The Real Cost Of Your Debt

I want you to take a good long look at your debt. Do you really know what it costs you to be in debt? Are you thinking that you can handle it or is it getting you down?

Once you start really analyzing your debt position and the cost (to yourself) of having the debt, the results can be mind-numbingly shocking.

Ive found that debt is a lot like smoking. When you start out, you believe youre in control and you can quit at any time. As the months and the years roll past, this initial belief does not fade away. With every debt you incur, the mantra I can afford this, repeats itself in your subconscious until you wake up one morning and realize that youre in over your head.

Debt has well and truly caught you in its trap. Debt has become a bad habit.

And just like any bad habit, debt requires as much hard work and discipline to shake. The first step in the process is to acknowledge that you have a problem – instead of turning a blind eye, hoping it will go away or thinking that youll get around to it some day in the future.

One of the motivators to setting your feet on the path to debt free living is to look at the real cost of that debt. What is it doing to you? Where does it hurt the most?

Most debts (the ones that make you cry into your morning coffee anyway) are the ones that are incurred for a period exceeding one year. Youve probably seen or heard advertisements that go something like this:

Buy your Wiggly Snoogle for this special one time limited offer today 24 easy monthly instalments.

Beware this is where you can fall into the deadliest trap of them all. The interest rates are usually above average and youre stuck into a long term contract. Yes, getting your Wiggly Snoogle with the 25 000 features sounds like a good idea because of the easy monthly payments; especially if you compare it to the one time lump sum payment. (By the way, using the lump sum to monthly payment comparison is a well known sales technique to separate you from your hard earned cash.)

Lets take this out of the realm of philosophy with a real world example:

You borrow $ 10,000 to buy a new car. Over a 48 month period thats 4 years of monthly payments you will be paying an additional $ 2,000 in interest. So, your $ 10,000 vehicle is actually costing you $ 12,000. The cost of that debt is a whopping $ 2,000. If you had taken that $ 2,000 and invested it over the same period, it could have grown to $ 3,000. Instead, it has disappeared into someone elses pocket never to be seen again.

This is where the lenders make their money. The longer they can have you in their clutches, the longer they can smile all the way to the bank and you groaning on the way to work.

Now Im not saying that you shouldnt have a car its just an example of the REAL cost of debt. Sometimes debt is unavoidable, but as a species weve become too complacent about debt and we jump into it without thinking.

Your Magic Plastic (a.k.a. Credit Card) is another one of those fiendishly sneaky evils the banks developed to rid you of your money. If and thats a big if you manage your credit card correctly and pay off the full amount at the end of each month, they can be great to have and smooth the little rough patches in life. But most of us only pay the minimum amount required each month and thats exactly what the banks want. It leaves you in the red and owing them money. Which gives them ample opportunity to apply the thumb screws. Remember, every month youre in the red, youre paying interest on the outstanding amount which gets added to your bill.

The big mistake we all make is to look at our monthly statement and say: Hey, thats not too bad. I can still afford my repayments. And I have some credit available to buy that wiggly snoogle as well! The problem arises when you battle to make your income stretch through the month because of the various different repayments you have to make.

Its critically important that you start looking at the TOTAL COST of your debt over your lifetime. Once youre over the shock and horror of how much of your hard earned cash is going up in smoke, youll be in a position to tackle the problem head on and take the path to debt free living.

Remeber: Bad debt is a bad habit.

Debt Consolidation Is Simple

In our Western culture we know way too much about debt. It is much more rare to find an individual or a family that is not in debt than it is to find people who are burdened by debt. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Shouldn’t we, living in the most well-developed society in the history of the world, no how to live in a way that keeps us free from debt? Obviously not. The good news, however, is that debt consolidation is possible and even simple to do.

Basically, the idea of debt consolidation is just what it sounds like. It is gathering all of your separate debts into one large debt and simplifying your monthly payments into one lump monthly sum. It is much easier to keep a handle on spending and on paying off debt when you have a big picture perspective that debt consolidation brings.

The first step in making debt consolidation a reality is to gather all of your financial information and your debt obligations into one place. Too often people are not even aware of how much debt they are in or of how much interest they are paying on each debt by not paying it off quickly. So gathering each debt will help you to get an accurate picture of what amount of debt consolidation you have to do.

Do not be afraid to meet with a financial advisor or planner during this time. It is wise to seek the council of professionals who are trained to help people with debt consolidation and to making financial freedom a real, tangible possibility for families no matter what their financial status is currently. Do not attempt to make it through the process of debt consolidation on your own, especially if you have little or no real idea of what you need to do.

A great way to lower the possibility of future debt or of further need for debt consolidation is to get rid of all of your credit cards except one. Consolidate your credit card debt and then get rid of them. Having multiple credit cards only gives you an excuse to spend more money that you do not really have on things that you do not really need.

Find a way to create a living budget and then stick to it. Be generous enough to not make your life miserable, but don’t be so free with your money that you continue to add to the need for debt consolidation. Learn to live within your means. Yes, you may have made some poor financial decisions in the past, but that does not have to hinder you from making better decisions for the future of your family.

Debt consolidation is a wise first step in moving toward financial freedom. Don’t wait any longer to make steps toward eliminating debt in your life.

Can You Get A PayDay Loan With Poor Credit?

PayDay loans are often able to provide individuals with short term loans during their times of financial need. For the most part, these loans are given out to individuals in order to tide them over until their next PayDay, which for many people is about two weeks.

In order to get a PayDay loan, individuals need to provide the PayDay loan providers with certain documentation, including identification, proof of employment and, sometimes, collateral. One thing that individuals do not need when they apply for a PayDay loan is good credit. This helps to make the loans even more attractive to many people because there are not a lot of rules and regulations that are put into place to govern the handout of such loans. A person’s credit does not matter, but the person will need to provide the lender with proof of identification and employment. Only in some cases will PayDay loan providers require individuals to supply paperwork that proves they have collateral, or an item that they own worth at least the amount of the loan they are taking out. This often includes the title for a car or something similar.

Individuals with bad credit often have a very hard time getting loans from traditional lenders. This often results in individuals who are in need of money being denied loans, which can negatively affect their lives and standard of living. In order to help counteract this, there are a number of specific lenders that will give out money, in the form of a loan, to individuals that apply for a short-term PayDay loan. In almost all cases, an individual’s credit is so irrelevant to a PayDay loan that the credit of an individual is not even checked. However, individuals who have bad credit and are looking to improve their credit scores can benefit from their PayDay loans. There are some lenders that will later report to the credit agency. Individuals with poor credit that take out a PayDay loan, pay it back and have their lender report the loan to the credit agencies will improve their credit scores. If an individual borrows some money in the form of a PayDay loan from a lender that does not report to the credit agency, they will not be able to improve their credit score.

Moreover, individuals can apply for certain short-term loans regardless of how much debt they currently have. The amount of debt that an individual currently owes can also affect their odds of getting a loan from a more conventional lender. PayDay loans are different in this respect as well since the PayDay lenders do not research how much debt an individual currently owes.

PayDay loans are easy for almost anyone to get. This includes individuals with poor credit or no credit. The signature loans, which most PayDay loans essentially are, are loans that are very simple in nature. They only require a signature on the loan form and certain examples of identification. Credit is not much of a factor when it comes to these loans, so individuals, regardless of what type of credit they have, can benefit from a PayDay loan.

Banking and savings customer service and reputation forefront in

Banking and savings customer service and reputation forefront in decision-making.

52% of us have moved our savings because we were unhappy with customer service, according to the latest moneyfacts.co.uk user polls. 42% of us have avoided a particular account provider due to a friends bad experience.

With bank account providers, 46% of us have moved current account because of bad customer service and 45% have avoided a certain bank because of a friends bad experience.

Accessing our banking and savings via the internet is becoming increasingly popular but still many of us prefer to pick up the phone or visit a branch. Our finances are something that we need to take seriously and can cause a lot of stress. This means when we want to discuss them or need help, we need to be treated fairly and receive a good service.

Banks are continually being slated in the press for unfair charges and for things such as going overdrawn. This, along with hearing about people close to us having had a bad experience, would be enough to put many of us off choosing a certain account provider. However important good service is to us, we should still be aware of interest rates being offered by different providers.

The average rate of interest paid on current accounts is 1% gross on a balance of 1. However, current account best buy charts on moneyfacts.co.uk show that rates of over 4% can be earned on these accounts. Banking facilities should also be looked at when choosing your current account. For instance, is it important to have a branch near to you? Do you want to use internet banking?

As well as these things, if you use an overdraft on your current account it is wise to compare rates of interest on these. Moneyfacts research of overdrafts shows that some providers are charging EARs (Effective Annual Rates) on authorised overdrafts of over 20% and for unauthorised overdrafts over 30%. Again, best buy charts on moneyfacts.co.uk show that better deals are available with rates on authorised overdrafts as low as 0% (introductory) and unauthorised at under 6%.

Rates on savings accounts also vary greatly. On no notice accounts at 1,000 the average rate of interest is around 2%. The savings best buys charts show that rates of over 4.5% can be found. Again, account facilities should be considered.

Things To Look For With A Christian Debt Consolidation Company

Things To Look For With A Christian Debt Consolidation Company

Christians are basically uncomfortable with the idea of having any form of debt. To them, having any form of debt tends to lead to situations that will worsen with the passage of time. Debt is a big hole, and to them, this debt hole increases with the passage of time. There are some Christians that feel that it is unacceptable to owe money to anyone, even for fundamental uses like mortgages and automobiles.

On the contrary, there are many Christians who feel that it is excusable to incur some debt for one’s living expenses, just so that the debt is not too excessive! So to cater to the needs of Christians who do end up in debt, there have recently been many debt consolidation companies and credit-counseling firms propping up who specialize in helping Christians with their problems of debt.

These Christian debt consolidation companies are usually run by Christians as they are well aware of the feelings and concerns of Christians. These organizations help their clients establish a debt repayment schedule while keeping their sentiments in mind. There is also Christian debt consolidation companies that provide spiritual counseling to their clients to go through various issues related to debt.

Most of the Christian debt consolidation companies are non-profit companies that have an aim of helping their fellow Christians come out of debt. Their main intention lies in ridding all Christians of debt. However, it is always better to check on the Christian debt consolidation company to find out if their services are really for free or not. This is because there are many companies out there who claim to offer free service, but instead, charge a fee that is included in the monthly payment you have to make to them.

After going through the different Christian debt consolidation companies, you could ask for quotes from the independent Christian debt consolidation companies. Of course, you have to choose the Christian debt consolidation company that offers the best quote that fits your budget and your needs.

Once you have chosen the Christian debt consolidation company you wish to work with, the company will send one of their consolidators to you. The consolidator will assess your financial situation, and approach your creditors to negotiate for a lower interest rate to all your prevalent loans. They will then make you a Christian debt consolidation loan that is of a longer term, giving you more time to pay the loan.

The main benefit of a Christian debt consolidation loan is that you will be allotted a large loan, to pay your multiple loans. You have to make a single payment to the debt consolidation company, and it is the job of the Christian debt consolidation company to make payments to your creditors. Another benefit of a Christian debt consolidation loan is that you are rid of facing the hassles and telephone calls from your creditors every month. It is the Christian debt consolidation company that handles all this.

The Dot Com Era is Back

In a recent article titled “Internet use threatens to overtake TV in Canada” it discusses the threat of online marketing to traditional media sources in Canada. This isn’t a a threat anymore in the US. It is a fact.

An article written by Thomas Mucha from Business 2.0 says:

People are spending more time online than watching TV, which gives marketers a better chance to reach consumers in a place where they are just one click away from making a purchase. “More than 75 percent of companies using the Internet to advertise report confidence in their return on investment,” writes the study’s lead author, Jupiter Research senior analyst Gary Stein. This confidence, Stein argues, will sustain spending momentum across all the key online ad areas: paid search, display ads, classified ads, and rich media.

Interesting to note that two studies are similar. Although The Ipsos Reid study of Canada claims radio is losing more interest than TV in Canada, it may soon lose to the Internet as well.

Mr. Mucha claims 40 percent of total spending by 2010 will be paid advertisements on Google, Yahoo and MSN to an estimate of $19 billion per year. Not much wonder why the search engines are trying to dominate each other and the marketplace. The one that becomes the most popular will also make the most money.

What will become of the little guy? Will it put an end to buying keywords for ad placement on search engines? Will the small business owner get shoved out of the picture? Maybe not altogether… but let’s face it. If GM decides they want to use the keywords you are using, can you afford to compete? The search engines will be laughing “all the way to the bank” and the cost per clicks will just keeping going up… (he-he) similar to the price of gasoline at the pumps these days.

Even though the cost of clicks may get pricey, the major search engines will always have to index relevant websites and include these results and return them on any keyword search. Professional sites (versus linkfarm, affiliate, spam sites) will always be in favour, and the sooner business can get their company sites built, if they haven’t already; the better. Google seems to be the top search engine right now, and new sites often get sandboxed. If they hold on to their dominant position, new websites want to make sure this doesn’t happen to them.

I’ve always felt that there was something Google was doing that gave some sites more relevance than others in its index, but wasn’t sure how it was applied. At the Search Engine Strategies conference last week in San Jose, California, Rand Fishkin learned that Google places some new Web sites, “regardless of their merit, or lack thereof, in a sort of probationary category” for six months to a year to “allow time to determine how users react to a new site, who links to it, etc.”

On a final piece of advice he suggests:

“Several people have also predicted that Yahoo! or MSN may take up similar techniques to help stop spam. This phenomenon could seriously undermine new SEO/Ms and new campaigns, but it is a possibility. My recommendation is not to discount this possibility and launch projects or at least holding sites and their promotional efforts ASAP. The web environment right now is still relatively friendly to new sites, but will certainly become more competitive and unforgiving with time, no matter what search engine filters exist.”

Although it is starting to sound a little like the “Dot Com era is back” it will be a little different this time around. In 2000 when it went bust, it is partly because the percentage of consumers purchasing online didn’t justify the amount of spending. There was a lack of confidence. It is different now. Jupiter’s study shows that “73 percent of Americans who use the Internet have made a purchase online and four out of five of these potential shoppers have responded to an online ad.”