Wednesday, February 22, 2012

New Government Grants Services Available

Finally, the government has unified the assistance offered in all states and US territories and provides a toll free number in the state of Washington that offers assistance and information on many new government grants services that are available countrywide. Following is a small list of the new reduced cost and free programs that are made available by the government and can assist those who cannot obtain finance through other means.

These programs tend to compensate those whose credit and financial situation will not allow normal financial solutions. These government grants and reduced cost government loans are meant to benefit those economically disadvantaged or recently unemployed. Each program solves a particular situation and has different requirements for approval. There are many online sites where you will be able to find thorough information about these programs.

Free Medicine Program and Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage

These programs are meant to help those who cannot pay for private health insurance. They provide all the money you need to pay for medical bills, get procedures done, obtain prescription drugs at local or specific pharmacies, etc. There are many people who cannot afford private health insurance and thus, they have to resort to Medicare or other free medicine programs.

Fortunately there are government grants and government funding to support those in need when they have health problems and need to pay for any non-elective procedures. If you need to find additional information about these programs, you can do a quick search on the internet for these topics and you will find many sites from commercial and non-profit institutions ready to aid you in the process of obtaining government grants.

Utility Payments And Weatherization

Certain winters require extra funds to pay for utility services such as gas, electricity, etc. There are many in underprivileged situations that cannot afford those additional costs and therefore need financing during such times. The government provides funding for these situations in the form of subsidized loans and free grants that can provide all the money needed for affording the utility services during harsh winters.

The same goes to those who live in areas where public transportation is minimum or non existent and funding is needed to afford additional gas for vehicles and transportation. The grants can be awarded directly to consumers or to gas stations or providers that will then offer subsidized prices for the products that they feature. These solutions are only for emergency situations under harsh whether conditions like snow storms, tropical storms, floods, etc.

Where To Get them

These kinds of loans are all provided by government agencies and seldom by private non profit institutions. But there are also many online sites providing additional information on grants and also services to ease you the way to obtain them. Since there are many forms to fill, you may want someone to help you all the way through the process. Therefore, when it comes to grants or government loan approval, these online sites (some of which are non-profit) can really be helpful for you.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Credit Cards: Do Not Just Use Them, Seize The Benefits!

Having a credit card provides you with an excellent source of flexible financing. And when you find a credit card product that features a reasonable interest rate, even if it is a bit higher than that of a personal loan, credit cards provide you with more ease and comfort due to being lines of credit and not a fixed amount loan. Yet, there are many other benefits that you should seize when using your credit cards:

These additional benefits may always be included on any credit card product like the ability to purchase by phone or online while protecting your consumer rights and avoiding frauds or scams but there are also other benefits that may or may not be present depending on the type of credit card you chose like rewards, promotional terms, product insurance, etc.

Online Purchases

The ability to purchase goods online is undoubtedly a benefit. You do not need to move from the comfort of your home to purchase anything from groceries to furniture or house appliances. Almost anything that is sold in stores can also be purchased from online stores and the purchases are just as secure as regular purchases and sometimes even more.

In order to suppress the fear that most people have as regards to online frauds and identity theft, credit card companies have implemented new security systems and insurances that protect you from online scams. Besides, most online stores have both very strict validation systems and secure transaction measures that encrypt all your data to avoid third parties from obtaining it. Thus, it is easier for an employee to copy your credit card information when you make a purchase at a local store than for anyone to see your personal and credit card information online without your authorization.

Consumer Rights and Insurance

Credit Cards provide two interesting protections. For starters, they are an excellent way to protect your consumer rights as the payment is not directly made to the merchant but through the credit card company which acts as an intermediary instead. In the event you are dissatisfied with the product or the terms of the transaction you can exercise your consumer rights with the company you purchased the item from and if unsuccessful, through the credit card company which can roll back the transaction, hold the funds till the dispute is resolved or instruct a chargeback. Though you can contact the credit card company directly, it is advisable to go to the merchant first.

Items that you purchase with your credit card may be insured for a limited period of time that usually does not exceed six months. During this period, any damage to the goods that are covered by the insurance policy will be compensated by the insurance company either replacing the item or refunding the amount of the purchase through the credit card.

Rewards and Discounts

There are many different credit card products and each one offers advantages and discounts. Almost all credit cards have a reward program associated with the line of credit. Some of them offer cash back at the end of a period of twelve months or on a monthly basis. A percentage of your purchases add up and at the end of the period the credit card company credits you the amount.

Other reward programs let you accumulate points with your purchases that can be redeemed for products at any time. There are also mileage programs that let you exchange the points for plane tickets or vacation products that include the flight and the accommodations. There are many programs and discounts and the best way to compare is to do a search for credit cards on the internet.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Do Not Despair, Halting Foreclosure And Repossession Is Possible

I am often asked if it is possible to put a stop to foreclosure or repossession processes. Though the answer is yes, the question is usually made when there is little to nothing to do. That is why it is so important to act immediately when threaten with such legal measures. To halt foreclosure or repossession you need to put into practice one of the following alternative solutions:

Refinancing, Full or Partial Cancellation or Settlement

These three main possible solutions can halt a foreclosure or repossession process. The idea is that though the lenders retain the legal right to exercise those actions, they usually prefer to recover their investment, even if they have to surrender part of their profits. But you need to act quickly because once a legal process has started it is much harder (and expensive) to stop it.

Refinancing Your Secured Loan

Refinancing can either be done with the same lender or with a different one. In the first case the lender will stop foreclosure and provide you with a new repayment program with a longer term and lower monthly payments. A different lender will simply provide a loan on condition of cancellation of the previous one. The foreclosure or repossession process will then be stopped due to cancellation of the debt rather than refinancing of it.

Full Or Partial Cancellation

Whether you need to cancel the debt partially or totally will depend on the conditions of the loan contract. Some clauses require full cancellation after missed payments or several late payments in order to stop foreclosure. Others, require only that you cancel all the installments owed or immediately due but the following payments can be made according to the original schedule.

The refinancing option where you apply for a loan with a different lender is an example of full debt cancellation. In any case, you can resort to home equity loans both for full or partial cancellations. Personal unsecured loans can also be a solution but tend to be too expensive for this purpose.

Debt Settlement

Debt settlement is another interesting alternative. When you hire the services of a debt settlement agency, expert negotiators will contact your creditors and negotiate with them new terms. The settlement is a legal agreement but does not necessarily have to be endorsed by a judge or court official.

The settlement legally binds both parties (creditor and debtor) and is usually an agreement that can include clauses specifically designed for the particular debt situation like debt reductions, interest rate raise or reduction, a longer repayment term or a shorter one, and many other variables that provide the debtor with more affordability to comply with the repayment program without difficulties.


As you can see, stopping foreclosure or repossession is feasible but timing is of the essence. As long as you act with diligence and swiftness as soon as you receive the possible foreclosure or repossession notification, you will be able to stop the process and restore the situation prior to the notification in order to avoid further problems. Truth is that if you make your payments on time, you will not be bothered by the lenders and you will enjoy the benefits of having access to credit.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Five Tips For Single Parents To Help Stretching The Budget

Single parents usually suffer the consequences of a limited income and high expenses. At that point, saving the most on services, goods and entertainment is very important because other more important expenses like health insurance, mortgage payments or rent usually consume most of the household income. Following are some tips on how to stretch that budget and save money so single parents can live with more ease.

Take Advantage Of Your Situation

Many Institutions that provide services (especially educational services) have special consideration towards single parents and provide discounts or aid to those who need them. Therefore, do not hesitate on letting the authorities know that you are a single parent struggling to make ends meet. You deserve to obtain help from those who make decisions and should not be ashamed of taking advantage of this because doing so is just making an unfair situation fair.

Make Use of Discounts and Coupons

On newspapers, magazines, on the net, and many other media, you will find plenty of offers that you usually ignore. It is a good idea to take note of them or set them aside in categories so when you need them you can access them quickly. When people overpay, is usually because they do not have enough time to shop around for better offers so being prepared can save you a lot of money.

Cut Down on Your Household Expenses

There are ways to save energy and thus money by sealing your home windows and doors properly so both the heat and the cold air from air conditioners are not wasted. If you have cable television, you can limit the service to the basic channels without adding premium services. Shop around for internet service providers as it is a very competitive market and you could get very good offers just by doing some research before closing on a deal with a particular provider.

Carry A Budget And Buy Items In Bulk

It is important to carry a budget. We usually suggest carrying a monthly budget and a long term budget too. This will make it easier to purchase items in bulk (i.e. a box of 50 toilet papers or paper napkins). With a long term budget you can set aside money every month for this kind of purchases that can save you hundreds of dollars and sometimes thousands each year. Another good idea is to carry a stock list as well so you do not run out of any item and avoid being forced to purchase them individually.

Save on Car Expenses

Try to use public transportation whenever possible. Leave your car at home at least one day of the week. When purchasing your car or changing it, look for one that consumes less gasoline and has less expensive spare parts. There are many online sites providing comparisons with this information. If at all possible buy regular gasoline instead of premium or special ones because it is a lot cheaper (chances are that if you have an inexpensive car, buying special gasoline will not be necessary).

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Government: $10,000 In Credit Card Debt Means A Life-time Of Payments

Folks are asking if there is any government program to help them ameliorate credit card debt; especially when that debt is $10,000 or more. Sorry. Uncle Sam was very willing, in the interest of the economy, to bail out Wall Street investment bankers, national banks, and other financial institutions. No relief program was assembled for middle class workers with interest rates spiraling out of control.

What Are Credit Card Companies Doing?

Bailed out from their financial crises, credit card companies are are ensuring they never have to endure that turmoil again – on the backs of credit card users. The big three credit card companies – MBNA, CitiBank, Bank of America – announced that they would double minimum payments from 2% to 4%. Other credit card companies will soon follow. If you are already in over your head in credit card debt, that debt will be taking a bigger bite out of your monthly budget.

What Are the Facts About Credit Card Debt?

If you are already in credit card debt; how are going to double your monthly payments? If you can, do it. You will be getting rid of your debt more quickly. Quit putting purchases on your credit card accounts. If you are only paying minimum payments, you are digging yourself deeper and deeper into a credit card interest rate hole.

Want To See How $2,000 in Credit Card Debt Becomes $7,000?

To understand how you can be stuck, consider this. Let us say you have charged around $2,000 on one of your credit card accounts. (Just one!) You are being charged with a percentage rate of 18% for using the credit card money. Credit card debt is really just an expensive loan, after all. Then let us say that you never use that card again. If you make only minimum payments, it will take you 30 years to repay the debt. Many marriages do not last as long. Plus, you will be paying over $5,000 in interest rates over that 30 years. A good hunk of your life will be spent paying that debt; and your $2,000 loan will cost you $7,000.

How Do You Get Yourself Out of This Hole?

Even if you trim your monthly budget to the bone, $10,000 or more in credit card debt is going to force you into considering bankruptcy and all its attendant horrors. You need to act fast before you end up on the street and penniless. Most credit card companies, recognizing that most of your debt comes from interest, may be willing to come to settlement terms.

Are Credit Repair Companies Helpful?

You could hire a credit restoration company to negotiate settlements – be careful. Many shady companies of this sort have one goal – your money. Negotiations are promised, but never occur. More and more of these companies are being shut down. A sad fact is that money that should have been put toward the debt has disappeared. And your credit card company still needs to be paid. Investigate any such company thoroughly.

Can I Get My Debt Reduced by Myself?

If you are smart, you can approach the credit card companies yourself. Get guidance for undertaking this endeavor by looking for guides at your local bookstore, or doing research on the Web. Getting your obligations reduced to 50% of your total debt is not unreasonable. Plus, you can trim the time to payoff from ten years to as low as three. Get busy – time is wasting and your purse is leaking badly.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Federal Bailouts Can Help Eliminate Credit Card Debt

If you are one of those folks who is struggling with no luck against the eligibility of $10,000 of debt, the luck may be onto you for government stimulus money. These federal programs, that are right next to the private consolidation programs that have been set up for profit, are going to be helpful in the lowering of the interest rates and plus the over all balances.

Thousands Would Love the Benefits

Since the government has done much publicity about these innovative programs, there are a lot of folks who would like to hear more about them and their spouses have had their projects cut off and they are getting no relief and the debts are getting hard to handle. If the debts are less than $10,000, then the borrower and the lender will have to face another form of convenient payments. With much hope, people greatly in debt are looking to these fine government programs.


The good thing about these federal government agencies is that they are debt relief for the majority of those who apply for them if the applicant can convince the lender that not much will happen once the home is reoccupied. Of course, the property will have to be escrowed until the true value is established according to current building values.

Details Important on Foreclosures

Depreciation of the home will have to be taken into effect after it is proved that the home is better off than on the list for foreclosure. After the verification it is important that the homeowner convince the lender that the debt is more convenient under the new payment plans or processes. One of the most important things to accomplish is the proper procedure for filling out the correct application form in a way that is mutually understandable and clear, especially the explanations.

Clearing Debts

On the other hand, clearing the debt through the use of cash and debit when the opportunity arises is understandable under certain conditions. This is also an ideal time for the consumer to open a savings account so the debt can be seen as operating under an even keel. And this makes it easy for the understandable and necessary payments to be taken directly out of the account.

Credit Card Debt Most Harmful

Also, the consumers in deep debt should avoid using any credit cards until they can clear up the old accounts. This, of course, will make it easier for the consumer to open new accounts with more favorable interest rates at the time. So they should keep an eye out for companies with the lower interest rates so when they do resume payments the costs will be lowered and the borrower can go on to rebuild an optimal credit score that is more favorable than the previous. According to financial experts, this is not an impossible feat to achieve.

Keeping Clean

Immediately following debt consolidation to avoid foreclosures and unsecured credit card debt, it is better for them to keep working so that they will have the money to bring their FICO rating up to the good side or better. At times the federal government will make available counselors for themselves and their children to learn (or relearn for the others) the best ways to keep their debts insight or under their living means for more control of the future and their children.

Teach the Children

So the user should probably decide, and certainly should, start thinking about other financial skills that they can pass on to later generations, especially considering the FICO ratings held by the present borrowers. What a great benefit to the future financial skills of new children.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Variables That Turn You Into A Bad Credit Applicant

Many people get surprised when they see that their credit score is too low for them to obtain a loan or credit card from traditional sources. And many wonder why they are considered by lenders bad credit applicants. Well, here are some guidelines that will help you understand why lenders consider some applicants as too risky while others are suitable and qualify for the loan products they need.

There are basically two factors that describe why people are good or bad credit applicants. Yet, these factors can be divided into further categories. But, in order to give a systematic idea of what makes a borrower a bad credit applicant these two particular variables need to be identified: Credit Assessment and the applicant’s background.

Reliability In The Eyes Of The Lenders

What lenders are desperate to know is whether the applicant will be able to repay the loan. They resort to all kind of measures in order to make sure that the money is fully paid off and they compensate with higher interests any probability of default. The reliability of the applicant is thus, what makes it a Bad Credit Applicant or a Good credit Applicant.

How is reliability measured? Simple, by means of credit assessment. Normally when you know someone you plan to work with, you share simple things first and then you keep increasing their responsibilities as your confidence in them grows. In the financial market, there is no room or time for that and thus, there are credit bureaus that gather all the experiences of different companies with a particular person and put them together into a credit report.

Credit Assessment Explained

Credit Assessment is done through a credit report and a credit score or rank. This report includes all your past repayment history along with other details on your financial life. By means of comparing your situation with other predefined states and through several variables that can affect negatively or positively, your credit score is calculated and then included in your report.

The report has pertinent information that can be of aid to lenders and financial institutions to know what your behavior will be if they decide to grant you a loan. It may sound unfair to you to be judged by your old mistakes but truth is that statistics show that people don’t tend to change the way they face their financial obligations and that the risk of default is higher for those that have defaulted in the past.

The Applicant’s Background

There are other details that will also be taken into account by the lender when the time of deciding whether to approve your bad credit loan or not has come. The type of job you do is an important factor for example, because there are some jobs that are more risky than others and thus, the terms of the bad credit loan need to be modified to include this additional risk. Also the job type will give an idea of what your income is but also what it will be in some time and whether it is stable or not. All this information is essential for lenders to analyze your application.