10 Steps To Reduce Your Debt: Do-It-Yourself Debt Reduction

Getting into debt is easy and worrying about it won’t do much in relieving you from your debt. The best you can do when you have already run into debt is to start working towards reducing or clearing the debt and staying out of debt in every possible way. You can find your own strategy to deal with the debt, but there are several DIY debt reduction strategies and tips you can use to get over your financial woes.

1. Evaluate the debts. Start by collecting all financial documents and printing credit reports so you know exactly where you are with the debts. Most times people get scared just thinking of how hefty the debts are but you will never know until you take the courage to evaluate the debt so you can start somewhere with the recovery. Include all personal loans, auto loans, credit cards and payday loans in this evaluation.

2. Check your current earnings and budget. With the clear debt information, you then must start working towards debt reduction. Calculate the monthly income you get after taxes and basics like mortgage or rent, groceries, utilities and insurance. This way, you will get to find out how much you can spare for paying off the debt.

3. Find ways to increase pay off amounts. Sometimes when you subtract all basics from your income, you might find that you have very little amount left you can use on the debts. If the amount is too small, try and come up with ways through which you can reduce spending. Carpooling is one of the temporary methods you can use to cutback the expenses.

4. Create a plan. Now that you have some money to use on the debts, create a plan of how you are going to handle the debts and pay off. Will you start with one debt or pay a little every month for every debt you have? You might find it helpful to start with debts with highest interest rates or highest balance.

5. Negotiate repayment with your lenders and creditors. Agreeing to negotiate terms will be a plus to your credibility and your lenders or creditors will be more than willing to strike a deal with you.

6. Keep up with the debt reduction plan. Commitment is your only ticket out of debt so keep up with the plan.

7. As you continue with the repayment plan, avoid adding any more debts on top of what you already have.

8. Find better ways to deal with your financial issues besides getting loans. You can for instance, avoid making purchases for those that are not urgent.

9. Leave your credit card at home when going out unless you are going shopping. It will keep impulse buying at bay. In case you are going to shop, make a list of everything you need and stick by it no matter how tempting things in the store appear.

10. In case you take up a loan again, be consistent with your repayment and avoid piling loans. Try and have one loan at a time.

Choosing a Bankruptcy Lawyer Without the Headache

Bankruptcy lawyers are doing a whole lot of business nowadays. Whereas this should be an advantage for anyone looking for an attorney, the number of lawyers actually makes it harder to locate the best in the lot.

There is, therefore, a need for clients to take their search seriously for better legal representation.

To help you find the best lawyer and to enable you file for bankruptcy without any disappointments, here are some factors to consider:

Your friends and relatives can come in handy when you are beginning your search. The idea is to get as many recommendations as possible so that you can have a list of candidates to choose from.

Your search for advice should be limited to those people who have hired the services of bankruptcy attorneys before. You may opt for the directory addresses you find but they are not as advantageous as having word-of-mouth recommendations.

Lawyers usually work with other lawyers, among them bankruptcy attorneys. If you know a lawyer you have worked with before, you can ask them for their opinion and advice. They might even be able to recommend the services of good attorneys they know or work with.

If you do not know any lawyers and you cannot get word-of-mouth recommendations, you can also settle for the list of the bar association in your state. With the internet here to serve us, you’re also able to hook up with a good attorney online. All you have to do is look for reviews of local attorneys.

You can narrow down your search by looking for specific bankruptcy attorneys in your state or near your area of residence. You may also opt for the actual search for an attorney, which involves visiting different law firms or offices of lawyers. This step, however, takes time.

Do not settle for a lawyer without interviewing them first. This is a necessary step as it will enable you know a bit more about the lawyer you are looking to hire for your case. Initial consultations are very helpful. Most people decide whether to hire the lawyer they interview or moving on to the next on their list at this stage. Your lawyer should be well-rounded.

She or he should know their way in and out of court. They should also have experience working with debtors, creditors and court officials. Above all, their communication skills should be unmatched, because this will be crucial in negotiating during the process.

Payment is paramount in any legal representation expect for pro-bono (free) work. Make sure that you and your lawyer work out a good and reasonable plan on how you will pay for their services. It is also wise to make a comparison of prices before you settle for any specific attorney.

This way, you can take advantage of any offers and price reductions through negotiations. Availing all materials relevant for your case is also recommended. These may include documents such as your bank statement, etcetera. The bankruptcy lawyer will then know how else you can contribute to the process.

How to Fix Your Credit Score and Maintain Good Credit

One of the most frustrating things is seeing people get out of debt but then get right back into it. Sometimes we know what’s bad for us, but we do it anyway. Next thing you know, you’ve got collectors calling at all hours.

How can you fix your credit score and maintain that healthy credit rating long into the future? It’s not rocket science, but it can sometimes seem that way. So let’s break it down.

Here are some things you can do to keep that credit score healthy and to stay out of debt:

• Payments: Always pay your monthly bills on time. One of the biggest reasons people slip back into debt and bad credit is because they miss one payment and then feel like they can miss another. This is not a good strategy for having a healthy credit history.

• Stay Current on Your Payments: Missing a payment happens. Maybe you had some time off from work; perhaps a family emergency came up. Now you don’t have the money and you miss a payment, but the next month you get back on track. The important thing is to get back on track and to stay there.

• Pay on Time: Are you paying your bills, but you’re paying them late? Many times your credit score will be damaged beyond belief simply because you refused to pay on time. Consider paying your bills with your first paycheck after they come, not before they’re due. Just a few late payments can destroy all the hard work you do to get that healthy credit score.

• Collections: Whatever you do, do not let a collection agency get its hooks into you again. A bad debt that is sent over to the collection agency will stay on your credit report for 7 years! That means for 7 long years you’ll have bad luck when it comes to loans, and you’ll always pay more than the other guy. Don’t let this happen – pay your bills on time!

• Communication: Are you having a tough time staying above water? When you know a bill isn’t going to be paid, calling or sending an email to the company or creditor is always a good idea. And if you’re in debt now, contacting the creditor directly is a lot better than having a collection agency sent out after you.

• Survey your credit reports for precision: It’s extreme enough paying for your own errors; you don’t have to be punished for somebody else’s. Verify that your credit reports precisely reflect your obligations and the installment history.

• Set up installment updates on your bills: Paying on time, additionally called your payment history, means 35% of your credit score.

• Quit utilizing your credit cards as much: This is an alternate method for saying to live inside your methods. While you get your credit card obligation under control, it’s a great thought to depend predominantly on great, hard trade in for the money request to pay off some of your obligations. Get a protected credit card if you have to develop your credit history. Secured credit cards work sort of like check cards.

Mastering Your Credit Scores

Your credit score can impact nearly every aspect of your life. It can control whether you can obtain a mortgage, auto loan, or even a job. With this said, it is vital that you understand how to improve your credit score. Federal law requires that everyone have access to one free credit report per year. The reason this law exists is to allow individuals to verify that their credit reports are accurate. If there is inaccurate information listed on your report, by law you have the right to dispute the inaccuracies; the credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate and respond to the disputed items. If the creditor who put the disputed item on your credit report cannot provide proof that you are responsible for the debt, it should be removed. To obtain a copy of your free credit report you can call 877-322-8228, or mail a request to annual credit report request service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.

After you have received a copy of your free report and have reviewed it for any inaccuracies; you will need to dispute them directly with all three credit bureaus. The bureaus include TransUnion, Experian, Equifax. Once you have verified the information on your credit report is accurate, you can then use the following suggestions to help you increase your scores.

• Make Your Payments On-Time – The single most important thing you can do to improve your credit score is to pay your bills on time. If you have had late payments in the past because you simply forgot to make the payment, you may want to set up automatic payment arrangements to pay your bills. This will ensure that your bills are paid on time.

• Credit Card Balances – Credit cards (revolving credit) account for 30% of your score. To maximize your score, you should always keep your revolving card balances below 30% of their available limit.

• Credit Availability – Your scores are calculated based on your unused available credit, how much credit is open, and the length of your credit history. The length of your credit history accounts for 15% of your score. Based on this factor, it would be in your best interest to keep your revolving cards open instead of closing them, because closing old revolving cards would significantly shorten the length of your credit history. To keep a revolving card open, you should use the card at least once every six months. This will keep them from being inactivated.

• Lack of Credit – Unfortunately, if you have very little credit because you pay cash for everything; you probably also have a low credit score. Scores are only determined by the activity reported on your credit report; cash purchases have no bearing on your current score. Therefore, you want to have at least one installment loan and two revolving accounts open at all times. If you are having trouble getting credit, you could apply for a secured card from a local bank or credit union, or you could ask a relative or significant other if you could become an authorized user on one of their revolving cards. Becoming an authorized user will give you an instant payment history. Just make sure that the account you are going to become an authorized user on does not have late payments, or has a balance near the accounts limit.

• Judgments and Collections – If you have a judgment or collection that originated years ago, when you pay or satisfy the derogatory item it may temporarily lower your credit score. Keep this in mind if you plan to apply for credit. You may want to delay paying off old collections right before applying for a mortgage or auto loan.

There are many other ways to help increase a credit score; but keeping your payments on time, managing your debt properly, and having a reasonable amount of available credit are the easiest ways to ensure an acceptable score. Just remember, derogatory credit will immediately lower your scores, whereas making your payments on time and keeping your balances low may take as long as six months to recover from one negative item reported on your credit report.

Combining the Love of Travel With a Home Based Travel Business

Merging the love of travel with owning your own travel business is perfectly doable!

Travel is an 8 trillion dollar industry and is expected to continue to grow in the next decade. It is a product that is always in constant demand. That means the world is your market!

Owning your own home based travel business will allow you to accomplish both goals. 1) Pursue your love of travel and 2) fulfill your dream of becoming an entrepreneur.

One of the great things about being a part of the travel industry is it allows you to become a student of the world. You learn about so many different cultures and political systems; see awesome and unique majestic scenery, landscapes and animal kingdoms. Not to mention, all the many ways in which to have fun!

You’ll be surprised just how easy it is to achieve your objective. One sure way is to become a certified travel agent. Certified travel agents sell travel that’s their business. They are an independent contractor. They also get to travel themselves at a significantly lower rate than the consumer. In fact, they are encouraged to do so. The more they experience the product they are selling, the more knowledgeable they will become. Remember, travel is a product and in business you have to know your product.

One thing to keep in mind though, travel is large. It’s impossible to be completely knowledgeable about all things travel. Therefore, it would be best if you focus on just a few targeted niche areas such as: cruising, wedding destinations, family vacations, etc. You should essentially become an expert in your perspective niche field. It could make you one of the most sought after agents in the business.

No experience is needed to become a certified travel agent. However, extensive training is required. In addition, hard work and persistent effort is a must. There are numerous resources in which to obtain training. You can enroll in a online home study course or attend college. However, the quickest and most direct way is to become an intern at an already established travel agency. Travel agencies are always looking for new recruits. A host agency will help you become certified and there is no license required..

If you are a highly motivated individual and are looking for a business opportunity that will allow you to become financially independent, then the travel business is an ideal choice.