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(31) Don’t Think of a Student Loan as Income

Use student loans only to pay for college that you cannot afford to pay for right now. Using student loan money as if it were cash income will come back to haunt you later and impact you for years. Need income? Get a job!

(27) Create a Financial Plan

Create a long-term financial plan and include where you want to be in a year, five years, 20 years. Things happen to change the best laid plans, but you need a plan to begin with and then adjust it as the reality changes.

(23) Refinance Loans at Lower Rates

If you have managed to stay current on the balances you owe, check with your lenders to determine if there are lower interest rate loans available to you. Refinancing can be a dramatic way to lower your monthly costs and get loans paid off more quickly.

(21) 5 Ways to Get Out of Debt

There are generally five ways for you to consider getting out of debt including: Debt Consolidation Debt Management Bankruptcy Debt Settlement Use a Combination of Approaches There are pros and cons to each that you must carefully consider with the help of a qualified financial and legal professional

(19) Call Your Banks…Ask for a Lower Interest Rate

Call all of the banks and lending institutions with which you deal and simply ask them for lower interest rates on your accounts. Say that you have been a loyal customer for X years, always paid your bills on time and you want a lower interest rate. You could cut your interest charges by hundreds of dollars a month and[Read More…]

(18) Use One or Two Credit Cards and Retire the Rest

Pick out your lowest interest most rewarding one or two credit cards and retire the rest to a place near your financial records. Don’t destroy or close these credit card accounts because that will impact your credit score, but do put the away.

(17) Change How You Spend Money

If you are fast and free with your money, you need to changing your spending habits. Anytime you are tempted to spend money, ask yourself this: Can I afford this purchase without putting it on a credit card? If the answer is no, then you can’t afford it.

(13) Sell Two Classes of Your ‘Stuff’ to Get Out of Debt

Sell two classes of “stuff” that you have and use that money to pay off creditors. The first group are expensive items, expensive presents you bought for yourself. Sell them and use the proceeds to pay down debt; the second class are items, while not of great value, continue to cost you money, like the sailboat with mooring privileges at[Read More…]

(10) Take Full Responsibility for Your Debt

Why should you take full responsibility for your debt if it wasn’t your fault to begin with? Taking full responsibility is empowering for you. If you take full responsibility for the situation you are in, then you have the power to get out of that situation. Don’t blame it on the credit markets or the recession or your alcoholic significant[Read More…]

(9) Where to Get a Credit Score? Paid-for and Free-of-Charge

Where to get a credit score, preferably free-of-charge? Under the law, you are entitled to get a free credit report annually from each of the three big credit reporting companies…Transunion, Equifax and Experian. There is no such law, however, that guarantees that you get a free credit score. You can buy your credit scores from each of the above-mentioned companies.[Read More…]

(6) Stop Spending Money Right Now, Tonight!

If, after reading the above sections, if you see red flags waving or if you have tripped off a few alarms, stop spending money on all optional items now! What’s optional? • Housing That Is Unaffordable • Cable TV • Alcohol • Cigarettes and booze • Illegal Drugs • New Car Payments • Dining Out • Gym Memberships • Expensive[Read More…]

(5) Understand Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

Do you know what your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is? Your debt-to-income ratio is the amount of your total debt you are carrying in monthly payments divided by your gross income. The equation looks like this: Total Debt/Gross Income X 100 = Debt-to-Income Ratio If you make $5,000 a month and have $1,000 in debt payments, your DTI is: $1000/$5000 X[Read More…]

Business Line of Credit

The business line of credit account is one form of credit that you absolutely need if you have been in business for awhile. The business line of credit in its simplest form is a line of credit you establish at a bank, usually between $5,000 and $250,000 that you can tap into — anytime! — by check or credit card[Read More…]

Q&A: Does Checking Your Credit Score Lower It?

Q: Does checking your credit score lower it? A: Checking your own credit score does not lower it. In fact, you are encouraged by law to check your credit report once a year. Checking your credit score may cost you extra. In you apply for a mortgage or a car loan (or any other loan for that matter), the companies[Read More…]