This guest contribution is from Lindsey Carlton. Lindsey is the editor-in-chief at CouponsDaily.com, the leading authoritative expert on all things retail and savings. To read her original in-depth article click here
In a nation full of debt, it’s hard to find the best way to pay it off. Between student loans and a plethora of other debts, you may feel like you’ll never be able to pay off everything on time. And on top of that, there are many tools out there that promise to pay off your debt, but instead leave you frustrated.
ReadyForZero is different for a reason. The planning tool is backed up by a team who struggled with debt just like you and wants to help you live a debt-free life. Here are the 3 reasons why ReadyForZero is your financial friend.
No matter how many aspects of your financial life you work to turn around, debt can be a giant burden halting all progress before it begins. It’s the elephant in the room that must be cleared before a solid financial foundation can be reconstructed.
But herding that elephant out is a tall order.
If you’re dealing with overwhelming debt in the form of several different accounts, all with different minimum payments, balances, and interest rates, debt consolidation is one viable option to consider.
Debt consolidation essentially takes all of your debt and rolls it into one large lump sum that only requires one monthly payment. This may be in the form of a loan used to pay off each creditor leaving you with one balance instead of several; credit card transfers so all credit card debt is under one card, perhaps with a lower interest rate; or a plan worked out with a debt consolidation company in which a more manageable debt payment plan is established with your creditors and you pay the third party company instead. If you quickly want to check your rates today, try ReadyForZero’s secure debt consolidation tool whenever you’re ready.
Sound interesting? Here are just a few ways debt consolidation can get you back on stable ground.
The tangible results of debt – calls from bill collectors, denial of loans, a growing stack of past due bills – may seem like the worst part of this ever-growing financial problem. But the reality is, these events would mean little if, underneath the surface, you weren’t dealing with the intense emotional effects of the issue.
Being financially indebted to someone doesn’t just put a strain on the funds you have coming in, it can trudge up fear, feelings of inadequacy, and many more emotions that can strain other areas of your life at the same time.
The purpose of mentioning these emotions isn’t to make your current debt appear to be even more of a burden, but instead to paint a picture of what might dissipate as your debt does.
Here are a few debt side effects that you might already be feeling the effects of.
A 2014 study by the American Psychological Association found the top reasons Americans experience stress is job pressure and money. It’s possible that job pressure, once drilled down, would also equate to money and the fear of losing said job and income stream.
Dreaming is undeniably easier than doing. So when we sit down to make resolutions at the first of the year, it’s easy to be blinded by the excitement of possibility without much thought of the actions we’ll take to turn those dreams into reality.
Then enters the guilt. Guilt that we failed so quickly, guilt that we don’t actually know how to take steps forward, guilt that we just aren’t motivated enough to do anything but stick to the status quo.
There are a variety of reasons why some New Year’s resolutions live and die within the first few weeks of January, but the truth is, sometimes the resolution itself is to blame.
With 2015 now fully underway, now is the time to reevaluate those resolutions and make sure they are worth the time and energy it will take to turn them into reality.
Here are five things to consider.
If you’re struggling to make the minimum payments on your debt, missing due dates and not making any substantial headway in the process, you’re credit score likely already mirrors your situation. After all, these three numbers are supposed to be the quickest snapshot of your financial health and ability to repay creditors.
Debt consolidation may be an option you’re considering in order to regain some solid footing, but it’s important to note how this move can impact your credit worthiness and score. Will it lend a helping hand or kick you when you’re down? When you’re ready to give debt consolidation serious consideration, be sure check out ReadyForZero’s debt consolidation tool.
It depends on a variety of factors. Here are a few.
The Type of Debt Consolidation You’re Considering
While the basic principle behind debt consolidation – taking debts and combining them into one, hopefully more manageable debt – is essentially all the same, there are different ways to go about it.
Debt consolidation through a debt relief company or bank usually entails this third party negotiating for lower payments or rates on your behalf, sometimes capitalizing on relationships they have already established with your creditor.
If credit card debt is what you’re struggling with, then this type of debt can be consolidated through a balance transfer onto a new card with a low APR, or perhaps a 0% APR during an introductory period.
Bills can spur a great deal of anxiety – especially when they represent a seemingly insurmountable pile of debt.
If you’re struggling to make payments to multiple creditors at various amounts on different dates throughout the month, you’re likely feeling the pressure. Debt consolidation and the promise of wrapping each debt into one predictable monthly payment might seem like the perfect solution to your potential financial burnout. And for some, it can help a great deal.
But financial stumbling blocks like these don’t always have a one-size-fits-all solution and may require some careful deliberation on your part. Before you head down the debt consolidation path, make sure to ask yourself these questions.
If you do decide to try debt consolidation, be sure to check out the ReadyForZero debt consolidation tool.
Question #1: Have I addressed the underlying issues that created the debt?
First and foremost, have you stopped the financial bleeding that caused the debt in the first place? If, for instance, credit cards are your kryptonite, have you stopped charging? That is step #1.
In the majority of cases, sizeable consumer debt is created over a long period of time and is really just the physical symptom of a pattern of bad habits and emotions that haven’t been attended to.
When you’re in debt, it can feel confusing and overwhelming – as if you’re trying to find your way out of a huge maze with ten-foot walls and no map to guide you.
Luckily, the first step to getting out of debt is to give yourself a map. And that starts with using some kind of spreadsheet or tool to organize all your debts so you can see what you owe and create a plan for paying them off.
Now, if you’re a longtime reader of this blog, you’re already aware of a more high-tech solution than spreadsheets, but in this post we’re first going to look at the best of the traditional spreadsheets and then discuss other options, including ReadyForZero, at the end of the post.
So let’s take a look at some fantastic maps that can help you conquer debt!
When I graduated (as a newlywed) with a four-year degree, I also graduated with maxed out credit cards, student loans, and an auto loan. After two years of working, I had paid down some of the credit card debt, but a cross-country move and grad school ran the credit card debt back up, and added more to the student loans. I even ended up with more debt as a result of not being prepared to pay taxes with my home business. If there was a way to do it wrong paying for things, I probably did it.
My situation has improved since then, thanks to the efforts my husband and I have made to change things up with our finances. Here are 7 debt repayment tips that can help you move forward:
This is a guest post by Kaitlin Butler of CommonBond.
While there are a lot of great loan calculators out, it can be hard to know where to look when you just want to understand how much you’re going to be paying for a student loan. If you’re starting to shop around for loans, you may want a general picture of how much you’re going to pay, and if you’re refinancing your existing debt, you may want a tool to compare your options based on how far you’ve already come with repayment. Either way, check out these simple Excel formulas to compare different student loan options in just minutes.
Few financial words sound scarier than “bankruptcy.” And for good reason. Declaring bankruptcy is extremely serious, and it shouldn’t be anyone’s first course of action when dealing with money problems or debt.
But for some, this action could provide a solution to serious debt situations. In extremely simple terms, you can file bankruptcy when you owe more money than you can afford to repay.
Of course, the process gets complicated. Only a select group of individuals will find this option feasible, and you should only pursue this course after learning more about what happens when you file bankruptcy instead of paying off your debt.
That being said, let’s dive into this issue to better understand if it’s the right path for you and the debt you hold.