Monday, November 28, 2011

Sound Advice for Settling Debt Using a Debt Settlement Attorney

Don’t get trapped into declaring bankruptcy until you know your options
Being it debt is no fun. You feel trapped as if there is no way out and you start doing dangerous things like transferring balances between high interest credit cards in order to pay for food and housing. Or worse—you decide that declaring bankruptcy is your only option. However, declaring bankruptcy will lead to lengthy damage to your credit. Sure it will get you out of debt quick, but can you live with the negative, long-term repercussions on your credit?
Before declaring bankruptcy, speak with to a qualified debt settlement attorney about settling your debt.

How does debt settlement work?

During the debt settlement process your debt settlement attorney will negotiate with your creditors on your behalf. He or she will offer to settle your debts at a reduced amount—typically 25-percent to 50-percent less than your outstanding debt.
Creditors are on-board with debt settlement because they really have only two choices:

1. They can collect whatever you can give them.

2. Or they risk getting nothing at all (should you declare bankruptcy)
As you can understand, most creditors are more than happy to accept a partial repayment on your loans and credit cards in exchange for relieving you of debt—especially if the only other option leaves them completely empty handed.

How do you qualify for debt settlement?

First, you must speak to a Debt Settlement Attorney who can examine your finances. If you qualify, your lawyer will offer you enrollment in a professional debt settlement program, which follows these basic steps:

1. Signing over power of attorney: This is done so that your attorney is able to negotiate your debt settlement for you.

2. Accrue settlement fund: In this step you will accumulate as much money as you can towards settling your debt.

3. Your attorney negotiates with the lender: There will be some back and forth negotiation between your lawyer and creditors until a reduced settlement amount is reached.

4. Debt is paid: Using the funds accumulated in debt settlement fund.

5. If you have multiple creditors: Your lawyer approach another creditor with a debt settlement offer, and you will accrue another settlement fund to pay off each lender.

The pros of using a debt settlement lawyer-

1. Knowledge and respect from creditors: Experienced debt negotiators know the law. For instance, they are aware of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a federal law that governs how, when and where a debt collector can contact you—e.g., at work, any hour of the day or night at home—and will make sure you are not hassled by credit collectors.

2. Time and experience is on their side: A debt settlement lawyer has the added benefit of time and experience. Ask yourself if you would even know how to begin the debt negotiation process with a creditor? Probably not, especially if you work full time or are in fear of having your wages garnished.

3. You will learn valuable budgeting skills: One of the main perks of going through the debt settlement process is learning budgeting and money management skills. Many debt settlement programs will offer this, others will not, so be sure you enroll in a program that teaches these skills.

The cons of using a debt settlement lawyer-

1. Hidden fees: Many debt settlement programs have hidden fees, if this is the case with your current firm don’t sign anything. Instead, seek out another lawyer to represent you.

2. Negative tax consequences: Ask if you qualify for tax exemptions—otherwise you may be taxed on the amount you save during your debt settlement process.

3. Awareness of the conditions and terms involved: Many debt negotiation lawyers aren’t as upfront as they should be with the terms and conditions of the debt settlement program. Ask how long will the process take, how long until your debt is paid in full? And don’t sign anything until your questions are answered.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Financial Aid Planning

Thеre arе a grоup оf new ѕtudіeѕ whіch hіghlіght thаt althоugh а cоllеgе еduсatiоn is highlу deѕіrаblе іt is beсoming inсrеaѕingly diffіcult fоr a studеnt to асhіеvе thiѕ dream. In a reсеnt Pеw Rеsеarсh Cеnter study оf рerсeptіоnѕ аbоut a collеgе educаtiоn, 94% of раrеntѕ іndiсаtеd that thеy wаnted theіr сhildren tо go to соllеge whіlе lеѕѕ thаn hаlf оf thе students will еnrоll іn а four-уеar degrее progrаm. Thе ѕіnglе bіggеst оbstасlе сіtеd by the studеnts waѕ а lасk of mоneу tо pаy fоr their еduсation. Amоng minоrіtу ѕtudеntѕ closе to 70% оf thoѕe studеntѕ who chоѕе nоt to gо to cоllеgе сіted thе lack of іnfоrmatіon about finаncіal аid аѕ the bіggеst obѕtacle tо соntinuіng thеіr еducatіоn. There іѕ а bіg gаp іn wаntіng tо go to соllegе and ultіmatеlу bеіng ablе to рау for іt.

The other іnterеstіng раrt of thе Pеw ѕtudу toоk а lооk at thе рrоblem frоm thе vіеwроіnt оf cоllеgе рreѕіdents. Thrеe-quаrters of аll cоllеgе рrеѕіdentѕ pоlled іndіcated that сollege wаs a gооd value fоr thе mоnеy spеnt and 42 percеnt bеlievе thаt соllеge іѕ аffоrdаble fоr mоѕt рeорle. Thіѕ cоmраrеs wіth 60 perсеnt оf ѕtudеnts аnd рarеnts whо were роllеd іndіcatіng that соllege іѕ nо longer а good vаlue alоng wіth the 75 pеrcent whо belіеve thаt соllеge іs nоt аffordablе fоr thе аvеrаgе fаmilу.

One grоup оf reѕpondеntѕ, thе рarentѕ and studеntѕ, ѕee сollеge сoѕtѕ rіѕіng аnd ѕtatе fundіng drоpрing. The оthеr grоup оf rеѕроndеntѕ, thе сollеge рrеѕіdents, hаve ѕeеn unprеcеdеnted іncrеaѕеѕ in student аid over thе раst ѕеvеrаl yearѕ. Muсh оf thіѕ nеw mоney іѕ bеing fundеd dіrectly bу thе cоllеgеѕ. So who iѕ right?

It іѕ a matter оf whеre yоu lіvе аnd what tyрes оf ѕсhооls to whісh уou aррlу. In mаnу ѕtateѕ with funding cutѕ thе nеt соst оf аttеnding рublіc schоolѕ hаѕ gonе up dramаtісаlly оvеr the раѕt few уеars. Hоwеver, thе nеt соѕt оf attеndіng рrіvаte schоolѕ hаѕ aсtuаllу dесlinеd оvеr thе sаmе реrіоd of tіme. Essentiаlly fіnancіаl aіd has іncrеаsеd fаster than thе сost оf аttendіng аt рrіvаte ѕchооls. And whilе thе fedеral gоvеrnmеnt hаs роurеd mоnеу іntо finаnсіаl аіd іn thе form of grаntѕ аnd ѕubѕіdіzеd lоаns the number of students wаntіng to аttеnd collegе hаs gоnе up drаmаtiсallу аѕ jоb оptiоns have bееn lіmited during the rесеssіon.

Thе bіggеѕt differеnсе bеtween the cоnѕumer аnd thе ѕuppliеr оf еduсаtіоn іs sіmрlу іnfоrmatіоn. Fаmіliеs do nоt hеаr аbout соllеgе fundіng frоm thе cоllеge'ѕ реrѕpеctіve, and сollegeѕ аssumе thаt fаmіlіеѕ knоw еverуthіng about thе fіnаnсial аid prоceѕs. Fоr moѕt fаmiliеѕ devеlopіng a finаnсіal aіd plan cоuld help them bеcоme bеttеr conѕumеrѕ of eduсatiоn. In mоѕt саѕеѕ reducіng the соst of аn еduсatіоn therеbу mаkіng іt mоre аffоrdаble. And соllegеs соuld makе the whоle fіnаnсіal aid prосeѕѕ more trаnѕраrent аnd lеѕѕ dіffісult tо nаvіgate. Thеу wоuld bе сreаting a grеatеr реrcеption of thе rеаl valuе of an еduсatіоn. Unfortunаtеlу fоr the fаmilіeѕ, аѕ thе conѕumer, the onuѕ іѕ оn them tо рісk ѕсhооlѕ wiѕеly, bаѕеd on the real соstѕ of аttеndіng. There іѕ a wаy tо plаn fіnаnсіally fоr a collеge еduсatіоn. Lеt thе buуer bеwаre!

About the Author : Rohitesh Naik, a Freelance writer and a Internet Marketer who presently writes about the Upcoming Verizon Phones. It includes all the the news and updates about New Verizon Phones.

Save Money on Gas by Driving Safe

This guest blog post was written by Freedom Rims, a Responsible Military Lender since 1983. Freedom Rims offers military financing for rim and tire packages throughout the USA.

As gas prices rise, we start to look to other alternatives to save money on gas. One of the easiest ways to save money on gas is by driving safe. There are certain driving habits and acts that can actually cause you to use more gas while you are driving. However, these tips and suggestions can help you to spend less money on gasoline and reduce your fuel consumption overall.
Tips to Follow:
  • Speed Limit
Following the speed limit can benefit your automobile and your wallet because rapid acceleration and speeding wastes gas. The majority of car accidents that happen occur because of speeding, as well. The more force you put down on the gas, the harder your car must work, which in turn uses more gas. Gas mileage is known for decreasing rapidly once it reaches above 60 mph. Slow down and your fuel mileage will increase.

  • Cruise Control
Using cruise control when you are on an interstate or long road can be beneficial. It maintains a steady speed, meaning you do not have to physically gas the car. Be aware that this is ideal for flat highways and roads. When you reach roads that have hills and many turns, the cruise control should be turned off so that the engine isn’t constantly trying to speed up and slow down.

  • Don’t Idle
When you are stopped and parked somewhere, turn your car off. If you plan on sitting somewhere for a few minutes, sitting in idle will just burn gas, costing you more money. Turn the car off and restart it once you are ready to go. This will save you a great deal on gas. Many communities and cities have started enforcing no idling areas to help prevent burning gas.

  • Extra Weight
The more you have in a car, the more gas it takes to move it. This means if you are carrying around extra things in your trunk or car, it may be a good idea to take them out. Unnecessary items in your car may be one of the many things costing you extra money.

  • Brake
Efficiency saves the most money. When you slam your breaks over and over again you are being inefficient. You can save gas by gradually rolling up to stop lights and intersections. Changing this driving habit can be very beneficial to your gas consumption.

  • Alternatives
Consider using public transportation or carpooling systems around your area. In economically challenging times, this can help the environment, as well.
Driving safely can cut down transportation and gas costs. As gas continues to rise, it will be more important to try and save money where we can. Not only do these tips and suggestions help you to save on gas and money, they help keep you and other driver’s safe while on the road.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Small Changes For Big Savings

Many families dream of attaining financial freedom, but are intimidated by having to make drastic changes to their lifestyle. Simply trimming the expenses on day to day needs and putting the excess money aside to pay down or eliminate debts can be a tremendous help in achieving your financial goals. Although there are many ways to save, here are 5 common expenses and the simple steps to take that add up to major savings:

1.Use coupons to reduce your grocery bill. Coupons can be found everywhere from your local Sunday paper to printable coupons on the internet. While using paper coupons will drop your grocery expenses considerably, some consumers become overwhelmed in trying to organize and keep track of them all. One alternative is using e-coupons through sites like Load the e-coupons onto your store's loyalty card. Scan the card at checkout and, instead of having the e-coupons take money off your transaction, the money saved goes into your savingstar account. Once you have saved $5, you have the option to request a payout via bank deposit, PayPal, Amazon gift card or as a donation to American Forests. The money accumulated by using e-coupons is out of sight, out of mind and able to make its way directly into your savings account.

2.Save on your car insurance by bundling an auto policy with the policy for your home. Many major insurance companies like State Farm and Progressive offer sizable discounts for combining policies. The amount of potential savings varies depending on your driving habits and the value of your home.

3.Brown bag it. If you work outside the home, consider packing a lunch 1 or 2 times a week. With an average lunch costing upwards of $7, packing a lunch from home just 1 day a week will save you over $350 in the course of a year. Practice fiscal responsibility by using the extra cash to pay down credit cards or start and emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses that would otherwise end up on the charge card.

4.Fuel savings may seem few and far between as the price of gas is increasingly on the rise. Carpooling is a savvy, and eco-friendly, way to lessen the burden of pricey gasoline while still being able to get where you need to go.

5.If you find yourself shopping online, visit a cash back site first. When you make a purchase after being routed from a cash back site, a percentage of the purchase amount is deposited into your cash back account. Many cash back sites like and also provide coupon codes to use upon checkout. This is a great way to spend less on everything from diapers to printer ink while saving money simultaneously.

Financial freedom is as straightforward as making simple behavioral changes that add up to major savings successes. What is your game plan for saving on day to day expenses?