Using Credit Cards to Get More Out of Black Friday Sales

For many people, Black Friday shopping is a ritual. They start on Thanksgiving by getting the circulars that are advertising the sales that will be offered Friday morning. Many people then set up a plan to camp out at those stores, sometimes in freezing temperatures, so they can be the first in line when it comes time to shop and get the limited specials.There is a better, and warmer way to get in on great holiday sales. Use your credit cards.Learn What Your Credit Card OffersMany credit card companies have seasonal specials of their own hoping you will make your holiday purchases on their cards. Take a little time out today to log on to your credit card company website and look for any of the specials they are advertising. You may find a list of stores they are working with to offer something a little extra on your Black Friday shopping. Perhaps they will offer double or triple points or cash back for the purchases you make with your card through select stores.Find the Black Friday DealsNext you need to do a little research to find out what Black Friday deals are out there for you to take advantage of. Make a list of the ones that you are most interested in. Now see if any of those stores are also companies that your credit card company is offering a special savings with. This way you can double or triple up on rewards when it’s time to buy.Start ShoppingOne thing you need to remember when it comes to Black Friday sales is that they start at the crack of early. Generally they begin at 12:01 A.M. on Friday morning, so you need to stay up late (or get up real early) to make sure you can get in on the online deals before they are sold out.Cyber MondayJust in case you don’t get all the shopping you had hoped to done on Black Friday, there is also Cyber Monday shopping. The Monday after Black Friday has become the biggest day for Internet sales of the year and many companies will be offering special sales this day as well.

Credit Card Debt Among College Students – Consolidation May Be An Option

Credit card debt among college students is becoming a serious problem. The easy access to credit cards coupled with the lack of financial responsibility has caused a large number of students to drop out of college due to their excessive debt. In some cases students have lost their educational loans due to excessive credit card.Credit card companies frequently target college students with credit card offers that seem too good to pass up. In truth they are too good to be true. There are many expenses that come with attending any college or university. Even with student loans, grants and scholarships money is frequently very tight. The temptation of easy money in the form of a credit card is often too much to resist.No one seems to be talking about credit card debt among college students. It is the last thing on a student’s mind. When confronted about excessive credit card debt they frequently rationalize that the debt can be paid off once they have graduated. Dreams of a high paying job that will provide all the funds necessary to pay off all their debts is frequently cited.Peer pressure to party and to enjoy the good life can also be a factor excessive credit card debt among college students. Soon the credit card bills are being paid with funds that were meant for books, lab fees, tuition and housing. Using student loan money to pay high interest debt is really just plain stupid. The end result of which frequently means the student must drop out of college. In some cases these excessive debts are passed on to the student family which is already strained by the costs of providing an education to their son or daughter.Dropping out of college should be avoided if at all possible. A possible option that may be able to address credit card debt among college students is a consolidation loan. Consolidation loan programs are available that will consolidate all the students loans including credit card debt into one loan package. It goes without saying that the student will have to cut up their credit cards and live on a cash basis through graduation.In most cases college students leave home very poorly prepared to handle their own financial affairs. Some have never used or balanced a check book and many have not saved for their own college education. In many cases a financial crisis such as defaulting on a credit card can be a good educational experience. On the bad side credit card debt among college students can cause a student to drop out of college and ruin their credit rating.Many students do not even know what a credit score is and many do not care. Even graduating from college with honors may be negated by a poor credit rating when looking for a job. The best thing to do is not own or use a credit card while in college. Living on a cash basis is a much better path to graduation that will provide better money management skills that will last a lifetime.

Two Hidden “Legal” Risks of Debt Consolidation Loans

What are Debt Consolidation LoansDebt consolidation is combining outstanding loans (debt) into a single package (consolidation). The debts therefore become one “new” loan, and instead of making several small payments on the loans you used to have, you make one larger payment on the new loan. Ideally and typically-and what has made debt consolidation loans popular as a home remedy for debt-the new loan is secured by some asset, often your home, and this allows you to obtain lower interest rates. Thus consolidation, in the final analysis, is the conversion of debt that is not secured into debt that is secured by some real asset, in exchange for lower interest rates. It can reduce your monthly payments considerably.Occasionally people ask me whether debt consolidation is a good, economically constructive solution to their credit card problems. Usually, the answer is that it is no. Certainly it is not a solution by itself.Why Doesn’t Debt Consolidation “Work?”As a pure financial transaction, exchanging a lower interest rate for a security arrangement can be a very reasonable decision. Why then has it been such a disaster for so many people? Risk. Most people entering into complex financing are not able to assess risk and account for it, particularly when they are under economic pressure-which they usually are when they consider debt consolidation loans. Thus people systematically underestimate the risk that they won’t be able to make the payments on the new debt.Additionally, since most people do not really want to go into debt in the first place, the existence of large credit card debt is indicative of other problems, either too little money or a tendency to overspend on unnecessary items. These issues are more likely to be made worse by the sudden reduction of economic pressure and the sudden, apparently greater amount of money or credit available to be spent.The Hidden Legal Risks of Debt ConsolidationIn addition to these “systemic” issues, there are two main hidden costs of consolidation that should be considered: loss of flexibility, and the nature of secured debt versus unsecured debt.Consolidated Loans are Less FlexibleWhen you have ten loans for different things, from automobiles to credit cards, you have flexibility if hard times strike. If you simply cannot make your payments, you can give up some, but not all, of the things you have purchased. You can let some, but not all of the credit cards go into default. This is certainly not a happy thing, of course, but it raises the possibility of individualized debt negotiations, debt forgiveness, or even missed statutes of limitation. Again, these are not the choices and hopes of someone in flush economic conditions, but they are real options facing many people right now. In order for a debt collector to start garnishing your wages, it must find and sue you, must win, and then find your assets. It is an expensive and risky process for the debt collector if you fight. They sometimes drop the ball, and there are limits to how much of your wages can be garnished.If everything else fails for you, you can declare bankruptcy, where homestead exemptions are likely to allow you to remain in your home.The Nature of Secured DebtThe bigger risk of debt consolidation loans is the nature of secured, versus unsecured, debt. Remember that what powers the lower payments for consolidation is the existence of security-usually your home. Your home secures the debt, and that means that if you do not make your payments on the new debt, the lender can foreclose on your home and take it away. Foreclosures are generally “expedited” proceedings, meaning that your defenses are limited and the time for asserting them is restricted. In many states foreclosure is not even a judicial proceeding, although you have some legal rights you could assert in certain circumstances.And what all that means is that instead of facing the prospect of years of battling over high-risk debts and questionable payoffs that could be trumped by bankruptcy, the banks can waltz into court and emerge in a very short time with your house.Put a little differently, your debt consolidation loan could make you homeless almost before you know it. And bankruptcy often, if not usually, will do nothing to protect you.ConclusionI urge anyone considering debt consolidation to think about these risks very carefully.

Financing College Expenses With Student Loans or With Credit Cards?

But what happens when you won’t have enough money by the next month to pay the whole balance? Or, in other words, what if you need finance to make ends meet? Is a credit card the best source of finance or are there other options that you can turn to if you need funds to cover your expenses?All these questions will be answered in the following paragraphs. What we want to make students understand is that finance is a serious issue that should be well thought. Rushing in and choosing the easiest path can lead to unfortunate consequences that can easily be avoided by doing a bit of research and making conscious decisions.Other Finance Sources The truth is that when it comes to students, lenders are more flexible and a student will be able to get finance at low interest rates without too much hassle as long as he is willing to go through the process of applying for a loan.Many people feel that using a credit card and getting finance through it is not borrowing money, but it is. There is no difference between that and applying for a loan. So, given that either way you’ll owe someone money, you might as well borrow money with a lower interest rate.Federal Loans carry the lowest interest rates when it comes to student loans. The interest rate charged for a federal loan is usually below 6%. Another benefit that comes with this kind of loans is that the repayment is deferred till graduation. Moreover, you can sometimes agree a deferment of up to a year after graduation.Regular loans on the other hand carry somewhat higher interest rates but nevertheless lower than other unsecured personal loans. Repayment can also be deferred and payment schedules can last longer than federal loans. Also, private loans provide higher loan amounts than federal loans.Credit Cards If you choose to finance yourself with credit cards, you must understand that costs will be a lot higher. Unless you always pay your balance in full (in which case you wouldn’t be financing) the interest rate you’ll be charged for credit will be as high as 20%, let alone other charges and fees like insurance, issuing costs, etc.Not only is the interest rate a lot higher, but it is also not fixed. So variations in market conditions may increase the interest rate charged and you’ll end up paying a lot more than you expected. Besides you cannot defer payment, you’ll have to begin to pay for your purchases the following month. And if you choose to pay the minimum you’ll end up accumulating debt which is a dangerous thing to do as the minimum will increase every month and you’ll end up being unable to pay your credit card balance.

Debt Consolidation – Watch out for Payday Loans

Most any large city has a number of small shops offering payday loans. They’re often found in strip centers; sometimes they double as pawn shops. They have a simple business – they lend you money until your next paycheck. The system is pretty convenient; you write them a postdated check for the amount you’re borrowing plus interest. On your next payday, they cash the check and your loan is paid off. What many people who use payday loan services fail to realize is that the interest rates charged by these firms are substantial, often reaching the equivalent of four hundred percent per year!The interest rates charged by payday loan stores varies from state to state, but a rate of 15-17% for two weeks is not unusual. This translates to 390-440% per year, which is a staggering amount of interest to pay on a loan. The lenders say that these amounts are fair, and are necessary to cover the overhead associated with running a business and to account for a substantial number of borrowers who fail to repay the loans. That may be true, but that high of an interest rate can turn the “convenience” of a payday loan into a nightmare. Many borrowers are relatively low paid blue-collar workers who live from paycheck to paycheck. Someone who is a “bit short” this week may also find themselves short again on their next payday. If they fail to pay back the payday loan, the interest continues to accrue and additional penalties, such as returned check fees, may apply. It is quite common to see loans of $300 or so turn into debts of several thousand dollars, especially if the borrower compounds the problem by borrowing funds from a second payday loan store to pay the loan from the first one.Several states have already passed laws capping the interest rates that may be charged on payday loans. Others will undoubtedly follow. A good alternative to the payday loan would be to take a cash advance on a credit card. There is usually a fee associated with a cash advance, but the annual interest rate, combined with the fee, is still a lot cheaper than a loan at 400%. Anyone who is considering taking out a payday loan should read the terms carefully. Otherwise, that “loan until payday” could be there to haunt you for a long time.

Low Cost Debt Consolidation Loans

If you have debt and that debt includes two or more monthly payments to lenders at high interest rates, you do not need to be held hostage by burdensome repayment plans. Combine what you owe with a debt consolidation loan and watch your monthly payments and overall debt drop dramatically. Basically, you have two options that can help you head down the road to financial recovery. Let’s explore what they are so you can find the plan that works right for you.Banks, Savings Institutions – Your bank may be all too glad to lend you money to help you consolidate your debt. However, banks also charge application fees ranging from $50 to $200 or more per loan. In addition, banks make getting a debt consolidation loan difficult as approval for this type of loan is hard to get especially if your existing debt levels are high.New Credit Card – While the bank’s personal loan department may not want your business, their credit card department just might. Tighter bankruptcy laws and mergers and acquisitions in the credit card arena have intensified competition for new business. Truly, it is a buyer’s market for the smart thinking consumer and a “debt consolidation loan” in the form of a new credit card may be all that you need to obtain some relief. By selecting a card that charges no annual fee, offers a low introductory rate, and allows you to transfer balances from existing loans or cards to your new card, you can lower your monthly payment and reduce your overall debt burden. Shop around for the best deal and save.Of course, if you select a new credit card make certain that you cancel your old credit cards to avoid the temptation of running up new balances. In addition, your credit score will improve once your old accounts have been closed and the credit reporting agencies have been notified.A debt consolidation loan is not right for everyone, but it can offer relief for the burdened consumer, such as you.

What Makes Up Your FICO Score

There are five factors that make up a FICO Score:1. Payment history evaluates whether or not you’ve paid all your bills on time and for how long. Sources say that payment history accounts for 35 percent of your score. So if you have any late payments recorded in the 30 + days late category, your credit score will reflect that. The longer the credit history and the longer history of on-time payments, the better the score will be.FICO Score Factors Tip
On-time payments of at least 24 months from at least four creditors are optimal. Home loans, car loans, and major credit cards are the best. Store credit cards and gas credit cards are secondary.Consider closing your miscellaneous store and gas credit cards and make use of a Visa or Mastercard. Store and gas cards might affect your credit negatively if they’re too new and if they give you too much available credit. The more credit you have available, the more debt you can acquire.2. Money owed accounts for 30 percent of your score. Debt-to-credit ratio is ascertained by adding all current outstanding debt bal-ances and dividing that by the available credit. The FICO system doesn’t like you being maxed out. The FICO system wants you to owe less than 50 percent of your available credit – on each card.FICO Score Factors Tip
Keep all your credit cards under 50 percent of its max.
Never pay off a credit card prior to applying for a home loan – it won’t make any difference on your FICO score.3. Length of credit history accounts for 15 percent of your score. This is the amount of time you’ve had the credit lines. The FICO system likes at least 24 months of good, on-time history with each credit line. Home lenders like to know you can pay off debt over time.
Note: you won’t get a credit score unless you’ve had at least 6 months of activity on a credit line.FICO Score Factors Tip
It’s better to have a few lines of credit for 12+ months than it is to have many lines of credit for 6 months.4. New credit lines accounts for 10 percent of your FICO score. Attempts of acquiring new credit lines negatively affects it.FICO Score Factors Tip
Hold off on using credit for any major purchases and obtaining any new credit 6 months prior to applying for a home loan.5. The type of credit you use accounts for up to 10 percent of your the score. A good responsible mix is important here. Remember, you’re convincing a system, not a person, so you’ve got to give the system what it likes and withhold what the system doesn’t like

Two Hidden “Legal” Risks of Debt Consolidation Loans

What are Debt Consolidation LoansDebt consolidation is combining outstanding loans (debt) into a single package (consolidation). The debts therefore become one “new” loan, and instead of making several small payments on the loans you used to have, you make one larger payment on the new loan. Ideally and typically-and what has made debt consolidation loans popular as a home remedy for debt-the new loan is secured by some asset, often your home, and this allows you to obtain lower interest rates. Thus consolidation, in the final analysis, is the conversion of debt that is not secured into debt that is secured by some real asset, in exchange for lower interest rates. It can reduce your monthly payments considerably.Occasionally people ask me whether debt consolidation is a good, economically constructive solution to their credit card problems. Usually, the answer is that it is no. Certainly it is not a solution by itself.Why Doesn’t Debt Consolidation “Work?”As a pure financial transaction, exchanging a lower interest rate for a security arrangement can be a very reasonable decision. Why then has it been such a disaster for so many people? Risk. Most people entering into complex financing are not able to assess risk and account for it, particularly when they are under economic pressure-which they usually are when they consider debt consolidation loans. Thus people systematically underestimate the risk that they won’t be able to make the payments on the new debt.Additionally, since most people do not really want to go into debt in the first place, the existence of large credit card debt is indicative of other problems, either too little money or a tendency to overspend on unnecessary items. These issues are more likely to be made worse by the sudden reduction of economic pressure and the sudden, apparently greater amount of money or credit available to be spent.The Hidden Legal Risks of Debt ConsolidationIn addition to these “systemic” issues, there are two main hidden costs of consolidation that should be considered: loss of flexibility, and the nature of secured debt versus unsecured debt.Consolidated Loans are Less FlexibleWhen you have ten loans for different things, from automobiles to credit cards, you have flexibility if hard times strike. If you simply cannot make your payments, you can give up some, but not all, of the things you have purchased. You can let some, but not all of the credit cards go into default. This is certainly not a happy thing, of course, but it raises the possibility of individualized debt negotiations, debt forgiveness, or even missed statutes of limitation. Again, these are not the choices and hopes of someone in flush economic conditions, but they are real options facing many people right now. In order for a debt collector to start garnishing your wages, it must find and sue you, must win, and then find your assets. It is an expensive and risky process for the debt collector if you fight. They sometimes drop the ball, and there are limits to how much of your wages can be garnished.If everything else fails for you, you can declare bankruptcy, where homestead exemptions are likely to allow you to remain in your home.The Nature of Secured DebtThe bigger risk of debt consolidation loans is the nature of secured, versus unsecured, debt. Remember that what powers the lower payments for consolidation is the existence of security-usually your home. Your home secures the debt, and that means that if you do not make your payments on the new debt, the lender can foreclose on your home and take it away. Foreclosures are generally “expedited” proceedings, meaning that your defenses are limited and the time for asserting them is restricted. In many states foreclosure is not even a judicial proceeding, although you have some legal rights you could assert in certain circumstances.And what all that means is that instead of facing the prospect of years of battling over high-risk debts and questionable payoffs that could be trumped by bankruptcy, the banks can waltz into court and emerge in a very short time with your house.Put a little differently, your debt consolidation loan could make you homeless almost before you know it. And bankruptcy often, if not usually, will do nothing to protect you.ConclusionI urge anyone considering debt consolidation to think about these risks very carefully.

Available Options For Debt Reduction – Debt Consolidation Loans

The first step is to consider all of your options for getting out of debt. Before I settled on negotiating my own debt, I had to consider whether it was feasible to just pay my creditors, approach a debt settlement specialist, or declare bankruptcy.So what are the options to get out of debt?Option Number 3: Debt Consolidation LoanDebt consolidation loans are exactly what they sound like. If you have a lot of high interest credit cards or other loans, you can secure a debt consolidation loan at a lower rate of interest.The downside to this option is that it can be a risky business to find a reputable company to secure you the consolidation loan. It also doesn’t really solve your problem in the immediate term. You still have to make monthly payments to pay back the loan from the debt consolidators.If you decide this is the option right for you, it is crucial to find a reputable company. The best sources for information on this point are the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies and the National Foundation of Credit Counseling. Any company you approach for a debt consolidation loan should be a member of one or other of these organizations.As a general rule, you should avoid zero-interest credit cards and similar, if you have debts. In many instances, you won’t qualify for one of these types of loans anyway (they target people with good credit) and if you do, you have to keep in mind that the favorable interest rating on the money you borrow is unlikely to last forever.

Discover How Debt Loan Consolidation Can Help Get Your Finances Back On Track

Are you so in debt that you need help and you feel that nothing can sort out the big mess you have gotten into? Well debt loan consolidation may be the answer to your problems. No matter how bad your debt is as long as you work you will be able to consolidate your debts. This will help you to reduce your monthly expenses by offering you a monthly repayment plan.If you are also fed up of juggling your credit cards then debt loan consolidation will definitely help, you will be able to take out a loan that will help consolidate your debts into one manageable monthly payment that will not only stop the stress but will also provide less worries about your money.Most individuals and folks who have high debts feel embarrassed about their situation. However because more and more people are in debt nowadays It’s actually much easier to get help and find a service that offers the right debt loan consolidation.You will need to find debt creditors or companies that you can trust and who offer the best services to help you to rid your debts. Finding a reliable debt collector can really take the worry about how bad your debt really is. Good debt companies will help you to find the best debt loan consolidation and also help you to manage your monthly budget and create a short, long term plans that will help get your debts back on track.A few things you need to consider before opting for debt consolidation loans.If you are planning on using it to wipe your credit cards then once they are paid off you need to destroy them so that you won’t be tempted to be spending again on the cards. Otherwise if you continue to use them, then you will be paying monthly for the debt consolidation loan and also the credit cards so this will just lead to more debt and you will likely face a situation likely to be bankruptcy which will lead to more stress.Debt loan consolidation can help you to improve your finances by offering you a loan that has lower rates and gives you a number of loan repayments so that once the months are up then your debts have also gone. The lender or creditors will often only accept 3-5 years for paying off the loans after that your loans will be paid off.So 3-5 years will be all it takes to eliminate your debts by using a debt loan consolidation once and for all. No more stress or loans after that and no more payment for them. So as you can see using loans to consolidate your debts can really help you so long as you don’t use your credit cards anymore and live within your monthly budget. Follow the plan that the service gave you and if you find it working great and you have lots more spare money then you can even ask for an early settlement that will get rid of yours debts much faster.