Jean's Money Blog

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Businesses with Financial Difficulties

Posted by on Jun 17, 2013

Running a businesses, paying employees, investing in inventory and paying off vendors can sometimes put a business in financial constraints. Some business owners immediately think of bankruptcy as a solution, but bankruptcy is often not the best or only solution. Filing for Chapter 11 today is more difficult than yesterday. The 2005 bankruptcy laws are more geared towards forcing businesses to pay off their financial obligations instead of offering legal protection. The required paperwork is twice as much, and the costs for bankruptcy can range up to $50,000 for a small business. It’s always wise to seek debt counseling services before going ahead with bankruptcy. With debt counseling services, you can get a professional financial counselor to look over your books instead of a court appointed attorney.

Business Debt Restructuring

If your business is in a delinquent debt situation, a financial counselor at a debt counseling agency can assist you with business debt restructuring to help alleviate the financial distress. With business debt restructuring, business debts are assessed, and a plan is put in place to pay creditors while the business remains in operation. It’s often a better way for a business to get out of debt and keep creditors satisfied.

Debt Consolidation

Business debt consolidation is available for both small and large businesses, regardless of the debt amount owed. With a financial counseling agency, your certified counselor can help you establish a debt consolidation plan with your creditors. All of your business’s debts will be assessed and placed under one debt. The financial counselor will also negotiate with your creditors for lower interest payments and to waive any late penalty fees. They will also negotiate a repayment plan that is doable, so you can stay in business. Financial counseling agencies often have strong business relationships with banks, creditors and credit unions. If you’ve tried to negotiate with your creditors on your own and have been unsuccessful, it is likely that a financial counseling agency will have better results.

These financial counseling agencies can also give you advice on business operations, including money management and what clients to extend credit to. In addition to private consultation, they often offer free business workshops and business resources online.

Whether you’re a small business or larger operation, it’s best to know all of your options before considering bankruptcy. Unfortunately, many businesses that opt for bankruptcy usually wind up with additional debt.

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Paying Down Debt? Look to Extreme Cheapskates to Ramp up Repayment

Posted by on Jun 3, 2013

debt advice in new jersey

If you feel overwhelmed by your debt – like you just can’t take it any longer – you might want to consider a few techniques used by so-called extreme cheapskates, men and women who have taken a sometimes stringent or over-the-top approach to freeing up as much cash as possible to pay back crippling amounts of debt. Here are a four common high-cost items many extreme cheapskates focus on when they’re looking to raise cash or cut expenditures back to the bare minimum:


Maybe a car is essential for some people in very rural areas, but many men and women could cut way back on their usage by carpooling, taking a bus, riding a bike or even walking. In addition to the high cost of gas, cars also require costly maintenance and insurance as well as registration fees. Even those in rural areas can combine trips to the store with other errands and significantly cut down on usage.


The word mortgage is an Old French term which literally translates to “death contract.” While originally the term was coined to mean that the contract “died” when the debt was paid or fell into foreclosure, today it could mean something very different: Many men and women are lured into the dream of a big house – much bigger than they need – and a big mortgage that consumes a large portion of a family’s wages. Downsizing to a smaller home or even renting in some markets is a much wiser choice.


The cost of the TV might be a one-time deal, but cable, satellite and other subscription services can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars a year. What’s more, time spent in front of the TV is time that could be spent at a second job or learning job-enhancing skills. Eliminating the TV means you won’t be exposed to all those alluring – and potentially costly – advertisements. Use your free time to enroll in a debt consolidation and credit counseling program to learn habits that can get you – and keep you – out of debt.


Monthly subscriptions are costly, but most users also fall prey to buying ringtones, games, movies and other apps that can quickly add up. Consider a pay-as-you-go phone to get bare-bones communication without high costs.

While adopting many of these practices for the long haul may not be practical or feasible for many men and women, incorporating one or two rigorous habits for a short period and combining those habits with a New Jersey debt consolidation and credit counseling program like Credit Guard can help pay down debt a lot faster than you ever imagined. With debt consolidation, credit counselors can help lower interest rates so you can “power-up” your payments and pay down debt quickly. Credit counselors can also provide you with tools to make better financial decisions in the future. Not only will this combined approach help you pay down debt faster, but it may also help you feel more empowered – plus, you’ll learn valuable habits that can help you avoid going into debt again.

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A Debt Consolidation Program for Payday Loans

Posted by on Apr 15, 2013

Payday loans provide immediate access to funds for those who have cash emergencies.  As an alternative to borrowing from a friend or retirement fund, many people look to these convenient services to gain access to emergency funding.  The programs allow the person to take out a short-term loan at a high interest rate and repay the loan in several installments.  The payments are drafted immediately from the person’s account on the day the person is paid.

Although this is intended to be a short term solution, a person can easily land in a payday trap where he or she is unable to completely pay off the loan.  Many critics of this form of lending consider it predatory and discriminatory in nature.  These loans are often marketed to low income households or people in vulnerable financial situations.  The people will have a difficult time paying back the loan because of the high interest and limited income.  Twenty-five percent of payday loans are made to people on social security.  It’s not the loan itself critics are concerned about; it’s the interest rate.  Lenders can charge over 100 percent or more for these loans.  This makes this type of loan one of the most expensive loans available to consumers.

Recently, a bill was introduced to address the payday loan, which is considered a form of predatory lending.  The bill would cap the rate a lender can charge for payday and other short-term loans.  If the “Protecting Consumers from Unreasonable Credit Rates Act” passes, lenders will no longer be able to charge more than 36 percent for these loans.

Avoiding the payday loan problem is difficult for some people.  People who have encountered financial challenges due to a layoff or unexpected expenses may have limited savings available to cover financial emergencies.  Turning to the payday loan is often the only option many people have.  Most people can get out of this dangerous cycle with the right support.

A debt consolidation program can help a person organize their debts and pay them off.  In addition to consolidating the individual’s debts, the person can receive personalized coaching to help them learn better money management and planning habits.  The coach works one on one with each individual to help them realize their financial goals.  People who successfully complete the debt consolidation program and take advantage of the personal finance counseling available will be able to create a brighter financial future for themselves and their families.

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Avoiding Phony Debt Collectors with Online Debt Consolidation

Posted by on Mar 23, 2013

online mail stop phony collection calls

Under informed or overwhelmed consumers may receive a letter that appears to be perfectly legal and official from what appears to be a reputable firm, only to later find out that the collection attempt was a scam.  Knowing what to look for in a debt collection letter and how to verify the credibility of an agency goes a long way when it comes to avoiding being scammed.

People who receive these collection letters are often unsure about whether or not these letters are authentic.  Here are some things a person can look for to determine whether or not the letter is an official notification

  • An official website link listed
  • Agency address information should be provided
  • An official recording should be left at the number provided

When in doubt, it’s always better to do some legwork and research the debt.  Many Americans pay off debts solicited by unscrupulous entities that present themselves as official debt collectors.  You can verify whether or not the debt is from an official collector by researching the number provided using  search engines.

The Attorney General’s office is another tool to verify the credibility of the debt collection agency; licensing information on each company is also tracked on this website.  This resource will provide information on scams, complaints and feedback from others who have interacted with the company.    Sending a letter to the agency to request confirmation on the debt is another step a person can take.  The agency has thirty days to respond to a request to verify the debt owed to the agency.

Before an account goes into collection, the person should look into online debt consolidation as an option to stop collection calls.  The online debt consolidation program counselors work with consumers to help them become debt-free.  The counselors leverage their relationships with creditors to work with the consumers to help them verify, structure and resolve their debts. When an experienced debt counselor works with the creditor on the consumer’s behalf, the person is better able to organize their personal finances before the person gets too behind on their debts.

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The Benefits Of Credit Card Debt Consolidation

Posted by on Mar 9, 2013

tired of debt need debt consolidation and financial adviceAre you tired of making numerous credit card payments each month and failing to make progress on your debt reduction plans? Credit card debt consolidation might be the right choice for you. Debt consolidation companies offer numerous benefits to their clients, including interest and fee reductions and lower monthly payments.

  • Benefits
  • Skilled Credit Counselors
  • One Monthly Payment
  • Lower Monthly Bills
  • Fast Debt Reduction
  • Credit Counselors

Many individuals are not taught how to effectively manage their money while they are in school. The typical advice revolves around going to college and getting a good paying job. That advice doesn’t teach people how to control their expenses in relation to their income.

Credit card debt consolidation companies offer skilled credit counselors that can help you create effective budgets and control your expenses while paying off your existing debt.

One Monthly Payment

While you are on the program, you will enjoy making one reduced payment a month, which leaves more money in your pocket at the end of the month. The reduced payment is the culmination of efforts on the part of the debt consolidation company. Their trained negotiators will call your creditors and successfully negotiate the removal of excess fees and lower interest rates. Once a verbal agreement is reached, a formal agreement will be sent to your creditors in writing, which will lock in your total account balance and your reduced monthly payment.

Once the negotiations are complete, a final monthly amount will be determined by the consolidation company that includes all the monthly payments for your credit cards and a small monthly fee for the agency. This monthly payment will be less than your current total monthly payments and will save you money each and every month.

Fast Debt Reduction

The lower interest rates and fee reductions will allow more of your payment to go towards the principle. This will further reduce the dollars spent on interest and allow you to pay your bills off much faster than if you had stayed with your traditional payment plans.

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The Non-Profit Debt Consolidation Solution

Posted by on Feb 26, 2013

In recent years, more and more people who consider themselves financially responsible have fallen into what seems like unmanageable debt. Whether debts are caused by long spells of unemployment, health problems, education costs or something else, they can quickly spiral out of control. In addition to the financial worry, many people also grapple with shame and fear around their debts, and that sometimes prevents them from dealing with the problem.

To make matters worse, there are a number of shady enterprises that use misleading language to make it sound as though they are going to help debtors, but what they will really do is ruin the debtors’ credit rating and sometimes leave them in an even worse position financially. Bankruptcy can start to seem like the only solution. Debtors have another option, however, and that is a debt consolidation non profit service.

How Debt Consolidation Works

A debt consolidation non profit service should not be confused with either a debt consolidation loan or debt settlement program. A debt consolidation program will negotiate with the debtor and the creditors to agree upon a payment plan the debtor can handle.

Preparing for an Appointment

how to prepare for your credit counseling appointment

A person who chooses to work with a debt consolidation program will begin with an appointment with a credit counselor. Prior to the appointment, the debtor should make a detailed budget. The credit counselor will require information on money spent for everything from rent to groceries to incidentals. Using the budget information given, the credit counselor will determine the debtor’s eligibility for the program and will also provide further budget counseling or referrals if needed.

The debtor can visit a debt consolidation company in person or can conduct the initial counseling session over the phone.

Setting Up and Completing the Program

The debtor will then be entered into a debt consolidation program in which an agreed-upon sum is paid to the organization and then distributed among creditors. In this way, debtors can repay debts in a matter of months or just a few years and restore their credit.

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How Credit Counseling Services Change Lives

Posted by on Feb 14, 2013

Even the person who was prudent in setting aside an emergency fund may find it difficult to tackle multiple costly emergencies at the same time.  A person who is having difficulties managing their debt due to unexpected expenses or other extenuating circumstances beyond their control may find that credit counseling is one of the best ways to address this problem.  Credit counseling services are changing the lives of many people in several ways:

Peace of Mind

you can get peace of mind with the best credit counseling services

You can achieve peace of mind with debt relief.

One of the immediate changes a person sees when they start to seek debt relief is peace of mind.  The person no longer has to worry about the repercussions for not doing anything to resolve the accumulating debt.  Once enrolled in a program, all accounts can be brought current and the person can instantly begin to build their credit.

Money Management and Personal Finance Coaching

One of the pivotal moments in the person’s journey to financial freedom is the accomplishment of making it to the financial stages of the repayment plan.  As the person receives counseling, they can begin laying the foundation for a secure financial future for their family.  The coaching empowers the person to evaluate their financial decisions and learn how to rebuild credit.  Learning the basics of personal finance through coaching is a service that most clients benefit from when they receive credit counseling. Some counselors even offer debt consolidation services that simplify payments and arrange favorable terms for their clients.

Debt Relief with Fewer Risks

The best credit counseling service offers a low risk way for a person to pay off any unsecured debts.  Other forms of debt relief come with risks.  Some forms of debt relief can put at risk of losing personal assets or being sued because of the loan.  In program that includes a consolidation loan, a person can be assessed interest rates as high as 20 percent.  The person can require even more time to pay off the debt.  Bankruptcy makes rebuilding one’s credit much harder.

Entering a new chapter of financial freedom is an exciting moment.  When the person feels as though they are in complete control of their financial situation, they are able to build a new life.  Clients can enjoy financial freedom and peace of mind with the right counseling and education.

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