May 8, 2013
Your credit card, while serving as a powerful tool for all your financial needs, can lead you to a world of trouble if you don’t use it the right way. Credit cardholders must avoid getting trapped in a deep hole called debt. However, they often find it hard to consider the immense amount of expenses, especially if a bank already gave them enough credit to just charge these costs. Moreover, this powerful financial tool can oftentimes be considered as the worst form of finance because of the fact that incurred debts are classified as unsecured. Also, they carry an interest rate that is higher than a home or car loan. Compared to other types of loans such as home mortgage or student loan, credit card debts are not tax deductible.
If you have a credit card, you don’t want to use it on certain things or events that could definitely spell disaster on your financial and economic standing. In fact, many experts say that you should not use it in these situations:
- Paying for your college tuition. Using the credit card while in college is never good to begin with, because of the consequences that doing so may bring. Many college graduates have experienced dealing with credit card debt during their time at school, and their financial woes continue to pile up as they advance in age. For one, upon graduation from college, you might not be able to find a job at the soonest possible time, which would make it hard for you to earn income to pay off your credit card debt.
- Paying for your wedding costs. In such a prolific event like a wedding, planning is a key priority. Saving for years with your soon-to-be wife or husband for the significant day is a very important way if you want it to be extra special and start your married life on the right track. However, you shouldn’t use your credit card in financing your wedding costs, as this will backfire, causing you newlyweds to deal with debt during your first few years of marriage.
- Going on a vacation spree. If you are planning for a vacation, it is best that you save on cash money for your out-of-pocket expenses rather than using your credit card all throughout your out-of-state or out-of-country trip. Financing your trips through the use of your credit card will just create a mountain of debt upon your return.
- Paying for your medical expenses. Dealing with the costs of your medical treatment can be very daunting, but that does not mean you should resort to using your credit card to finance them. Some health providers offer rate adjustments and payment plans that might be suitable for you.
Using your credit card is still important, but using at frequently and as a means of covering much of your finances is not good at all. Next time you encounter the abovementioned situations, think twice before dealing with your finances. Use your credit card in moderation, or suffer consequences along the way.
Steven Boccone is a New York-born economist, financial analyst and manager. He has worked for various financial institutions worldwide and currently manages a US-based global marketing company. He is an art lover, a traveler, and he maintains his own business blog.
, Credit Card
, Credit Card Debt
, financial planning
March 26, 2013
Being mortgage free is the paradise that all mortgage holders are looking for, and thousands of people every year decide to over pay on their mortgage to help them achieve this goal. Whether this overpayment is a lump sum, or one or two extra payments over the course of a year, reducing your mortgage will help you to save later on in life.
However, does the notion of paying off your mortgage early distract you from putting money away in a savings account? At the end of the day, what is a better position to be in – mortgage free with no savings, or savings and a hefty mortgage? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of paying or your mortgage, or saving the money instead.
Before you make a decision about whether or not to save or spend, first consider whether you have enough of a savings fund to build on. In order to cover any emergencies, it’s always recommended that you have at least four to six months’ worth of savings in the bank. Even if you do have a decent amount of money to fall back on, that still doesn’t mean that you should spend it on paying off your mortgage, or clearing a decent chunk of it at least.
Before using this money to pay off your mortgage, consider paying off any other debts you have, like credit cards or other financing debts. These expenditures will typically have higher rates of interest, meaning you’ll be saving yourself money in the long run if you pay these amounts off. Only then should you consider paying off your mortgage with your savings. There could be early-repayment penalties if you decide to clear some of your mortgage, so always seek the advice of your m
Making Sense Of It All
In order to choose saving your money over paying off your mortgage, your savings account would have to offer better interest rates compared to the money you would save reducing your mortgage debt in the long run. If we take a look at the best mortgage deals verses the current interest rates across the typical high street savings accounts, saving your money wouldn’t be advisable.
As interest rates are very low at the moment, you’ll certainly be paying more interest on your mortgage repayments compared to the money you would save with your savings account. Getting an ISA savings account is key if you want to avoid income tax on savings interest, but again, what you are able to save in a savings account must also be compared to what you would knock off your mortgage in the long run.
If you are able to make monthly overpayments on your mortgage, then you could find that you’re making quite a saving on your debt. Over a typical 25 year mortgage, a homeowner could save over £8,000 just by making an extra £50 payment every month, based on a £150,000 mortgage. Furthermore, the more you can pay off on top of your monthly repayments, the more you’ll save!
, financial planning
, Home Loan
, Interest Rates
February 28, 2013
In the current economic climate it can be difficult to keep things afloat. The last 5 to 10 years have seen many businesses struggling to get by, prompting dramatic changes of business models or steps towards insolvency or recovery. If you’re worried about your business it only takes a walk down any high street to see you’re not alone. Large retailers BlockBuster, HMV and Jessops have gone into administration since Christmas, so now is the time to take action.
Things are ok at the moment. What steps can I take to keep my business afloat?
With the current state of the economy, even if you are making profit, things can spiral downhill very quickly if you’re not careful. You’ll need a watertight business plan, so talk to an advisor. Their help can save you a fortune later on. They will help you see your business through the eyes of potential customers, including the shopping experience and services you provide. You might be advised to make changes, and it’s important you follow these changes through.
Things are already bad. What options do I have?
Insolvency and recovery options depend largely on just how bad your business’s financial situation is. If you notice difficulties arise, it’s important to take action as soon as possible and not to wait for issues to resolve themselves over time. If this happens you can halt your insolvency or recovery programme, but if your company is trading while insolvent directors can be liable for wrongful trading. You don’t want to find yourself facing legal action or being personally responsible for debts, so take action now. A financial advisor will guide you through your options, which may include refinance, administration and liquidation.
Liquidation is the winding up of a business so it ceases to trade. Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation is the most common form in the UK, involving closing the business and selling its assets to pay debts.
Pre-pack administration is when the company is sold to a third party (the administer). This is a good option if you are under a lot of pressure to react quickly, but it does mean the administer can sell the company without the agreement of creditors – unlike in liquidation cases. It can, however, be sold to the current directors to create a phoenix company; essentially your old business with a new name.
If a bank (or other creditor) decides the directors aren’t suitable, they may appoint an administrative receiver to take over running the company. This person can sell off assets and recover money as they see fit, and will primarily serve their own interests. This is called receivership, and means the conduct of directors will be investigated.
Voluntary arrangements and voluntary liquidation are a much better option than court ordered compulsory options, but your business doesn’t have to get to those stages. Consider debt management, lending money or restructuring before your cash flow problems get out of hand. Business recovery experts will be able to help you, whatever your situation.
David Hudson writes on behalf of Price Bailey Chartered Accountants. They offer a wide range of business support, insolvency and recovery services to help you find the right solution for your business.
, financial planning
, Financial Situation
February 16, 2013
Dropping the financial ball is something that may happen inadvertently when we allow debt to go farther than we can run with it. Staying away from debt is sometimes hard because countless expenses sum up through the month and control can easily slip out of our hands. However, you can prevent this from happening and yet stay away from debt by simply analyzing your actual financial situation and the way that your organize your expenses.
Planning is the Key
You cannot anticipate unexpected expenses coming your way, but you can plan those that occur regularly to find out how much money you have to work with for something else. Creating a monthly budget is a great aid, because you cannot only plan the payment of bills, food, gas and daily living expenses, but also serves to determine how much money you can save, and make that money a cash fund to be used for unexpected expenses rather that borrowing money when an emergency takes place.
Avoid Loans Above All Else
No matter, if you are considering taking out an “inoffensive” payday loan, a personal loan, car loan, business loan, mortgage or home loan. Loans are usually the starting point for major financial problems even if you have the certainty that you can repay your debt. People often forget that if they are borrowing $100 will not have to repay $100 but a considerable amount after interest rate, finance fees and particularly with payday loans, very high interest rates.
Plastic Money is Dangerous
Another source of debt can be found in your credit cards. The more credit cards you have, the easier it is that you can become trapped in debt sooner or later. Be wise to use your credit cards only when you need them, even if you have only one, but if this not your case, determine which one charges the least in interest rates and make this your main credit card, but only to be used when you need are forced to pay with a credit card.
Cash is Still the Leader
No matter if people turn their heads back to you when paying with cash in a restaurant, do it anyway and you will be far from dropping the financial ball, as they probably have done sometimes. Cash is worth more than plastic money because it has immediate acquisitive power, can be use to buy almost anything, and does not generate interests.
If you stick to these simple principles, you will be on the right pathway to stay away from debt, and you can learn many other tips that will enhance your household economy.
, financial planning
, personal finance
January 18, 2013
A lot has been written about strategies to get out of debt, plan a budget, and stick to it. If you want to be one of those success stories of people who have clawed their way out of debt on their own, that’s great. If you’re digging out of a particularly deep hole, or your shovel is disproportionately small, you may quickly realize that getting out of debt on your own is an all but impossible task.
As calls from creditors start harassing you at all hours of the day and you watch your monthly statements steadily increase, it may seem as if bankruptcy would easily solve all your problems.
This is rarely the case, so today we’re going to talk about the range of professional options available to you. In Canada debt program options include: Credit Counseling, Debt Consolidation Loans, Debt Settlement, Consumer Proposals, and finally, when all else has failed, Bankruptcy.
A professional brings years of experience, a greater knowledge of your options, and, most importantly, a non-biased approach to your finances. They’ll help you examine your income and expenses and come up with a short and long-term plan to get you out of debt and keep you out.
This may also include negotiating with creditors in an effort to reduce the amount of interest you pay, lowering the monthly payments to make them more manageable, and lengthening the deadline for payback.
One thing credit counseling won’t help with is actually reducing the amount you owe. That’s fine – you DO owe the money, but if you’re truly in trouble, you might need a more drastic option.
Debt consolidation takes all of your debts and pays them off under a single loan. That loan is now your only debt. This is incredibly helpful because you’ll only have one monthly payment, which is easier to track, plan for, and pay on time. It’s also possible to negotiate a lower overall interest rate. On top of all that good news, you can also lower your monthly payment to something you can manage more easily.
The drawback to a lower monthly payment is that it could end up taking longer to pay your debt consolidation loan off than it would just paying your debts back.
Hiring a debt settlement specialist to negotiate your debts might be the best decision you can make. By speaking to each of your creditors, they’ll work on your behalf to lower the total amount you owe, lower interest rates, and set up comfortable monthly payments.
Despite it’s rather passive name, this is an official agreement between you and your creditors to settle your unsecured debts. You’ll work with a licensed bankruptcy trustee, and this option is pretty much the last step before bankruptcy and WILL negatively affect your credit score and borrowing ability.
- Learn What’s Best For You
Speak to a professional at http://debt.ca and find out which option is best for you.
Tags: Credit Card Debt
, Debt Problems
, financial planning
, personal finance