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Debt Management

Ask an Expert: Is a Debt Management Plan Right for Me?

Q. What types of situations are recommended for Debt Management Plans? How much debt do I have to have? Dear reader, A Debt Management Plan (DMP) is a service offered by credit counseling agencies, where they will work with your creditors and establish a payment plan that will help you repay your debt in full. It may be a debt repayment option, if you have considerable credit card debt and you …Read More

The Benefits of Credit Counseling

NFCC-certified consumer credit counselors are experts that can tailor confidential programs to meet the specific financial needs that you may be facing. They are equipped to help you with an array of financial issues,whether you need help paying off debt, managing your student loans or help understanding your specific financial situation. They are here to help so you can get on the road to financial freedom. Services available at our …Read More

Ask an Expert: What options do I have to repay debt before collections?

Q:  I have overextended myself with credit card debt and acquired loans to try to pay them off and just gotten deeper and deeper. I am not behind on anything however it is getting harder to keep up. I do not want to let my bills get so behind that they fall into the hands of a debt collector. What options do I have to repay my debt? Dear reader, …Read More

Debt Consolidation vs. Debt Settlement vs. Debt Management Program

What is Debt Consolidation? Debt consolidation typically involves getting a lower interest loan to pay off multiple high interest secured or unsecured debts, such as credit cards or payday loans. The consolidation loan is generally secured against the borrower’s assets such as a home or a car.  Because credit card debts have such high interest rates, even an unsecured consolidation loan can significantly reduce the borrower’s monthly payment. For some this …Read More

Ask An Expert: How do I remove negative remarks on my credit report?

A: Dear reader, removing negative information from your credit report could be a good strategy to boost your score and improve your credit history. Negative data can reflect past financial mistakes you’ve made (like paying your credit cards consistently late) or they can be errors made by the credit bureaus or the creditors reporting to the bureaus. These errors might include having other people’s account reported on your file or …Read More

Ask An Expert: I’m struggling to make payments on my student loan. I have all federal and Perkins loans. Should I consolidate them to get lower interest?

A: Dear reader, consolidating your federal student loans could be an option to help you manage your payments and potentially avoid default. However, combining your loans may help you for other reasons that do not necessarily include lowering your interest rates. If you are thinking about consolidation, you can start by looking into Direct Consolidation Loans. This type of loan offers a consolidation option at no cost to you through …Read More

The Debt-To-Income Ratio Explained

Dear Kim, I am considering buying my first home. I have been doing some research and keep hearing about debt to income ratio. What exactly is the debt-to-income ratio and how does it affect my mortgage application?   Dear Reader,   The debt- to- income ratio, or DTI, is a ratio that lenders use to determine how much of your monthly income is being used to pay your debt.  There are …Read More

Tips to Settle Credit Card Debt

Settling debts is not easy. Many individuals ask us for tips to settle credit card debt. Settling your debts may be possible when a verifiable hardship exists, such as medical problems, unemployment, underemployment, divorce, or death of a family member. Recent credit card debt is more difficult to settle than other kinds of debt (medical debts in particular are generally a good candidate for settlement).   The customer service representative …Read More

Single Mom Tackles Over $80,000 of Debt with Credit Counseling Help

  By Mark Foster Carmen Harmon of Rogers, a single mom of three children who went through an emotionally difficult divorce that sent her finances into a downward spiral, was selected as the COA Debt Free Client of the Year. In the years following the divorce, she had accumulated $82,000 of credit card debt. She also bought a home, but was unable to sell her previous home, so she was …Read More

The NFCC Congratulates NerdWallet for their Recent Award

 By Tara Carter Congratulations to our friends at NerdWallet for their Honorable Mention in the Most Innovative Non-Bank Financial Services Organization category at the 2016 BAI Global Banking Innovation Awards! Those nominated for this award are non-bank financial service organizations that provide financial products or services directly to consumers.[i] NerdWallet stood out among many others with their free online Checking Account Tool that evaluates 14 inputs from users against more than …Read More