Debt Management and Alternatives to the Credit Card

Nov 28, 2013 by

Alternatives to a Credit Card

When you sign up for a debt management plan, your creditor closes your credit card accounts. So how can you move forward with daily life and expenses without making use of credit? Plan ahead so that you can use one of these four methods to pay for your purchases.

Four Ways to Pay for Items without Increasing Credit Card Debt

  1. Debit Cards: As long as your debit card has an accredited logo, you can use it to pay for most items in the same way that you used to pay with credit cards. Track your spending so that you can cover all of your bills, and talk to your bank about overdraft protection options, so that you can protect yourself from expensive overdraft fees. Also, be aware that some businesses may add a hold to your debit card. For example, a rental car company may hold an extra $200 and then refund it when you return the borrowed car.
  2. Prepaid Cards: Another alternative to using a credit card is to purchase a gift card issued by a major credit card company.  Before purchasing one of these cards, check to make sure you don’t have to pay expensive fees while using the card.
  3. PayPal: Try setting up a PayPal account that is connected to your checking account. When an online company asks you to choose your payment method, simply look for the PayPal logo. By using PayPal, you can use your bank funds without giving away your debit card number. Also, thanks to smartphone technology, you can even use PayPal’s mobile app for checkout in many brick-and-mortar stores.
  4. Layaway: Many stores have layaway programs that will hold items for a certain term while you make payments toward the purchase price. When you’re shopping for a specific occasion or holiday, just make sure to leave plenty of time to pay for and pick up the item.

Enrolling in a debt management plan is a smart choice, and you can navigate life without a credit card. In addition, the discipline that you learn will help you meet your financial goals long after you’ve paid off your cards.

If you don’t know how to make a debt management plan, reach out to a company like CreditGUARD that can help you find debt relief.

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The Cure for Financial Holiday Hangovers: Debt Consolidation Services

Nov 23, 2013 by

Hangovers

Hangovers are the worst.

Making merry during the holidays can not only cause hangovers but also generate financial consequences that affect you for months or even years. Most people plan to pay off their holiday credit card debts in a couple of months, but high interest rates and unexpected expenses have a way of making debt a permanent fixture of modern life.

Strategies for Controlling Spending

You can limit your debts and control holiday spending by setting spending limits, shopping early to compare prices or saving in advance for the extra financial burdens of the holidays.

  • Make a List and Check It Twice: Set a holiday budget that is realistic. If you can’t afford expensive gifts, don’t fall victim to emotions and stick to your budget. Include costs of wrapping, postage and holiday entertainment when planning your spending limits.
  • Put Aside Money to Pay in Cash: Credit cards influence people to spend beyond their means, but people tend to manage their cash more frugally. Open a special savings account for the holidays, or join a Christmas Club. Buy gifts on layaway plans, and pay a little each month.
  • Comparison Shopping: Buy holiday ornaments and gift wrap after the holidays at reduced prices. Use coupons, and try comparison-shopping online while there’s plenty of time to order.

Strategies for Handling Debt

People get into debt for many reasons, and holiday spending is one of the most common. Paying your bills after the holidays becomes an ongoing nightmare for many families. High interest rates keep your balances high, but debt consolidation services like the ones from CreditGuard of America help you get real debt relief.

  • Trained credit counselors study your finances and come up with a custom debt management plan.
  • The plan involves convincing creditors to lower interest rates and waive penalties and fees in many cases.
  • You get a more affordable monthly payment and consumer credit counseling for financial advice.

Lower monthly payments mean that you’ll have extra cash to save for the holidays, which gets you out of the vicious credit and debt cycle. Debt consolidation services offer real benefits for families who feel trapped by their unsecured debts, so do yourself a favor and find a provider today.

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How Credit Counseling Helps Millions

Oct 30, 2013 by

Credit Counseling Credit counseling is a solution that millions have turned to when it comes to getting practical advice for financial issues such as credit card debt or student loan debt. Counselors can assist you with your entire financial situation so that you learn skills to pay down credit cards, make sure the family is fed and get the bills paid.

Learning to Budget

The first step when visiting a credit counselor will be to put together a household budget of what you and your family spend the family income on. This includes housing, utilities, debt, groceries and other expenses in addition to paying down your credit cards. A budget is a good idea because it puts your money in an immediate form that you can see. If you’re spending more than you’re bringing in, you’re probably putting money on credit cards. A credit counselor will give you tips on how to live within your means.

Debt Consolidation

Part of living within your means is making sure that your debt management practices put your money to work for you. Paying interest to your creditor is like throwing money away, and you want to avoid that as much as possible.

Debt consolidation is a way to reduce your interest rates so you don’t have to spend so much money each month just keeping your credit cards level. This will help you pay the balance much more quickly so you can improve your credit score and eventually be free of debt sooner than if you had continued making minimum payments only. All you have to do is pay an affordable monthly payment to a debt consolidation service that will pay your creditors for you automatically and on time.

Credit counseling often includes debt consolidation, as your counselor will know all about what you can afford. With the help of a counselor to educate you in smart financial decisions, you can be confident that you will be able to stick to your budget and move toward a comfortable financial position.

 

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