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How To Build Good Credit
Credit comes with pitfalls. We are told this regularly and for many people it seems to be all they ever hear about the process of paying with credit. However, if managed to your advantage, you can make credit cards work for you. Bear in mind that banks and lenders are quick to add charges to accounts when they feel that there is an opportunity to do so – and don’t give them the chance to do it. Do you believe that it costs them that much to administer to your late payment? Of course not – so make sure you are in the driving seat.
To do this, it is a matter of using credit in ways that the bank won’t recommend. The “monthly” payment on your credit card will usually be set at a small percentage of the balance, and the bank will be happy for you to only ever pay that, because you will pay off more than you ever borrow. Interest, plus any charges, will amount to as much money as you borrowed in the first place. However, you can pay more than the monthly payment, so here is how to make it work for you.
When you take out a credit card, use it as you would use an ATM or debit card. Pay for groceries with it when you get your wages at the end of the month, and then instantly pay the balance off in full. For a while, live off credit and use the money that goes into these costs to make payments to your card. Your credit rating will soar. Your bank will offer you better terms. You’ll be in the driving seat
How To Turn Things Around
It is a very rare kind of person that does not have money problems at some point in your life. It is important to realize in the circumstances that missing a single payment on your credit card does not make you a bad person, a financially reckless individual or a debt risk. This is not because it is fine to miss a credit payment – ideally, it won’t happen to you – but because there is a way back from credit problems. You need to be concentrated on finding that way back and taking it – but as long as you keep a clear head, this is more than manageable.
Missing one credit card payment is unlikely to strip you of a positive credit rating in one fell swoop. What you need to keep in mind is that there are very good reasons to treat your first missed payment as a warning sign. If you fall into longer term problems with debt, it will be much harder to escape them. For this reason you should focus on that payment and tell yourself that it won’t happen again. Pay attention to making the payment when you can, and meeting the next one when it becomes due. By sticking to this promise to yourself you will make it far more likely that the one missed payment was an aberration. If you think that you will have problems making payments going forward, look for alternative solutions such as consolidation or debt management, rather than letting the problem grow.
Unsecured Credit – You Still May Lose More Than You Gain
Although there are obvious pitfalls to taking out a mortgage or a new car loan which are not a problem with unsecured credit, there is no doubt that unsecured borrowing can still be a very risky endeavor. Just because the lender cannot repossess your possessions to make good on the loan, this does not mean that you cannot be put in a very risky situation financially. The first thing that will happen when you miss a payment on a loan or credit card is that you will go into the company’s “collections” file and they will pursue you for payment.
As well as entering the collections department, you will find that your credit record will contain the information of your missed payment. There are certain kinds of borrowing that are available to people with perfect credit ratings, including loans that have extremely low interest rates. A black mark on your credit rating will be enough to disbar you from ever qualifying for such lending, and will mean that any credit you do get will be very much on the lender’s terms.
Borrowing money can be the solution to a problem in a number of situations, but it is important to realize that without the continued means to pay the money back you will be placed in a very troublesome situation. Sometimes the best way to deal with the pitfalls of unsecured lending is just not to borrow at all. It may make for a difficult situation, but it will be one without unpleasant letters and phone calls.
Living Debt Free
There is an increasingly widely held impression in society today that in order to get by, you have to get into debt at some time or another. This is actually untrue, but because for many people the alternative seems to be a fairly boring life, they feel that it may as well be the case. However, it is possible to live life debt free if you follow some rules and bear in mind that, eventually, you will find a way to make the best of it and actually enjoy your life. Knowing that you can live a life without debt collectors writing, calling and even knocking on your door really makes a difference.
It will require you to make and stick to a budget. This may sound dull, but when you think about the alternatives – debt collectors generally do not tend to be particularly courteous people – it is something worth doing. When you have money paid to you at the end of the month, write down what you will need to spend. Food, rent or mortgage payments, transport and general housekeeping, as well as bills for electricity, telephone and other necessities – these are essential outgoings. What you have left over is disposable income.
By doing this monthly you will before long arrive at a point where you know automatically how much money you have. Treating yourself or others need not be a thing of the past. Indeed, without monthly credit repayments to meet, you will have more scope to do this. It is a more serene way to live.
Sometimes Counseling Can Help
The word “counseling” is one that can trigger some pretty extreme reactions in people. Given its long association with people under the effects of depression or other mental stresses, it is viewed by many people as being something with a stigma attached to it. However, the simple fact is that counseling can be extremely helpful, and applying yourself to a course of it need not be an admission of weakness – more that you had the strength to admit you needed help. Counseling exists today for far more things than mental stress – although it tends to be used in situations which can be enormously mentally stressful.
Debt counseling is a process that people are using more and more these days, in recognition of the fact that finding yourself unable to make your monthly payments can be an extremely stressful situation. There are many different approaches to debt counseling, a lot of which center around your reasons for ending up in the situation where you have major debt to deal with. If you can address these problems, with the help of a qualified specialist, then you can put yourself on the right track to get rid of your debt once and for all.
Look around for the counselor who you think will help you best, who will understand your reasons for falling into debt and who you think can provide common sense answers to your problems. The situation of having to pay off serious debt is something that can have unreasonable effects on your mental and physical well being. Don’t let it drag you down.
A Debt Management Plan Could Be Your Salvation
Although we as a society have become used to the potential pitfalls of irresponsible lending and borrowing, there are still countless people who have to face a situation where they are placed under extreme pressure to make repayments because unforeseen circumstances interfered with their ability to keep up with the account. If it appears that you are going to be among them, debt management can be the answer – however it is important to be able to differentiate between the debt management plans that work in your favor and those which are out to make a quick buck.
Debt management should, if done correctly, be a way of reducing the debt that you are required to pay by getting in contact with the credit lender and negotiating a stop to interest being placed on your account – along with an agreement not to place late payment fees. Additionally, this process can be paired with a concerted policy of credit repair where an expert will go through your credit file to find the unfair penalties applied and look to overturn them. This means that with time you may be able to borrow again in a situation where it becomes necessary.
Debt management is not ever going to be the most simple process. Banks are tricky to deal with when they feel that they are going to be able to get money out of you one way or another. Think before choosing your debt management partner. The right one can be your pathway to financial security – the wrong one could leave you even worse off.