You’ve probably received your fair share of advice on obtaining and using credit cards. At the end of the day, your credit cards are your own personal property. You can use them as you see fit. However, it helps to keep a few tips in mind about when and how to use credit cards. These trusty pieces of plastic have tremendous power, and it’s in your best interest to know how to put them to good use. In the past, these credit management tips have served credit card users well.
Use Cash for Essential Purchases
When you make a monthly budget, it helps to separate your expenses into “discretionary” and “non-discretionary” categories. Non-discretionary purchases are essential outlays over which you have limited control. These might include utility payments, school supplies, food, rent and the like. Since it can be tempting to rack up charges on your credit cards and thereby accumulate more credit card debt, you should avoid using credit cards for non-discretionary purchases unless you don’t have a choice.
Keep Track of Automatic Bill Pay
Paying your rent, utilities and other recurring expenses via automatic bill pay is an easy way to lower your stress level and reduce the likelihood that you’ll forget to make an important payment. However, borrowers who fail to keep close track of their automatic payments may accidentally exceed their cards’ credit limits. This can lead to unintended and unpleasant consequences.
Keep a Card for Emergencies
Many borrowers keep a separate credit card for major emergencies like a visit to the ER or a big repair bill. In fact, some conservative borrowers only use credit cards in such emergencies. Limiting your credit card use to high-stakes situations like these can reduce your monthly bills.
Control Your Balances
If you notice that your credit card debt is beginning to pile up, dial back your discretionary purchases and use more of your income to pay off your past-due balances. While this is easier said than done, it’ll pay dividends in the long run.
Responsible Credit Card Use for Life
Using these credit management tips is a great way to bolster your personal finances and turn the page on your credit card debt. If you need some extra advice about managing your finances or wish to get credit card relief from a trusted team of professionals, contact a credit counseling company that offers a full suite of services. The right team will negotiate directly with your creditors to consolidate your debts, waive fees and even reduce your interest rates. It will also offer valuable resources and guidance to help you manage your money for the long term.Read More
The three major credit bureaus have been gathering information about you ever since you opened your first credit account. If you made all of your payments on time, your creditor reported this information to the bureaus, and you had a high credit score. If, on the other hand, you were in the habit of making some late payments, your score was probably calculated to be lower. This is credit score 101. Beyond this, there is much more to learn – but how?
The Answer Is Credit Counseling
Maybe you’re one of the millions of Americans who struggle to pay their bills on time every month. Maybe you’ve missed a payment here and there, and now you’re having difficulties obtaining the credit needed for making large purchases. What you need is credit counseling from a company like CreditGuard. Not only will the right credit counseling service teach you better credit management skills, but it will also help you learn how the credit bureaus are calculating your scores and what you need to do to increase and maintain them at a high level.
Your Credit Report
With credit counseling, you will learn more about who exactly is reading your credit report. Here is a list of the types of people who might need to perform a credit check:
- Future employers
- Potential lenders
- Insurance agents
- Apartment managers
- Utility companies
Why Maintain High Credit Scores?
Let’s look at an example. If you are seeking a new auto insurance policy, your insurance agent will do a credit check. The agent will determine how much to charge you every month for your premiums based on what is written in those credit reports. Statistically, people who pay their bills on time and have high credit scores are determined to be more responsible, and this translates into lower premiums for their auto insurance.
The fact is that a good credit report makes financial matters much easier for you. You will be approved for loans faster, and your lenders will charge you lower interest rates. You will pay less for everything because your creditors can be assured that you will pay your bills on time. With credit counseling, you can learn the financial skills that will enable you to become this person.
Obtaining the credit that you need right now may be difficult, but this situation doesn’t have to last. Once you begin learning about credit management, you will be well on your way to having the tools you need to improve your circumstances.Read More
Student loans are one of the fastest-growing types of debt in the United States. In April 2013, the total value of student loan debt passed the total value of credit card debt in the country, making it the most common type of debt by volume.
That is not to say that it isn’t important. Getting a college education is the most valuable thing you can do for your financial health. The problem comes when an entry-level position doesn’t pay enough to service your debt while enabling you to afford necessary payments like housing, bills, food and savings. While your lifetime earnings will be much larger, you may need a little help with your student loans right now. A process called debt consolidation can help you get the handle on your loans that you’ve been looking for.
How Does It Work?
Student loan debt consolidation from a company like Credit Guard is the process of allowing a debt consolidation service to take over responsibility for paying off your loans on a regular, monthly basis. In return, you pay the service a single low monthly fee representing reduced interest rates, waived penalties and lower minimum payments. The consolidation provider negotiates fiercely with banks, using its marketplace clout to get you a better deal on your loan terms.
The savings pass directly on to you and your budget. People report that debt consolidation helped them save thousands of dollars in interest payments over the term of their loan. That’s money that can go directly toward your rent, groceries, the gas bill or even a little treat for yourself to celebrate all the hard work you do.
Credit Counseling and Consolidation
Of course, debt consolidation isn’t just about making it easier for you to pay off your debts. It is also about ensuring your financial stability and strength for the rest of your life. During the student loan debt consolidation process, you will sit down with a credit counselor who will look at your unique situation and help you put a budget together that will get you through it. You will benefit from an expert’s eyes as you find places where you can trim your budget, save some extra dollars and do what you need to do. This top-notch financial education will serve you well for your entire life.Read More
Everyone gets into financial trouble, but dealing with it properly can make your life easier. Debt consolidation companies can help you deal with credit card debt, and these companies offer consumer credit counseling so that you can learn to manage your money better than before.
Managing Finances by Controlling Your Spending
National economic troubles and emergency expenses can put you in a terrible bind, but learning to control your spending offers lifetime benefits that will help you save for retirement, get out of debt, take family vacations and provide money for other goals. You can save money by using the following ideas:
- Develop a Budget
Budgets help you control spending by becoming aware of how much you spend on unnecessary things.
- Understand Your Limits
Credit counseling forces you to understand how much money you can spend each month. You should also save money in an emergency fund to deal with unexpected expenses.
- Pay off Credit Card Debt
Interest charges for unsecured debts are high, so you waste most of your payments on interest charges, and your balances drop slowly. Paying more than the monthly minimums will help you get faster debt relief.
- Buy Smart
You don’t need each and every gadget that comes out or every service that communications companies have to offer. Sure, it’s cool to have an iPad or iPhone, but most people don’t really need them. You can save money by clipping coupons, buying in bulk and buying only things that you need.
- Use any Windfalls to Pay Down Debt
If you use extra money to pay off debt instead of buying some luxury item, you get more income each month because your interest charges drop.
Getting out of Debt with Debt Consolidation
Debt consolidation programs like this one offer the best way to get credit card relief and protect your credit.
- Trained counselors can help with unsecured loans and student loan debt.
- You can reduce your monthly payments and consolidate them into a more affordable monthly payment.
- Debt consolidation programs offer credit counseling service, and their counselors will negotiate with your lenders to reduce your interest rates.
- Your monthly obligations become lower so that you get real debt relief.
- You make one monthly payment to satisfy all your unsecured debts, and debt consolidation protects your credit.
You can change your life by getting out of debt and handling money actively instead of scrambling to pay each month’s bills. Learn ways to reduce your spending and cut your credit card interest by consulting a nonprofit debt consolidation company.Read More