Credit Card Debt, Debt Relief

Tips for Conquering High-Interest Debt

Being saddled with debt is a stressful experience, but paying it down can be even more difficult, especially if that debt has a high interest rate. It helps to identify and prioritize these debts.

Of the types of high-interest debts, credit card debt is arguably the most common and most expensive to pay down. One reason credit card debt can be so hard to escape is the fact that it is revolving. What this means is the consumer has access to a continuing stream of credit, which can make it tempting to continue adding to the outstanding balance owed. In fact, there is nothing preventing the consumer from adding more to the debt until he or she reaches the credit limit.

Bankruptcy Law, Credit Card Debt, Debt Relief

Debt Consolidation vs. Bankruptcy: The Pros and Cons

If someone is struggling with large amounts of debt, they may be weighing their options between debt consolidation and bankruptcy. There are positives and negatives to both- but ultimately, it depends on a person’s specific financial situation and life circumstance as to which choice is the right one for him or her.

What is Debt Consolidation?

Debt consolidation involves combining a person’s older debt from various sources into one new debt. This consolidation could be done by taking an unsecured personal loan to pay for the total amount owed or by transferring balances from multiple credit cards into one credit card.

Debt consolidation involves making payment to one lender, oftentimes at a lower interest rate.  These are two of its appealing factors.  However, we can tell you that debt consolidation rarely provides a long-term solution.  Our attorneys have helped many clients who were promised one result from a debt consolidation company only to receive far less, and stuck with the remaining debt.

Here are some of the disadvantages of debt consolidation.  

  • The debt cycle continues: While this option allows the consumer to consolidate multiple sources of debt, it only pays off that debt to combine it into one larger balance. Many consumers make the mistake of utilizing debt consolidation only to continue the cycle of debt.
  • Delaying the inevitable: Debt consolidation is oftentimes used as a ‘temporary’ fix, only delaying the inevitable. If a person is struggling to pay off various forms of debt, particularly if that debt is medical debt, credit card debt or personal loans- bankruptcy might be a better option, as the consumer would receive a complete discharge of these debts.

Choosing Bankruptcy as an Option.

Depending on an individual’s income and amount of debt, pursuing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case may be the wisest option to discharge the debt or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case to reorganize and pay down qualifying debt. One factor to keep in mind is debt consolidation is a big business. It can be successful for some people, but for others, it may not provide the long-term solution the consumer needs.  The attorneys at Kingcade Garcia McMaken have helped thousands of people restart, rebuilt and recover through bankruptcy.

If you have 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:

https://studentloanhero.com/featured/debt-consolidation-vs-bankruptcy/

 

 

 

Bankruptcy Law, Debt Relief, Timothy Kingcade Posts

Personal Loan Debt Reported as the Fastest Growing Category of Consumer Debt

A new trend is being observed when it comes to consumer debt across the country. More often than before personal loans are being utilized by consumers looking to pay for unexpected or needed expenses. In fact, personal loan debt was reported as being the fastest growing category of consumer debt in 2018. Personal loans reached a record high of $291 billion as of the last quarter of 2018, according to a new study from credit reporting agency, Experian.

Experian compared lending figures from 2017 to 2018 and found an 11.9 increase in personal lending in the course of one year. In fact, the increase of consumers taking out personal loans was nearly double the growth rate of consumers taking out new credit cards. Between 2017 and 2018, an increase of 5.9 percent was seen in credit card applications while personal loans grew at the reported 11.9 percent. In comparison, car loans saw an increase of 4.3 percent while student loans saw a jump of only 5.8 percent and mortgages at 2.8 percent.

One reason for the increase of personal lending has been attributed to the similar increase of online lenders and other financial technology that makes it easier for someone to get these type of loans.  These loans require only a signature as a promise to pay. High interest personal loans are oftentimes a last resort for borrowers who are in financial trouble and lenders know it. The terms and conditions are not favorable to the borrower.  If the borrower wishes to pay off the loan early, there often exit fees and penalties that come as a result.

According to the study, currently 36.8 million outstanding personal loans exist in the United States. These loans vary depending on whether they are secured by collateral or were issued unsecured. Many consumers utilize personal loans as a means of consolidating debt, while others use personal loans to finance larger purchases. Regardless of their reasons, it is estimated that 10.8 percent of adults have at least one personal loan debt.

It is estimated that the average personal loan balance, as of the end of 2018, is $15,143 with an average monthly payment of $353. Personal loans tend to carry a higher interest rate, especially those that are unsecured, and the average annual percentage rate on a personal loan is currently 9.37 percent.

Of all the age categories surveyed, the Baby Boomer generation had the highest average personal loan balance owed of $19,403. Millennials carried an average balance of $12,574, while Generation Z held the lowest balance of $5,941.

The survey found that Washington had the highest average personal loan balance in the amount of $27,295. Washington was followed by South Dakota who had an average loan balance of $26,597, Oregon with a balance of $26,527, North Dakota with a balance of $26,281, and Montana who had an average balance of $24,725. Of all the states surveyed, New Mexico was the state that had the highest number of personal loans taken out per person in the state, with a rate of 1.7. Other states with similar rates included Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Of all the states surveyed, Hawaii was found to have the lowest average personal loan balance of $12,638. Other states with lower average balances included Kentucky, Illinois, and Georgia, as well as the District of Columbia.

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If you have 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.

 

 

Credit, Debt Relief

3 Tips for Dealing with Credit Card Debt with Rising Rates

The Federal Reserve announced earlier this year that it would begin withdrawing some of the trillions of dollars it has invested since the Recession began in 2008. Although the decision is a sign that the bank is confident in the continuation of economic growth, it also means that interest rates will continue to hike. At the recent policy meeting, central bank members decided to push the target range to 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent, raising the benchmark interest rate a quarter point. This means consumers’ credit card debt is becoming more and more expensive.

Below are three tips to help you reduce or eliminate your credit card interest before the Fed increases the rate again.

  1. Try a balance transfer from one credit card company to another. Typically, credit card companies will offer you competitive rates if you inquire about transferring a credit card balance. Companies often allow you to pay a low introductory rate for a specified number of months. Before completing a transfer, ask if there is a transfer fee, and make sure the transfer makes sense.
  2. Opt for a personal loan. In recent years, many consumers are taking out personal loans as an alternative to credit cards. Although the payments are typically higher, the loans have fixed terms of five years or less and force you to get out of debt much quicker. Another selling point of personal loans is that they have fixed interest rates, which means if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, personal loan rates will not be affected.
  3. If all else fails, another alternative is calling your credit card company and simply asking for a lower rate. Your credit card company may not reduce your rate a significant amount, but every little bit helps in the long run.

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:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nickclements/2017/12/04/3-strategies-to-deal-with-credit-card-debt-in-a-rising-rate-environment/2/#3e811eed1b19

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/13/fed-hikes-rates-by-a-quarter-point.html 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/20/business/economy/fed-bond-buying.html