4 Important Steps to Take After Getting Out of Debt

Paying off debt is one of the biggest steps a person can take toward achieving greater financial security. However, once they get out of debt, they may wonder what comes next. Many make getting out of debt their focus, but when it happens, they become complacent. To avoid falling back into those old patterns, follow these steps for a debt-free life.

Set a Budget and Stick To It

After working hard to eliminate debt, a person may be tempted to relax where their finances are concerned. While it’s okay not to worry so much about money, if budgeting falls by the wayside, it’s easy to end up back in debt. Ease up a little bit, increase spending in certain categories, but don’t stop budgeting.

Build an Emergency Fund

Now that those debts are paid off, there’s likely to be a bit of extra money at the end of the month. Use it to create or add to an emergency fund. These powerful financial tools serve as an insurance policy against emergencies such as medical bills and job losses. The experts suggest setting aside at least six months’ living expenses, including rent, groceries, and other costs of living.

Increase Retirement Contributions

Many people slow or stop their retirement account contributions while climbing out of debt. While that’s acceptable, it’s important to start contributing again once the debt is gone. Putting in fifteen percent of one’s income is a great goal to strive for as far as retirement savings are concerned. If an employer offers 401(k) matching, make contributions as often as possible. Once the 401(k) is maxed out, consider opening another retirement account such as an IRA.

Plan for the Future

Now that there’s a bit more money floating around, it’s time to consider some long-term financial goals. For instance, those … Read More...

6 Benefits of a Debt-Free Lifestyle

For most people, debt-free is the way to be, for very good reasons. When a person isn’t held back by a loan payment or other financial obligations, they can live a richer life. In this guide, readers will learn the advantages of a debt-free lifestyle.

The Ability to Choose

When people are burdened by debt, they often get into a cycle that’s difficult to get out of. However, when they don’t owe anything, it puts an extra spring in their step. Instead of putting all that extra money toward debt, they can travel, donate to charity, or spend it however they choose.

No Anxiety

There’s tremendous anxiety in debt. Knowing that the credit card company or auto lender expects a certain amount by a predetermined time is unsettling, especially when there’s a tight budget. Worse still is the anxiety that comes with having to pay a monthly mortgage. When debt is paid down, borrowers feel relief in knowing that they will have one less payment to make.

More Savings

If a person has no debt, they don’t pay interest, which means they can divert those funds into a savings account. With additional savings, it’s easier to put money aside for retirement or unexpected expenses.

More Fun

It’s easier to fund dreams when debt isn’t part of the picture. With the money that would otherwise go toward credit card bills and other debts, it’s easy to create a “just for fun” fund. Travel to Europe, take up a hobby, or do something fun without worrying about the cost.

Financial Health

When people have no debt, their credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and other financial health indicators are typically good. Though it may not seem very important, good credit is extremely useful. For instance, a potential landlord may use a person’s credit score … Read More...

Things to Consider When Buying Lawn Mowers

One of the most exiting experiences a person can have in life is buying a new home. Before a person buys a home, they will need to reach out to real estate professionals for help. Once the right home has been purchased, a person should focus on keeping their new residence in pristine shape.

The main thing most people will notice about a home is the condition of its grass. Keeping the grass around a home trimmed and healthy is only possible when investing in quality Lawn Mowers. The following are some of the things a person will need to consider before buying a new lawn mower.

Getting the Know the Yard a Home Has

Before heading out to look at a new lawn mower, a person will need to walk around the yard and get a feel for its layout. When walking around, a homeowner needs to pay attention to the hills and slopes the lot has. If a yard is filled with hills and slopes, then getting a powerful riding lawn mower is probably a good idea.

If the yard is relatively flat and small, getting a walk-behind mower is the best course of action. Trying to make this important decision without getting to know the yard around a home will be nearly impossible.

Assessing the Quality of the Brand in Question

When trying to get the right lawn mower, a homeowner will need to research the brands at their disposal. One of the best ways to get an idea of how well a brand of mower is built is by looking at the online reviews it has.

Neglecting to do this type of research will make it very hard for a homeowner to get the best mower on the market. Allowing professionals to provide guidance can … Read More...

How to Find the Right Debt Consolidation Professionals

Debt consolidation loans are becoming popular options for people who are ready to get out of debt for good. The fact is, these loans offer a wide array of benefits, including the ability to turn multiple debt payments into one. This makes paying off debt and getting out of it easier than ever before.

Unfortunately, there are more than a few companies offering debt consolidation loans today, which makes it more difficult than ever to find the right company. The good news is, there are a few tips that can be used to help ensure the right debt consolidation company is found and used.

Ask Around

One of the first things a person should do when trying to find a debt consolidation loan is to ask others if they have used these services in the past. Take some time to get recommendations of several debt consolidation lenders. This is a great way to find an option that will meet the needs a person has.

While this is a great way to begin the search, it isn’t the only consideration to make. It’s never a good idea to make a decision based on someone else’s recommendation alone.

Do a Bit of Research

Once several options have been found, the next step is going to be to do some research on the companies that were recommended. Find out how long they have been providing debt consolidation services and read reviews from other customers who have used the company in the past. It’s also a good idea to look at things like trust ratings, fees, owner information, and other pertinent information that could help establish the business as a legitimate option for debt consolidation services.

When it comes to finding a service provider for a debt consolidation loan, there are more than a … Read More...

Details About Credit Card Bankruptcy Help

In the US, credit card debt presents the second greatest financial hardship for consumers. The first is student loan debt. When managing credit card debt, consumers review the most suitable way to pay the accounts off and avoid credit difficulties. Reviewing details about how bankruptcy helps with credit card debt shows consumers what options are available.

Reviewing Credit Card Debts

The attorney reviews the volume of credit card debt the consumer has. The amount determines if it is worth filing for bankruptcy. The type of credit card plays a role in choosing the most suitable way to settle the debts. Secured credit card accounts present the risk of asset loss. The consumer must take action to avoid the seizure of the asset.

What is Discharged Through Bankruptcy?

Credit cards that are discharged through bankruptcy are unsecured in most cases. The accounts include retail store cards and credit cards that aren’t connected to a bank account directly. If the consumer files for bankruptcy, the unsecured accounts are included in debts that are discharged. The accounts are no longer the consumer’s responsibility if all requirements of their bankruptcy are completed.

Are Settlement Offers Better?

A settlement offer is negotiated by the attorney. The offers allow the consumer to pay off the debt in one lump sum payment or through small installments. The creditors reduce the balance by at least 50%, and the account is removed from the consumer’s credit history after it is paid off.

Improving the Credit Rating

Paying off credit card accounts improves the consumer’s credit rating. Lenders review the consumer’s income-to-debt ratio when offering a loan. If the ratio is too high, the consumer won’t qualify for the line of credit. Eliminating credit card debt is an effective way to increase credit scores quickly.

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