t pay them anything! They could be attempting to commit identity theft, which could haunt you for the rest of your life. Contact NDRS if you are being hounded by debt collection agencies.

Debt After Death

What happens to your debt when you die? This may be the scariest aspect of debt. You want to leave your family with dignity and support, not a mountain of debt that will weigh them down for years after your passing. While there are many laws concerning debt fter death, sometimes the debt ends up transferring over to co-signers, spouses, children, and family members.

Protect Yourself From Debt Demons

If you don’t want debt haunting you, protect yourself with these financial forewarnings:

Don’t cosign a loan

While it may be tempting, never take on someone else’s debt by cosigning a loan for them. You are promising to pay off their debt if they are unable to. And if they need a cosigner, they are considered a high-risk applicant — someone the lender doesn’t trust to pay back the loan on their own.

Cosigning a loan is a huge risk for you and the lender may end up suing you first if payments are not made. Not only are you risking your money, but you’re also risking your time, credit score, and relationship. Cosigning a loan has ruined more friendships and families than you can imagine. And we’ve personally seen many people file for bankruptcy due to cosigning a loan. Just don’t do it.

Never add someone else’s debt to your credit card

Again, don’t let good intentions ruin your financial life. It’s never a good idea to add someone else’s debt to your credit card, even if you have a lower APR and just want to help. Their debt immediately becomes your debt and you’ll have to answer for it. Not only that, your credit score will be negatively affected as well.

Don’t lend money to financially irresponsible people

How Debt Can Haunt You and Your Loved Ones - Don't Lend Money or Cosign a Loan

We’ve all lent money to someone, but make sure you test the waters first by loaning a small amount and seeing if they pay you back. A written statement saying how and when they plan on paying you back should accompany the loan. Generally speaking though, it’s not a good idea to lend money to friends or family. It’s one of the most common ways that relationships sour.

For many people, however, debt is already a source of fear and terror. If debt is haunting you, it’s time to take action.

Release the Debt Ghosts of the Past 

We’ve emphasized how scary debt can be — it’s Halloween season after all — but things aren’t as bad as they may seem. At least not when you have a team of debt specialists on your side.

You’re not alone. Don’t let debt haunt you for the rest of your life and then follow you to the grave. The best way to make sure you outlive your debt is by speaking with the certified debt specialists at National Debt Reduction Services.

Learn more about your options for getting out of debt. By making better decisions today, you can help ensure your survival tomorrow.

Contact NDRS today to slay those debt demons that continue to haunt you and your family. Call us at (888) 987-1325 for your free debt relief consultation.

pay off student loan debt fast

6 Tips to Pay Off Student Loan Debt Fast

Paying off student debt can seem impossible from this perspective, especially if you needed to pull out extra loans to pay for housing while you were in school. And the debt itself is one monster with a little minion on the side called interest. It grows and grows and never seems to stop. But there’s hope. Not only can you pay off your student debt—completely, as in zero-balance, never-answer-a-call-from-a-collector-again DONE—but you can also pay it off with lightning speed.

Here are 6 tips to pay off student loan debt fast:

1. Make Payments Every Two Weeks

Make payments every two weeks instead of once a month. This may sound like it’ll come out to the same amount of money, but about twice a year, you’ll actually be able to make extra payments using this method.

Here’s what we mean: Let’s say your loan payment each month is $265. If you split this up into two payments of $132.50, you’ll pay $3,445 by the end of the year. (That’s $132.50 times 26 two-week pay periods, totaling $3,445.) If you stuck with your monthly payment of $265, you would only have paid $3,180. ($265 times 12 months in a year equals $3,180.)

That’s a $265 difference! And one you’ll barely notice out of your monthly income, as your extra paycheck during a month usually comes as a surprise.

pay off student loan debt fast

2. Make Surprise Payments with Surprise Money

Speaking of surprises: If you come by a little extra pocket money, seemingly out of nowhere, do not spend it! We repeat: Do not go out and make it rain! Put this money toward your loans, so you can pay them off faster.

We can hear you from here: “Where would I get surprise money?” Well, from lots of places, actually:

  • Your Tax Return
  • Yearly Bonus
  • Gambling Winnings
  • A Payment from a Large Freelance Gig
  • Scholarships
  • Cash Awards
  • Inheritance
  • Investments
  • Company Profit Sharing
  • A Large Sum of Money on the Sidewalk

Just kidding about that one point, but you see what we’re saying? You can be surprised with money in a lot of different ways. And while your impulse might be to blow it on traveling, new tattoos, or exceptional chicken sandwiches at Popeye’s, you should use your new powers for good and not evil. (Read: put it toward your student loans.)

Here’s a good rule of thumb when determining how much of the unplanned income should go to your loans:

  • 50% Student Debt
  • 30% Savings
  • 20% Traveling/Tattoos/Chicken Sandwiches

3. Reduce Your Monthly Expenses

Another way you can be pleasantly surprised by money is by reducing your monthly expenses. We know: You really, really need all the things you’ve been paying for. Rent, electricity, water, groceries—you literally need those things to survive.

But have you taken a closer look?

We’re talking, of course, about your subscriptions. Those Instagram ads really got to you, and now suddenly, you have a clothing subscription, a date night subscription, eight streaming services, a few book subscriptions, a rotating pet subscription, and all kinds of other things.

pay off student loan debt fast

Here are some ways you can reduce your spending:

a. If you don’t use it, cancel it.

That’s sounds like common sense, right? Yet you have that gym membership you never use and the Gold subscription to Audible where you got two audiobooks a month, but you don’t have time to listen to them.

Cancel your gym membership, if you don’t go to the gym.

Reduce or cancel your Audible membership, if you don’t have time to listen to audiobooks.

Pay for the things you use right now, not the things you might want to use in the future.

b. Don’t pay for apps.

If the app isn’t free, don’t download it. You may think, “Oh, it’s only 99 cents!” but how often do you think that in a month? Even if it’s just adding up to $5, that’s $5 you could have been saving or putting toward your student loans.

And please, don’t make in-app purchases. You do not need the extra lives in Candy Crush that badly.

c. Cook for yourself and stop eating out.

If you look through your spending during each month, you’ll probably find that you spend the most money on eating out. A five-dollar coffee here, a ten-dollar, fast-casual lunch there—it adds up. Fast.

Instead, look up some recipes you would be interested in trying and make them at home. You can find inspiration on Pinterest or by following a food influencer on social media.

Please, note: When we say, “Cook for yourself,” we do not mean, “Get a subscription for an ingredient-delivery service.” Those things are especially expensive, and they don’t even cover all of your meals during the day, usually. Go to the grocery store and purchase the ingredients there. It’s astronomically cheaper.

d. Shop at thrift stores.

Quit your clothing rental and/or delivery subscription, and shop at thrift stores. We know that thrift stores have a bad rap, but shopping at them is cheaper than buying new clothes and more environmentally responsible.

You can find fashionable, name-brand clothes for a fraction of the cost at thrift stores, especially popular ones like Buffalo Exchange, Plato’s Closet, and Upscale Cheapskate.

e. Look through your bank statements and see if there are surprises.

You may have thought you already canceled a subscription, or you may be overpaying for a service. Check your bank statement or log on to your bank app and review your debit card activity. You may be surprised to find your massage membership didn’t get canceled after all.

f. Consider free alternatives.

This is it: the moment you’ve been waiting for. Here’s a list of free alternatives to every monthly subscription we can think of:

  • Instead of a gym membership, use the gym in your apartment complex or watch workout videos on YouTube.
  • Instead of paying for a music subscription, get a free one with ads, listen to the radio, or watch the music videos on YouTube.
  • Instead of paying for an audiobook subscription, get a library card. You can download an app called Libby, which allows you to enter your library card number and instantly download FREE audiobooks and eBooks.
  • Instead of paying to stream movies and TV shows, check out DVDs from the library.
  • Instead of paying for a self-love/get-to-know-yourself subscription, look up methods of self-care online.
  • Instead of paying for a meditation app, meditate.
  • Instead of paying for a date night subscription, look up cute, FREE ideas for date nights online.
  • Instead of paying for a therapy app, see if you’re eligible for some free therapy sessions at a reduced-cost clinic in your area.
  • Instead of paying for a massage membership, lay on a tennis ball to get the knots out of your back.

Once you cut back on your subscriptions, you’ll be blown away by how much money you’ll have left over at the end of each month. Save some, spend a little, but put most of it toward your student loans to pay them off faster.

4. When You Get a Raise, Don’t Raise Your Monthly Expenses

Most jobs come with at least a standard 3% raise to accommodate the rise in cost of living during the year. If you hustle really hard, you might even get more. You could be incentivized suddenly with a bonus structure that wasn’t initially in your offer letter.

All of these are great things! Instead of moving to a larger, more expensive apartment or house, where your electricity and water bills will go up too, why don’t you put that extra consistent income toward your student loans?

We don’t know your situation: It’s possible that you need a larger place because your household has grown. But if it’s not dire, don’t do it. Live below your means, so you can get the big place later, when you don’t have to worry about paying for student loans.

pay off student loan debt fast

5. Make Payments toward the Interest during Your Grace Period

Perhaps you’re reading this blog during your grace period. With your student debt looming over you, you’re doing research to see how you can fight back. That’s some good initiative!

Or: you are entering a grad school program, which would mean you can put off paying your student loans from your undergrad program a little longer, while simultaneously accruing more debt. Depending on your field of study, this could also be a good move.

But what would show even more initiative and be an even better move would be this: making payments toward your interest during your grace period.

You see, it’s the interest that sneaks up on you. It’s the reason it seems like your student debt will live on longer than you will. If you’re making payments toward the interest, even while you don’t have to make payments toward the loans themselves, you’ll be ahead of the game, and your debt won’t seem so daunting when you actually have to start making payments.

6. Reduce Your Debt with a Debt Reduction Solution

“Reduce my debt? Just like that?” Yes. Just like that.

First, you have to reach out to someone for a debt consultation. Debt is tricky, and it’s best to talk to a professional about how you can reduce your debt. The licensed, trained professionals at NDRS can help with that. By scheduling your free consultation, you’re that much closer to paying off your student loan debt fast.

Once you enroll in our program, we have your back. We’re your debt negotiator, working to reduce your monthly payments AND your overall debt. We just ask that you not rack up any additional debt while we’re working to get your current student debt paid off.

For more information about this program, contact us today. Just by reading this article and clicking the “contact us” link, you’re one step closer to being debt free.

7 Common Causes of Debt

common causes of debt

For a lot of Americans, few things instill as much dread as a mountain of debt. It’s hard enough to go about our daily lives with regular expenses along the way. But when a portion of every paycheck gets wiped out thanks to a ton of debt that never seems to go away, it can be disheartening.

Debt can come from one specific source, but it can also rapidly grow as a result of unexpected bills coming together at the most inopportune time. One of the best tools you can arm yourself with is the knowledge to avoid debt in the first place – and here at National Debt Reduction Services, we want to help however we can. In addition to providing debt relief services, we’ve put together a list of 6 common causes of debt to help you alert and informed.

Medical Emergency

Odds are, you or someone you know has encountered an unexpected medical situation that ended up being much more costly than anticipated. Medical expenses come out of nowhere, and they add up quickly. According to a study by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 1 out of every 4 adults aged 18-64 either knows someone who has had trouble paying a medical bill in the past year, or has had difficulty themselves.

Unfortunately, given the sudden nature of some medical conditions, it’s not always possible to prevent this. A sizable number of Americans have trouble paying medical bills, and that percentage is skewed higher toward families with lower incomes. However, according to the same study, two-thirds of the group who reported having problems paying medical bills were encountering issues due to sudden, one-time bills.

It’s important to try and stash away some money in a rainy-day fund, even if it’s just a little bit at a time. It’s likely that you will experience an unexpected medial expense at some point, and even a small amount of extra help can go a long way.

Problems with Insurance Coverage

This second item applies to medical emergencies as well, but we all have insurance for things beyond just our health. Insurance companies are notoriously difficult to deal with – whether it’s an automobile coverage issue, something involving your home, or another type of insurance – the expenses you can incur from insurance declining to cover your incident can be astronomical.

Sometimes the resulting complications from whatever you tried to get insurance to cover need to be immediately addressed and you can’t wait around to solve them. When that happens, people have to dig deep into savings and pay out of pocket to repair or restore whatever problem has arisen, and this often leaves them in a deep hole to dig out of.

Failed Business

Every business doesn’t succeed, unfortunately. While some take off and take their industry by storm, others struggle to get the wheels moving and eventually fizzle out. Part of the risk of starting a business is committing the money toward getting it off the ground, and even if the owner has the savvy and know-how to run the business efficiently, there’s still a chance that it doesn’t resonate with the intended consumers.

If you’re starting a business and take out a loan from a bank, be sure you know the terms in full beforehand. Know that you might be on the hook for the money regardless of whether the business succeeds or not, and be prepared to pay it back.

Student Loans/Educational Debt

Another aspect of modern life that a lot of people are accustomed to is the practice of taking out loans to pay for college. According to Nitrocollege.com, 1 in 4 Americans have some sort of student loan debt, which adds up to nearly 45 million people. It’s an unfortunate necessity for many, however, since the modern job market is geared toward people who have a degree. Some employers won’t even take a second glance at a resume unless there is a degree listed!

But that expectation means that a great deal of Americans are forced to take out student loans to pay for school. According to the same statistics from Nitrocollege, the average graduate has just over $37,000 in student loan debt with a monthly payment of close to $400. That amount of debt weighs on you, and it can take decades to pay off completely.

Sudden Loss of Income

One unexpected cause of debt is due to something that you truly can’t plan for. While you might be able to prepare for student loans or certain medical conditions, it’s not easy to compensate for a loss of income. Whether it’s because you’ve lost your job or had a steady income stream suddenly dry up another way, losing your source of money is difficult no matter what.

While it’s difficult to bridge the loss-of-income gap smoothly, you can do your part to ease the hit in the event it does happen. Bankrate.com conducted a survey in January of 2019, asking how people would hypothetically pay for a sudden $1,000 expense, such as a car repair. Only 40% said they’d be able to use their savings – 3/5 of respondents wouldn’t be able to cover it immediately.

That’s a sobering statistic. With how many people are living paycheck-to-paycheck currently, one emergency – including loss of income – could be devastating.

Excessive Spending

We’d all prefer to think of ourselves as pretty responsible spenders. Most of us can usually come up with a reason to justify why we buy certain things for one reason or another, even if it only makes sense to us. Without a check on our spending, we can easily end up drowning in debt before we know it.

Whether it’s through racking up interest on credit cards or simply the urge to buy something in the heat of the moment, overspending can drown you quickly, which makes excessive spending one of the most common causes of debt.

However, sometimes spending isn’t a problem because of a self-control issue. Sometimes it’s because of an expected financial windfall that simply doesn’t happen. Tax returns that are smaller than you expected, lighter bonuses at work or a lesser gift than you’re accustomed to are all common reasons for accidental overspending – but you still end up in debt. Evaluating your spending habits is critical, and it will be truly beneficial in the long run.

Issues with Shared Accounts

If you have a joint account with a spouse or significant other, it’s imperative that you both establish expectations for what the account will be used for, and what the limits are on spending.

The worst thing that can happen is for one (or both) of you to use the account as if it were solely your own. Withdrawing funds without any culpability to the other person can create several issues – including an overdrawn account.

When you’re not on the same page, not only will the finances suffer, but your relationship could strain as well. If the account is supposed to be used for emergencies only and one of you spends from it every day, you could end up in debt. A car accident or medical emergency could wipe out that joint account – in addition to compromising your relationship!

Don’t Let Debt Sneak Up on You!

Debt can rear its ugly head in any number of ways. Whether it’s through a sudden medical emergency or a long-term strategy that suddenly gets thrown out the window, debt doesn’t discriminate. It treats all of us equally, and the effects it can have on you and your family can take decades to shake off and get out from under.

But you’re not powerless! Although debt exists, you have the tools and resources to fight it. The best decision you can make is to take steps to prepare for a financial emergency before it occurs. That means avoiding the classic pitfalls that most people fall into with spending – general financial responsibility will go a long way, but that obviously doesn’t cover all causes of debt. In addition, it’s good to put a percentage of every paycheck in the bank every payday. An emergency fund goes a long way!

Sometimes even the best-laid plans can’t help when an unexpected financial debt is incurred.

That’s where we come in. National Debt Reduction Services has a wealth of knowledge and experience in helping people eliminate debt, and we can help you too! Call today for a free, no-obligation debt review from our debt resolution experts, and see how we can get you started on the path to being free of debt today!

9 Ways Debt Reduction Programs Work

Nationwide Debt Reduction Services

For many people, reducing or paying off debt alone is not easy. The cost of simply living life is expensive. Car payments, medical bills, utility costs, and mortgage payments are common expenses people have and that doesn’t even cover other living expenses like groceries.

When credit card and personal loan debt enter the mix, trying to pay all of these bills, let alone pay them off becomes very difficult to do. If you’re someone that is facing this difficult and stressful situation, consider using debt resolution to give you a fresh start. Here are 10 ways debt reduction programs work.

It Addresses Your Accounts

Juggling the many bills that come with life is familiar to people in debt. But it becomes even harder when you get behind on credit card and loan payments. Trying to pay active accounts along with closed ones is a strain on any budget. One of the great things about debt reduction is that all of your accounts are addressed, even if they are closed. This not only makes it easy for that debt to get paid but also to ensure you have a better history with creditors when you do start fresh and have credit.

Finally, debt reduction helps with your budget because the payments you’re making include all of the accounts you want to pay, not just the ones you can afford to pay.

The Program Works for Your Situation

Everyone who considers debt resolution or decides to enter a program has a different set of circumstances. The number of accounts, type, income, and obligation level varies from person to person. That’s why debt resolution programs spend a good deal of time learning about your financial situation so that it addresses all the accounts you need help with at an affordable cost.

It’s a significant difference from other solutions like consolidation loans or credit management. While each option varies slightly depending on your financial situation, they don’t achieve the same level of personalization.

Debt Resolution Ends Minimum Payments

Obtaining a debt consolidation loan or entering a debt management program doesn’t necessarily put an end to paying the minimum on your credit cards. Taking a loan still means that you’ll be paying the minimum on your loan at the very least, assuming you’re able to qualify for one.

Debt management programs also work with you to pay down debt. However, unlike debt resolution programs, debt management programs only lower interest rates and minimum payments. Such programs have established relationships with creditors to make these adjustments.

For people in heavy debt, this does not necessarily provide the relief they need. Depending on the number of accounts enrolled, payments to a debt management program are comparable to the amount of money you’re already paying toward existing debt which means achieving resolution may take awhile.

Debt resolution services, by contrast, have payments that are determined by what the client affords and takes into account every financial obligation they have. This ensures the client actually gets out of debt and not into more debt.

No More Interest

Credit cards accrue interest with each passing month. If your credit cards have a high-interest rate and a high balance for a long period of time, very little of a minimum payment actually applies to the balance. Instead, most of it goes to the interest which does very little to pay off the debt. This is one reason why getting out of debt is so difficult and why debt resolution services help clients.

Debt resolution services resolve debt by reaching an agreement with the creditor directly or that creditor’s representative. The settlement is often for much less than your full balance, in part because it does not include interest. This is one way that debt resolution helps you take steps toward being debt-free instead of getting stuck paying minimums that don’t clear up a lot of debt.

Debt Resolution Services Resolve Debt with Your Creditors

If part of your active debt load includes closed accounts or those not paid on after 180 days, your debt on one or more accounts might have been sold to another entity. While selling debt to a third party is fairly common, there is a risk that you could fall prey to debt scams and pay money for a debt scam that ends up not being connected with your original creditor. If this happens, you’ll still owe the debt in question and be out the money.

When addressing collection agencies, it’s important to understand your rights and the tips to follow regarding how payments are made. Debt resolution services are pros when it comes to this. They will only deal with the creditors and those agencies authorized to collect on the debt and make sure actual debts in question get paid.

You Save Money On Your Debt

Adding up all of the debt you owe isn’t easy and the final number may seem impossible to get out from under on your own. When you enroll with a debt reduction service, you’ll save money on the debts you owe. Some of these debts will be settled for far less than the original balance because you will have skilled negotiators working to get you the best deal for every creditor. The money saved depends on the specific creditor. But just like the freedom from interest, a debt reduction service helps save you some money on your overall debt so you can become debt free faster.

Debt Reduction Services Don’t Require Payments Upfront

When you’re strapped for cash, working out payments for different creditors is stressful because you have to make sure you have the money and save it. Debt reduction services don’t require upfront payments. The payment for the service is taken when debts are paid off or are nearing completion. Small fees such as those for a phone payment or delivery fee are also factored into the payment you make every month.

As a result, you won’t go into deeper debt in an attempt to make payments to the service. In addition, debt reduction services work with you so that your debt is always paid first before their fees are deducted.

Debt Resolution Takes Only A Few Years

The minimum payment warning on your credit card statements tell you that it will take years to pay off your debt if you make the minimum payment and charge nothing else to your card. Add all of the accounts you pay on and you will pay on your debt for up to ten years or more. Even reaching an agreement with a creditor takes time if you have multiple creditors to pay. Debt resolution take between 24 and 48 months to complete. This means all of your enrolled accounts are paid and you’re out from under large amounts of old and more recent debt.

At the end of your time in the program, your credit will be in better shape and you’ll still have relationships with creditors, only without the debts that were holding you back.

Debt Resolution Helps You Avoid Bankruptcy

People who have significant debt and who are unable to get approved for a consolidation loan may be advised by credit counselors that bankruptcy is their only option. Bankruptcy costs money, time, and is devastating to your credit. While debt resolution does impact your credit and requires dedication and time, it’s a better option for people who have a lot of credit card debt and not a lot of money. Debt resolution gets creditors paid and puts you in a debt-free position faster without resorting to bankruptcy and courts.

Debt happens for all kinds of reasons. Most people find themselves in it because of a combination of a lack of financial awareness in their younger days and life circumstances. No matter what your reason is for being in debt, you can get out of it even if it might seem impossible. You have options. Taking advantage of an option like debt resolution is a step toward a debt-free future.

Wallet with Credit Cards

Why 2018 Is Off To a Rocky start For Those With Credit Card Debt

Nationwide Debt

A lot of individuals have outstanding credit card debt. If only the minimum amount is paid each month, it can take 10-20 years to get completely out of debt. During the interim, the charges for interest are incredibly high. Some people choose to combine their balances on a card with an interest-free period and transfer their balances only to get hit with extremely high interest rates at the end of the period. Many turn to assistance from a debt reduction agency such as Nationwide Debt Reduction Services.

January is generally the time of year when credit card companies are competing with one another to secure debts people have accrued over the holidays. According to a survey by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average American spent $ 967.13-holiday shopping in 2017. Many providers offered no interest for the month of January in the past to help gain new customers. This is merely short term relief and the end result leaves the consumer with unpaid balances. Unfortunately, 2018 is not off to a good start, and it already looks like a bad year for anyone with a lot of credit card debt.

Higher Utility Bills During the Winter Are Strapping Consumers

January is the time of year that provides the hottest competition among the credit card providers, but in 2018 the competition is as cold as the weather. As utility bills rise, the budget of the average consumer is shrinking.

In 2017 the average utility bill was $76.56 to $190.36 depending on the state and usage. The only two credit card providers with good options for balance transfers to assist these decreasing budgets, are Barclaycard and AA. Considering the vast number of credit card providers, this news is downright dismal.

During the month of January in 2017, new cards with excellent options were being launched by AA, Halifax, M&S Bank, Virgin Money, The Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Bank and Post Office Money. The problem is not simply the significant decrease in competition by the lenders, the deals being offered are much lower in quality as well.

The Lack of a Budget

The longest interest-free period ever offered on a credit card for a balance transfer was a staggering 43 months, and it was from Halifax. This provided a generous period of over three and a half years for the individual to pay off their outstanding balance. The longest current period with zero percent interest is 38 months. While this is still a decent length of time, it is also much shorter than it was only a year ago. One of the most significant issues is most Americans do not have a budget. According to a survey conducted by Forbes in 2017, 75 percent of all Americans do not have a budget and are unable to cover a $500 emergency. 56.3 percent have under $1,000 saved and rely on credit cards for emergencies.

The Fee for the Size of the Transfer

In addition to the significant decrease in the time allowed for balance transfers, this is not the only area that has seen changes much less beneficial for the consumer. The size of the fee for the transfer must be taken into consideration as well. Sainsbury and Halifax are currently offering credit cards with no interest due for 36 months. Halifax is charging a fee of 2.5 percent, but the fee for Sainsbury is 2.89 percent. When the balance transfer is high, the difference in the transfer fee can make a big difference in the amount of the fee. For individuals whose debt is fairly small, the better option may be a credit card provider offering a shorter period of free interest with a much lower transfer fee.

Unfortunately, many people are not going to be able to pay off their debts from 2017 and will need to contact a good debt reduction agency such as Nationwide Debt Reduction Services for assistance. There are a good number of credit cards available in 2018 with no transfer fees. It is important to understand the credit card providers offering the best deals for balance transfers have been designed for individuals with a high credit score. Unless the credit history is excellent, chances are good the applicant will be denied.

The Credit History

Prior to applying for any new credit cards, the potential applicant should review their credit history and credit score. There are lenders who enable applicants to determine their approval chances before filling out the application. If the application is denied, it will leave a mark on the credit history and may affect the credit score. The most important actions a person can take are to avoid ending up in this situation again.

Instead of using credit cards to cover emergencies, deposit funds in the bank each month to cover any potential disasters. Holiday gifts are not reliant on the purchase price, and this spending can be drastically reduced. Dining out less, watching movies at home, and refraining from purchasing the latest devices will all help to reduce the monthly budget.

 

 

Get out of debt - no debt sign

What is the Best Way to Reduce The Amount of Debt You Owe

Nationwide debt

Many individuals have found themselves in a situation where they have accrued too much debt. Sometimes the debt increases substantially due to over the limit fees and late fees. This can not only make it extremely difficult to pay the debt down, but it can have a negative impact on your credit score. There eventually comes a time when your debt must be reduced. There are steps that can be taken to help lower the amount owed.

Paying Off Past Due Debts First

One of the most efficient ways to lower your debt while raising your credit score is to pay off any balances that are past due. All delinquent accounts must regain a positive balance, and past due balances must be paid first. This will additionally eliminate over the limit fees. You can also call your credit card company because they will sometimes work with you on negotiating a settlement for any past due balances. Since your creditor wants the account settled, there is always a possibility they will accept a much lower amount than you actually owe.

It is important to ensure you receive the negotiation terms you settled on with your creditor in writing prior to sending in any payment. It is a good idea to have proof the creditor has agreed to accept a lower amount. Your written confirmation should clearly explain the exact details of the negotiation and settlement.

If the settlement is extremely large, you may want to contact a lawyer or debt expert such as Nationwide Debt Reduction Services. They will be aware of any tax or legal issues in your state and will have a full understanding of the language used by your creditor in the agreement. The paperwork should state the account has been paid, not paid for a lesser amount. There are additional specific loans that will not appear on your credit report provided your payments are made on time.

The Credit Card With The Highest Interest Rate

As the balance on your credit card bill increases so does your payment. If you have multiple credit cards, paying all the minimum payments due on time can be difficult. When the payment is late there is an additional fee added, and this only increases the balance even more.

Combining all the balances on one card with a larger limit will generally decrease the total payment due, and it is easier to pay off one card than multiple balances. Whenever possible, pay more than the minimum balance to decrease the payments and balance even faster. It is imperative the cards with the highest interest rates is paid first.

The Credit Card Utilization

Paying off the smallest of your debts will enable you to pay a larger amount on your higher balances. Having too many credit cards or sources of debt makes it difficult to remain current on your payments, and it can damage your credit score. Your credit card utilization should be a maximum of thirty percent. This will help you to regain control of your finances. If you have too many debts, are unable to pay off any of them, and are unable to make the monthly payments, the best option is a debt reduction service. Nationwide Debt Reduction Services works directly with creditors to assist clients in their financial situations and are an excellent option to get out of debt.

Paying Off Installment Loans

Sometimes the issue is not with credit cards, but with installment loans. This can be anything from a new car to a new HVAC system for your home. It may be possible to work with the company that gave you the loan, but this may hinge on how long the loan has been in existence. If the loan is only a few months old, you have not yet established yourself with the company, and they may be unwilling or unable to work with you. If you have been paying on the loan for several years, your chances of extending the loan and reducing your payment are much better. Depending on the size of the loan, when it was issued, and the expected payoff date, you may be able to lower your payment enough to make it affordable.

Asking for Help

Regardless of what type of debt you have, if the situation is already out of control, you will probably require assistance. Once the balances on credit cards have exceeded the limits, and are consistently rising due to additional fees, it is difficult to handle the situation alone. If the situation is not promptly addressed, it will get out of control, and creditors will be calling you at home to demand payment. There are agencies trained to help people get out of debt, and they are very good at what they do.

 

How a Debt Reduction Service Can Help You Handle Your Debt Obligations

Nationwide Debt

Being in significant debt is overwhelming. Many people don’t know where to turn or even how to take a step on the right road to financial recovery. People who find themselves in heavy debt have the right to use debt reduction services to help clean up their finances. This article outlines what a debt reduction service does to help you meet your debt obligations.

Factors to Consider About Debt

Deciding to pay off debt isn’t an easy decision because it takes consideration, planning, and discipline. Think about the following questions when researching your debt payoff options:

Debt Size

Paying the smaller debts first give a sense of accomplishment and encourage the payments on larger debts. It also eliminates smaller payments and frees up money for larger debt.

Obligations

Look at the financial and legal obligations that must be paid first. If you can’t make these payments and all of your other payments, evaluate your monthly budget. Think about the things you can do to change that budget. It usually includes things like changing spending habits and boosting your income.

Bankruptcy

No one wants to consider bankruptcy. It is usually the method of last resort. But it is a way to get out of debt. Depending on the amount of debt and type, it might be the only way for some people. It won’t release you from all debts though, so considering every debt resolution option available is a must.

Interest

Just like smaller debts are important, high-interest rate credit cards are as well. If a high-interest rate card is boosting up your personal debt think about paying this off first.

Defining Debt Reduction

Debt reduction helps to clear away financial debt quickly. Unlike credit counseling, which helps to manage debt and spending habits, debt reduction seeks settlements from people you owe. A negotiator’s goal is to settle for a number that is lower than what you owe. If you have that money on hand, the settlement is paid for and is one less debt to worry about.

Debt Reduction, Credit Counseling, and Debt Management

It’s important to understand that debt reduction services are not for everyone. But for people in significant or heavy debt, debt reduction services provide a way to actually make progress in paying off their financial obligations.

A good first step in determining whether debt reduction is for you or not is by consulting a credit counselor or two. The consultation is free and counselors are typically certified in budgeting, money management, consumer credit, and debt management. This consult may take more than one session. Some credit counselors offer a budget and a recommendation for what to do next depending on the situation at hand. Other credit counseling services are offered in conjunction with a debt management program.

Debt management programs typically do not impact your credit score. Since they are also offered along with credit counseling services, debt management programs reduce interest rates and they give you an action plan to take. If you choose to go with the plan and enroll in the program, a debt management program takes a set amount of money from you every month and pays them out to each company.

This does not impact your FICO score. But the downside to debt management programs is that the payments are usually higher than with debt reduction. This is a defining difference for people who have a heavy debt load without enough income to pay it off.

Debt Reduction Considerations

Debt reduction is another option. Like debt management, it offers an alternative to bankruptcy. Not all debt resolution services are created equal. If this path appeals to you as a consumer, be sure to do all of your research. Find out:

  • What reviews the company has received
  • The costs involved
  • Requirements of the program
  • How long it will take to resolve your debt in total
  • The impact on your credit score

Choosing a Debt Reduction Service

Nationwide Debt Reduction Services helps consumers reduce their debt by first having a consultation with them. Like debt resolution, the representative has an in-depth conversation about the financial situation of the potential client. Based on this information, a customized plan is developed that includes a monthly payment. This payment is based on an amount the client is able to afford.

Once the client enrolls in the program, that payment is sent to a dedicated saving n escrow account every month and funds build up until they reach a level where a debt is payable. Programs typically last for 36 months but may be more or less depending on individual circumstance. Negotiators work on your behalf during this time to arrange for a settlement on your debts. Not using further credit is something Nationwide asks customers to do upon enrollment.

All settlements must be authorized by the client and once paid, the creditors may report to the credit bureau that the debt has been settled. Once the program is complete, you will be able to use credit again.

The decision to get out of debt isn’t easy. But services like Nationwide Debt Reduction Services help consumers get out of debt without resorting to bankruptcy. If debt management or DIY debt resolution isn’t for you, contact us and we’ll help you take the first step in becoming debt free.