How To Get Creditors To Leave You Alone

As soon as you start falling behind on debt repayments, the creditors will start hounding you for the money. If you don’t have it, their constant phone calls aren’t going to help the situation. Being in debt is very stressful and being hassled is only going to make that worse. When you start to panic about the money that you owe, you won’t be thinking rationally and the situation is likely to get far worse. So, how do you get those creditors off your back until you’ve got the money to pay them back?

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Set Up A Repayment Plan

The easiest way to get them to stop calling you is to make some steps toward paying off that debt. You can find lots of great information on consolidating your debts on repair.credit. By combining all of your debts into one simple repayment you can make it far more manageable. Even though you don’t have the money to pay them the amount that they’re asking for, they’ll stop hassling you so much if you start paying a little bit off those debts each month. The creditors understand that you can’t always afford their repayments but if they’re confident that they’ll get the money eventually, it should get them off your back for a while.

Third Party Creditors

When you’ve had a debt for a while, your original creditors will often pass that debt onto a third party company to try to get the money back. When it comes to third party creditors, the laws are a little different so it’s important to know your rights. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was created to protect consumers against harassment from debt collection companies. It doesn’t cover debts that you’ve built up from running a business but any other personal debts that you have are covered. Under the act, a debt collector is not allowed to contact you before 8 in the morning or after 9 at night unless you specifically agree to it. If they are not the original creditor that you borrowed the money from in the first place, it’s easy to get them to stop calling you. All you need to do is put a request in writing and it is then illegal for them to keep contacting you. Visit consumer.ftc.gov for more information on exactly what the act covers.

Get An Attorney

Under the FDCPA, if you have an attorney that is representing you in the matter of the debt, the creditor is bound by law to contact them instead of you. If you don’t want them to keep calling you about the money, get an attorney and they will deal with it for you. However, this is going to cost you more money so it could make your financial situation worse.

Do You Owe The Money?

If you don’t think that you actually owe the money in the first place, you can get the creditors to leave you alone by telling them this. If you send them a written statement telling them that you don’t believe you owe the money, they legally have to stop contacting you. However, if they can send you back some proof that you do owe them the money, they are allowed to start calling you again.

If you’re getting harassed by creditors, don’t just accept it. You have the right to be left alone so use it.

 

Does Your Credit Score Define You?

Money makes the world go around, but the rules surrounding credit scores can often make your world feel like it stands still. When you have a low credit score, it can impact you for more than just the mortgage you hope to get one day. It can actually affect your self-confidence and how you perceive yourself as a responsible adult.

You don’t have to leave it that way, though. You are able to minimize the impact your credit score has on your life by managing the reasons that is low; namely, debt. Whether you’re on a set of bathroom scales, checking your bank balance or looking at your credit score, numbers seem to matter. We live in a society where the acceptance for a credit card from best.creditcard can put you in a far superior position than someone who gets rejected. Having bad credit can make you feel trapped in a cycle of debt – for years after bad circumstances have passed. Companies judge your ability to repay based on a time you couldn’t afford debt, and not with just the circumstances you have right now in front of you. It can feel demoralising to be turned down.

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The simple answer is that no, your credit score does not define you – as long as you don’t let it. Bad credit doesn’t end your chances to borrow money, even if it feels like that at the time. Having good credit is just one portion of your finances. You should remember that you are in a secure job that pays you enough money to have savings. If you are able to have savings, you are less likely to need to rely on credit to get you through a hard point in life. You shouldn’t stress about your credit score, regardless of how high or low it is. Most people in the world are constrained by low credit and most of the time, the low numbers are not their fault. Think about it – the first time you ever tried to get credit, you could have been turned down for it. This isn’t due to bad credit, this is due to lack of credit at all!

It’s one of those catch-22 situations: you need credit to get credit, but without it you cannot get it. It’s about as infuriating as the fact that computers decide your credit worthiness and not people. To get around this, having a parent or a friend guarantor you for a loan application can help. You need the banks and credit companies to trust you and sometimes this comes with the validation of someone else entirely. Credit can really impact life for some people, especially if those people are trying to get a mortgage for their first ever home. The trick? To realise that bad credit doesn’t have to rule your life and with time and payments, your bad credit will repair itself. Don’t let your credit score ruin your life – there are bigger things!

The Emotional Effects Of Debt (And How You Can Deal With Them)

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Money doesn’t buy us happiness, but having financial security is a sure-fire way to keep us on an even keel emotionally. So when we find ourselves without money, and trying to cope with the pressure of being in debt, it’s no wonder we find ourselves struggling emotionally. In some cases, this is taken one stage further, as many people begin to suffer from mental illness because of the toll that debt takes upon their lives.

In this article, we will look at the emotional fallout of debt, and it may be that you can identify with some of the issues raised. However, there are always solutions, even in the darkest of times. So while debt can overwhelm you, triggering all kinds of emotional responses, there is still a way out of the problem.

Anxiety

Tied in with stress, anxiety is something many people feel when they are struggling with debt. Every time the mailman walks up the drive, there is anxiety that yet another bill will arrive. The phone rings. Will it be the bank or the utility company with a demand? Anxiety brings lack of sleep, physical pain, and a nagging worry that won’t seem to go away.

Fear

Not being able to pay off debt is a frightening experience. There is the fear of the future, wondering how it will be possible to survive, raise a family, and keep the home, while trying to pay off money owed. Opening the latest bill can trigger an accelerated heart rate and a cold sweat. No wonder then, that many people go into denial and ignore bills to stem this negative emotion. Unfortunately, this isn’t the answer.

Anger

There has even become a name for this problem in medical circles: Debt-Anger Syndrome. A person becomes mad at the world around them, deferring some of the blame away from themselves and onto others. There is anger at the loan company for demanding money; anger at the postman for trying to deliver the bill; anger at the kids for damaging their clothes; and anger at the marriage partner for spending too much money. Anger will also turn inwards, and the person will be mad at themselves for getting into this situation in the first place, whether or not blame can be directly attributed.

Depression

When despair settles in, a person’s self-esteem can hit rock bottom, and depression is the result. At this stage, everything seems hopeless, and a person can spiral downwards mentally. With no end in sight, a person might take foolish measures to end the pain, such as self-harming, getting into further debt by buying something to make them happy, or worse.

Relief

It’s clear that debt has a negative impact on a person’s psyche, but relief can be found. If you have experienced any of the emotions mentioned, or you know somebody who has, there is a way out of the negative spiral. For example:

– Reduce your bills by changing your energy provider.
– Consolidate your debts. There is some helpful advice as to how at debtconsolidation.co.
– Tear up your credit cards, so you aren’t tempted to use them again.
– Talk to your bank, loan company or utility company. There may offer a helpful solution.
– Contact a debt management agency to help you get out of the situation.
– Speak to your doctor or a counsellor when you feel depression setting in.

Take care of yourself and others. Thanks for reading.

Cutting The Running Costs Of Your Car

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It doesn’t matter how cheap you buy your car. Running costs can soon add up and make car ownership very expensive. Fortunately, by being crafty on the road, we can all spend much less. Here are just a few key ways in which you may be able to save money on your vehicle.

Start driving economically

Most drivers no longer show off about how fast their car drives. Fuel economy is the thing to boast about these days. The most obvious way of doing this is to drive more smoothly, braking earlier and accelerating less hard.

There are other ways of using less fuel of course. Using up unnecessary electrics will burn through your fuel faster (for example, turning on air con when it’s not needed). Excess weight will also create more drag and burn up more fuel (such as keeping the boot loaded with work stuff or keeping a roof box permanently fitted).

Save money on fuel with apps

Apps can now save you money on fuel. Some can help you to drive more economically, by giving you details on your car and helping you to drive it more smoothly. Meanwhile, other apps such as GasBuddy are handy for comparing gas station prices in your immediate area. This is particularly good for when you’re in a new place and don’t know the local gas rates.

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Shop around for insurance

Car insurance is one of the most detested car running costs. Your best way of lowering this cost is to continuously shop around using sites like Confused.com to find the best rate of the moment. Some insurers will try to persuade you to stay by offering no claims bonuses but these are rarely worth clinging onto – there may be deals for new customers out there that are much cheaper.

Try to avoid tying yourself into a long scheme of several years as this will prevent you from shopping around and switching. Make sure to also look out for perks and drawbacks of each individual scheme. Do they offer a free hire card whilst getting your vehicle repaired? Do they cover driving abroad? If you’re insuring for theft and fire too, do they cover the cost of replacing your belongings inside the car?

Consider a black box

Black box insurance schemes are another way of getting insured for less. They’re particularly worthwhile for new drivers, who often have to pay extortionate amounts. A black box measures your performance and will raise your rates if you speed – but keep your rates low so long as you drive sensibly. Some drivers may find this is a little too restrictive, but it may still be a good temporary option for those strapped for cash.

Up your insurance deductible

Your deductible or excess is the amount that you’re willing to pay for repairs before getting compensation from your insurer. Offering to pay a higher deductible can lower your rates drastically. For those that aren’t accident-prone, this could be a handy trick to take advantage of – just be prepared to pay this deductible if you ever do need to make a claim.

Pay off repairs with a loan

For damage that your insurance company is unwilling to pay for, borrowing may be the best option. There are plenty of loans out there all with different interest rates and credit score requirements. Even those with a particularly low credit rating can still use sites like ReallyBadCreditOffers.com to take out a loan. Just expect high interest rates as a result. You may alternatively be able to pay off debt using a credit card or – for an interest free option – by borrowing a loan from a family member or friend (just don’t make a habit of it).

Get multiple repair quotes

Repair centres will all charge different rates for fixing up and servicing your car. Whilst you may feel loyal to one mechanic, it can beneficial to always shop around. Sites like WhoCanFixMyCar.com can allow you to gather multiple quotes. Some mechanics may not be on these comparison sites, so it can be worth seeking these out and either ringing them up or visiting them in person.

Reputation can be important to consider as there could be some repair centres out there that are charging cheap fees to make up for dodgy dealings or a bad track record. Most mechanics will have a website and online reviews.

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Buy your own parts

A repair centre will look to make a profit on any parts they order in. You may be able to order these parts yourself and lower this cost. There are many sites such as BreakerLink.com that sell second hand parts for cheap. Whilst sites will generally monitor sellers to check that they are honest, it’s always worth being careful when shopping online. Even items do meet legal requirements, they may not always be the best option over a brand new part. Partially-worn tyres for instance are almost always a rip-off – cheap ones may be so worn that they’re practically the same as the tyre’s you’re replacing.

Try DIY repairs

Whilst some of us love to get under a bonnet, many of us would much rather leave this work to professionals. In many cases, the latter option is safest both for getting quality repair work and to protect your insurance scheme. However, there may be some small repairs that you can do yourself, saving you the cost of going to a mechanic such as replacing headlight bulb or even a brake pad. There are Youtube tutorials and online step-by-step guides on how to make these repairs.

Along with these repairs, you should also keep a close eye on your fluids. You’d be surprised how many visits to the mechanic are the result of someone not checking their oil or engine coolant on a regular basis.

Avoid high parking fees

Another big cost of driving can be parking. JustPark is an app that you should highly consider getting your hands on as it can find local parking and compare prices (much like Gas Buddy does with local gas stations). This is particularly worthwhile when visiting a city – you may be able to find a free supermarket car park or even pay a small fee to park on someone’s rented-out driveway.

Airports are a common place where people can get caught out by high parking fees. You can sometimes lower these costs by paying for parking in advance. Alternatively you may be better off taking public transport or getting a lift to and from the airport from a friend or relative.

Don’t drive everywhere

This one is obvious – but worth mentioning. You shouldn’t rely on your car to get around everywhere, only to get to places quickly or places that are far away. Walking or cycling to the shops occasionally can save you a lot of money on fuel and parking. Even public transport may be cheaper in some cases.

What To Do When You Can’t Afford To Buy A New Car

Don’t panic if you haven’t got the money to buy a new car outright. Lots of people are faced with this problem, but there are many solutions. Here, we’re going to take a look at 3 of the best solutions you can consider when you can’t afford to buy a new car. Take a look and see what’s best for you!

Finance A Car

Financing a car has pros and cons. You will own the car when you finish paying it off, but you must pay for it each month until you’ve paid off the total sum. This can go on for years, which is why some people prefer to lease a car and then get a brand new car after a few years. We’ll talk more about leasing later!

Join A Car Club In Your Area

Joining a car club in your area is a great idea if you don’t need a car all the time. You simply pay an annual membership, and then the amount of time you want to borrow a car for. If you only use a car for the occasional road trip or family getaway, this is a great option for you.

Lease A Car

Leasing a car also has pros and cons. You’ll be able to get a new car every few years, but you will never own your car when you lease it. You’re basically borrowing the car. This option suits many people over buying – you can compare leasing and buying in the infographic below!

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Diversity and Stability: The Difficult Balance of Building a Stock Portfolio

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If making money through prudent investment were easy, everyone would be doing it. In an age where investment is an increasingly perilous minefield subject to the caprices of numerous world markets, investors face a difficult balancing act. Where do they invest their money to minimize their risk while making realistic and tangible returns on their investment?

Nobody wants to bet the farm on an investment that could either double or burn through your investment within a year. Likewise, nobody wants to sink their money into an investment that will trundle along safely enough but without any yield or less yield than any given high street savings account.  While calculated risk is an intrinsic part of investment, there is a way to find a happy medium.

Diversification

Conventional wisdom dictates that the more diverse your stock portfolio, the less vulnerable you are to risk. It sounds simple, but the reality is that it’s difficult to know where, how and how much to invest to avert risk while increasing your yield. Let’s say you have $10,000 to invest. If that money is spread across 50 investments and only 2 or 3 are profitable, your might not be courting risk but your yield will be significantly hampered. For best results, it’s recommended to limit your investment to no more than 15-20 stocks across a broad range of industries. This way you’re protected against major risks yet your investment is not stretched so thin that you face the risk of low-to-no return on investment. This is a difficult balance which doesn’t come overnight. Investors tend to spend years learning their risk tolerance and the extent to which they’re willing to ‘gamble’ on the prospect of a high yield.

Of course, the greatest guard against risk aversion is making sure your money is invested in the right places in the first place but this tends to be untenable unless you understand the different types of risk.

Types of risk

Broadly speaking risk comes in two categories when it comes to investment:

Systematic Risks – These risks (also known as “undiversifyable” or “market risks” are associated with all businesses and industry and are dictated by the macroeconomic conditions of the global climate. They are determined by inflation rates, political instaibilities (like Brexit in the UK), and international exchange rates. These will affect virtiually every stock which is shy synthetic investments have been created to immunize investors against the caprices of the market. Bitcoin, for example, is a decentralized digital currency that appeals to many investors for exactly this reason. You can see its value here on the bitcoin price chart. While a nascent concept, many are investing in bitcoin out of an inherent mistrust of the infrastructure of the financial industry.

Diversifiable – Diversifiable risks are not systematic and are specific to particular businesses, industries and markets. They are determined by the growth or stability of these industries and businesses and as such can be averted much more easily through diversification.

While no investment strategy is bullet proof, investors tend to be able to minimize risks without compromising their yield by striking that balance that can only come with time, experience and education.

To Settle Or Consolidate? That Is The Question

Debt is an occupational hazard of life. An individual even needs to get in debt to boost their credit score. It isn’t uncommon to find people who owe a balance on their credit card or who have missed a bill or two as a result.

However, owing too much is a potentially risky strategy. Although being in arrears isn’t rare, there are drawbacks. For example, you can ruin your credit score and lose assets. To many, they want to be rid of their obligations as soon as possible.

As such, they turn to debt settlement and consolidation. But, which one is best? Here are the things to watch out for whether you settle or consolidate.

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Debt Settlement: Smaller Payment

In simple terms, a person contacts the creditor and makes an offer. Say that individual owes $5,000, they might offer to pay back $2,500. Although this seems unlikely, it works for many reasons. To begin with, creditors want their money and are willing to be flexible. Better to get half than zero. Plus, there are stipulations. Lifehacker.com says you may have to pay back a percentage, say 15% up front, and then continue with a payment plan. Either way, if they accept, the debt will shrink in size.

Debt Consolidation: Simplifying The Process

People think that debt consolidation is also cheaper, but that isn’t true. The monthly payment might reduce in cost, yet it is paid back over a longer period. In the end, the amount is more. So, what’s the benefit of consolidating? Well, to simplify the process of debt. Owing money on a variety of credit cards is difficult to manage. By merging the debts, there is only one payment to make every month. For lots of people, the idea of making the process easier is very tempting. Also, it’s an affordable method because the rates are minimal.

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Debt Settlement: Owe Multiple Creditors

It isn’t all picnics and rainbows, though. The reason that people in debt use resources such as debtsettlement.co is to avoid dealing with their creditors. Look at it this way. You have settled with one creditor and cut the arrears in half. That’s a great result, right? Yes, it is, but you still have to do it with three or four more companies. On average, families have up to 3.7 pieces of plastic per household. Trying to negotiate an agreement with numerous organisations is a lot o hassle and hard to pull off.

Debt Consolidation: Takes Forever

Picture the scene. You’re paying back the debt at an affordable rate and getting the creditors off your back. Sorry to burst your bubble, but this could be a scenario which lasts a very long time. Because of the rates, it can take an age to wash your hands of debt consolidation. Yes, the arrears will go away in the end, yet people don’t like being vulnerable for this length of time. After all, it impacts your quality of life.

As you can see, there are pros and cons of both. To answer the question, you have to figure out which pros are best and which cons are easy to stomach.

It’s Not Just About Getting Out Of Debt. It’s About Staying Out Of Debt!

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One of the most common issues that a lot of people run into when it comes to their finances is debt. People often end up getting into large amounts of debt during periods when their finances are under control. They take out loans, buy things on credit cards, and then don’t worry about the consequences. Then, when their finances start to take a turn for the worse, they panic and work hard to drag themselves out of debt again. However, far too many people end up right back where they started rather than learning anything from what they went through. As fantastic as all of the advice online for getting out of debt is, it’s just as, if not more important, to stay out of debt as well. Here are a few things that you can do in order to do just that.

Get back in the black

The first thing you need to do is, of course, get yourself back into a stable financial position. There are plenty of ways to drag yourself out of debt, from setting aside money every month to start paying it off to going to a site like consolidated.credit and taking out a loan to consolidate your debts into a single payment. Whatever you do, you need to make sure that your finances are back in the black before you can start making some significant, permanent changes to your financial attitude.

Make a budget and stick to it

One of the most common reasons why people who are in a comfortable financial position end up getting themselves in trouble is that they don’t know how to live within their means. They end up assuming that they have the money that they need and then go on spending sprees without thinking. Even if you’re not spending huge amounts of money, little bits of spending can add up very quickly. You need to create a household budget that clearly shows your income, outgoings, and whatever’s leftover at the end of the month. By doing this, you can be sure that, no matter what, you never spend more than you actually have.

Don’t hide from your bank balance

This sense of overconfidence in your financial security often leads people to avoid their bank balance as much as possible. It’s a strange, hiding your head in the sand approach that causes people to assume that as long as they don’t look at it, they don’t have to worry about it. Of course, that’s obviously a ridiculous attitude. It’s crucial that you keep a close eye on your bank balance no matter how confident you are in your financial security. The moment that you stop paying attention to it is the moment that you end up spending too much and getting into some serious trouble.

It’s often far too easy to let yourself become lax when you’re financially stable, however, because of the uncertainty that surrounds so much of the modern economy, you really do need to work hard to make sure that you’re always vigilant when it comes to your finances.

Should You Really Be That Worried About Debt?

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There are few words in the English language that are capable of striking more fear into a lot of adults than the word “debt.” When people hear the word debt, they assume that things have gone horribly wrong and that their finances have completely gone down the toilet. Now, the reasoning behind this is pretty understandable. After all, no one likes the idea of owing money to someone else, and people who are in debt are often assumed to be unable to pay that money back. However, that’s not always the case. In fact, debt is a central part of just about every aspect of the modern day economy. Here are just a few reasons why you shouldn’t necessarily be panicking about your debt.

Everyone has it

One of the most important things to remember about being in debt is that you’re certainly not alone. The vast majority of people in the modern age are dealing with some kind of debt. Whether you’ve taken out a mortgage, bought a car on finance, or dealt with some kind of emergency on a credit card, debt is something that allows a lot of people to be able to live their lives without panicking about their bank balances. Don’t let debt be a source of anxiety in your life and remember that just about everyone around you is probably dealing with the same thing.

It’s important for your credit score

One of the strangest things that a lot of people run into when they first start dealing with their finances as an adult is the idea of a credit score. You’d think that never taking out a loan or paying for something on a credit card would leave you in perfect standing in terms of your credit rating, right? Wrong. The truth is that unless you’re able to show that you can pay off your debts reliably and on time, you’re never going to get a decent credit score. If you pay for something on a credit card but you’re able to show that you can pay it back on time, you’re going to be in a much better position for things like loans and mortgages in the future.

There are ways around it

A lot of people treat debt as some kind of life sentence when the reality is that there are plenty of ways around it. One of the best things that you can do is to consolidate your debt. The idea behind that is to take out a single loan which allows you to pay off your debts and reduce them down to a single monthly payment. Check out consolidate.loan to see what kinds of loan rates you can find. Of course, your credit rating is going to impact the kinds of loans you can take out, so make sure that you’re making your repayments on time!

Of course, it’s important to remember that it’s very easy for debt to spiral out of control. Just because your debt isn’t necessarily something you need to be panicking about, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be aware of it and treat it carefully. The last thing you want is to be careless with your money and end up getting into some kind of serious financial trouble.

What Might You Need To Start Your Own Business?

It used to be the definition of the American Dream: being able to make enough money to start up your own small business and develop it into a so called ‘empire.’ Yet everyone seems to be in a good position to establish their own start up nowadays. However, not all is as it seems. A lot of people move into the self employment world too quickly and as a result, lose out. So if you want to rush into your own office and start running your own business from tomorrow at 9 am, there’s a few things you should consider immediately from the start.

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A Well Developed Idea

This is definitely something you need to start your own business, as you’ll be lost without it. A well developed idea doesn’t mean you need to know every detail, facet, and emergency that could crop up or be mapped out. However, you do need to know where your business is going to end up, realistically.

A business plan is the essential first step in starting up your own business. It can be simply done with some business charts which you can use simple statements on, keeping the piece short and sweet and easy to read. This means everyone involved can follow it along. Find a handy guide at entrepreneur.com.

The Necessary Funds

Think about every nook and cranny cash needs to flow into. If you can’t cover them all from a business’ establishment, you’ll either need to wait or raise the funds.

You can raise some funds through plenty of means, which include grants, crowdfunding, and of course taking out a loan. A loan is the most classic of ways to get some quick cash, and can often be paid back by a business’ earnings. So if you don’t have all the pennies required, look into turning to loans first of all. Make sure you look around for the best one suited to you at places like cashloans.co for the right interest rates and money in hand.

The Knowhow To Keep An Eye On Your Cash Flow

Even if you have no skill in keeping finances on track, learning on the job is pretty effective. You can also hire someone to take care of it for you, but that takes up an extra wage, and some people simply prefer not to because it’s their business.

Your cash flow is what keeps you in business. Knowing how to use it is the mark of a good owner. Your cash flow both in and out needs monitoring regularly. Make sure you have all subscriptions and services noted down and cancelled when you’re no longer using them. This is often forgotten, and businesses suffer as a result. Though no one’s fault, you could lose thousands in simple mistakes after all.

So there’s plenty you might need to take into consideration when it comes to starting a business. Most of these are concerning the finances involved in start ups and running according to these.