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How to Pay Off Debt

So many of us today are forced to make decisions about our finances, and you may be wondering, how to pay off debt in the quickest and most efficient way possible.  There a many types of debt, and which debts you pay first and fastest, can make a difference in saving your credit score, and making the most of write offs at tax time.  When you follow some simple rules when looking at how to pay off debt, you can make a difference pretty quickly.

How to Pay Off Debt Most Effectively

Looking at how to pay off debt most effectively, we must determine what type of debt you have.  The most common debt is credit card debt.  Credit card debt is considered unsecured debt, meaning, you did not have to put up any collateral to obtain credit from the credit card company.  Credit card debt typically carries the highest interest rates, but it also establishes credit very quickly.  If you are able to payoff your full credit card balance every month, you can build your credit score quickly.  When you carry a balance on your credit cards, you continue to incur interest at a high rate, so this is normally the debt you want to pay first.   Read More…

Banks in the Rental Business

Banks are now in the Rental BusinessI am constantly amazed at the changes taking place in this housing crisis, like banks in the rental business.  There was a time that it was difficult to get your mortgage company to work with you when you fell behind on a couple of payments, and now it seems that banks are bending over backwards to help homeowners stay in their homes.  I suppose that this is a sign of the times, and quite simply, banks don’t want to become homeowners.

The latest program that may benefit both homeowner, and mortgage company is property leasing.  One bank, Bank of America, is piloting a program they call, Mortgage to Lease.  When homeowners are facing certain foreclosure, and are unable to sell their property, this could be an option.  At this time, however, they are only offering this program to thousand homeowners, and you cannot apply for the program, they have to send you a letter, offering it to you, and currently, it is only being offered in Arizona, Nevada, and New York. Read More…

Cheap Thrills

Cheap ThrillsI guess you could say that I’m one of those individuals that get a little crazy over a little savings.  Any time I hear something on TV or online that offers freebies, discounts, or ways to save money my ears perk up.  Some of the offers that I see are too good to be true, meaning that there is a catch somewhere, and what you think is a deal is really just a way to dig further into your wallet.  When searching out deals, stick with reputable websites and vendors you are familiar with, and if you are not sure, do a little research.

I recently came across a little gem.  I watch The Today Show every morning and they had a segment on deals and freebies, my interest was piqued, so I went to their website.  They had deals from Old Navy, sign up for emails and get a $10 off coupon on a $50 purchase.  I am planning a trip down South for Spring Break, and could really use some new duds!  Another bonus for signing up is a birthday gift, not sure what I’m going to get, but it will be fun to check my email and find out!!  They also spotlighted an offer from Vista Print.  If you aren’t familiar with them, they print everything.  Their freebie offer is 250 FREE business cards.  If you are a new small business, offer a service, or would just like to get your name out there, you can do it for FREE! Read More…

Paying Off Debt

Paying Off DebtWith the start of a new year we all start to focus on eliminating the stress in our life and that usually brings to mind paying off debt.  If don’t have credit card debt, CONGRATULATIONS!

The majority of people are not so fortunate.  We learn early in life that if you don’t have credit, you are going to have trouble obtaining loans for homes, cars and to further your education.  Unfortunately, once we are given credit, we are not given instructions to manage it; therefore, we over-extend ourselves, and become a slave to debt.  Making a plan for paying off debt, and seeing it through will help you achieve freedom.

 Paying Off Debt Starts with Organization

 The first step to paying off debt should start with organization.  Make a list of unsecured debts and list them according to percentage rate, highest to lowest.  Are you behind on any of your cards?  If so, make the debts that are past due your priority.  Past due accounts will be a weight on your credit report and will cause you the most stress.  List the accounts that are current in order from highest rate to lowest and temporarily set aside, but keep making your payments! Read More…

Debt Elimination Strategies You Can Use!

Debt Strategies that you can useMany americans are drowning in debt and the collection calls seem to be getting worse. There is hope! First you need to realize the problem and then make a plan one that actually works…Eliminating your debt will not be easy however you will feel empowered when you apply the techniques in this article.

You can’t wait for things to improve with the economy. If you think your government is going to give YOU some kind of bailout like they did the banks you have another thing coming…it’s called bankruptcy. Well, that’s if you can even do that. You see the laws now favor the creditors and they knew that there was going to be a melt-down in 2005 because that’s when bankruptcy reform went into law designed to protect creditors.

The best way to get out of debt, in essence, is going back to the old ways taught by your grandparents. Don’t spend what you don’t have i.e. going in debt, and live with your means. So what you need to do is start cutting the fat, look for all of the things that are draining your bank account. Ask yourself is this a want or a need on anything you’re purchasing until the debt is gone. Read More…

Bank Fees- Should You Move to a Credit Union?

Don’t be fooled because Bank of America and numerous other big bank institutions dropped their plans to charge a $5.00 debit card fee.

Banks have lost billions in revenue due to federal government changes that have reduced or eliminated fees that banks can charge when consumers use their debit cards to make purchases, and also restricting overdraft fees.  They may have lost the battle, but they will ultimately win the war.  Bank of America also has pre-paid debit cards that are issued by some states to pay out unemployment benefits.  If you choose a Bank of America ATM, you are not charged a fee, but many small communities do not have Bank of America ATM’s.  These folks are being charged to withdraw their unemployment benefits.  Kick a man when he’s down!

Bank of America and many of the large banks are going to start charging other fees to make up for their recent loss.  These fees could include charging you to go to your teller more than the allotted times given per month/week.  They could also begin to charge for using your ATM more than the times allowed per month.  Consumer Beware!

People are going to start going to extremes to save themselves from these excessive fees.  We are going to go back to the days when people didn’t trust banks and stashed their money at home.  This is not a good option, but in truth, we are all so oppressed by this economy that drastic measures are being taken.

My advice is to look into alternatives.  Many communities have credit unions.  Credit unions are member owned and typically have less fees and more liberal lending policies.  Best of both worlds!

My Top 5 Energy Saving Tips for Winter

It’s that time again….Time to keep the warm air in, and the cold air OUT!  Winter can be expensive enough with the holidays; we don’t need to pay any more for our energy than absolutely necessary.  Here are my favorite ways to save your cold hard cash!

The quickest way for your home to lose heat is through old windows.  When you are trying to save money, the last thing you want to do is shell out thousands of dollars for new windows.  If you have storm windows, install them and caulk around them.  If you don’t have storm windows take a trip to your local hardware store and buy indoor plastic window insulating film.  This film is inexpensive and very easy to install (only tool required is a hair dryer). Read More…