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7 Healthy Spending Habits of People Who Don’t Use Credit Cards

The standard of living for Americans is among the highest in the world. Of course, it can be a little misleading when you consider how much personal debt Americans incur trying to maintain that standard of living. One of the great advantages Americans have when it comes to buying the things they want and need is easy access to credit cards. There are almost 2,000,000,000 active credit cards in the hands of American consumers (Federal Reserve – 2015). With 200,000,000 cardholders carrying an average credit limit of $20,000, there is about $4.0 trillion of artificial purchasing power in this country alone.

7 Healthy Spending Habits of People Who Don't Use Credit Cards

The Trouble With Credit Cards

Unfortunately, all of that artificial buying power has turned into over $900 billion in credit card debt. The average American family owes over $17,000 with about 14% of their disposable income being used to service that debt. It’s these numbers that are used to explain why there as so many people suffering from debt problems. The only way to keep these numbers from continuing to grow is to retrain American consumers to adjust their spending habits and cut up those credit cards.

7 Healthy Spending Habits of People Who Don’t Use Credit Cards

Let the retraining begin with the following seven spending habits that responsible consumers use to maintain their standard of living without using credit cards.

  1. Preparing a Budget – Smart spending starts with a budgeting process. By preparing a monthly budget, you are able to get a clear and precise idea of exactly what you have coming in, what you have going out and whether or not you have anything left over to spend on the extras you may need or want.
  2. Tracking Expenditures – There is very little value in a budget if you are not willing to track your actual expenditures. By tracking everything you spend, you will know exactly where your money goes and whether or not you are living within your means.
  3. Cash Only – The best way to avoid credit cards is to not use them. Cash is an accurate barometer of what you can afford to spend on a monthly basis. When the cash is gone, it is time to stop spending until more cash appears in your account.
  4. Use Shopping Lists – Anytime you get ready to go shopping for anything, you should prepare a shopping list. It is the perfect tool to keep you focused on what you really need, and it helps you avoid impulse buying, which is the number one spending downfall of many consumers.
  5. Put Something Away Money for Emergencies – Living within your means should include putting money away in savings. When you have adequate savings, you are better able to avoid the temptation to use credit cards when an unexpected situation comes up.
  6. Discount Shopping – Smart consumers know that almost everything goes on sale sooner or later. When you make a decision to buy something, you should invest the time and effort to find it on sale. If it’s not immediately available at discount prices, you can wait until the product’s time finally arrives.
  7. Limit Dining Out – Most meals consumed in restaurants and fast food places will run 200%-300% more than the same meal would cost if prepared at home. Smart consumers are willing to invest their time shopping and cooking in order to save money for more important expenditures.

Here at Rescue One Financial, we employ professional debt counselors who know a thing or two about good spending habits. If you would like to learn more about how you can avoid credit card debt and still maintain a decent standard of living, you should consider scheduling an appointment with us at your earliest convenience.

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Yes, Paying Your Rent Late CAN Affect Your Credit Report

Yes, Paying Your Rent Late CAN Affect Your Credit ReportAt some point in your life, you were probably a renter of an apartment, condo or house. If you ever found yourself in a difficult financial situation, you might have wondered how not paying your rent would affect your credit score. Perhaps, you were actually late on a rental payment or two in the past, maybe even went through eviction proceedings. If you have never had occasion to check your credit history, you might still be wondering if anything currently sits on your credit report.

Do Rental Payments Show Up in Your Credit History?

The short answer is sometimes. Currently, only two (TransUnion and Experian) of the three primary credit reporting agencies collect data related to rent payments, and it’s fairly limited. Also, there is a small group of specialty consumer credit agencies that more actively collect rent payment data from landlords. While the primary agencies provide little in way of reporting, these specialty agencies have more available information and are often used by potential landlords to vet prospective tenants. Therefore, it would be best to assume your rental payments are being reported somewhere. The information typically collected by specialty agencies includes:

  • Your Name
  • Social Security Number
  • Rental Address
  • Time at Rental Address
  • Payment History
  • Prior Addresses and Landlords

Can Paying Your Rent Late Affect Your Credit Report?

The answer is yea it can, but not usually in ways you would assume. The reality is most landlords do not put forth the effort to report on each and every payment tenants make. For most apartment complexes, this would be a tedious task given the fact there are usually 1-2 people working in the rental office and they have little time to report 100-300 rent payments every month. Therefore, any goodwill you have accumulated by being a conscientious tenant stands to provide little benefit on your credit report. However, payment issues could be reported should the landlord see fit. It all depends on how your landlord operates and how willing they are to share rent payment information with outside agencies.

On the other hand, rent payment issues can sometimes result in a lawsuit. If your landlord files a lawsuit against you for lost rent, the judge may decide in the landlord’s favor and issue a judgement against you. Major credit reporting agencies have a process of checking public records for new judgements and should anything appear under your social security number, the agencies will most likely pick it up and report it on your credit history. As you can see, the landlord does have indirect recourse against your credit report should you decide to forgo making rent payments as promised.

How Do Rental Payments Appear on My Credit Report?

In some cases, late payments may not affect your credit score, but might still appear on your credit report as an alert to potential future landlords. Also, any inquiry made to a credit bureau by a landlord or potential landlord will most likely be classified as a hard inquiry, which stands to affect your credit score.

If you would like more information on how late rent payments will affect your credit score, please don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with one of our professional debt counselors here at Rescue One Financial. We would be happy to sit down with you and review your credit report and late payment situation to determine whether or not you have been affected by late rent payments. In order to make late rent payments moot, you would be best served to treat your rent as one of your highest priorities.

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8 Winning Strategies for Negotiating With Bill Collectors and Saving More Money

No one likes going through the bill collection process. Bill collectors tend to be aggressive, often leaving the debtor feeling angry and frustrated. Of course, the borrower has little room to complain be
ing it was their actions, intentional or not, that led to the situation. The good news is there are certain strategies that can be used make the process a little less painful and a little more pal
atable.

Dealing With Bill Collectors

8 Winning Strategies for Negotiating With Bill Collectors and Saving More MoneyBy the time your bills are turned over to collectors, you have likely already experienced a bit of stress and a significant hit to your credit score. There isn’t much you can do about that. It would have been nice to try to negotiate with your creditors, but once you go to collections, you lose that option. Now, you need to focus on getting the best possible result, which should include saving as much money as possible while limiting the damage to your credit score and history.

8 Winning Strategies for Negotiating With Bill Collectors

Once you have been informed you are being sent to collections, it would be a good idea to come up with a strategy for dealing with the bill collectors. They have already heard every sob story in the universe, so don’t waste your time thinking sympathy will deliver you from their clutches. Instead, you should focus on these strategies, which are designed to offer you the most help.

1. Learn Your Rights – Based on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you have certain rights that bill collectors have to abide by. Before your start interacting with any bill collectors, you need to do the research necessary to help you understand exactly what those rights include. This is a necessary step to keep you from doing or saying the wrong things and to limit the bill collectors from becoming to aggressive in the collection process.

2. Disclose Limited Information – You are under no legal obligation to disclose phone numbers, addresses, banking information or contacts of any kind. If they ask for that kind of information, you can politely decline to provide it. You are better served to keep all communications with bill collectors short and to the point, offering nothing more than basic facts.

3. Try To Handle the Process in Writing – By law, you are entitled to request all communications from bill collectors be handled in writing. By choosing this option, you can prevent harassing phone calls and eliminate the need to take notes about every conversation.

4. Ask Leading Questions – Many times, bill collectors will try to bluff or scare you into abiding by their requests. If they make threats (lawsuits) of any kind, you can respond with a series of detailed questions that will force them to back-off or step out on a limb by providing false or illegal information.

5. Predetermine How Much You Can Actually Afford to Pay – Prior to beginning the negotiation process, it is advisable you figure out exactly what you can afford to pay and don’t go beyond that point. Once you are in the collection process, it’s an adversarial situation where you need to look out for your own best interests.

6. Don’t Over-react – When bill collectors become aggressive, you need to stay calm and rational. They are just trying to do their job and getting angry only serves to give them cause to get more aggressive.

7. Save All Communications – If you end up being sued following an unsuccessful collection process, you want to make sure you have a detailed account of everything said or written. This includes taping calls if possible. Documentation prevents your opponents from making claims that you agreed to things you never agreed to do.

8. Seek Assistance – If you get overwhelmed by the process, you might want to enlist the services of a professional debt management company. They can be very helpful in explaining your rights and negotiating with collectors.

Here at Rescue One Financial, our professional debt counselors are experienced in dealing with both creditors and bill collectors. If you would like our assistance, you can schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience. The bill collection process can be quite stressful and our support might be enough to help you achieve the best possible results.

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5 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Spending Any Money

Oh for the pleasure of being an impulse buyer. It’s hard to imagine the thrill of being able to walk into any business and buy whatever you want without having to make other intrusive decisions. The reality is a lot of people are impulse buyers. While some people have the means for supporting that kind of spending behavior, it’s unfortunate that many people don’t have the means.Money Questions

Making Spending Decisions
Impulse spending perpetrated on a frequent basis is a recipe for financial disaster. There often reaches a point where impulse buyers get in the habit of buying what they want no matter what and when the cash runs out, the plastic demons called credit cards start coming out. Over an extended period of time, those who are guilty of this kind of consumer behavior find themselves in financial trouble. According to Federal Reserve research, Americans are currently holding over $900 billion in credit card debt. It wouldn’t be a surprise to find out much of that resulted for impulse buying. In order to prevent debt problems from impulse buying, the best alternative is learning to ask yourself key questions about each purchase. If you can make the transition to this kind of spending behavior, you’ll find yourself making fewer purchasing mistakes and be able to avoid consumer debt issues.

5 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Spending Any Money
As indicated above, there are certain questions you should ask yourself before you spend significant amounts of money. This kind of spending doesn’t involve necessities like food and clothing as long as you are using common sense. This relates more to the extras everyone likes to buy when the mood hits. Here’s five questions to consider.

1. So I Really Need It? – The key to determining whether or not you really need something is to properly identify each possible expenditure as either a want or a need. If you have limited resources, the wants may have to wait in favor of the things you truly need. However, you have to be honest with yourself and avoid rationalizing ways in which you need everything you see. Food, reasonable clothing and shelter come first. The rest of your buying decisions need to be made with a practical mindset or face possible consequences.

2. Can I Afford This? – This is the question that tends to get people in trouble. Affordability relates to whether or not you have enough cash left after normal expenses to make the purchase. If you are counting available credit card purchasing power, you are not spending what you can afford. It might be what you think you can afford later, but things happen and far too often you might be wrong. Use cash as your affordability barometer.

3. Will Spending This Money Help Me Survive, Thrive or Be a Waste? – Any money you spend should be directed at helping you survive such as meeting your basic needs or set you up to thrive. A good example of spending money to thrive would be paying to take a class if it will land you a better job. If the money you plan to spend doesn’t help with your survival or thriving, it’s most assuredly a waste of money.

4. Can It Wait? – Sometimes, making mistakes on purchases is more a function of bad timing instead of being a bad decision. If you sense you need it now because you might not be able to get it later, you might be guilty of impulse buying. By waiting, you might realize you don’t really need/want to make the expenditure, or you may find an alternative or better prices at a later time.

5. Are There Cheaper Alternatives? – In a pinch, you might be able to find alternatives to what it is you want/need to buy. In many cases, you might be able to find used substitutes that will suffice if only on a temporary basis. It’s nice to buy new things, but used items can often fill the void at a fraction of the cost. You should always be on the lookout for cheaper ways to spend money.

If you are interested in learning more about acquiring good spending habits, our professional debt counselors here at Rescue One Financial might be able to help. With our vast experience, we are privy to many of the tricks financially responsible people employ to maximize the value of what they purchase and minimize the wasting of money.

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Financial Hardship: When to Hire a Personal Finance Coach

financial coachAfter completing high school and even four years of college in some situations, it’s amazing how few people go out into the world prepared to properly handle their financial matters. Unless someone finds him or herself on a business track, there is simply no training or education provided on issues such as personal budgeting and dealing with debt. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take a finance major to see where America’s personal debt numbers are going to lead so many consumers.

The Numbers Spell Trouble

In May of 2015, the Federal Reserve issued a follow up report updating data previously released in mid-2014. According to its numbers, the Federal Reserve reported Americans were carrying $11.85 trillion in debt. While $9.85 trillion of that debt is secured, there is still another $2.0 trillion in unsecured debt that stands to be problematic. The biggest issue seems to be the average American household is carrying over $17,000 in credit card debt, which is simply unsustainable for the average American family that has to use 14% of its disposable income paying down credit card debt. The potential for financial hardship is evident by the fact 2.2 million people filed for bankruptcy for the 24-month period ended October 31, 2014 (US Bankruptcy Court).

The Effects of Poor Financial Management

Anyone who has ever encountered financial difficulties has most certainly experienced the way it can negatively impact one’s life. Anytime you live with overriding stress on a day to day basis, it tends to permeate all areas of your life. The mind isn’t able to stop thinking about the end result of debt problems. Will it result in bankruptcy or losing assets? Will you have to move? What about the kids education? These are just some of the questions that will start weighing on your mind. Both your attention span and temper might get shorter, creating problems at work and in your personal relationships. When debt problems become unmanageable, it takes no prisoners.

Preventing Financial Hardship

By the time payments are being missed and creditors are starting to call, you are going to be forced to consider debt relief options such as debt consolidation, debt settlement and bankruptcy as a worst case scenario. It would be a far better idea to put safeguards in place before debt issues reach crisis mode. That demands you learn the kind of debt and financial management skills that will keep you from making poor financial decisions. If you have ever been part of an organized sport, you have been exposed to coaching. A personal finance coach might be the best way to learn the skills necessary to prevent financial hardships.

Benefits of Hiring a Personal Finance Coach

Regardless of your debt situation, it’s never too late to learn how to better manage your finances. That said, it’s far better to hire a personal finance coach before problems become evident. The benefits of hiring a personal finance coach include:

1. Developing Financial Goals - One of the biggest failings of young people is not taking the time to establish short-term and long-term financial goals early in life. Financial goals are necessary to provide you a target for reaching retirement financially solvent.

2. Learning Accounting ConceptsMost people don’t understand basic accounting concepts such as assets, liabilities, cash basis, debt ratios and budgeting. With a crash course in some of these basic accounting concepts, you will get a sense of how important it is to prepare a budget and control your spending.

3. Learning How to Invest and Save - Learning to save money for key purchases (home, car) and retirement is the key to avoiding financial hardship. Personal finance coaches can teach you how to save money, invest it wisely and keep yourself financially stable no matter what occurs during your life.

If you would like more information related to the value of hiring a personal finance coach, you should schedule an appointment with one of our professional debt counselors here at Rescue One Financial. We can hopefully advise you on your financial matters and help you locate the finance training you want or need.

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7 unbelievable things you never knew about student debt

Student loan debt With increased college enrollment and escalating educational costs, the numbers related to student loan debt have risen to record levels. Most experts would say this has happened out of necessity because of the competitive nature of a job market that has been shrinking in recent years. More kids are choosing college enrollment over entering the job market without marketable skills. According to the College Board, 63% of all high school seniors enrolled in college after graduating in 2011. Unfortunately, the unintended consequences of more college enrollment has been more student loan debt.

7 Unbelievable Things You Never Knew About Student Debt

Due to the large increase in student loans over the last 10 years, some rather interesting facts about student loan debt have caught the attention of people everywhere. Before you take on student debt, these are things you should know in order to avoid getting yourself in trouble. No one should ever knock a young adult pursuing additional education. However, all young adults should carefully consider the facts about student loans before they put themselves in a financially stressful situation without an out or plan for recovery.

1. Debt Levels – Based on information provided by the Federal Reserve and College Board in May 2015, Americans were carrying student loan debt to the tune of $1.1 trillion. Based on the number of people carrying this debt, that number works out to be more than $30,000 per person. Amazingly, 14% of those people were carrying in excess of $54,000 in student loan debt. In some states, that’s 40$ of a home loan.

2. Default Rates – To date, there are $85,000,000,000 worth of student loans that are in arrears. Furthermore, 14% of the people with student loan debt were behind on payments with at least one loan. With these kinds of numbers, it should be clear that the potential for an epidemic of debt problems is extremely high at this point in time. All this might explain why Federal and State legislatures are looking for ways to help troubled borrowers.

3. Possibility of Bankruptcy – There are two types of debt that are not eligible for bankruptcy protection. Those are taxes and student loans. Once you have a student loan, you will have to deal with it one way or another from start to finish.

4. Loan Consolidation Comparison Between Private and Federal Lenders – If you decide a student consolidation loan might help you deal with your debt, you need to be aware that Federal Debt Consolidation programs will exclude privately issued loans while some private debt consolidation loans might consider the inclusion of Federal loans.

5. Payment Caps – Regardless of the terms stated in your loan documentation, there are programs that will reduce your monthly payments to a max of 10%-15% of your monthly disposable income no matter how large your principle balance might be.

6. Aggressive Collection Policy – If you should fall behind on your monthly payments, there are very few restrictions as to the tactics lenders can deploy to go after monies owed them. They can resort to impounds on government income and even threaten some types of professional licenses.

7. Late Charges – On some types of student loan debt, lenders are allowed to charge as much as 25% in late fees on past due payment amounts. These charges can escalate your debt to the point of no return in a hurry.

If you would like more information related to student loans, you should contact one of our professional debt counselors here at Rescue One Financial for a consultation. The information they can provide might be timely enough to keep you from incurring unintended consequences.

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3 Most Common Ways American Consumers Waste Money

credit card and dining Receipt“Waste not, want not.” That’s pretty good advice. Unfortunately, it’s a notion that is quite difficult to fulfill. No matter how you view it, America tends to be a nation of excess. If you can’t afford it, credit cards can fill the gap. If you’re going to buy something, buy the best. If someone else has one, you need/want one as well. These seem to be the standing rules for many consumers.

The Problem With Wasting Money

Using a short-sided view, people don’t see the problem with spending money. There always seems to be more cash coming in the future, right? The problem is many consumers have bad saving habits and equally bad spending habits. The combination of these two factors leaves people exposed to potential financial problems in the future. No one is suggesting you not spoil yourself every now and again. However, you should confine the spoiling to those times when you might actually have a little extra money to spend. Spending without having accountability for your future is wasteful

3 Most Common Ways Consumers Waste Money

It’s possible the reason so many people waste money is because they are not aware that’s what they are doing. What might seem like normal spending, ends up being wasteful when they run out of money for the things they really need. By helping people identify the ways they waste money, there is a chance awareness will stop them in their tracks.

  1. Servicing Debt - There is no denying interest expense is top way Americans waste money. According to a Federal Reserve survey released in late 2014, Americans were carrying total credit card debt of $882 billion. The average American household was using 13.9% of their disposable income to service that debt while 14% of those surveyed had credit card debt exceeding 40% of their annual income. When factoring in the historically high interest rates changed on most credit cards, it makes wasting money inevitable. If you buy the latest and greatest gadget with a credit card that carries an APR of 12% or higher (about 75% of the credit cards), you are going to end up spending significantly more for the item than its original cost. That’s a waste of hard earned cash. Low to mid-income families are particularly vulnerable to wasting money while trying to manage credit card debt.
  2. Transportation - America is a transient nation. People seldom work close to where they live and they need reliable transportation. The problem is Americans have been led to believe new cars are more reliable. They might be, but they are also very expensive. There was a time when cars closing in on 100,000 miles were susceptible to breaking down and/or needing new engines. With regular maintenance intervals, that’s simply not true anymore. Cars, especially foreign cars, are made to last for years. If you have a decent car, spend money maintaining it and avoid the temptation to buy a new one. If you need a replacement, you should consider buying a used, reliable name brand with under 100,000 miles. By doing do, you can avoid wasting you money buying a major asset that loses value on a daily basis.
  3. Dining Out - Over the last twenty years, Americans have made a habit of dining out. They will usually site being too busy as the reason they do so. No matter why they do it, it’s expensive and an abject waste of money. A meal that costs $50 (including tip) for a family of four in a restaurant can usually be prepared at home for about $15. Isn’t 30 minutes of your time worth $35.00?

For more information about ways you might be wasting money, you can schedule a consultation with one of our professional debt counselors here at Rescue One Financial. By taking the time to understand your wasteful spending, you will get the opportunity to replace your bad spending habits with good spending habits while improving your financial situation in the process.

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How to Build Wealth and Avoid Debt

Build Wealth and Avoid Debt From the moment your parents handed you your first allowance payment, you began the process of building wealth. Conversely, the first time you made a charge on your credit card or signed a personal loan document, you violated the most important rule for building wealth, avoid debt. While it is possible to build wealth while dealing with debt issues, it is not recommended for someone with a weak stomach or a sincere desire to have financial security in the future.

The Effects of Debt on Wealth
Obviously, debt detracts from your wealth in most circumstances. However, there are some circumstances where debt is a necessary part of building wealth. For instance, you incur debt in the form of a mortgage when you purchase a home. In most instances, the mortgage is an investment that allows you to hold the property while it appreciates, increasing your wealth. Some people will point to real estate bubbles as a reason why this doesn’t always work. However, real estates trends dating back hundreds of years show real estate always appreciates over time and selling in a losing position is often a choice, a bad one at that. Bad forms (credit cards, personal loans) of debt are nothing more than detraction from your wealth. Interestingly enough, the purchase of an automobile with debt starts as with a negative impact on wealth as the car depreciates lower than the debt balance. After making payments for a certain amount of time, the trend reverses and the car becomes a wealth-building asset.

How to Build Wealth and Avoid Debt
Without getting too complicated, the average Joe needs to avoid debt in order to build wealth. There are certain basic things that can be done to help achieve both these goals at the same time.

1. Don’t Use Credit Cards – Credit cards are like kryptonite to wealth. If you are using credit cards for normal expenditures, you are agreeing to pay more than the goods/services are worth if you don’t pay off the debt before interest is charged. If you use credit cards to purchase assets, you continually diminish the value of those assets until the debt is paid. In both cases, you are decreasing your wealth.

2. Planning – People who don’t plan and develop budgets are destined to become careless impulse buyers. Disciplined spending is the best way to avoid using consumer debt, which in turns helps to mitigate the use of wealth to make purchases.

3. Set Wealth Building As a Primary Goal – As much as people would like to accumulate wealth, far too few people actually make it a goal. When you set wealth-building as a primary goal above all else, the financial decisions you make in the future will trend towards being fiscally responsible.

4. Saving – Saving money always results in wealth building. It also serves as a security blanket against emergencies. While you may have to sacrifice some of your wealth to pay the costs related to an emergency, you are also able to avoid the future impact of debt on wealth by using the cash.

5. Increase Your Income – You should always be on the lookout for opportunities to increase your monthly income. More income is the fastest way to increase wealth and the most effective avoid the need to incur debt. A part-time job or home business are great ways to increase income.

If you are interested in more information about building wealth and avoiding debt, you should contact us here at Rescue One Financial. Our professional debt counselors are prepared to evaluate your financial situation and offer guidance on how to achieve both of the goals at the same time.

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Debt Consolidation for People With Bad Credit

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For people with bad credit, the fight against debt issues must seem like a never-ending battle. No matter what they do, they get to feeling like they will never get a break. This can be particularly tough on people who are making a real effort to fulfill their financial obligations. The good news is there may still be hope found with debt consolidation.

Debt Consolidation for People With Bad Credit

Debt Consolidation Loans
A debt consolidation loan is one of the better debt solutions offered in the financial marketplace. It is really designed for individuals who are besieged by mounds of consumer debt, usually credit card debt and personal loans. They may have the means to pay the debt off within a reasonable amount of time, but find it difficult trying to deal with so many bills and creditors at the same time. A debt consolidation loan affords the borrower an opportunity to roll several if not all of their bills into one loan with one monthly loan payment. In the process, they might save money by securing a lower aggregate interest rate in place of their high-rate credit cards. It also gives them a chance to start repairing their credit score.

Debt Consolidation for People With Bad Credit
The question remains; Is debt consolidation a viable option for someone with bad credit? The short answer is yes, it’s a possible solution. However, it’s not going to be an easy process to find a lender and may ultimately lead to rejection. If you have bad credit, but are determined to pay it off, here are some things for you to consider.

Finding the Right Lender – It should come as no surprise that conventional lenders such as banks and credit unions are probably outside the realm of possibility. These types of institutions are risk-adverse and have strict lending standards that eliminate people with bad credit. However, there are many debt consolidation companies with programs that cater to people who are in financial trouble. It’s not that they are more liberal with lending practices, it has more to do with having a better understanding of the situation and more flexibility when evaluating potential borrowers.

Risk-based Pricing – If you are fortunate enough to find a lender willing to take the risk of lending to you in your current situation, you need to be prepared for “risk-based pricing.” This is a term used by lenders to indicate that the inherent risk is going to be assessed and the interest rate will be used to reflect the level of risk being taken. The more risk the debt consolidation company is willing to take, the higher the interest rate is going to be. This assessment is also going to determine the amount of your existing debt they are willing to absorb.

Review Your Credit Score – Before you begin your search for a lender, you should take some time to review your credit report. You might find some errors that will improve the overall score if corrected. It’s worth the effort if it translates to a lower interest rate and/or a higher probability of a yes.

If you are stuck with bad credit, but want to explore debt consolidation as an option, you should schedule an appoint with one of our professional debt counselors here at Rescue One Financial. We will be happy to take some time to review your situation in order to help you find the right solution for your debt problems.

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Credit Card Debt Settlement – Fact or Fiction?

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rescue one financial credit card debt settlementIf you are one of the unfortunate individuals who have been struggling to meet your consumer debt obligations, there is a good chance you have been seeking solutions to your financial problems. If so, you have undoubtedly discovered the worse the debt situation gets, the more difficult it is to find relief.

Solutions for Desperate Situations
According to the US Bankruptcy Court system, 2.2 million individuals filed for bankruptcy over the two-year period ended October 31, 2014. Bankruptcy is the ultimate solution for severe consumer debt issues. If you have an average American household, you might be carrying $15,611 in credit card debt (Federal Reserve Survey, 2014), mortgage debt, a car loan and student loans. Depending on your income, you might also be getting close to seeking desperate measures to solve your problems. Before you start thinking about bankruptcy, you might want to consider the consequences, including 7-10 years of bad credit. As an alternative, you might have heard the term “debt settlement” and be wondering if it’s a viable option for relieving severe consumer debt issues.

Credit Card Debt Settlement – Fact or Fiction?
If you are curious about debt settlement, here is some information you might find interesting. Credit card debt settlement is a real and viable solution for people who find themselves stuck behind the eight-ball with unmanageable debt. It’s a fact, not fiction. However, the debt settlement process does come with consequences to go along with the benefits derived.

What is Debt Settlement
When a credit card borrower is no longer able to maintain regular payments, it is possible to approach your credit card companies about the possibility of renegotiating the debt balance as well as some of the key terms. You can initiate this process on your own, but it’s a far better option to work through a licensed debt management company that has experience dealing with such sensitive matters. If the negotiations are successful, there’s a strong possibility your debt will be deeply discounted, your effective interest rates lowered and lower monthly payments established. All of these adjustments would be based on your promise to resume regular payments on a timely basis. As mentioned, there are consequences. The biggest one would be the damage done to your credit score. It won’t be as severe as the damage caused by bankruptcy, but you best be prepared for 2-3 years of bad credit.

What About the Lenders?
It goes without saying lenders are never pleased about the debt settlement process. However, most lenders are run by astute business people who are able to understand the realities of the situation. If they refuse to negotiate, it might lead you to bankruptcy. Through the bankruptcy process, they might stand to get nothing in the settlement unless they are willing to incur excessive legal expenses for a fight. From a business standpoint, it makes sense to settle for what they can reasonably get through the debt settlement process.

Complicated debt settlement negotiations are best handled by professional debt counselors with the requisite experience. If you would like to discuss these or other matters with our counselors here at Rescue One Financial, they would be glad guide you through the process, which will help give you a new start and a chance to rebuild your credit score.