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Debt Relief application articles and tips

 

Chargeoff credit card - How to charge off credit card balances yourself, or get professional help from a debt settlement company. Christmas credit card debt - Options on how to get help with too much Christmas credit card debt. Consolidate student loan - Apply to refinance student loan debt for a lower interest rate and payments. Credit card debt - Free help to get out of credit card debt and tips on how to avoid debt. Credit card debt consolidation - Credit card debt consolidation quote to combine and lower monthly bills. Debt collection agency rules - There are important facts you need to know before you contact; or are contacted by, debt collection agencies. Credit counseling - Learn about credit counseling and how to choose a good company. Credit counseling versus debt settlement - Decide which alternative is the best option for you. Debt consolidation loan - Payoff bills with a debt consolidation loan. Debt counseling - Lower monthly bill payments or reduce principal altogether. Debt negotiation - Charge-off debt; reduce principal owed. Debt negotiation sample letter - Do It Yourself debt settlement. Get out of debt - Ways to get out of debt, either Do It Yourself or with a Company. Government debt consolidation loans - Truth about government loans to pay bills. Free debt settlement - Do It Yourself debt settlement to negotiate lower bills. Joint credit card debt - Which spouse pays the bills (loans and credit cards) after divorce. Negotiate debt settlement - Settle debt yourself with your loan and/or credit card company. Nonprofit credit counseling - What to look for when choosing a credit counseling company. Advantages of Nonprofit debt consolidation. Nonhomeowner debt consolidation loan options for nonhomeowners to pay off debt. Tips to Payoff balance of credit cards and how to avoid the debt trap. Pay off debt loan options and tips to pay off debt. Download our free Personal budget software and instructions for our software. Reduce bills free lower expenses. Reminders to pay bills on time. Strategies to Repay payday loan. Use our free software to Track expenses. Items which qualify as Unsecured debt and how you can combine bills into one monthly payment with Unsecured debt consolidation. An Unsecured debt consolidation loan may be best for paying off high interest debt, or you could Balance Transfer Debt. Is your Personal Debt Increasing? Debt Settlement Facts about the negotiation process. Ending the Debt Cycle with sound financial management and long-term planning. Economy and Debt warnings. Debt Consolidation and Debt Settlement differences. Pre-Bankruptcy Credit Counseling per government legislation requires debtors to first engage in credit counseling, AKA debt management. Divorce and Debts on an Individual or a Joint Spouse Account. Student Credit Card Debts and options to Pay Off Debt. Unknown Debt Collection Agency calling and harassing you about a debt you do not recognize? Know your rights and be alert to Consumer Debt Late Payments. Debt Settlement is one option for people to consider who are too deep in debt for a repayment plan. Marriage Debt-Lock - Wedlock could become Debt-lock. Avoid and recover from marriage debt. Good Bills VS Bad Debt In regards to loan repayments, there are good bills and bad debt. Payoff Credit Card Debt Solutions and alternatives and ways to stop more debt. Bankruptcy Debt debts that can be discharged by the courts. Fraud and Credit Scams Target Debt People with big debts. Credit Card Charge Off stats. Debt Settlement Company FAQ - Can a debt settlement company really lower your debt so you can pay off in a few years? Unpaid Credit Card Debt - The amount of unpaid credit card debt escalates as spending continues. Payoff Debts Without Loans - Bills may be stacking up, but there are simple ways to payoff debts and without using credit cards and loans, and without counseling or to negotiate settlement. Long Term Plan to Pay Off Bills - Long term plan to pay off bills and be debt free within one year without counseling, settlement, nor a consolidation loan. $7000 Debt Question - I have about 7000 in debt. My credit is not good . I am looking to change that I do not have collateral to put down on the loan . Is there anyone who can help me?  What Is Unsecured Debt Consolidation - the advantages, pros and cons over counseling and chargeoffs, or should you negotiate settlement? Credit Card Balance Transfer Debt - How to avoid; and get out of, credit card balance transfer debt. Manage Debt Yourself - Do-It-Yourself tips. Should you charge off or payoff bills, consolidate or negotiate settlement? Debt Solutions - Which one is right for you; and best. Christian Loans and 7 Year Debt - Why is unpaid debt removed from credit reports after 7 years? Why not allow bad credit report entries to remain long term, beyond 7 years? Stop Credit Card Debt Abuse - Stop credit card abuse for greater financial security. Calculate Debt And Payoff - some form of debt is OK. Debt Collectors are negotiating settlements. Debt Collection Statute Of Limitation - Read our article about the debt collection statute of limitation for how long creditors, bill collectors and debt collection agencies may legally pursue repayment. Money To Payoff Debt - consider debt consolidation to combine and reduce monthly bills, credit counseling, or perhaps negotiate settlement to chargeoff debt at a lower amount. Free Debt Relief Advice and the Statute of Limitations Debt Collection Act on how to deal with debt collection agency harassment and how to negotiate debt settlement. Debt Relief Tips - resources to deal with debt and making plans for Short and Long Term Debt Relief. Biggest Debt Mistakes - Avoid common errors. How To Reduce Debt options. Debts And Bills tips to manage personal finances. Debt Free Money - The government free money (stimulus checks). Tips to Stop Debt Save Money. Debt Collection Agency Negotiation strategies. Debt Collector Verification sample letter and advice on how to get a debt collector to prove you owe money. Ways to Stop Credit Card Debt. College Student Credit Card Debt statistics. Debt Settlement Vs Debt Consolidation - What is the difference? Debt Loan Advice - Consider offers and apply for a loan to payoff debt. Creditor Rejects Debt Settlement Negotiation - What to do if a creditor rejects your debt settlement offer and refuses all negotiation. Can Debt Collectors Put Me In Jail for not paying my bill? Being in debt is not a crime. Payoff Credit Card Debt or get assistance. Old Debt Collections - Zombie Debt Collectors will try to get you to payoff old obligations like credit card debt  Beware of Fake Phantom Debt Collectors. Stop Debt Collection Agency Calls - You have the right under federal law to stop debt collection agency calls. Harassing Debt Collector Fined - A harassing debt collector was fined $2.25 million. Review federal regulations and rules that protect your rights. Credit Card Debt Advice. Budgets, Debt Management, Consolidation, Settlement, Counseling and Bankruptcy - Create a budget and learn about your debt relief solutions. Credit Card Debt Default - Interest rate hikes to offset high risk may be increasing credit card debt defaults. High Rate Credit Card Debt - could result in bank credit limit decreases, even higher rates, and subsequently maxing-out and getting hit with over limit fees. Debt Collectors Violating Do Not Call List send a cease and desist letter or a debt verification. Free Debt Collection Agency Tips to help you deal with harassing bill collectors. Credit Card Debt Relief loans. Cant Make Credit Card Payments - When you cant make credit card payments or even pay the minimum due, you have options. Ways you can Get Out of Payday Loan Debt. Free Tax Assistance for Seniors and Low Income and Tax Debt Help - There could be help for getting taxes prepared if you are low-come or elderly through the VITA or "The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance" program. Tax Debt Help - The IRS offers free tax debt help to settle for a lower amount owed without filing bankruptcy. Stop Bill Collector Calls and Threats - stop debt agency harassment Sample debt verification and debt settlement letters. Do It Yourself Free Debt Settlement or Use a Debt Negotiation Company - pros and cons. Student Credit Card Debt - make higher repayments. Chargeoff Credit Card Debt and Rebuild Credit Score - It may take time, yet eventually you can rebuild credit after you chargeoff credit card debt. Chargeoff Credit Card Debt To Avoid Bankruptcy either yourself for free or by hiring a debt settlement company.  Settle Credit Card Debt - negotiate a larger settlement amount. Free Tips to Avoid Credit Card Charges. Debt Arbitrators Code of Ethics - Review the Code of Ethics of the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators. Free Debt Advice -  signs and how to control, manage and payoff bills. Old Debt used to indicate debt that was several years old, but now it has another, new definition: debt owed by elderly persons.  Credit Counseling VS Debt Settlement VS Bankruptcy Filing - your three big options. Review before choosing. Who Pays Joint Spouse Debt after divorce or during marriage separation? Lower Credit Card Balances - A federal government report reveals lower credit card balances for consumers. Getting out of Joint Credit Card Debt - Information about applying for and getting out of joint credit card debt. Credit Card Debt Relief Options - choose the one that is best for your financial situation. Get Out of Debt Free and Fast - professional advice and Legitimate Debt Relief, Consolidation and Settlement. Debt Settlement Advice to reduce the principal amount owed (and possibly interest and fees) on an outstanding debt in exchange for prompt payoff. Credit Card Debt Settlement may be a good option if you are burdened to the point of filing bankruptcy. What Is A Debt Management Plan, Counseling, Consolidation and Other Debt Relief Options. Debt Management Counseling Info and Advice. Be careful as Credit Card Charges can cause Long Term Loan Debt. Debt Management Tips to get finances under control. Secured and Unsecured, Paid and Free Debt Relief Programs -there are many debt relief options both free and paid. Credit Card Christmas Debt - options to settle holiday card charges. How to get out of payday loan debt - repay or negotiate a payoff settlement. Debt Management Plan Advice - through a debt management plan (DMP) you deposit money each month with a credit counseling organization. How to Tell Debt Collectors Not to Call - You have the Right to Tell Debt Collectors Not to Call You. College Debt Grant Question - What Grant programs if any can a veteran apply to for student loan debt. Higher Loans with Lower Interest Debt. Free Sample Debt Settlement and Negotiation Letter to be used as a comprise letter to creditors. Zombie debt collectors - many operate in violation of federal law. Debt Consolidation Loan  or fnonhomeowner debt consolidation. Avoid and resolve Credit Card Debt. Bill Collector Bad Debt Collection - A new scam against credit consumers involves debt collection agencies inventing past due bills and demanding repayment. Inventing fake debt and trying to get money from consumers who don't even owe. Credit card debt cancellation letter - You cannot simply stop paying credit card debts you had accrued. Even if you send your credit card company a cancellation letter; and even if you tear up your card, you are still responsible. Debt Glossary - Credit and Debt Definitions Dictionary. Help with holiday bills to Get Out of Christmas Credit Card Deb. Christmas Debt Personal Loans - A long term debt consolidation loan to payoff Christmas credit card bills or you could Chargeoff Christmas credit card debt. Review all Ways to payoff Christmas credit card bills and debts such as by using gift cards. Sue a Debt Collection Agency and Reasons to Pay a Collector - Yes, you can sue a debt collection agency for violating regulations. Bad Credit Debt Consolidation Loan to Pay Off Credit Cards - I'm a non-homeowner and I don't qualify for a debt consolidation loan. Is there a way I can get a bad credit loan to pay off credit card debt? Debt Collection Agency Contact Phone Number and Address - alphabetical listing of debt collection agencies with contact information such as telephone number and/or mailing address. Use Extra Money to Payoff Credit Card Debt or Put in Savings Account - I came into enough money to payoff my credit cards. What should I do. Payoff credit card balances or put that money into a savings account? Signs of Debt Relief Scams - To avoid scammers all you need to do is watch for telltale signs and verify references from legitimate resources. Secret Tricks Debt Collectors Use - Divorce, bankruptcy and even dead debt beyond the statute of limitations can be resurrected as Zombie Debt through secret tricks debt collectors use. Before You Answer Debt Collector Calls - understand your rights and be wary of mistakes other people often make. Stop Payday Loan Debt Borrowing -  some people continually obtain these short term loans because they are low on funds and have bills due. Medical Debt Collection Dispute - If you received a medical bill you do not agree with or does not belong to you, here is how to write a medical debt collection dispute letter. Settle Deceased Person's Debt - When a relative or other loved-one dies, you certainly don't want to be hounded by debt collectors who are ghoulishly seeking debt payment. Banks that Offer Debt Consolidation Loans for Personal Bills - Review a select list of banks that offer personal debt consolidation loans. Track Down Original Creditor for Debt Collection Agency - Don't payoff someone else's debt collection agency. Track down the original creditor to make sure you owe the money. Non-Dischargeable Debt Bankruptcy Lawsuit - You file bankruptcy to avoid repaying debts, but then a creditor files a non-dischargeable debt lawsuit to ask the judge (court) to determine the debt owed is non-dischargeable. Christmas Debt Consolidation Loan - to payoff credit card bills in full. How to Negotiate Christmas Credit Card Debt Settlement - It's not unusual to go into the holidays with debt already on your credit cards, and then adding yet more charges. Smartly Recover from Christmas Debt - What is the smartest way? Christmas Credit Card Debt Statement - How your Christmas credit card debt statement knocked the holiday spirit out of you? Debt Help with Payday Loans and end the cycle or borrowing. Charge Off Christmas Credit Card Debt - How to Charge Off Christmas Credit Card Debt Yourself. Debt Help Without Ruining Credit - ways to get debt help without ruining credit scores and may even improve. What Debts are Discharged in Bankruptcy - An example listing of what debts are discharged in Bankruptcy, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Common Debt Terminology Definitions. Junk Debt Collectors of Old Bills are relentless in their pursuit of profit. Debt Help for Unemployed People. Debt Help for Medical Bills. Writing Off Debt Legally and have it forgiven What Happens to Debt After Seven Years Statute? - After the limitation has passed, many negative items can be deleted from your credit report. That includes things like late payments, debt collections and charged-off accounts.  Government Debt Relief Company Rules - Federal rules to protect consumer rights.   Debt Consolidation Loan for Bad Credit People - Lenders worry that if you are having trouble paying your current bills, how likely will you be able to repay an unsecured loan?  Is My Debt Too High - Most everyone's debt is too high. Bad Debt Management Company Red Flags - Avoid Companies which make extravagant promises and deliver little. You can consult The Association of Independent Credit Counseling Agencies; a national association of non-profit credit counseling agencies, for a list of member companies. Members of the AICCCA must be non-profit credit counseling agencies who are properly licensed to business in their state. Debt Help for People on Benefits - Debt Help for People on Benefits, SSI or Senior Citizens  Payday Loan Debt Settlement - payday loans are one remaining life-line of credit for millions of Americans. Credit Card Company Debt Hardship Program - How a Hardship Program Works Reduce Bills free on your own or you can get professional debt reduction assistance online. Good Bills VS Bad Debt -there are good bills and bad debt. What items should you borrow money for? $10000 Loan for Credit Card Bills - Need a $10000 loan to payoff credit card bills?. Long Term Plan to Pay Off Bills - Long term plan to pay off bills and be debt free within one year without counseling, settlement, nor a consolidation loan. Money To Payoff Debt. Biggest Debt Mistakes - Avoid common errors so you can reduce bills, increase your profit margin and payoff high interest burdens like credit card debt without having to negotiate a settlement or get credit counseling. How To Reduce Debt and balance transfer. Debts And Bills - Free tips to manage personal finances. Spouse Died with Credit Bills - What you should do if your spouse died and left behind unpaid credit balances and other bills in the spouse's name. Free Debt Advice how to control, manage and payoff bills including a personal budget, credit counseling, negotiate debt settlement or an unsecured debt consolidation loan. Go To Jail For Not Paying Bill - Can you go to jail for not paying bills?  Pay Credit Card Bills for Rewards - When you pay credit card bills on time, it's not uncommon to be offered better rewards credit cards and lower interest. If you cannot pay credit card bills, consider options. What Is A Debt Management Plan. Counseling, Consolidation and Other Debt Relief Options. Chargeoff Credit Card. Need Loan to Pay Bills - I hope I'm not wasting anyone's time, but we are in a desperate situation and I'm hoping your company may be able to help us.  Christmas Credit Card Bills help to eliminate or pay off Christmas bills. Ways to payoff Christmas credit card bills and debts - You could use gift cards. Medical Bills Bankruptcy Filing - You have options to file for medical bankruptcy: Chapter 13, 11 or Chapter 7. Medical Debt Collection Dispute - how to write a medical debt collection dispute letter. Banks that Offer Debt Consolidation Loans for Personal Bills - personal debt consolidation loans. Unpaid Medical Bills Affect Credit Score - Currently unpaid medical bills are identified on credit reports.  Junk Debt Collectors of Old Bills are relentless in their pursuit of profit. Debt Help for Medical Bills - Ways you can get debt help to handle medical bills.

Private Party Personal Loan Lenders Can Sue

Responsibility for Debt Brought Into Marriage

Debt Blacklist Checkers

Ex Spouse Joint Debt and Divorce

Spot and Stop Credit Card Addiction

Payday Loan Debt Settlement

Getting Rid of Medical Bill Impact on Credit Scores

Unmarried Couples Debt

Debt Collectors Using FaceBook

Credit Card Company Debt Hardship Program

How to sue a payday loan company if you have too much interest (fee) debt.

Best debt management program: find out which is best for you.

   

   

 

    

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Managing Income and Expenses - When researching ways to payoff debt or if you can afford to borrow a loan, a first priority is to get a handle on your income, bills and spending habits.

For people who receive paychecks weekly, the way to tally your monthly income is to multiple your weekly check times 4.33. So, for example, if you receive $500 weekly your monthly total is $2,165.

Now that you have your monthly income total, you'll need to know how much of your money is already obligated to current bills. This is much more extensive than you think, as it's quite easy to forget some payment obligations. Also, you need to convert quarterly, semi-annual and annual expenses into a monthly amount. If you pay car insurance every 6 months, you'll need to know how much per month you'll need to save to make these payments when they become due without having to interfere with other bill payments.

Expenses such as auto and home insurance, routine car maintenance, tag renewals, annual property tax and similar are easily forgotten when people develop their budgets. To help you fully include all your obligations, review a full year's banking, checking and credit card statements.


  

Looking for a government debt consolidation loan? Learn facts about govt loans. The internet makes it easy to search for government grants and federal assistance.

     

 

Personal Loans for
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Is there a government debt consolidation loan for individuals?

We are not aware of any government debt consolidation loan programs for individual, private citizens. Per our research, federal government resources recommend credit counseling for individuals who are unable to get debt under control on their own.

   

You don't need a government debt consolidation loan

nonprofit credit counseling

Consumer credit counseling
(also called debt management):
Your debt is combined into one lower monthly payment to make it easier for you to meet your financial obligations.

unsecured credit settlement

Debt Settlement
(also called debt negotiation):
The principal balance of your debt is negotiated to reduce the balance owed and get you out of debt faster.

  

Apply now to see how credit counseling or debt settlement may benefit you.

 

Get a non-profit credit counseling or a free debt settlement quote online. Even non-home owners can enjoy unsecured debt consolidation and debt negotiation.

Learn who qualifies for a debt consolidation loan and review options to get out of debt.

Don't know which debt program is best for you? Compare credit counseling vs debt settlement to help you decide which one offers the best benefits for your situation.

Whether you choose a credit counseling agency or a debt settlement company, either program can only help you with unsecured debt. Find out what types of unsecured debt qualify.

There is no such thing as a non home owner debt consolidation loan. You may; however, use other alternatives to reduce payments or to get a loan to pay off debt.

 

There are government grant programs, unclaimed money, unclaimed property, SBA grants to start a business and private grant foundations for women, minorities and veterans. Research free with us and pay no fees. Absolutely no credit card required.

   

Visit our FREE Gov Grants page for access to govt. grants, federal assistance, unclaimed money and unclaimed property.

  

Credit Federal no fee links to free govt. grants, unclaimed money, unclaimed property, financial and government assistance. Research free to determine your eligibility for grants or govt. assistance.

 

Search for free grants for debt relief. Check for federal assistance programs and grants for low income people.

 

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Choosing a Debt Settlement Company

There are many things you need to be mindful of when you are choosing a debt settlement company. Many companies offering debt settlement services are small, unsophisticated and have only been around for a short period of time. The good ones will have a track record of success and will be able to provide you with an honest assessment of not only the potential benefits, but also the potential downsides of debt settlement for your situation. The fact is that debt settlement is not right for everyone. It is a program designed for consumers with serious debt problems, who are unable to maintain payment obligations and are considering bankruptcy or credit counseling.

Is the debt settlement company you are considering accredited by United States Organizations for Bankruptcy Alternative - A Debt Negotiation Association (USOBA)or The Association of Settlement Companies (TASC)? USOBA and TASC accreditation reduces the risk to consumers and gives overall confidence for consumers, because the member company has been independently evaluated by a third party for its competence and performance capabilities.

How much money will this process cost you? When considering a debt settlement company make sure that their program is affordable for you and your monthly budget. Donít fool yourself if you canít afford the program and sign up for it anyway, this is just escalating your debt problems further

Does the debt settlement company offer any type of guarantee for their services? And if they do, what is the guarantee? If a debt settlement company is unable to settle your accounts with your creditors, you should not have to pay a fee or the fee should be refunded. Also be aware to stay away from a company that promises you that this process will not affect your credit rating, and that they can fix your debt problems quickly.

Does the debt settlement company that you are considering, have IAPDA certified debt negotiators? IAPDA certifies debt negotiators who have a solid understanding of the laws governing the Debt Settlement industry and who will fully understand your current financial situation.

Does the debt settlement company that you are considering offer any type of bankruptcy assistance if debt settlement is not going to work for you? For instance, some debt settlement companies will offer you a refund of some of the program cost to help pay for a bankruptcy attorney of your choice.

Does the debt settlement company that you are considering, belong to the local Chamber of Commerce? If so, is the Chamber an accredited member of the Chamber of Commerce of the Unites States?

Is the debt settlement company a member of the Better Business Bureau? Debt settlement companies are not recognized by the BBB, so that doesnít really mater. In some states the BBB has not allowed debt settlement companies to join the BBB because the BBB has a rating scale that has altered the rating of debt settlement companies between a grade of D or F, just because of their industry. This could have assisted some consumers in verifying the reputation of qualified debt settlement companies.






How People get into Debt Most

According to a Gallup survey, Americans identify terrorism and government debt as the two most worrisome issues to American well being. If Americans are so concerned about the government's debt, why aren't we worried about our own debt? More than half of Americans are in debt and paying interest on it. Many blame credit cards -- and rightfully so; they are a major culprit. But there are a number of ways people rack up debt. Read on to see 10 ways we accumulate debt.

Poor Communication: We all know the drill. We've either seen it in a movie or in real life. It's either the wife sneaking in a big shopping bag from an expensive designer store or the husband hiding the latest electronic gadget in his office drawer. The sad reality is most family members and spouses do not communicate about their financial positions. While one shopping bag or Amazon purchase can seem insignificant, they can add up over time. In fact, they often add up to more than the household can afford, forcing the family into debt. Not only is it important to understand your financial capabilities, it is just as important to share them with every family member who has the ability to add to household debt.

Gambling: If you've ever played the lottery or made a bet on a football game, you've gambled. While a dollar lottery ticket may seem innocent enough, many people across the globe rack up significant gambling debt each year. In California, 1 million residents are addicted to gambling. To counteract the problem, the state has created a voluntary ban from casinos. But now that online gambling sites are bringing casinos into homes and dorm rooms, gambling has become extremely accessible, and the problem is spreading. With easily accessible loans and odds that rarely favor the gambler, it's easy to see how gambling debt can get out of control.

Poor Financial Planning: Saving for retirement isn't a hard idea to grasp -- save money while you have it, so you can build up savings for when you're no longer working. Yet, the idea of saving for the future is lost on many young people. A recent study found that, starting with the baby boomers, the percentage of savings per generation starts to dwindle about 10 percent each generation: The Wall Street Journal]. Not only does this leave many ill prepared for retirement, it leaves them without proper savings for the unexpected. Bills for medical emergencies, life-changing events, hurricanes and other surprises can easily force someone with inadequate savings into debt.

Poor Money Management Skills: Most of us never took a class in high school or college on how to manage money. So, when do we expect young people to learn how to manage their finances and stick to a budget? It seems to be a trial-and-error process, emphasis on the error. A recent study of young adults ages 18 to 34 reports this age group has the second highest bankruptcy rate in the United States. Despite having sufficient salaries, many young people's lack of knowledge on money management and investing has forced them into debts that could have easily been prevented.

Divorce: There's ongoing debate about whether or not money is a leading cause of divorce. However, there is no debate that divorce causes even further financial problems. Not only is the process of divorce expensive, one spouse's debt could be assumed by both parties as finances are split. If one spouse racked up thousands of dollars in credit card debt on a cosigned card, both spouses will be responsible for the bill. Additionally, if divorce occurs in one of the nine states that follow common property laws, both parties are responsible for debt obtained during the marriage even if only one spouse is named on the loan or credit card.

Competing with Others: "I want it, and I want it now!" With the plethora of online shopping options available today, anyone who utters this phrase is in luck. Yet the impulsivity of online shoppers coupled with the strong desire to keep up with the latest and greatest of everything is a dangerous combination, sending many into debt. If your co-worker has the latest iPhone with video, it suddenly makes your year-old model seem obsolete. Even though your iPhone is working perfectly and you don't get paid until next week, with the quick swipe of a credit card, the new iPhone is yours. This is just a small example of this phenomenon. Many families find themselves living in a house they cannot afford with a luxury car parked in the driveway. From the outside, they may draw many a jealous eye, but upon closer inspection, they're drowning in debt.

Lowered Income without Reducing Bills: Since the economy slowed to a screeching halt, unemployment has been high. Many have lost their jobs or have been forced to reduce hours, and therefore receive a lower income. Additionally, many have had to rely on stock dividends that have significantly decreased in value as a supplement to their income. At the same time, bills and expenses remain constant, forcing many into debt. While there are certain bills and expenses that will not change (mortgage payments, car loans, utilities), many others can and should be reduced to cover the difference. However, having grown accustomed to a particular lifestyle, many continue to spend beyond their reduced income and end up with major credit card debt.

Credit Cards: Don't have the money now, but can't live without that pair of shoes? Credit cards make this purchase possible. They allow you to rack up serious debt while only paying of a minimum fee each month. That means you could purchase the shoes, the dress, the bag and the perfect necklace for your party and only pay $20 when your bill comes at the end of the month. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, doesn't it? Well, what many people don't pay attention to and what the banks don't advertise is that the remainder of your debt continues to grow through high interest rates and fees. You think you're in the clear, because you can afford the minimum payment each month, but you lose sight of your total debt, which can become out of control. Credit card debt is a problem for a lot of people. In the first quarter of 2010, banks wrote off $18.7 billion of credit card debt that cardholders could not afford to pay.

Mortgages: Thanks to the housing bubble bursting, many people find themselves upside down on their home mortgages, meaning they owe more on their mortgage than their property is worth. This leaves many homeowners stuck in houses they cannot afford and they cannot sell. So what do they do? They stop paying the mortgage payments. If a homeowner can no longer make their payments, the bank will seize the property. Often this is the only option for the homeowner who cannot pay. Their remaining debt on the house is forgiven and written off by the bank, but the homeowner's credit is damaged for years. Due to an extremely long foreclosure process, the homeowner is often able to continue living in the house without making payments, while the bank processes the foreclosure.

Student Loans: Not only has college tuition increased, so have the number of students attending college, making it more and more necessary to obtain a college degree to find a job. That means more and more people are going into debt because of student loans. Financial sources predict the federal government has given out almost $300 billion in student loans over the past four years. Student loans are a bit trickier than other loans. They can be deferred, which is helpful to students seeking multiple degrees. But, they can also come with hidden charges and fees, and will not be forgiven in bankruptcy. So, while at first a student loan may have seemed like a responsible decision, many students are faced with growing

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