Should You Take a Vacation if You’re in Debt?

take a vacation while in debtYour debt is stressing you out. Work is stressing you out. And you just need a little break from the normal day to day grind.

But you go back and forth in your head: should you take a vacation if you’re in debt?

Well, it depends.

Weighing Your Vacation Decision

If you’re stressed to the max and know that a little getaway is going to rejuvenate you and you’ll come back with a new intensity to conquer life and rid yourself of debt – then yes, you should take a vacation.

BUT (yeah, there’s a but…sorry) you should be budget conscious when you do it.

Your vacation should be in no way shape or form a way to get you deeper in debt. So if any of the following apply don’t do it:

  • You have to use a credit card
  • You have to take out a payday loan
  • You have to borrow money from friends or family
  • You have to borrow against your retirement account
  • Going on vacation means you’ll miss a debt repayment

If any of those will occur then you should in no way, shape, or form be going on vacation. You’ll just end up derailing your progress and adding a ton of extra stress to yourself. Don’t do it.

However, if you have savings earmarked just for vacation or if you can find creative ways to come up with the money (we’ll go over that in a minute) then by all means go enjoy yourself. You only have one life to live after all.

But before you make that decision let’s weigh the pros and cons.

The Pros of Taking a Vacation While in Debt

If you’ve been working yourself to death, trying to free yourself from debt then a little break might do you good.

You see, sometimes when you’re working on a huge goal, like debt reduction, occasionally cutting yourself some slack is the only way you can avoid burnout.

Here are the pros of taking a vacation while in debt:

  • Rewarding yourself for your hard work
  • Refreshing – coming back with gazelle intensity to slay your debt
  • Enjoying your life (you only get one)

The Cons of Taking a Vacation While in Debt

debt vacations

There are some obvious pros to taking a vacation – the biggest one is giving yourself a break and time to pump yourself up to come back with intensity.

But there are cons too:

  • Spending money that could be used to repay debt
  • The guilt of spending money that could be used to repay debt

Whatever decision you make needs to feel right for YOU! It’s your life and it’s up to you how you want to live it.

With that said if you do go on vacation here are some things you can do to creatively fund your trip. (And if you decide not to go on vacation you can use these things to throw at your debt!)

Ways to Fund Your Vacation

make money for vacation

The one rule of going on vacation while in debt is that you should in no way, shape, or form add to your debt load.

Here are some creative ways you can raise some vacation funds.

Sell Your Old Stuff: Host a yard sale or sell your items online in places like Facebook Yard sales or Craigslist. You should be able to earn at least a couple hundred dollars.

Find a Part Time Work From Home Job: There are so many different ways you can make money online, no matter how many hours you have to commit. By working 10 or so hours from home you could bring home around $100-$150 per month.

Read Emails: You can read emails to earn a little extra cash. My favorite company for this is InboxDollars. You’ll be surprised how quickly the money can add up. Plus this is super easy!

Search the Web: You can use a search engine like Swagbucks to earn points you can redeem for gift cards. This is also another super simple way to make a few extra dollars.

Cash in Your Change: The change you’ve been saving all year long can be a huge help for your vacation budget. The jar I have should have around $500 in it – if not more.

Do: Cash in your change.

Cash in Your Credit Card Reward Points: Well I’m really hoping that if you have debt you aren’t still using your credit cards. That’s a risk you shouldn’t take. However, if you’ve accumulate points on past credit cards cash those suckers in.

Do: Cash in your credit card rewards points.

If you do all of these things you should realistically be able to come up with around $500-$1000 in one month.

So get to it!

Ways to Keep Your Vacation Cheap

save on vacation

So let’s say that $500 is the amount you feel comfortable spending without letting guilt set in. It’s a doable amount and is about what I like to spend on vacations.

Here are some options for stretching your budget:

Take a Weekend Vacation – Instead of spending a week somewhere just go for the weekend. Get a two night hotel stay for the family, visit cheap attractions like museums, go to the movies, and dinner.

You don’t have to go all out to have an awesome vacation.

Go Camping - A tent, sleeping bag, and some firewood and can do your budget good. Stay near a place that has horseback riding, fishing, and other nature centered attractions. These will generally be cheaper than other vacation options but will amazing memories for children.

Your $500 can go pretty far with a camping trip.

Don’t Fly – Plane tickets are going to eat up your whole budget so don’t plan on flying somewhere. You need to stay relatively close to your home in order to stretch that $500.

Use Restaurant.com Gift Certificates – You can get restaurant.com gift certificates for up to 70 percent off of regular restaurant prices. Choose your food based on deals. This is a great way to expose yourself to new places you might not otherwise try.

Check Deal Sites – Look for offers on Living Social or Groupon to stretch your budget. You may even come up with a ton of new vacation ideas.

Conclusion

There is a lot of conflicting advice when it comes to taking a vacation while in debt. But ultimately the choice is yours.

There’s no right or wrong answer. You have to pick the best solution for you and your family.

What’s your opinion on taking vacations while in debt?

Consolidated Credit Counseling Review

If you are looking for a company to help you with your debt here is our Consolidated Credit Counseling review.

Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. is an established firm that has been serving the financial needs of over 5 million people.

The company has certified and experienced credit counselors who are ready to help you out with all of your financial problems and to find the suitable solutions for your debt problems. Consolidated Credit Counseling is an ISO 9001:2000 registered organization and hence you can be sure of the commitment of the company towards serving you.

Services Consolidated Credit Counseling Offers

The following are some of the most important financial services offered by Consolidated Credit Counseling:

Credit Card Debt Help

Credit card debts are very difficult to deal with. It is highly important for the credit card debtor to regain financial stability and Consolidated Credit Counseling will help with credit card debt problems.

The credit counselors will provide all the necessary details and inputs that is needed to regain financial stability and to get rid of the credit card debt worries. Consolidated Credit Counseling will a provide number of credit card debt solutions that will help in bettering the finances in the long term than bankruptcy.

Personal Finances

Consolidate Credit Counseling Services can also help you with your basic personal finances. It has the proper budgeting tools and tips that will help a client easily manage his or her personal finances properly without falling into huge debts.

The counselors will help the client to find the right solutions of building or re-building a good credit history to successfully manage personal finances. The company offers free financial help through certified credit counselors who will go through the client’s budget and suggest ways and means of how to improve personal finances.

Credit Counseling

The certified credit counselors will work with the client and understand all their financial needs. They will help in developing a plan to will help the client to get rid of the debts quickly with minimal hassles. They will make sure that they help clients in lowering monthly repayments, reduce interest rates, lessen credit damages as well as waive certain penalties.

Debt Management Services

All the various debts will be brought under a single consolidated plan so that the client gets the opportunity to save about 30% to 50% of his or her total payments. The advisors will help in reducing interest rates as well as late payment fees apart from avoiding bankruptcy and rebuilding the credit of the customer.

Housing Counseling

Consolidated Credit Counseling Review

Photo Credit: Suphakit73

The Consolidated Credit Counseling Services is authorized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to offer housing counseling to its clients. The company has certified, well-trained and experienced housing counselors to meet all the housing needs of their clients.

BBB Accreditation

Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. meets Better Business Bureau (BBB) standards and hence has received an A+ BBB rating. This means that the company is committed to resolving all the problems faced by its clients and that too in the shortest possible time. The factors that helped in improving the BBB rating of the company are:

  • Response to complaints filed against the company
  • Resolving the complaints filed against the company
  • Number of years the business has been in operation
  • Lesser number of complaints filed against the business of this size

Summary Of Customer Reviews

Consolidated Credit Counseling Services has been in the business for more than 20 years and has helped a lot of people get relief from haunting debt problems.

The customer reviews about the company on their website shows that most of the debt and housing problems of the clients have been dealt by the company in an efficient manner. Most of the other reviews on consumer affair websites also are good about the company.

There are a few customers who have complained of poor services offered by the company when it comes to credit card debts and debt management. But, overall the Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. has received more positive reviews from clients than negative reviews.

National Foundation for Credit Counseling Review

If you are looking for a company to help you with your debt here’s our National Foundation for Credit Counseling Review.

National Foundation for Credit Counseling or NFCC is the largest financial counseling organization in the country.

Started in 1951, the Member agency network of this company now includes more than 600 offices located in 50 states of the country and in Puerto Rico. This company provides counseling to more than 3 million consumers every year.

The NFCC member agencies have certified counselors who will provide counseling and financial education to millions of consumers to tackle their financial situations.  The service is provided through phone as well as through online for the convenience of the customers. Re-certification of the counselors in every two years makes them competent enough to give solutions to the various financial problems of their customers.

Services National Foundation for Credit Counseling Offers

National Foundation for Credit Counseling offers some of the very useful services in the field of debt counseling and financial management. The important services provided by them are:

Credit Counseling

Credit counseling from the company will help the customer to manage their debts or credit effectively. The certified staff will give the right advice to manage the money. They will go through your financial matters and offer the right solutions to overcome the financial problems. They also provide you with personalized financial plans to prevent future financial problems. If the counselor feels that you are in severe debt they may suggest you to join the debt management plan offered by NFCC.

Housing Counseling

National Foundation for Credit Counseling Review

Photo Credit: ddpavumba

When you are buying a home you need the right advice, proper planning and clear understanding of the costs.  The member agencies of NFCC offer different housing counseling to the customers. Pre-purchase counseling from NFCC will enable you to understand the procedures for mortgaging and the financial commitments you are going to take up.

The foreclosure prevention counseling helps to avoid default or foreclosure using various solutions available. Reverse mortgage counseling is provided to seniors to make them understand the home equity conversion mortgage. The information provided by the counselor gives the customer a chance to make informed decisions.

Bankruptcy Counseling And Education

Filing a bankruptcy is one of the major financial decisions to be made in life. To make the appropriate decision a person should know the bankruptcy process in detail and the consequences of doing it. The pre-filling session counseling will enable the consumer to understand the advantages, disadvantages and other options available. The consumers will be provided with certificate after the counseling session so that they can file the bankruptcy.

Financial Education

NFCC through their member agencies are providing financial education programs and counseling services to customers. These programs and counseling help the customers to understand how to use the credits wisely and to have a control on your financial activities.

Other Services

Apart from the above counseling services the company also provides various tools such as calculators, budget worksheet, videos, publications and financial resources which will help you to make financial assessment and to get financial control.

The Rates Charged by NFCC

Usually the company charges 15% percentage of the total debt of the consumer or they may get the fee based on the debt reduction obtained through them.  When the fee is based on the debt reduction a 30 % fee on the reduced amount is charged by the company. In a debt management plan, a maintenance fee throughout the settlement program is applicable. Any setup fee or monthly fee will be reasonable, usually $50 or less, with monthly fees in the $25 range.

Better Business Bureau Rating

No BBB rating is available for this company. It was rated A+ in 1997 and from 2000 there is no rating given to this company.

Summary Of Customer Reviews

Most of the customers are of the opinion that through the counseling services offered by this company, it is possible to negotiate better terms with creditors. The consumers find the 24/7 accessibility very convenient.

The important cons identified by the customers is that though you are able to repay the loan, the credit reports will remain negative.

It will be hard to get new credits once you are getting credit counseling. The absence proper rating affects the reliability of the service. Some customers feel that as NFCC and the affiliate counseling agencies are funded by larger lenders and hence work like credit industry. The benefits are not really available to the consumers. So, it is necessary for the consumers to go through the services and the terms and conditions of using the counseling service and to select the right one for their use.

How to Get Rid of Debt on Your Own

How to Get Rid of Debt on Your Own

Photo Credit: Stuart Miles

There’s no easy way to get rid of debt. You have several options but each come with their own set of pros and cons. However, you can get rid of debt on your own.

If you don’t want to consolidate your debts or go through credit counseling here’s how to get rid of debt on your own.

Know Where You Stand

I know that it can sometimes be hard to take an honest look at your financial situation. You don’t have any money saved, you have too much debt, and you don’t even want to know where you stand.

However, the first and most important part of getting out of debt is knowing where you stand.

Look through all of your loan balances, credit card statements, and any other forms of debt you have. List them all out one by one and then tally them up.

Now you have a starting point to truly get rid of your debt.

Make a Budget

Next is creating a budget. Your budget doesn’t need to be fancy and you don’t have to spend hours working on it.

Simply go through your check register, past receipts, and statements and figure out how much money you’re spending on what and plug it into your budget.

Next plug in your income. If you’re income minus your expenses comes up as a negative number you’ve got some problems. You’re going to need to go through your budget and cut back on anything you can possibly can until you at least break even.

Ideally you want to have leftover money that you can apply to your debts. At the very minimum your budget should allow you to make minimum payments on all of your debt.

Choose a Debt Payoff Pan

There are two common options you have in regards to paying off debt.

The first is the snowball method which entails you paying off your debts from smallest to largest balance. To do this you make minimum payments on all of you debts while throwing everything else you have toward the debt with the smallest balance.

By using the debt snowball method you’ll quickly eliminate small balances and build momentum to keep going.

The second method is the debt avalanche method. In this method you list your debts from highest interest rate to lowest interest rate. You concentrate on knocking out the debt with the highest interest rate while making minimum payments on everything else.

This method can save you tons of money in interest payments.

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to paying off debt. Choose whichever method best works for you.

Work on Budgeting and Earning Extra Money

If you want speed up debt repayment you need to cut more money out of your budget and earn extra money to apply to your debts. You also need to build up a pool of emergency money to fall back on. By combining by both of these methods you can kill your debt faster.

In regards to budgeting make sure to start slow. Work on one are of your budget before moving on to the next. If you to try to cut back too much at one you’ll only fail.

There are several ways you can extra money. You can work overtime at your job, get a second job, or start a side business. You need to choose the option best suited for you.

How to Get Rid of Debt On Your Own – Stick With It

The actual method of getting rid of debt on your own is simple – it’s sticking with it that’s hard.

You’re bound to face your fair share of struggles. You might even fall off track a time or two. Just make sure that you pick yourself up and recommit yourself to the plan.

With commitment, perseverance, and a positive attitude you can get rid of debt on your own.

___________________

 

InCharge Debt Solutions Review

If you are looking for a non profit company to help you with your debt here’s our InCharge Debt Solutions Review.

Incharge debt solution is a nonprofit organization offering various debt consolidation and management services. This company started serving people to find a way out for their debt since 1997.

The experienced counseling team of the company provides accurate and legitimate solutions for your unique debt situation. This company also works to improve the financial literacy of the people. If you are looking for a better financial future, you can get the right action plan to get out of the debt within the shortest possible time from incharge debt solution.

Moreover the customers can use the educational materials, calculators, tools and other resources to have a debt-free life in the future. This is a reliable company with an A+ rating from Better Business Bureau. This company is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and had accreditation from the prestigious Council on Accreditation.

Services Offered by InCharge Debt Solutions

InCharge Debt Solutions solution offers different impartial debt relief solutions to people who have credit card debts or any other unsecured debt. They do not offer new loans but, provide a way out of your debt. The credit counselors help to analyze your financial situation and will suggest the best possible relief. The important services offered by InCharge Debt Solutions are given below

Credit Counseling

This is a free service offered by the company. During the counseling a person will have to provide the information regarding the income and expenses. After going through the credit report of the person, the experts will assess your financial situation and will provide different debt relief options. You can get online credit counseling from the credit counselors of this company.

Debt Management

If you are in bad debt and if you want to consolidate the payments of your credit card debts without going for a new loan, then InCharge Debt Solutions can provide the right debt management program for your need.  You can get the debt management program the company even though you have a bad credit. InCharge Debt Solutions will work with your creditors and provide debt relief in the form of lower interests, lower monthly payments or waived credit card fees. This will help you to pay off your debt easily as your monthly payment will be used to clear your debt.

Neighborhood LIFT

This is a national program offered by Wells Fargo and NeighborWorks America. This service provides eligible home buyers

InCharge Debt Solutions Review

Photo Credit: Stuart Miles

with $ 25,000 to make down payment for buying a home.  If your financial condition is preventing you from owning a home, go for this service offered by Incharge debt solutions.

Debt Consolidation

If you have to pay money to multiple creditors, managing the debts will become difficult. You can get your debts consolidated and can make a single payment to Incharge debt solution. The company will then handle the payments to the different creditors.  You can save your time and reduce the stress involved in paying the amount to different people

Bankruptcy Counseling

Incharge debt solution helps you with the credit counseling procedures in bankruptcy. This company offers pre-file credit counseling and pre- discharge debtor education.

Housing Counseling

If you are a house owner facing foreclosure or if you are finding it difficult to pay the mortgage loans, you can approach Incharge debt solution. They are HUD-certified counseling agency and will be able to solve your housing problem. You can get enrolled in the foreclosure prevention programs offered by federal, state or local authorities through this company.

BBB Rating

The InCharge Debt Solutions Inc. mets many of the conditions of the Better Business Bureau and has been accredited with A+ rating. The conditions that the company fulfills are:

  • Number of years in the business
  • Response to complaints against the company
  • Resolution of the complaints
  • Lesser number of complaints filed for a business of its size

Summary Of Customer Reviews

The company has been helping people for more than fifteen years now. There are testimonials which show that people were able to solve their credit problems within a short period of time with the help of InCharge Debt Solutions.

Some of the clients feel that the services are average and the financial calculators used by the company are not much different from what others are using.  However, the company offers various essential financial counseling services like personal credit, housing and bankruptcy problems and debt management solutions at a satisfactory level.  You can contact the institution through the toll free phone number or online to find out more.

How Does Non Profit Credit Counseling Work?

How Does Non Profit Credit Counseling Work

Photo Credit: Stuart Miles

Do you think credit counseling would help with your debt pay off plan. If so, you’re probably wondering how non profit credit counseling works.

Non-profit credit counseling agencies enjoy special benefits because of their status. There is a tax advantage; non-profits enjoy tax exemptions on both a state and federal level. Non-profit agencies are also eligible for both public and private grants to support their mission.

Non-profit agencies have a better reputation among both creditors and debtors. In order to initiate Fair Share contributions, non-profit status is mandatory. Some states even allow non-profit agencies greater freedom from consumer protection laws. Debtors feel more comfortable dealing with a non-profit agency than one with a more commercial focus.

How Does Non Profit Credit Counseling Work?

Credit counselors simply evaluate consumer’s need and help them come up with a debt pay off plan. Some consumers are referred to debt management plans, also known as DMP’s. Once enrolled in a debt management plan credit counselors will work with your creditors to help lower interest rates on your debt and therefore secure you lower monthly payments.

Credit counselors do not lower the amount of debt for consumers just the interest rates if enrolled in a DMP.

The good news is that according to Fair Isaac credit counseling does not have a negative impact on your credit score, however, credit counseling will still show up on your credit report.

The Cons of Non Profit Credit Counseling

Most major credit counseling agencies flaunt their status as non-profits, but some fail to live up to that promise. Some unscrupulous agencies are using their non-profit status to lure in unsuspecting clients and to fleece them. Debtors need to look beyond the non-profit label and investigate the agency before enrolling in a credit repair program.

The Pros of Non Profit Credit Counseling

Some consumer credit counseling agencies are truly in it to help people get back on the road to financial well-being. Agencies accredited by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling or the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies offer reputable services to their clients. Such agencies will not make false claims about fixing credit histories or credit scores; they will paint a realistic picture of your situation and tailor their actions to meet your needs.

What You Need to Know

Before enrolling in a credit counseling program, you should research the agency carefully. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if the agency has a history of complaints. Visit online forums to read reviews from former clients. Make sure that the agency is reputable and reliable before granting access to your financial information.


 
Solid, reputable credit counseling agencies are an invaluable resource for debtors who have reached the end of their financial rope. A good credit counselor will work with you to create a personalized budget and debt management plan, while working with your creditors to reduce monthly payments. Lowering interest rates and erasing finance charges and late payment penalties are another way a reliable counselor can help you. A counselor’s ability to eliminate phone calls and dunning letters from creditors is enough to make most consumers glad they chose to enter credit counseling.

CareOne Debt Relief Review

If you are looking for possible credit counseling or debt relief programs here is our CareOne Debt Relief review.

CareOne debt relief is one debt relief company whose founder was in debt and was able to come out of it.  Hence, the company assures that they will be able to help you to get out of debt. Bernie Dancel formed this company about 20 years ago to help people facing financial challenges.

Careone debt relief offers a variety of programs that allow the customers to clear their debts within a reasonable period of time. The company believes in offering mutual respect and helping the customers to learn how to manage their money in a better way.  You can get all the debt relief plans online which makes it more convenient to use these services.

Services Offered by CareOne Debt Relief

The plans and services offered by the company are: Debt Management plan, debt settlement plan, debt consolidation and bankruptcy counseling.

It’s important that you educate yourself to know the difference between these options. Some of these options will have a long term impact on your credit score while others will not.

The debt management plan offered by the company helps you to save your time and the interest paid by you. The debt management plans can help to repay the debts within five years. The debt management plan does not include a debt consolidation loan or bankruptcy.

With debt settlement service, the company negotiates with the settlement service provider to pay back a portion of your unsecured debt. The debt settlement is always a better option than having bankruptcy, but it can have a negative effect on your credit rating.

The CareOne debt relief services are the largest provider of debt relief solutions in the country and they are linked to debt consolidation providers with better business bureau accredited organizations. The company has experience in working with more than 5 million people. They are aware of the unique financial situations faced by their customers and provide the services accordingly. They work like advocates to their clients and promise to protect the customers.

BBB Rating

The CareOne debt relief service has received the A+ rating from BBB for the following factors:

  • Response to complaints registered against the company through the BBB
  • Resolution of the registered complaints.
  • Length of time the business ahs been operational.

Benefits of Using CareOne Debt Relief

CareOne Debt Relief Review

Photo Credit: Pixomar

The benefits of using this service with A+ BBB rating is that they give honest advice which help the customer to pay significantly less interest. The customer will be able to pay off the debt faster and will learn better money management practices.

To get the debt consolidation service from CareOne Debt Relief, you have to meet certain requirements. This includes having $2,500 or more of unsecured debt, two or more accounts and having a source of income. This company boasts of giving realistic debt relief solutions making the financial freedom a reality.

To assure complete and effective debt relief CareOne offers 100 % satisfaction guarantee. If any customer is not satisfied with the service and support or benefits received from the company the customer can cancel the debt relief plan within 6 months of starting the plan and can get a full refund.  They assure that they will understand the specific needs of the customer and through their relationship with more than 263,000 creditors they will be able to offer better choices when it comes to debt relief.

Summary of Customer Reviews

The number of the satisfied customers itself is a proof of the service provided by the company.

When you approach them they will explain the debt relief plan with its pros and cons which helps you to make the right decisions. It is important for any customer of debt relief companies to go through the documents provided to them and to understand the terms and conditions for payment and debt relief plans.

The customers are to pay a 30 percent success fee for the reduction in settlement they are getting through CareOne. Considering that you will be getting a reduction of 50 % of the original amount you have to pay the 30 % success fee is negligible. There are customers who feel that CareOne debt relief services are more expensive than other debt relief firms. Once you consider the service they provide to you, this will not be an issue.

Though they are dealing with thousands of debt relief cases there are comparatively less problems reported about the company. You can find the ratings given by the users or you can go through the reviews given by customers to understand more about this service.

If you want you can get a quote from the CareOne debt service and can compare it with other services. This will give you a clear idea about using or not using the debt relief service.

What’s the Difference Between Debt Settlement and Debt Consolidation?

What's the Difference Between Debt Settlement and Debt Consolidation

Photo Credit: Pixomar

Debt settlement and debt consolidation are not the same thing. So, what’s the difference between debt settlement and debt consolidation?

While they both help reduce your debt, they each affect your credit score and pocketbook differently. Before signing up with any debt management company, make sure you understand the pros and cons of their approach. And of course, be a smart shopper before signing any contract.

Debt Settlement: Instantly Eliminate Debt At A Cost

A debt settlement company gets your creditors to wipe out part of your debt immediately. Fearful that you may go into bankruptcy and that they won’t see any money, creditors will reduce your debt. With smaller payments, you can more easily wipe out your principal.

But with debt settlement, your credit will be in poor shape for at least a couple of years. Debt settlement is treated like a foreclosure or bankruptcy by lenders. So it will be difficult to get decent credit, at least for two years. You will also have a tax liability with the eliminated amount.

Many creditors will also want you to come up with a lump sum of money to pay a portion of your debt back. Debt settlement companies will suggest that you stop paying yours creditors if you haven’t already done so and instead send them the regular monthly payments. After they collect a large sum of money from you they’ll try to negotiate the amount of debt you owe to your creditors.

Debt Consolidation: A Slow Approach To Debt Relief

Debt consolidation companies handle your creditors and payments. You send them one payment, from which they pay your accounts. They also negotiate lower rates with your creditors, helping you to get out of debt sooner.

With this approach, your creditors will temporarily freeze access to new credit. They will want to see in the next year that you are making regular payments and reducing your debt. Your credit score may also drop, depending if your lenders report that you are working with a debt consolidation company. But after a year, you will be able to apply for new credit, possibly with prime rates.

You don’t have to work with a debt consolidation company to get a debt consolidation loan. You can get a loan from a local bank or credit union if you have collateral. You can then take this loan and pay off all of your existing debts. By doing this you will just have one creditor to pay and potentially score a lower interest rate.

Research Before You Sign Up with A Debt Management Company

Before you sign up any debt management company, make sure you research several companies before settling on one. Ask about their fees and process. Also look up the company on the Better Business Bureau and read through several customer reviews before making the switch. Comparison shopping will give you a good idea on how reasonable the fees are. Details about the process will tell if the company is experienced in this type of debt management.


The sooner you reduce your debt, the faster you will improve your credit score and your finances. However, you don’t have to work with a debt management company at all to reduce your debt. You could instead focus on creating a budget and debt pay off plan yourself.

Your choice will be unique to you.

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Thanks to the following carnivals for including my posts the past few weeks Carnival of MoneyPros hosted by Save and Conquer,Yakezie Carnival hosted by Moneystepper, Carnival of Money hosted by Carnival of Money, Carnival of Financial Camaraderie hosted by Your PF Pro, Carnival of MoneyPros hosted by On Better Terms, Yakezie Carnival hosted by The Money Principle, Finance Carnival For Young Adults hosted by Grad Money Matters, Carnival of Retirement hosted by FI Journey, Carnival of Money hosted by Root of Good, Carnival of Personal Finance hosted by Clever Dude Aspiring Blogger Financial Carnival hosted by Aspiring Blogger, Yakezie Carnival hosted by Student Loan Sherpa, Finance Carnival For Young Adults hosted by Fearless Dollar, Carnival of Financial Independence hosted by Reach Financial Independence, Carnival of Financial Camaraderie hosted by Lisa Vs The Loans, Carnival of Financial Planning hosted by Debt Roundup, Festival of Frugality hosted by Save and Conquer
Carnival of Retirement hosted by Tie The Money Knot
Carnival of Money hosted by Carnival of Money

Money News 1/3/14

moneynewsI hope y’all have had a great Christmas and New Year. It seems like the past two weeks have flown by!

If you’re looking for some more personal finance articles to read here are some great posts from the week all about goals and New Year’s Resolutions:

Big thanks to the following blogs for the following carnivals including my submissions the past two weeks:

Aspiring Blogger Financial Carnival hosted by Aspiring Blogger
Carnival of MoneyPros hosted by Your PF Pro
Carnival of Money hosted by Carnival of Money
Carnival of Financial Independence hosted by Money Rebound
Carnival of Retirement hosted by Grad Money Matters
Carnival of Financial Planning hosted by See Debt Run

Carnival of MoneyPros hosted by FITnancials
Finance Carnival For Young Adults hosted by Stepping It Down
Lifestyle Carnival hosted by Avant Credit
Carnival of Money hosted by Carnival of Money
Carnival of Financial Camaraderie hosted by Messy Money
Carnival of Financial Planning hosted by The College Investor
Carnival of Retirement hosted by Save and Conquer
Carnival of Personal Finance hosted by Debt Blag

Have a great weekend!

Cambridge Credit Counseling Review

If you’re looking at possible credit counseling companies here is our Cambridge Credit Counseling review.

Cambridge Credit Counseling is a national organization providing a wide range of services to solve financial issues for consumers. This non-profit agency claims to offer sound money management practices through appropriate counseling, education and advice. Since its inception in 1996, this company has been providing credit counseling and financial literacy programs to consumers.

Cambridge Credit Counseling Overview

In addition to credit counseling they are also offering housing counseling programs and reverse mortgage counseling. The housing counseling programs of the agency are approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The reverse mortgage counseling services of the agency are approved by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs.

The counselors of this institution have more than 10 years experience in the field and has national certifications from the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education, the Partnership for Financial Education, NeighborWorks, and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Hence you will be getting the help of experts in the financial counseling field, when you select their service.  The credit counseling division offers personalized solutions or debt relief according to the financial condition of the individual.

Services They Offer

The important services offered by Cambridge Credit Counseling includes credit counseling, housing counseling, reverse mortgage counseling and bankruptcy Counseling.  The credit counselors will review your income and expenses and provide you with an action plan to reach the financial goals. Through the housing counseling, you can get foreclosure intervention service and default counseling. They also educate the first time home buyer and also perform rental counseling.

Reverse Mortgage Counseling

The reverse mortgage counseling to seniors makes them aware of the process of reverse mortgaging and helps them to take the right decision. The bankruptcy counseling service is approved by the U.S Department of Justice and is able to provide the customers with credit counseling certificates in compliance with the U.S Bankruptcy code. The pre- and post counseling provided by the agency will help you to file the bankruptcy. One of the most beneficial fact of using the bankruptcy counseling of this agency is that they provide the counseling session through the counseling portal so that the counseling will be done in the privacy of your home.

Debt Management Plan

Cambridge Credit Counseling Review

Photo Credit: Stuart Miles

The debt management plans provided by the company offers customized bill payment options according to the financial situation of the customer. The agency can get your debts consolidated so that you can make simple and affordable monthly payment. With the debt management plan from Cambridge, it will be possible for you to pay off the debts within 4-5 years which otherwise may take at least 20 years to repay. The financial education services offered by the agency will help you to make future financial plans. You will be able to plan and perform budgeting and saving, retirement and investing etc with the help of the counselors.

Free Educational Seminar

The free educational seminars of the agency at the various locations cover different topics relating to budgeting, savings, credit fundamentals etc. You can expect personalized assistance from the staff when you contact the office regarding any of your doubts.  You will get a correct diagnosis of the factors which is causing the financial difficulty for the person and also get the right action plan to solve the problem. If needed, they may suggest enrolling in the debt management plan so that the customer can get concession from their creditors.

Counseling Fees

The counseling services offered by the agency are free of charge and the fee for enrolling in a debt management plan is affordable. The initial fee will be $ 75.00 and the monthly fee will be not more than $50.00. The fee will be based on the services opted by the customer. Another convenience of using Cambridge credit counseling is that you will get a refund of the initial fee if you cancel the enrollment within first 90 days.

BBB Rating

Cambridge Credit Counseling has an A+ BBB rating. The customers find their service very useful and satisfactory. The following are some of the reasons for the company getting an A+ rating from BBB:

  • No complaints filed with BBB against the company
  • The length of time the business has been in operation

Summary Of Consumer Complaints

The counselors of Cambridge credit counseling are certified and have more than 15 years of experience with the agency. They have given counseling to more than 2 million people.

There are millions of people benefited from the services provided by this agency. This doesn’t mean that there is no dis-satisfied customer.

When you are on a debt management plan, you have to follow the suggestion given by the counseling company to get the desired result. Moreover, some people do not go through the terms and conditions and complain of charging service fees. The company feels that this is the reason why it has a few customers who are not satisfied with the services of the company.

So, if you want to get the service of Cambridge credit counseling or any other financial counseling services, make sure that you go through the terms and conditions of using the service and follow their directions.