Category Archives: Finance

Credit Counseling Organizations

Credit counseling organizations offer service to help consumers to handle debt problems. It’s a form of help to those consumers who try to squeeze out some additional money from their budgets each month to make payments on debts. There are thousand of customers who run through credit counseling service and finally became debt free because reputable credit counseling services provide good credit counseling and debt management advice to their clients. There are a wide range of services offered on the telephone, Internet. So, you can choose what you prefer and what will suit you best. Many people consider in-personal communication the best way of dealing with financial problems. Credit counseling companies realize this approach when provide their service through local offices.

You definitely know someone who had problems with debt and was lucky to solve them. So, it will be reasonable to start asking these people they did it and where they turned for help. Such personal recommendations will be of great value to you.

Normally, credit counseling companies work with unsecured debt. The most common financial problem that customers turn to credit counseling companies is credit cards debt. Among the popular problems are the following: collection agencies; professional service bills, unsecured bank loans, defaulted auto loans, student loans, utility bills, unpaid rent, etc.

Reputable credit counseling organizations have much to offer to their clients. You can get useful information on how to work out personal budget, advice on managing your money and debts. You also will be offered educational materials and workshops. You may be required to take some educational courses on budgeting and debt management. These classes can be the most valuable part of credit counseling.

Such companies have certified personnel, among them counselors who are trained in the areas of consumer credit, budgeting, money and debt management. You will have a dialogue with a real professional, who will help you to analyze your financial situation and to develop a personalized plan to solve your money problems. A reliable credit counselor will not make a professional proposal to you until he/she has a thorough understanding of your income, your debt and your finances. Only after this you will be given recommendations on starting a debt reduction strategy. The first meeting with credit counseling company representative lasts commonly for an hour with an offer of follow-up sessions.

You can see now that there can be plenty of benefits from credit counseling service for you. So, if you worry about your debts turn to credit counseling as soon as possible. There’s no good waiting till you find yourself in debt so deep that you cannot make even the minimum payments. When you find a reliable credit counseling company it will contact your creditors on your behalf and work out a payment schedule. This will be the first step to getting free. Debt free.

Finding the Right Credit Counseling

Habitually spending more than what you earn will obviously lead you to a catastrophic financial situation. This is especially true if you use your credit cards without tracking your expenditure versus your income. Your problems will come to fore once your bills pile up and you realize that you have no knowledge on how to properly manage your own finances.

One of the best tools to address these issues is the engagement of a credit counseling service that can assist you in regaining your financial bearings. But their expertise will not make any difference unless you also make drastic changes in your spending habits. Concentrate on being able to control the urge to splurge and becoming mindful of the expenses charged as against the income you earn per month. Fiscal restraint should be ingrained in you in order to correct the errant behavior that led you to this financial crisis from the outset.

When do you engage the services of an expert? The first step on the road to recovery is the realization that there is a problem and you are in dire straits. The normal signs include the inability to pay minimum credit card bills, receiving tardy notices for bills, and the increasing frequency of phone calls from collectors. Such signs happening in a normal day should be treated as a signal for you to seriously consider obtaining credit counseling immediately.

It isn’t easy to make a decision on which credit counseling company to engage. There are some companies who would exploit this difficult situation for their own personal ends. Care ought to be undertaken in making your choice. You can protect yourself from these unscrupulous companies by checking with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and engaging the services of those that are accredited and in good standing.

The first sign that a company would only exploit your situation is if they require a sizable amount of money right away. In such cases, always check if the money sent through the credit counseling agency actually reaches its intended creditor. Some companies misuse the finds entrusted to them so be careful of this practice.

Also, be careful of the guaranteed claims made by some credit counseling agencies. Avoid companies that say they can sweep your problems clean by themselves and without your participation. Getting out of your financial dilemma will largely rely on your personal perseverance and discipline.

In addition, try to avoid declaring insolvency at all costs. If this declaration were made, it would be retained in your credit summary for at least ten years. So you need to work on your existing financial issues in order to resolve them at the soonest possible time. Having a record of bankruptcy would be financial suicide. So it is better keep a low score than have to handle the insolvency issues. If the credit counselor advises filing for bankruptcy right away, then it would be better to seek another company for financial advice.

Engaging a credit counseling company is one of the best decisions you can make when trying to dig your way out of a financial dilemma. But you should always be on your guard when it comes time to choose which company to entrust your finances to. Armed with these few tips, you should be able to avoid the unscrupulous companies that are only looking to exploit your situation.

Facts About Credit Counseling

If you find yourself struggling to pay off all your debts and managing your personal finances, don’t feel so miserable and think that you are alone. The truth is a lot of people are facing the same financial problems as you. Those who have given up trying to manage their own finances on their own are opting to receive some credit counseling. Generally speaking, credit counseling is just like any kind of professional counseling, which is offered by several financial organizations with the aim to assist borrowers in properly repaying all the debts they have accumulated.

Credit counseling plays a huge role in the development of a borrower’s ability and discipline to manage his or her finances, which then leads to their success in overcoming their debt burden. What this type of counseling does is allow the borrowers to pay their debts with monthly payments in the most convenient manner possible, in terms of the amount and the term of repayment. Thus, credit counseling is required for people who are having a hard time figuring out all their debts with all the different lenders.

There are a lot of companies offering credit counseling services these days. This is such a helpful and essential type of service, so it is made accessible to everyone. You are very likely to locate a couple of companies with this service in your own area. The easiest way that you can find one is to do a search over the internet. The cost of such type of service varies according to the company offering it.

If you are wondering how credit counseling actually works, it is actually very simple. A counselor will first make an assessment of a borrower’s financial and credit situation. And based on this assessment, the counselor makes a plan of how the borrower will be able to pay off all his debts. More often than not, these counselors encourage borrowers to settle for longer terms of repayment, so that it will be easier for the borrowers to manage their finances every month.

It is also common for borrowers to decide not to pay their creditors or bills directly. Instead, they have their credit counseling services arrange for all their bills and debt repayments. What this means is less worry on the part of the borrower, and an assurance that all borrower’s debts and bills will be paid on a regular basis.

There are a number of credit companies offering credit counseling services. In fact, there are so many of them that a borrower needs to be careful in choosing the most reputable ones. There are also a lot of unprofessional agencies that try to offer this counseling service, which may be very risky on the part of borrowers. It is therefore crucial that the background of the company be checked and verified. Credit settlement and financial matters are very sensitive and important matters, so you would always want only the experts and the professionals to handle your finances and debt management issues.

Things to Expect From a Credit Counseling

So, you have finally decided to enroll in a counseling program offered by a reputable credit counseling agency in your locality. You decided to do this so that you can resolve your credit problems once-and-for-all.

Still, you want to know what you can expect from your very first counseling session. To help you in this matter, allow us to run you through three major steps usually undertaken by finance experts and their clients in debt relief guide programs.

Three Steps in Debt Relief Programs

1. Getting and Verification of Contact Information – Before your financial situation will be analyzed, you will be requested by the finance specialist to provide personal and contact information. The certified counselor of the credit counseling agency will ask you to write down your complete name, address and phone number, office contact details, and other relevant information. Aside from these, you may also be asked to provide additional documents such as citizenship papers, company ID’s, and passport that can vouch for your identity. This step is vital since it allows the debt relief guide provider to verify your identity.

2. Reviewing of Your Monthly Finances – After gathering your personal information and verifying your identity, the next step that your credit counseling agency will do is to ask you to provide it a clear picture of your financial standing. To do this, you may need to give the finance specialist an accurate report of your monthly earnings and expenses. You may be asked by the credit counselor to list down all your monthly expenses so that he can help you distinguish the necessary from the unimportant items. Aside from this, you will also be required to itemize your existing credit obligations as well as the interest rates charged on these accounts. This way, the finance specialist can come up with solutions tailor to fit your financial capabilities as well as your personal situation.

3. Provision of Solutions and Alternatives – The third and last step of the debt relief guide program is the provision of personalized solutions and alternatives. In this step, the finance specialist of the credit repair help provider will give you different strategies that you can employ to end your credit woes and repair your credit history. For example, he or she may recommend that you get social service assistance, mortgage deals, self-study materials and debt management programs. The certified counselor will tackle the benefits and drawbacks of each option so that you can select one that will help you, not only to retire your credit obligations but also to regain your credit reputation.

But the credit counseling program does not end there. You can actually contact the credit repair help provider anytime you need further information that you can use to pay down your outstanding debts. You can also call the finance specialist to provide you a better program that you can employ in case of sudden changes in your life, like a job loss or a debilitating illness.

Counseling Certificates Could Be Given Despite Lack of Understanding

HECM counseling is a requirement that applicants must fulfill before they can take out a reverse mortgage. The purpose of this counseling session, which can be completed either face to face or over the phone, is to ensure that potential revere mortgage borrowers fully understand the requirements of the loan and the potential outcomes that the loan can have. During the session, the counselor discusses the applicant’s budget, current mortgage balance, terms of the loan, disbursement options and alternatives to a reverse mortgage in case a better type of financing would better fit that individual’s needs. At the end of the session, the counselor provides a certificate to the applicant that shows that he or she completed the session. The certificate is supposed to also show that the applicant fully understands reverse mortgages and what they require, but now that may not always be the case.

Reverse Mortgage Comprehension May Not Be Necessary to Secure a Certificate

As part of the new HECM counseling protocols that will soon be announced by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, financial counselors will no longer be able to withhold financial counseling certificates from applicants, even if they believe that the applicant does not understand what a reverse mortgage is or what it requires. At first, the new protocol was going to require that applicants answer questions, provided by HUD, at the end of the counseling session to ensure that they understood the concept of a reverse mortgage. If applicants did not get at least five questions right, they would not be able to receive the counseling certificate. The counselor could then suggest further counseling, and then they could receive their certificate if they answered at least five questions correctly the next time around. But this idea was pushed aside in favor of providing the certificate to the applicant, regardless of how much information the applicant retained.

With this proposed protocol, applicants could lack a necessary understanding of reverse mortgages and still receive their counseling certificate, which would allow them to continue on with the process of getting a loan. If HECM counselors feel that the applicant does not fully understand a reverse mortgage at the end of a counseling session, they can suggest additional counseling, but that does not necessarily mean applicants will oblige. If this new protocol is passed, the responsibility of ensuring that applicants fully understand how a reverse works will soon fall on the lender, rather than the responsibility resting with the financial counselor.

Will the Importance of HECM Counseling Be Undermined by Protocol?

Lately, in the reverse mortgage industry there has been much emphasis placed on the necessity of financial counseling and the importance of ensuring that eligible homeowners are aware of the requirements of the loan. Counseling helps applicants determine if the loan is most suitable for their financing needs, and it can also help prevent them from becoming victims of mortgage fraud by arming them with valuable reverse mortgage information. Some individuals in the industry feel that ensuring that applicants are well informed about the product they are getting should still mostly be the responsibility of the financial counselor. After all, isn’t that the point of financial counseling in the first place? While, some do agree that lenders should share part of the responsibility, they should not now be required to also fill the intended role of the HECM counselor. Should applicants be allowed to continue with the process of getting a reverse mortgage even if they do not understand the basic concepts of the loan? At what point has the counselor or loan officer violated the homeowner’s right to make his or her own decisions? It could be a recipe for disaster.

Homeowners interested in getting this product to finance their homes should make sure that they fully take advantage of their counseling session. At the end of the session, there should not be any confusion or lingering questions on the part of the applicant. Applicants should want to be well informed so that they can have the best experience possible. Interested applicants can find a list of HUD-approved financial counselors on HUD’s website. Information about the type of financing an applicant chooses is key to ensuring a positive, successful reverse mortgage loan experience all around.

Is Bankruptcy The Answer To Your Debt And Personal Finance

As unpleasant as most people find the idea, there are situations involving debt and personal finance that simply cannot be remedied through cost cutting and extra jobs. Perhaps your or your spouse has experienced a lengthy period of unemployment, or there have been huge medical bills to deal with. The mortgage company is threatening to foreclose on your home, the bank wants to repossess your car, and the phone rings non-stop from people calling to collect past due payments on your credit cards. No matter how hard you have tried, you have made little progress in solving your personal finance problems. In such scenarios, bankruptcy may be your best choice.

Before you decide, however, you might want to consult with a credit counseling service. These agencies can work with your creditors and usually get them to reduce or waive interest, cycle accounts to get them current, and get your payments reduced. Staff at these agencies is well versed in all areas of personal finance, and they can often find a solution to your debt problems that does not involve bankruptcy.

A credit counseling service will want you to make a serious commitment to getting your personal finances back on track and reducing your debt. You cannot just engage their services and then continue to make new charges. But they are often an excellent choice if your finances are out of control and you are drowning in debt.

Different agencies have different methods, but most have certain similarities. They will negotiate with all of your creditors and arrive at a total payment you will need to make to the agency each month. They will then disburse the funds according to the arrangements they made with your creditors. Some agencies charge a fee for handling your personal finances, but some local organizations provide similar services for free. Many agencies, especially the ones sponsored by non-profit organizations, will require you to attend a class or do coursework on personal finance and credit to help you prevent the problem from recurring.

If these agencies cannot help you with your personal finances, it may be time to consult with a bankruptcy attorney. He or she should offer a free initial consultation. You will need to bring complete records of who and how much you owe and how far behind you are. Do not try to conceal any debts or hide any income. Providing false information in a bankruptcy, such as concealing assets, is a criminal offense. The attorney will review your personal finance information and advise you on how to best proceed.

Normally, you will be able to keep your home and cars, provided you continue to make the payments on them, as well as your personal property. Certain dollar limitations do exist, but your attorney can advise you on them. They are quite liberal, and few consumers will approach these limits.

Finances With Credit Counseling

Taming your finances with credit counseling is actually very easy. Many people do not realize that credit counseling is more than having debt restructured. It is about learning to budget, reorganizing your debt and creating a solid financial future for yourself. Sometimes it takes another set of eyes to review your situation and see a brighter outcome.

When a person has an ache or pain they visit the doctor. They look to a professional to solve their problem. The same fact remains true for legal issues. If you have a legal problem you hire an attorney. Why so many people do not feel the same way about their finances is a mystery. If you are having trouble with your money, find a professional. You can tame your finances with credit counseling.

This type of service which almost hinges on consulting will help you determine where your weak spots are as well as your strong points. A simple reorganization of how you pay your bills may be all that is needed to get back on the right track. If you are having a severe financial melt-down, you may need to restructure your debt. A debt counselor can guide you toward the right debt program.

The sort of financial advice you receive from this kind of service can also help you plan for your future. Retirement savings is crucial for everyone from all walks of life. By reconstructing your debt you will have extra money that can be invested into your future. Living within a budget can be hard at first, but when the results begin to show it becomes quite simple.

You can also tame your finances with a credit counselor by following their guidelines for credit lines, personal savings and other financial issues. These are professional people who have trained specifically for this field. Utilize their knowledge to your advantage.

By following the simple guidelines that credit counseling provides, you will be able to tame your finances with credit counseling in no time. Credit is a very important part of society. It is important that you follow good credit habits such as paying on time and not placing your cards to their limits. However, everyone needs help at sometime. Events take place that are uncontrollable and people find themselves in a financial bind. Don’t panic. Simply seek the advice of a credit counselor and begin your journey back to financial freedom.

Credit Counseling

So who needs credit counseling? Anybody whose debt loads are running high and who are thinking of filing bankruptcy, need counseling with their finances. Counseling services are meant to negotiate with your creditor for lower payments. More and more counseling on credit services are seen as they are encouraged by the payment system that is called the ‘fair share’.

If you are able to handle your finances well and pay your bills in time you are one amongst those who don’t need counseling. But if you see your bills mounting and you are panic stricken with too much debt to handle, you can seek help from a debt counselor. There are tell-tale signs to understand when you need counseling. They are:

o When all that you think you can afford to pay is the minimums on your credit.
o You have been late with your payments on one or more of your bills.
o Collection agencies or creditors are pestering you to pay up.
o You have not been able to negotiate with your creditors for an affordable payment plan.

If your debt is too much to handle credit counseling might not help either. How much your creditor will compromise is also bound by limits. Your creditor may not be able to cut down your payments to a great limit. Make sure that you don’t stretch your payments for years. This will only result in you paying up a much larger sum of money over a long number of years. You can seek help from Christian credit counselors if you are looking for non-profit counseling of credit services.

What to do after deciding on credit counseling? When you have decided that you will opt for credit counseling, you must have certain things in mind:

o Find out if you are paying more for counseling services then you may be tricked. A service charge is usually $10 set-up fee.

o Look for an accreditation to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling or the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. Legitimate counseling firms are usually affiliated to these associations.

o Check if the money is going to the right place. Some companies put the first month’s payments as their fee instead of giving it to your creditor.

o If a company is making unrealistic promises then beware! A legitimate credit counseling service will help you pay back your money and negotiate a lower rate of interest and till you that this might have some affect on your credit report.

Only a legitimate credit counselor can offer you a good service. Others will promise good service but will ultimately take away your money and leave you more in debt. So choose your debt counselors carefully.

The Best Way to Reduce Debt

Many today are struggling with their finances and never know what to do. Before you throw your hands up and file for bankruptcy, look into credit counseling. It’s a great way that’s both fast and effective to help any struggling individual get rid of debt.

This method of debt elimination can do many things for you. If you pick the right company, you would be able to get your budget under control, give you several debt repayment options, and possibly avoid bankruptcy. In addition, they would also offer a one to one finance counseling to help pick you and get you back on your feet. Your creditors and agents that chase you for money would be more than willing to work with your selected consumer credit counselors because it helps them if they help you get out of debt. This is definitely a win-win situation.

By turning to credit counseling, you also get to boost your credit record. As you would be given a negotiated low interest rate and a fixed monthly payment that would suit your monthly income, you should be able to make monthly payments and avoid late fees. When your creditor sees that you can be trusted to continuously make payments, they will get your accounts re-aged and update the status on your credit file, giving you a better financial image.

As this method of debt riddance grows among society, more and more companies are popping up all over the place. If you choose to go with debt credit counseling, make sure you pick a company that is reliable. If you’re unsure, go online and look it up or get a recommendation from your banks. It is indeed important that you pick a good and accredited company to ensure effectiveness in your financial solutions. The best ones should be non-profit, charge the lowest fees available, and offer online counseling and account management.

What is Christian Finance

Christian Finance is a Biblically based concept to help teach believers their stewardship duties and to be a responsible Christian investor with their money. They teach Christian financial principles such as goals, budgeting, debt elimination, saving, financial management, tithing, and giving.

Why should a Christian investor consider having a Christian finance and hiring a Christian Financial service professional?

Having your finances managed by a Christian Finance professional that understands and applies Biblical truths can help you become a better and more effective steward with God’s resources. The main reason is because the investor and advisor are both Christians, they share similar values. The advisor understands Biblical principles such as tithing, budgeting, debt reduction, saving, investing and giving. After the initial interview process of numerous financial related questions, the financial advisor can identify areas of improvement for the client.

Having your Christian finances managed by a financial professional that utilizes Biblical truths can give you a peace-of-mind with your finances. If you are in debt and can only make minimum monthly payments, the last thing you need is another loan. What you need is someone to help – you need a debt management program and that’s exactly the right moment to go in for Christian Finance. The debt management programs pairs you with a Debt Repayment Representative who will work with you and your creditors to lower your interest rates, reduce late fees, and bring your accounts up to date. You will begin making one lower monthly payment and pay off your debts years sooner than on your own. People involved in debt management companies typically pay off their debts in just 3-6 years!

To have a good Christian Finance record and program, it is necessary to have a good Christian Counsel. To find a good counsel there are two important areas to consider.

1.The first is how they are compensated. It is very difficult to receive unbiased advice from someone who is trying to sell a financial product. So, an obvious limitation that Christians should easily recognize is whether the people giving them Christian Finance advice are actually giving wise advice or just a sales pitch. It is always recommended to seek a fee-only financial planner or investment advisor that is also a believer of Christ.

2.The second part is to find Christian Finance counselors with like minds, attitudes and principles. Many financial advisors who profess to be Christians live lifestyle that are far from Christ-like. Likewise there are those who are very good Christians, but they have no knowledge or wisdom concerning the biblical principles of finance

The best method for locating good Christian Finance counsel is from other Christians who have received similar help or consultation in the past. This could be fellow church attendees, pastors, or Christian businesspeople. Additionally, this type of information could perhaps be found at Christian professional associations, societies, and organizations, both locally and nationally.

Without a doubt, good Christian Finance counsel is available for all who seek such counsel. But prayer, wisdom, and caution must be foremost in order to select the most qualified counselors and those whose lives and expertise conform to God’s will for the lives of the counselees.