Student Debt Infographic


Image Source: Credit Guard

The decision to take on student loan debt can be a difficult one for many, as the rising cost of college (1,000% increase in the past 3 decades) makes student loans a necessity for nearly all burgeoning graduates.  When it comes to these decisions, statistics like those presented here still paint the picture that college graduates are more likely to find a job and will make more money over the course of their careers.  Unfortunately, the high cost of these student loans can also drive students into credit card debt – creating a trend that is difficult to break.

Consumer credit counseling is a tested method used to craft a debt management plan built on two principles:  Debt can be reduced through relationships built with creditors over time, as professional counselors are able to negotiate for lower interest rates and waived fees.  These counselors also provide financial education, giving participants in a debt management program the long-term knowledge to get enduring debt relief.

Read More

Get Answers for Your New York Debt Consolidation Questions

statue of libertyToday, many New York consumers are overwhelmed with debt and need effective solutions that can assist them with becoming debt free. Credit can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to it.  Although you may have heard about debt consolidation programs, it is likely that you have many questions about these programs. Here’s an outline of the most frequently asked questions about debt consolidation programs along with straightforward answers.

What is Debt Consolidation?

Debt consolidation is a type of debt management option that helps you combine several existing debts into one single obligation. You’ll find that many non-profit financial organizations offer debt consolidation services through consultation with certified financial counselors.

How Can Debt Consolidation Help Me?

Once you enroll in a debt consolidation program, you’ll be assigned an individual financial counselor who will review your financial circumstances, including the amount of debt owed and current income. They will discuss a doable monthly payment with you. From there, your financial counselor will negotiate with your creditors for a lower interest rate and a waiver of any late or penalty fees. You’ll make a single monthly payment to the financial agency, and the agency will use the monies to disburse among your creditors.

Will Debt Consolidation Stop Annoying Calls From Creditors?

Most New York debt consolidation companies like Credit Guard appoint an attorney to notify your creditors to stop all communication with you. Typically, a legal notice is sent and should put a stop to annoying phones calls within two months of your enrollment in a debt consolidation program.

What Impact Will Debt Consolidation Have on My Credit Rating?

For the most part, debt consolidation does not adversely impact your credit rating in any significant manner because you’ll be paying off the entire principal amount. However, there is a temporary drop in credit scores. Once you start paying off your debt in a regular manner, your credit score will begin to increase making way for a positive credit report.

What Types of Debt Can be Consolidated?

Private student loans, unsecured personal loans, medical debts, payday loans, finance company debts, department stores debts and credit card debts can all be consolidated with a debt consolidation program. The debts that cannot be consolidated include auto loans, mortgages and any loans that have been co-signed.

How Much Can I Save through Consolidation?

Depending on the method that you use and the amount that is owed, debt consolidation primarily saves you money on the interest. Once you consolidate multiple debts and pay with one low interest rate, the total sum saved is quite considerable.

Read More

Travel a Debt-Free Path

One of the most effective ways to travel a debt free path is to save instead of spending. Many retailers entice consumers to purchase big ticket items with low monthly payments on financing. However, if you know that you can afford the monthly payment on a financed item, why not save the money needed and purchase the item with cash? For example, instead of financing a new flat-screen TV, you could do some research to find out how much the TV is going to cost. Develop a savings plan to save up the money and then purchase the item. Even though you may have to wait several extra months before purchasing the TV, saving for it will help keep you out of debt.

Unfortunately, there may be unforeseen circumstances that can put you behind the eight ball when it comes to paying financial obligations. Even with good saving and spending habits, a job layoff or unexpected medical bill can make it tough to make ends meet. If you’re finding it difficult to pay off your debts, a debt consolidation program may be a good option. A debt consolidation program is a type of debt management plan that can assist you with simplifying monthly unsecured debt obligations like personal loans, medical bills and department store cards. You can sign up for this program with a non-profit financial organization.

Your assigned financial counselor will evaluate your financial circumstances and assist you in developing a budget to help manage your debt and finances. Your financial counselor will also work with your creditors to reduce late fees, finance charges and monthly payments. Once you’re enrolled in the program, the monthly payments are consolidated and disbursed to your creditors on your behalf by the financial organization. With a debt consolidation program, you can take control of your debt and get on a debt free path.

Must-Do’s With a Program

Once you’ve signed up for a debt management plan at a company like Credit Guard, you’re job doesn’t end there just because a non-profit organization has agreed to pay your debts on your behalf. It’s your responsibility to monitor your program to ensure accuracy and proper management of your accounts. Being proactive is always the best course of action. With any program, it’s important to:

  • Make regular and timely payments to the non-profit financial organization
  • Contact the organization with any contact information changes or new address changes
  • Monitor your monthly statements every month for accuracy. If there are any discrepancies, notify the organization immediately
  • If for any reason you are unable to make a payment, contact the organization quickly to discuss alternative options

Debt consolidation programs with non-profit organizations also offer workshops and free educational programs to sharpen your spending and saving habits. Before you know it, you’ll be on the path to financial freedom.

Read More

Get the Upper Edge on Credit Management

get the upper hand on debt

Whether you’re a business or consumer, your credit score directly affects the interest rates on credit cards and loans. With effective credit management, you can keep your credit score looking good to capture savings in interest rates and gain approval for a loan. With a good credit score, you can get that car you’ve always dreamed of, a larger home or inventory and equipment for your business. Your potential lenders and creditors will always take a good look at your credit score to determine whether or not you are likely to pay them back timely and in full.

Effective Credit Management for Businesses

Effectively managing your business credit can help your business maintain a positive cash flow. With good credit, your business will get financing when it is needed and at affordable terms. With poor credit ratings, lenders are likely to increase loan interest rates from eight to 12 percent. Suppliers also evaluate your credit to determine how much credit to extend. Instead of getting that needed $60,000 credit line, you may only get a $30,000 credit line with a poor credit score. Making smart credit decisions on your customers is also important for cash flow. With positive cash flow, you can pay off your own creditors and make profits. Effective credit management for businesses entails knowing whether or not customers are creditworthy.

If you’re in business and are having difficulty paying off your creditors or maintaining a positive cash flow, you can get financial credit and debt counseling advice from a non-profit financial organization. A certified financial counselor will review your business operations, accounts receivable and outstanding debts and assist with implementing strategies to pay off your business debts in a timely manner and maintain a good credit score.

Effective Credit Management for Consumers

If you’re a consumer and not paying your debts on time, it is likely that your credit score is taking a negative hit. In order to avoid high interest rates or the disapproval for a loan, you can seek financial advice from a credit card debt advisor at CreditGuard to help get you on the right financial path. Many of these agencies either charge low fees or no fees at all. You’ll meet with a personal certified financial counselor who will review your individual financial circumstances. A counselor can help you develop a monthly budget, so you can pay your debts on time and maintain a good credit score. Many of these credit and debt counseling agencies also offer free workshops and money management educational programs. With new financial habits and knowledge, you’ll be on the path to good credit management.

Read More

Debt and the Myth of the “Latte Factor”

A lot of get-out-of-debt articles talk about the value of cutting back in all areas of your life, and one of the most commonly cited examples is the habit of grabbing a cup of coffee on your way to work. It’s talked about so frequently that a lot of credit and debt experts have begun referring to it as the “latte factor.” It goes like this: If you buy a cup of coffee each work day and that cup of coffee costs $2, over a year you’re spending $500 on coffee. Stop buying your coffee and you save $500 per year.

Sounds good, but here’s the problem with that idea: First, if you don’t buy your coffee, you’re probably going to make it at home, and there is a cost associated with the coffee and the energy needed to heat the water to make it. Maybe not $2, but the truth is you’re not saving $2 per day by not buying your coffee.

The second way it falls apart is this: You’re on your way to work. You’re being responsible. If paying a lousy $2 for a cup of coffee helps boost your spirits on your way to your job, then there’s a psychological cost of not doing it. Likewise, there’s a psychological cost that goes along with thinking you’re so “poor” that you can’t even afford a cup of coffee. Over time, repeat nickel-and-diming can make you feel depressed and can actually cause you to eventually burn out and splurge; spending more than you would have on your daily coffee habit.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t pay attention to the money you’re spending; in fact, keeping a spending log or journal is a powerful tool for helping you cut costs. What it means is that you need to make sure the cost-cutting and debt-paying steps you’re taking are the ones that will result in the maximum benefit. Even if you enjoy cutting back on every single thing in your life and you aspire to be a leading expert in frugality, there are still things you can do to make sure you maximize your debt repayments and build your credit and savings.

Cutting little costs here and there represent tiny steps; what you’re looking for are huge leaps. Enrolling in a credit management or debt consolidation program is an example of a huge leap towards being debt free. These programs employ credit and debt counseling experts, whose primary goals are to reduce interest rates and fees, thereby lowering the amounts you have to pay on each of your debts each month. What’s more, they can take all your monthly payments and combine them so all you have to worry about is a single payment every month. Credit counseling companies can also work with you to help you make a solid financial plan for your life.

By lowering your monthly obligations and making it easy and affordable to meet them, you can pay off your debt and grow your savings a lot faster. That’s a major leap towards financial stability.

Read More

Medical Debt Can Ruin Your Healthy Credit Score

what to do with medical bills

Suffering from an illness or experiencing a significant medical condition or event can cause a substantial amount of stress in your life, and when that stress is compounded by high medical bills, you can wind up feeling overwhelmed and anxious all the time. When you can’t pay those bills on time, you may find that rather than work with you to establish a payment plan that you can handle, your health care provider may turn rapidly to a debt collection service to get the money you owe them. Since debt collection companies typically report debts to credit bureaus as a way to motivate payment and provide a stiff penalty for not cooperating with them, this also means your unpaid medical bills will translate pretty quickly into a serious ding on your credit report.

Once on your credit report, medical debt can actually have a significant effect on your credit score; in fact, a single medical collection item can cause your score to drop as much as 100 points.

Medical-related debt is different from other types of unsecured debt like credit cards and personal loans because it’s incurred while doing something necessary – getting medical care – while other unsecured debts are incurred usually by buying consumer goods, taking vacations or other purchases and expenses that are not life- or health-preserving. Yet, when it comes to your credit score, you will be penalized for non-payment just as if the debt were any other type of unsecured account.

Many individuals may decide to pay medical bills using credit cards or personal loans, but unless you’re able to keep current with those accounts, that approach only delays the credit reporting problem. In many cases, individuals who are unable to pay medical bills are already facing financial difficulty, or the medical costs they incur can force them into debt in other areas of their lives.

It may be unfair, but until the credit reporting or medical debt laws are changed, it’s up to you to take whatever steps you can to avoid medical collections and keep your credit report as clean as possible.

Debt consolidation programs provide a straightforward approach to help you get out of debt, like you can see at  In debt consolidation, you’ll meet with a debt counselor to discuss your debts and your financial situation, and then work with them to figure out an affordable way to pay them back. Your debt counselor will speak with each of your creditors to have your interest rates lowered as far as possible and also work to have fees removed from your accounts. Once your rates are reduced, your overall payments will also be lowered. Then, your debt counselor will help you establish a once-a-month payment schedule, which allows you to pay all your debt accounts with a single payment.

Sometimes, taking on medical debt is necessary in order to maintain your good health. Don’t let debts take their toll on your physical or emotional health by letting them pile up or go into collections. Enroll in debt consolidation and credit counseling and get the help you need to pay them off as soon as possible.

Read More

Let Debt Consolidation Services Guide You to Financial Freedom

Debt consolidation services are programs whose sole purpose of existence is debt relief. It is a service with a specific tactic of helping their clients deal with debt. This service collects all of your unsecured debts into a single condensed bill. They talk to your creditors and round up the debts so that there is only one consolidated lump sum payment to track. By consolidating your debt, you are more able to track and manage what exactly is owed. With just a single monthly payment you more or less take the guesswork out of having to remember previous payment schedules, which is how late fees and increased interest rates are born.

Debt consolidation services have a hand in debt relief beyond just combining your payments. They will usually provide an encompassing debt relief program that will rebuild your financing from the ground up. It is a one stop shop for debt relief.

Typically, after a consolidation, the next step is negotiation with your creditors. These are vital steps in the process, especially if you struggle to make ends meet or pay your monthly bills on time. Your consolidator can ask for more manageable payments for you. They can also lift painful late fees and lower ratcheted up interest rates.

Once you have the payments properly arranged, a debt counseling session is in order. Debt counselors from the consolidation service at will work one on one with you to help straighten out your budget. They can help you realize what you can do to maximize the effect of the money you bring in by showing you how to spend it wisely. This is the most important step of debt relief as it lays a fiscal foundation that keeps you out of debt.

Debt consolidation services are a proven method of finding credit card debt relief. More often than not the hardest part of debt relief is the first step of seeking the right kind of help.

Read More

How Can Consumer Credit Counseling Pull You Out of Debt?

pull out of debt

As you trudge along, living paycheck to paycheck, you may feel depressed about your current financial situation. If you haven’t considered consumer credit counseling, don’t give up hope just yet.

Even financially stable families suffered terrible blows to their bank accounts when our economy crashed. Although things are looking up in regards to the economy, your personal debt situation may still look miserable. Credit cards were used by many families to pull through hard times, but now that the hard times are mostly over, you have to figure out how to pay back what you owe.

What is Credit Counseling?

Consumer credit counseling actually has two parts. The first part is obvious: Counseling services to help you pull out of debt and stay out of debt forever.

While the second part is not as obvious, it’s just as important. A credit counselor can work with your creditors to reduce the APR you are charged on your credit cards. If you have ever looked closely at your credit card statements, you will see that when you make a monthly payment, a lot of that money is going towards interest. That’s why so many cardholders feel hopeless about getting out of debt. By reducing the APR you are paying, you can pay more on your cards and get out of debt faster. A credit counseling service will assist you through this entire process.

Why is Credit Counseling a Good Choice?

There are lots of options for getting out of debt. One is to stay the course you are already on and eventually, you will make it. Some people dip into their retirement accounts or refinance their homes to pay off their credit cards. While this may seem like a good idea at the time, it doesn’t improve your overall financial picture.

Consumer credit counseling, however, is a no-risk way to get out of debt that doesn’t involve more loans or suffering penalties for an early withdrawal from an IRA or 401(k). Your credit counselor will work directly with you to achieve the financial goals you have set for yourself.

Read More