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Prioritizing Your Debt: Strategies to Stay Organized

/ BY / Managing Debt

Have you resolved to reduce your credit card debt in the coming year? If you’re serious about seeing those outstanding balances dwindle, you need to develop a repayment strategy that will help you remain on plan. First make a list of all your credit card debt, of the minimum amount you need to pay on each card each month and of the interest rate that you’re paying on each card. Next, put your credit cards away and resolve not to use them again until you’ve paid off all the balances. If you put an extra $300 a month of your paycheck towards reducing your bill on one card and then charge $400 that same month on another card, you’re not making any progress on debt reduction. (The only time you might...

Stay on Top of Your Monthly Debt with These Tips and Tools

/ BY / Managing Debt

Want a little extra money in your pocket each month? Make sure that you pay your bills on time. Although federal law now caps credit card late fees at $25 (or $35 if it’s your second late payment within six months), those charges can add up fast if you consistently miss the payment dates. Your utility and phone companies and your landlord or mortgage holder may also tack on some financial penalties if you’re behind even a day with your payments. Put your cash to better use. Resolve to save yourself some money in 2014 by developing good bill-paying habits. Here’s how to get started. Organize your bills. Many companies now send out their statements by email instead of mailing you a printed copy. That’s fine, as long as you...

Do You Qualify for Student Loan Forgiveness Programs?

/ BY / Managing Debt

Good news for many students struggling to make student loan payments-you may be eligible for government student loan forgiveness programs. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), more than 25 percent of Americans qualify for various student loan forgiveness programs. For the millions of Americans who carry large amounts of student loan debt, these programs can provide much-needed relief. A few to consider include: Public Service Loan Forgiveness In 1997, Congress created the College Cost Reduction and Access Act designed to forgive the student loans of full-time employees working in public service and government positions, provided they meet certain criteria...

Are Bad Habits Keeping You in Debt?

/ BY / Managing Debt

Why are you in debt? The answer to this question varies from person to person. In some cases, excessive debt comes from reasons beyond our control, like a job loss or staggering medical costs. In other cases, however, excessive debt comes from poor money management or lack of spending control. These behaviors are usually driven by our bad habits we've developed over the years. Here are three common attitudes or habits that could be getting--and keeping--you in debt: You’re impatient. Patience is a virtue that pays off in all areas of life, including your finances. The credit card industry makes billions of dollars a year because many people would rather put certain purchases on credit...

Are You Dealing With Abusive Debt Collectors? New Resources to Help

/ BY / Managing Debt

The Government is cracking down on abusive debt collectors, starting with a record-breaking penalty to the biggest debt collection company in the world. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fined Expert Global Solutions 3.2 million dollars for breaking multiple rules under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. According to the complaint, Expert Global Solutions and its subsidiaries called consumers repeatedly at all hours, ignored requests for them to stop, and didn't verify debts as required by law. If you’ve ever had to deal with debt collectors, you probably already know it can be a stressful and unpleasant experience. While the laws in the Fair Debt Collection Act are designed to protect...

 

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