Posts Tagged: ‘high interest credit card debt’

Debt Consolidation: What will it do to my credit score?

November 17, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Accumulating debt each month can be stressful and overwhelming.  As you research options to lower or eliminate your debt, consolidating credit cards or loans may seem like a good option.  But many wonder what effect this will have on their credit score.  It all depends on how you consolidate and what you do with your debt moving forward.

  • Debt Consolidation Loans. This is one of the most popular forms of consolidation. But finding a loan that has decent terms, when you have less than perfect credit can be challenging.  Double-check certifications to make sure that you are working with a legitimate consolidation company.  Scams are prevalent in the loan consolidation business.  Effect on Your Credit: Consolidating credit cards with high balances using an installment loan with fixed monthly payments may improve your credit rating for a period of time. But at the same time, any new loan can cause a short-term dip in your credit score.
  • Debt Management Plans (DMPs). These type plans are oftentimes confused with debt consolidation. DMPs are offered through credit counseling agencies.  You make a “consolidated” payment to the counseling agency, which then pays your creditors- usually at a reduced interest rate.  This option requires you to close or suspend your credit card accounts. Effect on Your Credit: If you have a good credit score and adhered to a creditor’s repayment terms in the past, a DMP could have a negative impact on your credit as it indicates that you are experiencing or have experienced difficulty with payments.
  • Credit Card Debt Transfer. Transferring high interest credit card debt to a card with a lower rate or 0% interest rate card is another way to consolidate.  However, it is important to always read the fine print.  Effect on Your Credit: It depends on how you use the transfer. You will often see a temporary dip in your credit score when opening a new card.  You may also lose points if you open a new card and use a majority of the credit line to consolidate.

Paying down debt can have a tremendous impact on your credit scores. The biggest risk, though, is that it is easy to run up new balances on the cards you paid off in the consolidation.  When paying down debt, periodically check your free credit report to see where you stand.

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 McMaken 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 McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

http://blog.credit.com/2017/11/will-debt-consolidation-help-or-hurt-your-credit-64133/

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

Goldman Sachs Extends Consumer Lending Arm

March 2, 2017 Posted by kingcade

More than a third of borrowers with FICO scores above 660 have high interest credit card debt, making them an ideal customer for “Goldman’s Marcus,” which offers personal loans of as much as $30,000 for up to six years. Personal, or unsecured loans, are well suited for debt consolidation. They do not require borrowing against something of value, like a house or car, which makes them particularly attractive for those without that kind of equity.

Online lenders have joined in as well.  SoFi, Lending Club and Prosper, have emerged in recent years to offer these types of loans as the alternative, particularly for the millennial generation who may want to consolidate their debt but do not have the home equity for a secured loan to do it.

The number of people taking out unsecured loans increased more than 15 percent to 15.82 million in 2016 from 13.72 million the year earlier and is now at the highest level since 2009, according to TransUnion.

Proceed with caution if taking out these loans, as it will increase your overall debt level.  They also cannot match the zero percent balance transfer offers when it comes to consolidation.

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.

Three Simple Ways to Pay Off Credit Card Debt

February 28, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Many consumers know the problem with using credit cards is that oftentimes you end up paying for purchases after you buy.  The average interest rate on a credit card is 13.51%- if you carry over a balance.  As of September 2016, cardholders carried on average a balance of $7,527.  When you pay off your credit cards in full or have your debt discharged in bankruptcy, you have more disposable income for your financial goals and can better plan for your future.  But how do you get there?

Here are three simple steps to eliminating your credit card debt.

Step one: The obvious- Stop using your credit cards.  Pay in cash for all of your purchases.  For online purchases use PayPal or your debit card.  Using a “cash only” system allows you to spend what you have.

Step two: Make extra payments toward the principal. Lenders are required to show you how long it would take to pay off your credit card if you only made the minimum payments.  Request your statements be mailed to you, online you may not be able to see this number.  It will certainly give you a wake-up call.  For example, the average American with $7,527 in debt, would spend 11 years paying the card off if they only paid the minimum balance.  The interest would cost you $2,869!

Step three: Set financial goals and SAVE for them.  Set up savings accounts for your big purchases. For example, if you are going to need a new car in the next 6 months or are planning a family vacation this summer.

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.

How to Tackle Long Term Credit Card Debt

February 2, 2017 Posted by kingcade

It takes 13 years to pay off a $5,000 credit card bill, if you only pay the minimum each month. Florida is in the top 5 states with the highest credit card burden, according to a recent study from CreditCards.com. The study also sheds light on the effects high credit card debt has on U.S. household finances.

By allocating at least 15% of gross monthly income toward credit card debt, the typical Florida consumer’s payoff time drops to just 18 months and costs $678 in interest, in the above scenario.

Here are some other proven ways to help tackle long-term credit card debt.

Be careful how you spend that bonus check.  Seasonal commissions and bonus checks can provide an added sense of confidence when it comes to spending.  Not a good thing, if you are struggling to pay down credit card debt.  Break this extra income up into three parts: debt reduction, major purchase and savings.  Remember: paying off a large portion of credit card debt can save you thousands in interest.

Consolidate.  If you have multiple unsecured loans that you would like to have lumped into one payment, debt consolidation may benefit you.  This option gives you the opportunity to save hundreds of dollars with a lower interest rate and you can combine all of your payments into a single monthly payment.

Cut your budget. One of the best ways to pay down your debt is to find savings elsewhere. Cut down on your grocery bill, cancel monthly membership fees you may not be using as much as you thought you would, etc.

Define your goals. Do you want to reduce your debt or be completely debt-free?  Set timelines for yourself and how much you need to pay to meet those goals each month.

Prioritize. Focus on paying off the highest-interest debt, first. This is your biggest financial drain.  Another idea is the “snowball method,” which essentially means paying off the debt with the smallest balance first, continuing to the debt with the next lowest balance, etc.  This strategy allows you to see immediate results in paying down debt, and builds confidence and momentum to keep you on track to pay down the rest of the debt.

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

Related Resources:

https://www.thestreet.com/story/13937063/1/how-to-tackle-the-high-costs-of-long-term-credit-card-debt.html