Posts Tagged: ‘credit card debt’

Tips to Remember When Applying for a Balance Transfer Credit Card

June 19, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Some debt is unavoidable and not always a bad thing, like taking out a mortgage to purchase your new home.  But if you are carrying a lot of high interest credit card debt, you may have trouble reaching certain financial goals.  One of the most effective ways to pay off the credit card debt quickly is by transferring the balance over to an interest-free credit card.

Here are three helpful tips for using these cards.

  1. Read the fine print. Do this carefully and find out what your credit limit will be. You will not be able to transfer more than the limit and if you exceed that limit, you will likely face a fee.  Find out if there is a penalty, APR.  That is when the credit card company increases your interest rate to 25 – sometimes 30% if you pay a single bill late or commit another violation of the terms & conditions (usually listed in the fine print).
  2. Choose your card wisely. Balance transfer credit cards vary and typically offer initial interest rates at 0%, but beyond that there are some big differences.  Remember, the 0% interest rate will only last between six and 12 months, after that a more standard interest rate will apply- and typically not a good one.  In addition, a lot of balance-transfer cards will charge a balance transfer fee.  The fee will typically be between 3% and 5% of the sum of what you are transferring.  For example, if you are transferring $20,000 and paying a 4% balance transfer fee, it will cost you $800.
  3. Pay off your debt within the “promotional” period.  To make the most of your balance transfer, set a goal of paying off the debt before the 0% rate expires. This will require you curb your spending habits.  Canceling your cable package and instead streaming movies and TV shows can save you $1,500 or more a year.  Take your lunch to work three days a week, instead of eating out every day.  Making small changes like this to your daily routine can really add up.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources: http://host.madison.com/business/investment/markets-and-stocks/tips-to-know-before-applying-for-a-balance-transfer-credit/article_4e4cac08-515f-59a6-aaff-d3175e8af42a.html

 

U.S. Credit Card Debt Expected to Surpass $1 Trillion this Year

June 13, 2017 Posted by kingcade

According to a recent report from the Federal Reserve, credit card debt in the United States is $8,038 per household. That is $940.2 billion total- up from $885.4 billion at the same time last year.

This comes after a first-quarter debt reduction when people oftentimes use their end of year bonus to pay down credit card debt in the New Year. While this year’s Q1 payment was 14% higher than the previous year, it is still almost 9% behind the effort in 2015.

WalletHub is predicting an additional $60 billion in new credit card debt in 2017, which would easily push the United States over the $1 trillion mark.

Here are some tips to quickly pay off credit card debt.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:
http://www.wkbw.com/news/national/credit-card-debt-to-surpass-1-trillion-in-2017

2017 Credit Card Debt Study: Trends & Insights

Tips for Seniors Struggling with Credit Card Debt

May 2, 2017 Posted by kingcade

If you are a senior struggling with credit card debt, you are not alone.  For the first time, middle-class households headed by someone 50-plus years of age carried more credit card debt on average than households of people younger than 50, according to a recent study by Demos National Survey on Credit Card Debt.  Half of the respondents said they carried medical debt on their credit cards and a third said they used credit cards to pay for daily expenses.

Seniors carry credit card debt for a variety of reasons.  Some are still paying off educational loans or their children’s educational loans.  Many seniors are carrying credit card debt into retirement.  The debt may have been management when they were working, but has become a burden when their income level drops.  Oftentimes, medical debt compounds the problem, as health insurance only covers a portion of healthcare costs.

Here are some tips for seniors to help take control and manage their credit card debt:

  • Find a nonprofit credit counselor.  The sooner you seek help, the better.
  • Contact your credit card company to see if you can work out a payment plan.
  • Adjust your lifestyle. Cut your expenses (i.e. – expensive cell phone plans, cable and Internet packages);
  • Get help with budgeting. Paying off your debts only works if your spending is under control.  Know where your money is going every month.  Making a few small changes  to your monthly expenses can add up and give you more money to pay down debt.
  • For medical debt, talk with your doctor’s office to see what your options are. Avoid medical credit cards they may offer you; these come with very high interest rates, regardless of your credit score.
  • Consider a reverse mortgage. There are many ways you can use your home to get through difficult financial times, but there are risks associated with taking this route.  Make sure this will solve your financial problem without adding to it.
  • Consider bankruptcy. If you are struggling with insurmountable credit card or medical debt, bankruptcy may be right for you.  This option will allow you to reorganize your financial situation and discharge your debts if you cannot pay them.  There are several different types of bankruptcy, so you want to carefully weigh your options.  Many bankruptcy attorneys offer free consultations and will advise you on the best course of action.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/retirement/2017/04/09/seniors-rising-credit-card-debt-squeezes-tight/100102614/

 

What happens when credit card companies sell your debt?

April 25, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Barclaycard sold $1.6 billion of credit card balances in the first quarter of 2017 to the personal-loan company, Credit Shop Inc.  Oftentimes, the accounts that are sold are ones that the card issuer has determined to be too risky for its business or are already in delinquency.  In these type instances, a card issuer can sell the account balances for pennies on the dollars.

Here is what you need to know if your credit card company sells your debt.

The reasons card issuers buy and sell debt.  Some debts are more “reliable” than others.  For this reason, cardholders pay widely different interest rates, depending on how risky the lender judges them to be.  “Subprime” borrowers tend to pay substantially higher interest rates to make up for the possibility that they might not be able to pay back the debt.

How will you know if your debt has been sold?  In many you will only find out if your debt has been sold when you hear it from the new owner or a debt collector calls you and demands payment.

What if a debt collector calls? If you receive a call from a debt collector, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects you from abuse and harassment.  A debt collector is not allowed to call you excessively or make any threats.  They are also prohibited from calling you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. and cannot misrepresent the amount you owe.  By law, you have the right to demand documented proof of the existence of the debt and the amount you reportedly owe. This request must be made in writing within 30 days of the first contact from a debt collector. During the time it takes to investigate and reply to your request, all calls from the debt collector must stop.

You also have the right to request that all future contact be made in writing. This can prevent disruptive and embarrassing calls at home or at work.  You have the right to sue if a debt collector violates any of these rules.

What responsibilities do credit card companies have? Under the federal CARD Act, which went into effect in 2010, credit card companies are required by law to give cardholders 21 days from the date the statement mails to make a payment.  Credit card companies are also required to provide a 45-day written notice before any rate increases. If you receive this notification, consider paying off the account if you are able to or transferring your balance to a low-interest credit card or zero-percent interest card, which overtime will be less costly to repay.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

http://www.nasdaq.com/article/what-happens-when-credit-card-companies-sell-your-debt-cm776572

The New Shape of U.S. Household Debt

April 14, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Household debt in America has been reshaped in ways that could potentially affect how financial experts are able to help manage a consumer’s liabilities. The overall debt of U.S. households is $100 billion smaller than it was in 2008. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, it also looks a lot different now than it did then.

Mortgage debt remains the largest debt burden. However, its share of household debt has declined along with that of credit card debt, while the share of student loan debt and auto loan debt has grown.

By the end of 2016, mortgage debt accounted for 71 percent of household debt, down from almost 79 percent in 2008. Student debt had more than doubled since 2008 and more than tripled since 2003 to 10.4 percent.

Auto loan debt had a 9.2 percent share at the end of 2016, which is approximately one-third larger than it was in 2008. All three types of debt had larger shares of households’ income than credit card debt.

All of this means that housing debt fell $1 billion from its peak in 2008 of $9 trillion, while student loan debt rose $700 billion and auto debt rose $350 billion.

Financial experts attribute the change in household debt to a change in the demographics of U.S. debt. Households that are headed by those 60 years old and older now account for just over 22 percent of outstanding U.S. debt, which is up from 16 percent in 2008.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.