Your Credit Cards and Unemployment – Making Tough Decisions In a Tough Economy

Credit cards — a great tool when the economy is great, but let the economy get bad and people start worrying about how evil credit cards really are. Unfortunately people have to step back and realize that credit cards are really what you make of them. If you use them well, they’re a great tool. However, if they start becoming a crutch and a replacement for a good emergency fund, that’s where you start running into trouble. You can always find someone to get you a credit card — after all, your sow paying ways boost the credit card company’s bottom line.

However, this guide isn’t here to chastise you about your financial habits too much. If you’re suddenly finding yourself unemployed, then you will want to make sure that you actually look into your options when it comes to credit cards. See, most people are thinking about some tough decisions like whether or not to pay their debts or feed their families. We are never going to tell you that you should sacrifice your family’s basic needs to pay a credit card bill. You might not even have to make that choice if you have the right credit card. Indeed, the credit card companies are realizing that you’re going to have to make tough decisions and they want to boost morale and show the public at large that they aren’t heartless machines. This means that if you know that you just lost your job, you really do need to give the credit card company a call. They can postpone some of your payments, or even make a new payment plan.

credit card bill

The basic point here is that you definitely want to make contact. Dodging the credit card company is what actually makes them nervous. When you look like you’re never going to pay again is when the credit card company starts the collection process. As long as you adhere to the terms that they have worked out with you, you can repair your credit faster than if you just pretended that the problem isn’t there.

Yes, this is going to take some emotional bravery on your part. You’re going to be tempted to assume that there’s no way that you’re ever going to be able to take to someone that cares. However, that’s not true at all — many credit card companies are staffed with people that really do want to make sure that your credit remains in good standing. Happy customers are customers that will get out of their current situation and make enough money to where they can repay the card…and start spending again. Remember that the credit card company doesn’t make money until you start spending again. Anything that they can do to keep your financial situation stable while they can regroup is a good thing.

You will probably need to fax in proof of your unemployment. It helps if you qualify for actual unemployment benefits. This means that you actually were displaced because of the economy instead of just being fired. It’s always a good thing to check in the fine print as well — you might find these protections are automatic. On other credit cards, you’re going to have to buy a certain insurance.

Speaking of insurance, you might want to actually look into coverage for when you’re unemployed. This is separate coverage that you have to pay for when times are good, but it can really come in handy. So if you’re reading this and you’re not unemployed yet, you might want to go ahead and opt into this coverage. It can take a while to process claims of this nature, but it’s actually worth it.

The time is definitely right to make sure that you know all of your options when it comes to credit cards. You want to eventually find a new job and be able to pay down your credit cards faster, but the tips in this guide are designed to help keep the damage to a minimum -=- why not take action today?

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Credit Cards Give You the Power to Turn Any House Into a Home

Everyone loves owning a house, but even if you’re renting a house there are naturally things that you will want to do in order to turn it into a home that you can be proud of. Unfortunately, in order to complete this mission you’ll need money, but not just any money. You will need to have enough extra to cover not only your decorating ideas but also the other responsibilities of everyday life.

Does it really have to always be a question of one over the other? In other words, do we only become successful homeowners and tenants if we skip the fun and only focus on the bills? This is truly not the case at all. In fact, if you really think about it you’ll find that you’ll be able to get both aspects of your overall agenda completed with the addition of a powerful tool: credit cards, of course.

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Now, a lot of people think that credit cards are evil and that’s just not the case at all. You have to understand that credit cards are designed to make your life easier, not harder. You are essentially taking out a loan with the credit card company, to be paid back within 30 days. This gives you time to have the money up front for all of your purchases, and still plenty of time to take care of the bills that follow.

Why would you want to dip into your savings when you already have credit cards right there waiting for you? Your savings should be used for emergency items that need large sums of cash right away. That type of liquidity is precious. If you can leverage someone else’s money to get what you want, then you should definitely do that.

There are limits, of course. You want to make sure that you don’t bite off more debt than you can handle. That road only leads to trouble, because you will struggle to pay everything back within a certain amount of time.

Indeed, you want to keep your amounts low enough that when it comes time to pay the credit cards, you can offer much more than just the minimum payment due — that’s actually how people get themselves into trouble to begin with.

Overall, if you’re really thinking about trying to turn your house into a home, credit cards are definitely the best way to go — why not use yours today? Even if you don’t have a credit card, going to your bank is the fastest way to get a great credit card with a good, modest interest rate. Don’t be afraid to apply today!

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Debt Settlement: A Long Term Solution in a Short Amount of Time

Credit cards have a good reason for being if you know how to use them.  They are good for emergencies and buying gifts for whatever occasion.  However, if you are not careful, they can also be at the root of a financial downfall in your family or personal situation.  People who find themselves in a mountain of credit card debt have options, such as bankruptcy or debt consolidation, but they may find it more beneficial to go with debt settlement.

Debt settlement is where a person wants to pay off the debt but is unable to do so with the interest charges that can mount up quickly.  Choosing to settle the debt that would otherwise take years to pay instead of choosing bankruptcy is often agreed upon because the credit card company is interested in getting its money back.

Keep in mind, though, that bankruptcy is not as easy a process as it use to be.  You must show that you truly can not pay your debt.  If you have the means to do so, your bankruptcy will not be approved.

If you want to pay off your debts and try not to have it hurt your credit too much, you can go the route of a debt consolidation loan.  This allows you to pay off all your debt, taking a big chunk out of the interest rates, and you have only to worry about a single payment.  This is sometimes a more popular way to go because you do pay off your debt, and it allows you to show on your credit report that you are standing up and paying what you owe.

Credit card debt is one of the biggest stressors a person can have.  By going through a debt settlement, you can regain your composure and start living life again instead of cringing every time the phone rings or the mail runs.  By settling the credit card debt, you do not have to worry about trying to get a new loan and you can pay off in a short time frame what would otherwise have taken years to pay.

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Enjoying Best Of Both Worlds With Your Credit Cards

A lot of people wouldn’t know what to do without their credit cards.  A lot of times, the status of an establishment is gauged by the credit card facilities that they have.  Shopping can now be easily done offline and online through credit cards.  One has to be careful though when using this method of purchase, because you can get addicted to it and end up with mounting bills and charges which could be way beyond your paying capacity.

One of the good things about purchasing through credit card is the simplicity of its use.  Traveling individuals have found it so much easier to flash their credit cards to pay their bills such that it has become a vital aspect of modern living.  You can go to any part of the world for an extended period of time and you do not have to carry with you loads of cash or travelers checks.  As long as you have your credit card with you, you feel confident.

People do not have to go to another part of the world to appreciate the advantage of using credit cards.  Daily transactions can also be facilitated by the use of the credit cards. It can actually be used like a debit card wherein you can charge your small and big purchases, especially if there are items on sale that are hard to pass up.  But then you have to pay all of these come the end of the month come due date.

Purchasing items online requires a solid credit card account rating.  This is an excellent way to do your shopping without leaving the comfort of your home.  Come the sizzling hot summer or freezing winters, you can have what you need and be safe and cozy in your homes, be it a book, a DVD or food items.

But there is a right way of using the credit card which requires self control and sound planning.  When you first get your credit card, you had the resolve that you will not go overboard with it.  But debts can grow while you are not really looking.  The convenience of using the card may get the better of you and begin purchasing things against your credit cards especially for items on sale which most of the time are not really in your priority.

If you let this problem go unresolved, your interest will pile up and whatever savings you got from buying these sale items will be negated and can even go over the regular price.  Interest rates will be charged over interest rates which will cause your debts to balloon.

Before getting a credit card, you have to know in your heart what you really want it for.  If you are financially capable, then perhaps you could look at the credit card as something you would want to have for convenience.  It will be a mistake to treat it as a source of loan because bigger loans can be had at much, much lower interest rates.

So if you are confident that you can control your shopping urges and manage your finances well, then you can enjoy the benefits of simplified purchase transactions without having to worry about incurring huge debts.

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Are black credit cards a waste of money?

It used to be that a gold credit card was the top one you could have. But nowadays, not even platinum is considered the cream of the crop. The new “must have” color is black. This trend started in the nineties with the American Express Centurion card, but since then several similar cards have also sprung up. Even if you can afford it, are these extremely high annual fees really worth paying for? Let’s take a look…

Costs vs. Benefits

At the end of the day, it all comes down to the cardholder benefits. If you’re not getting back the money you’re putting into it, the card isn’t worth it. The AmEx black card started out with a $1,000 annual fee, but now it costs an outrageous $7,500 just to get the card ($5,000 initiation fee plus $2,500 per annum). So it costs significantly more than in the past. So is it worth it?

Unfortunately, it’s hard to justify paying such an excessive annual fee. Recently AmEx has also stripped down the benefits significantly, like eliminating the free first-class airfare upgrades. Considering that the benefits have dwindled, it really doesn’t make sense that the annual fee has increased substantially.

There are several AmEx Centurion imitators on the market (like the Visa Black Card and Citi Chairman card) which have annual fees of $495 and $500 respectively, but it’s still hard to justify paying that much considering their lack of benefits. In all fairness, these cards do offer some enticing travel perks, but they’re only going to help the diehard traveler.

Conclusion

The AmEx Centurion, Visa Black Card, and Citi Chairman card appear to be a waste of money. It just doesn’t make sense to pay so much for so little benefits. These black cards appear to be good for only one thing… impressing people. But is it really worth paying hundreds or thousands of dollars every year just to do that?

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3 Signs You Should Consider Debt Consolidation

Living with debt is something that no one truly wants to do. Month after month of watching more expenses pile up than can actually be paid out can make even the most patient person be ready for a change. Fortunately, there is a better way to finally get out of debt. Debt consolidation can be a great route for many people. However, it can be difficult to actually know when debt consolidation is right for you. There are really 3 major signs that you should consider debt consolidation for your situation.

The first sign is having a high number of bills that appear month after month, such as credit cards. Debt consolidation can actually pull those together for you into one single payment, so you don’t have to sent out 8-9 envelopes every month or remember to write checks. You make one payment that covers all the bills.

The second sign is having bills with high interest rates. When the interest rate is too high, it can be difficult to actually see any progress in paying down past bills. A good debt consolidation loan can actually carry a lower interest rate than what you’re currently paying, helping you save money.

The final sign is something so many people are all too familiar with: feeling like you just can’t keep up anymore. This is one of the biggest signs a debt consolidation plan is something you should look into — no one should have to feel that way about their finances when there are so many resources out there to help you move forward to a bright debt-free future!

Overall, everyone will have unique reasons why debt consolidation is a right step for them. However, if you’re seeing your situation reflected in these three signs, you might want to look into a good debt consolidation plan today!

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