Posts Tagged ‘creditors’

The Danger of Auto Bill Pay

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

As our society gets busier, it’s been increasingly important to automate several aspects of our lives. One of the first areas to be automated was the payment of monthly bills and for many, this is an essential system that helps them avoid late payments. However, there are a few dangers that are associated with auto bill pay programs that should be discussed. By keeping these points in mind, you can use auto bill pay options to your advantage, without having to worry about additional problems.

Auto Bill Payment Programs – are they for you?

The first major concern is a lack of funds. If you don’t have a reliable income that is always deposited on time, you can end up with late bills, angry creditors and a real problem on your hand. If you are using a checking account for your auto bill pay, it is vital to make a note of when your payments are due and then take the necessary steps to ensure that you will have more than enough to take care of the bills that you owe for that month. This is also a problem for those using a credit card, especially if they get too close to their limit.

Next up, there is a big concern over hidden fees and charges that you may not catch. If you don’t get paper bills, or if you don’t take the time to read your electronic statement, you may end up paying too much and you’ll never be the wiser. The best example in this case would be a phone bill that does not have a set amount for long distance. This can fluctuate from month to month and if you’re not paying attention, you can easily end up with a bill that is three times the norm or more, and you’ll have to come up with the difference to make sure your other bills are paid.

Other companies may tack on extra fees, or you may be charged for each transaction. Always take the time to read the fine print before getting involved with auto bill pay systems and make sure that you are completely aware of what you’ll end up paying every month by keeping tabs on your statement.

The last major problem facing users of auto bill pay programs is security. It is vital to go with a program that provides top notch security and data protection. You don’t need that payment information being broadcast across the net, and all too often, this can happen. Hackers are an issue, especially now that so much sensitive information is available. If you are not sure about the level of security for the auto bill payment service that you are using, it is best to find a service that you can trust.

Auto bill pay can be incredibly helpful, but as with most things in life, there is a downside. However, by keeping these points in mind and by staying diligent on reading your statements, you can make it work for you.

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4 Ways To Get Out of Debt

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Earn some extra money – hold a yard sale.

For thousands of people, the specter of debt is an all too real problem that affects not only their financial life, but the rest of their lives as well. However, there are steps that can be taken to get yourself out of debt, reasonably quickly, despite how much you owe. While the length of time needed to pay off those debts may vary, taking action as quickly as possible can help prevent debt from mounting up further. Let’s take a look at four easy ways that you can get out of debt, starting today.

1. Negotiate with Creditors and Consolidate.

Many creditors are willing to negotiate with you, especially if you have had a good payment history with them. The worst thing they can tell you is no, so it definitely pays to take the time to see if you can’t work out a better arrangement. Credit card companies, for example, will often reduce the interest, or they may be willing to take a partial lump sum on the balance.

If you are unsuccessful in negotiating your debts down yourself, you may want to consider consolidation by working with a reputable debt consolidation or debt relief organization. There are some questionable ones out there, so do your homework and be careful.

Finally, and arguably the best approach, is to get a lower interest rate loan (see #4) that will allow you to zero out your other debt and leave you with one simple monthly payment.

Consolidating your monthly payments and lowering the overall amount of interest you owe can have a dramatic effect on your finances.

2. Get a second job.

If you truly want to get out of debt quickly, one of the best ways is simply to get a second job until the debt has been paid off. You can funnel everything you make from your second job into paying off your debts and get them taken care of in short order. A second job doesn’t have to mean slaving away at McDonalds however.

You may be able to find ways of earning extra income from other avenues, such as leveraging your abilities to find work in your community, or by starting your own business to help you make enough money to pay off your debts in less time.

3. Reduce your junk.

Holding a yard sale may be a slower way of paying down your debt, but there are many ways that you can turn your household items into cash that can in turn be used to pay off your debts. You can sell items on Ebay, put ads in the paper and find people that are interested in buying your possessions. Depending on what you own, you may be able to quickly sell off everything to take care of your debts.

You may also want to consider cutting back on extraneous expenses, getting a cheaper car, and finding other ways to save money. With what you have left over, you can start using it to pay off your debts until you are completely caught up. Don’t let your debt control your life. You can find ways to get it paid off – and quickly.

4. Debt Consolidation via Loanio

Loanio is now open for for business! You could post a loan request there asking for a lower rate and then pay off your higher interest debts.

Loanio is an auction based, peer lending platform where individuals can borrow or lend money to each other. By cutting out “traditional lenders,” and adding an auction based element, borrowers can get lower rates and lenders can get higher returns than other banking options. Give it a try!Borrow money with Loanio.

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