Debt Consolidation Advice: Recover from Credit Card, Personal Loan and Other Financial Arrears

Debt Consolidation Advice: Recover from Credit Card, Personal Loan and Other Financial Arrears

Everyone is looking to save money on various financial payments, but when debt arrives many people immediately turn for help in order to get out of monetary trouble. Unpaid bills, credit card debt, and personal loan debt can mount over time if not monitored properly and carefully.

However, debt consolidation can be the answer to these financial issues. Learn how to recover from debt and begin a fresh financial outlook.

Debt Consolidation

When an individual finds the idea of paying off multiple debts to be overwhelming, debt consolidation is a capable option. Many times a person can be swarmed by credit card debt, unpaid/overdue bills, and personal loan debt. An individual may reach the conclusion that paying off all the debt…is simply not possible.

This financial plan allows an individual to only make a single monthly payment. The debt that has accumulated from several different places and factors is now joined into one payment. This simple restructuring allows the individual to get a better grasp and handle on his or her fiscal situation.

Credit Card, Personal Loan, and other Paperwork

The next step in the process is to meet with a debt consolidation expert. However, before a person takes that step, it’s vital to gather all the necessary paperwork. Get the contact information of all the creditors, and gather each and every necessary document to present to the debt consolidation expert. This is yet another reason to save all financial paperwork.


When this debt option is being considered, it is paramount that an individual have all the proper records and documents of his or her financial debt history. In order to be helped, an individual must first stay on top of his or her financial standing.

Debt Consolidation Company and Debt Strategy

When an individual has found the proper debt consolidation company, he or she can now be advised how to handle the situation. The company will make note of the total debt in all areas, including credit card, personal loan or any other financial hardship. The company will also make note of how much an individual can actually afford to pay per month.

The payment plan will then be constructed around the total debt and the total income. Everyone is unique, so a specific plan will have to be developed and understood. The individual’s debt consolidation advisor will speak with every creditor listed, and will work in conjunction with each one to establish an agreed upon financial plan.

Advice on Reducing Debt: Reduce Debt with Strategic Planning and Money Saving

Advice on Reducing Debt: Reduce Debt with Strategic Planning and Money Saving

Reducing large debts can seem a daunting proposition, but with a little forward planning and prioritising it is possible to save considerable amounts. There are many ways to effectively reduce debt without resorting to debt consolidation companies.

When tackling the problem of reducing debt it is vital to know exactly how much is owed to which creditors and the different rates of interest. The most efficient way to reduce debt is to pay off high interest debts first.

How to Reduce Credit Card Debt

Many people owe money on more than one credit card. If this is the case it is important to prioritise which card the largest amount of money is sent to each month. By paying off the highest interest credit cards first the process of clearing debt is accelerated while interest charges are minimised.

It is vital to communicate with any creditors, including credit card companies. Most companies are happy to discuss alternative ways of reducing debt and may offer alternative repayment plans to suit particular financial situations.

Reducing Car Finance Debt

Shop around for competitive loan rates and consider paying off the remaining balance of a car loan at a lower rate of interest. When buying a car dealers may give the impression that finance has to be taken out with them, but this is not always the case. Do not be afraid to contact alternative finance companies and to negotiate with the dealer for a better rate of interest.

Reducing Mortgage Debt

For most people a mortgage is the largest debt they will ever have. Arranging a mortgage where additional payments can be made (assuming extra funds are available) allows homeowners the opportunity to pay off the debt sooner. Renting out an unused room in the house to a lodger can bring in considerable extra income, which can then be put towards further reducing debts.

Ways to Reduce Household Bills

Reducing monthly outgoings is a great way of freeing up more money to tackle outstanding debts. Simple measures can go a long way to cutting bills. Normal light bulbs can be replaced with more efficient energy saving examples. Ensuring a home is properly insulated means that heating will be required less often and at a lower setting.

Debt Helplines and Charities

There are many organisations and charities which specialise in debt reduction advice. They often have a debt help line which anyone can phone for free advice. An example of this is the National Debt Helpline in the UK. An internet search for debt helpline numbers will return a large selection of results. Likewise, debt help charities are also well represented on the web.

The main aim when reducing debt should be to pay what is owed in the shortest time, while minimising interest charges. Debt consolidation is an attractive proposition for many people, but is best used as a last resort. Although monthly payments will be greatly reduced by a debt consolidation company and they will offer an attractive interest rate the total amount repayable will usually be considerably more, stretched over a much longer period of time. Before embarking on any debt reduction plan it is advisable to consult a qualified financial advisor.

Three Bankruptcy Alternatives to Consider

Three Bankruptcy Alternatives to Consider

More often than not, individuals in dire financial distress can avoid bankruptcy simply by considering any other credit solution. Such alternatives include Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), debt management and negotiation, and debt consolidation.

Individual Voluntary Arrangement

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) is a credit solution that serves as a popular bankruptcy alternative. It involves a formal agreement between debtors and their creditors made through an insolvency practitioner. Arrangements are typically flexible and are based on the debtor’s capacity to pay. Generally, through such arrangements, debtors will be left to pay only a percentage of what they owe and interest and debt charges are frozen.

While its nature is quite similar to bankruptcy, an Individual Voluntary Arrangement gives debtors more control over how their debts will be settled as well as how their assets will be allocated. In many cases, individuals who pursue IVAs will be able to keep specific assets, including their homes. Furthermore, IVAs cost less because there are fewer and lower fees involved.

 

Debt Management and Negotiation

The development of debt management plans also serves to be an excellent credit solution to uncontrollable debt. This is typically a good option for those who have trouble with unsecured debts including those accumulated through personal loans and credit cards.

Through this alternative, debtors typically seek the help of finance experts such as consumer credit counselors in order to come up with a debt repayment plan that suits their specific situation. Upon developing a suitable plan, consumer credit counselors or debt management companies negotiate with creditors on behalf of their clients. If successful, debtors are then left with debt management plans that are more manageable.

Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation involves taking out a loan to pay off another loan or many other loans. While this can be done through banks, it is often done through debt consolidation companies. Through this option, debtors can cover unsecured loans by taking another unsecured loan but it is often more beneficial to cover unsecured loans through secured loans because of the difference in interest rates.

Typically, debt consolidation is done to gain lower interest rates on the total amount of debt. Sometimes, debtors can also gain fixed interest rates through this option. An additional benefit to this bankruptcy alternative is that debtors need only to make one monthly payment to one company rather than several monthly payments to several creditors.

There are a great many options available to debtors in financial distress. Often, such people will find bankruptcy alternatives to be very beneficial. If they have the capacity to pay, they should seek the advice of a consumer credit counselor or any other professional in the field of finance. Such experts will be able to help them find the best credit solution for their specific debt situation.

Book Review – The Credit Crunch Cookbook: Delicious Recipes and Clever Ideas for Cooking on a Budget

Book Review – The Credit Crunch Cookbook: Delicious Recipes and Clever Ideas for Cooking on a Budget

There is more to spending less on food than cutting back on takeaway and giving up luxuries like decadent desserts and expensive ingredients. The Credit Crunch Cookbook (Hamlyn) offers a collection of recipes and tips to help singles, couples and families save money in the kitchen by wasting less, being more organised and shopping more efficiently.

Cooking on a Budget

Many householders know that they need to spend less on groceries and meals, but it can be difficult to know where to start to cut back on expensive shopping and cooking habits.

Filled with practical, economical recipes and a large collection of tips for reducing waste, being more organised in the kitchen and saving money when shopping for groceries, The Credit Crunch Cookbook is ideal for those who want to make changes to their spending habits, but don’t know how.

Recipes are divided into three sections covering family meals, entertaining and make-at-home restaurant meals:

  • Budget Basics (light meals, main meals, sweet things),
  • Impress for Less (starters, sides, mains, desserts)
  • Dine In (Italian, Mexican, Indian, Thai, Chinese)

Recipes are easy to prepare, featuring readily available ingredients and easy to follow step-by-step instructions. There are no photos of completed dishes. Recipes are generally suitable for both children and adults and include:

  • Beef and ginger salad
  • Spaghetti carbonara
  • Meatballs in spicy sauce
  • Pumpkin and root vegetable stew
  • Chicken and spinach potato pie
  • Steak and mushroom pie
  • Tomato and green been salad
  • Pears with chocolate crumble
  • Caramelized orange and pineapple

Spending Less on Groceries and Meals

There is more to reducing the grocery budget than swapping to cheaper alternatives for favourite ingredients. The Credit Crunch Cookbook includes a collection of practical and easy to follow tips to reduce food waste, increase organisation at meal times and making sure that meals are prepared efficiently.

Helpful kitchen tips include reducing food waste by using leftovers and planning meals in advance. Writing a menu plan and thinking about the amount of food required for each meal can significantly limit waste and thereby reduce grocery costs. Suggestions for using leftover yoghurt, eggs, potato, rice, pasta, bread and cheese for using leftover vegetables and other ingredients are included.

Other tips include reducing food costs by buying fruit and vegetables in season and storing food correctly in the pantry and freezer. There are hints on how to save money by saving energy and water when preparing meals and tips for shopping wisely.

The Credit Crunch Cookbook encourages readers to be organised as well as economical. With planning, the book advises that it is possible to serve a romantic dinner for two for the same cost as an everyday meal and to feed hungry children and picky eaters without blowing the weekly shopping budget on expensive snack foods.

Save Money by Getting Organised in the Kitchen

Ultimately, the best way to save money at home is to be organised and plan ahead in all areas, including buying groceries and preparing meals. The Credit Crunch Cookbook offers tips for preparing a meal plan to reduce unnecessary grocery purchases and includes a sample budget menu for a weekly meal plan, romantic dinner for two and a dinner party menu for no-fuss entertaining on a budget.

The Credit Crunch Cookbook contains more than 100 recipes and numerous tips for better household budgeting. It is a practical resource for all homes and is an ideal housewarming gift for a new homeowner.

Should You Lease or Buy Your Next Car?

Many people are faced with this question when the time comes to get a new car. By some estimates, leasing vehicles has increased 30% in the past 10 years. Leasing is becoming more popular and can be confusing. Both buying and leasing have their advantages and disadvantages and one should be aware of what those are before making a decision. Leasing a car is appealing to many because you get to drive a new car for lower monthly payments than if you bought (or made payments) on the same car. This is because you are only paying for the three or four years (or however long you lease for) worth of depreciation versus paying for the whole car. For this reason, many people choose to lease a more expensive car than they could afford to buy. Another lure of a lease is that in three or four years you are free to turn the car back in, lease another new car, and never get tired of the car you are driving. Leasing may also be advantageous in some instances due to the fact that the IRS allows for more generous write-offs for lease payments than for loan payments on more expensive cars. Also, you may be able to find a great deal on the interest rate for your lease if a dealer is trying to move certain vehicles. Maybe the money you save in that case each month could be used to pay off debt with a higher interest rate. However, the disadvantage of a lease is that at the end of your lease you have no ownership in the car you have been driving for several years. You can purchase the car at the end of your lease if you have the chunk of money needed to do so (not likely if you chose to lease in the first place). My husband and I leased a vehicle a few years back. When the lease was up we were struck with the fact that we had payed all that money for all those months and were just going to hand the vehicle back to the dealer. Instead, we took out a loan to purchase the vehicle, sold the vehicle for more than the amount of the loan, paid off the loan, and had some money “left over”. A lot of work. Another thing to be aware of is that there are penalties you will pay if you fail to meet the conditions of your lease. For example, many leases have mileage limitations on them and if you exceed those miles (usually somewhere around 15,000 miles/year), you will pay for the extra miles you drove. That could add up if you spend a lot of time on the road. Excessive wear and tear on your leased car can also end up costing you extra money.

Save Some Money at the Grocery Store

Save Some Money at the Grocery Store

When my family began to budget and be more careful with our money after I stopped working, one of the areas we had to hit hard was our weekly grocery bill. It took a little planning and several efforts, but we finally got to the point where we could meet our budget and still have enough food to eat for the week. There are lots of ways to save money at the grocery store, and here are some that worked for us. Each week, I make a menu that includes what we’ll have for dinner each night the next week. This simple step becomes the basis for our grocery list and ensures that we will have exactly what we need and not a bunch of food in the cupboards that I can’t figure out how to put together into a meal (cooking isn’t my strong point). Denise Schofield, in her book Confessions of an Organized Homemaker, goes a step further. She includes “menu selection sheets” in her planning notebook (ie. a Day-Timer planner). These sheets list all of the main dishes she routinely serves for dinner as well as their ingredients. This makes creating a menu, and a grocery list to go along with it, a little easier. I try to include one or two meatless meals and some “cheapie” meals in each week’s menu to help keep us under budget.

Another thing we do before heading out to the store is to check out the food ads for several grocery stores near us. We buy the bulk of our food at a grocery outlet type store (you know, the kind where you bag your own groceries) and then hit one or two other stores for the items on our list that they are having a good sale on. If a store is having a good sale on something not on my list, I may scratch a planned menu item and substitute it with a meal made with the sale item, or I may just purchase the sale item and save it for later use.

Price lists are another good method for finding the best prices at the grocery stores you frequent. With this method, you record the best price you have paid for an item, using grocery store receipts and ads. You can have a separate sheet in your price book for each main category of food you purchase. Take your price book with you to the store and see if you are getting a good deal on an item.