Is a Low Interest Credit Card the Answer to Consolidating Debt?

May 21, 2008

Those credit card offers just keep coming.  Seems there’s hardly a day goes by that your mail box is not stuffed with some new bank offering you attractive low rates to consolidate your debt. 


But there’s a danger lurking for you also, one you may already be painfully aware of!


The low rate the bank is offering you is called an introductory rate. The introductory, a.k.a teaser rate credit card has created billions of rands for the financial industry.


The introductory interest rate is applicable only for a short period of time, usually only a few months.


Thereafter your rate will be adjusted and you will pay end up paying the standard interest rate.


If you do decide to consolidate your debt to a credit card that has a low introductory rate, you should not ignore the standard interest rate that you will be paying once the introductory period has lapsed.


If the standard interest rate  is too high and you know that you will not be able to settle the credit card balance during while you are still enjoying low rates, then the such a low interest card is probably not the best option available to you.


However, if you are confident that you will be able to settle your credit card debt during the introductory period you will be able to save money over that period.


Whatever your decision, just remember one thing…


Credit card companies do not make any money if they are financing your debt at below prime interest rates!


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How can I Get Rid of Debt Stress?

May 20, 2008

Look at all your statements. Cut up and cancel all the cards and accounts, except the one with the highest remaining credit available.


You should keep one account open for emergencies.

To get rid of the debt stress, you will have to give up many things you consider needs. Believe it you can live without new clothes for awhile, without buying the latest smart phone, the DSTV, the higher bandwidth internet connection, and much more, believe it or not.


You have to face the responsibility and the consequences.

Luxury items and things you want will be more valuable to you, when you really can afford them with cash up front, or using credit in a wise way.


If you are an employee, be willing to work overtime, get a part-time home job or something similar, there is plenty of websites that offer home job opportunities.



Geting a better income will help you to get out of debt. When you are free, take an hour just to think and think, try to have new fresh idea that might help you in improving your income and/or reducing your expenses.


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How can I Stop Accumulating More Debt?

May 19, 2008

Live within your means. If you can’t afford to pay cash, you can’t afford to have it. Pay off highest interest debts first.


Usually, when you have less free time, you spend less money on nights out or shopping. When you are in debt, do not go out for shopping or for entertainment until you are managing your financial life the good way.


Find something beneficial to do with your rather than going to the mall.


This way, you’re reducing your debt, and most importantly, not adding more to your debt. If you cannot keep up, you may enter a debt consolidation program.


If you’re a real shopaholic, go to the thrift stores. They are often charity run and often don’t take credit cards, so you have to pay cash. Keep you living within your means and you can find great stuff there. Go to the well-heeled neighborhoods early for the best stuff. You can get great items if you keep your eyes open. Would you rather have a big credit card bill you can’t pay or a few scuffs on furniture or appliances that has lots of life left?

It’s a real high to find the things you need and still stay out of debt.

Be honest with yourself, this way you are on the road to freedom.

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Get-Out-of-Debt Strategies

May 16, 2008

If you are in debt try to decrease your expenses, cancel your credit cards and develop a debt reduction plan.


Change your spending habits, the way you live, and especially the way you think. Always keep in mind saving one rand every day can be useful for a rainy day or to assist you in your debts.


Always pay off the smallest bills at first, this way you will save some money and add it to the highest bill. This work in most cases when you have for example 5 bills.


You pay the small then allocate an extra payment from the saved amount into the higher bill.


Keep your credit card ONLY for emergencies, do not carry the card with you, and have cash in your pocket unless you really and urgently need it. Get out of trouble, and put your credit card at home. Hide it somewhere out of your eyes. 


Take this into consideration; the credit card business is very competitive. When you always make your payments on time, call and ask to lower your interest. 


When your debts are high and your monthly income is not enough to cover the payments, there are ways to solve your debt problem, but the road to financial recovery takes a total commitment.


You must decide you want to be debt-free. You have to discipline yourself to take the necessary action to pay back your debts.


Only you can determine if you are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to achieve this goal.


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Debt Free Living Tips

May 15, 2008

1-     Stop all your credit cards and keep only one for emergencies. Always use cash instead. And for the one you keep, be sure to choose one with the lowest interest rate and best credit facilities.


2-     Cancel all of your credit lines and request a lower interest rate on the debt you have left. 


3-     If you have multiple credit cards, transfer the debts to the card with the lowest interest rate or get a debt-consolidation loan from a bank at a very lower rate. 


4-     Use cash! And buy what you really need only! 


5-     Pay off the debts with the highest interest rate first. 


6-     Add an extra payment on the next debt by taking the payment you made on the first debt and adding it to the current debt. 


7-     If you have investments that are paying lower percent then the credit card interest rate, cash out your investments and pay off your debt.


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7 Steps to a Debt Free Life

May 14, 2008

1- KNOW what you owe.


You must know and identify clearly what you owe; the best way is to create a debt list with details for example:


Identify which payment has the highest rate thus allocate the highest priority to it.


2- Avoid creating new Debts. When you are already in debt, do NOT create a new debt.


Try your best to create savings strategies for the expenses that you do not pay monthly, for example some bills are paid quarterly. Even though this bill is paid quarterly, keep aside the amount aside each month.


3- Decrease your expenses by developing a clear strategy and try to increase your income.


4- Don’t always use your credit card.


5- Always create a list of items you plan to purchase and know the amount you are planning to spend. 


6 – As soon as you develop a plan with your monthly income and expenses, you can set the good amount for paying your debts. 


Adding an extra amount to your monthly debts payment can decrease the interest payment and save time.


When you have money with you, and you really do not need use it add this amount to your monthly payments.


7- Being debt free is not only, a way to manage your money, but also a negotiation part.


Try to find the alternate with a lower rate. Use negotiations, tell your current creditor that you’ve got lower rates with another one; this might help reducing rates to keep you as a customer


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What Exactly is Debt?

May 13, 2008

Debt is simply the money you owe; it is an amount of money or other property that is owed by one person, organization or company.

It is not the credit you owe as credit turns into debt. Getting into debt is very easy and maybe it is fun for some people as it might impress them.

At a first glance, people are happy.  They can buy without having cash, and they can afford to get a car even without having the budget etc. but they missed the best part, they will drive this car for 5-7 years to make payments and pay a huge amount of interest for what already impressed them!

Debts can make your life easier or ruin your life but however bad your debt problems, there is a solution.

People who know how to handle debts and how to manage their credits can take advantage of debts, while people who do not have enough knowledge in debt management and creating debt reduction plans are always in trouble.

In most cases, there are very good reasons to take on debt. For example, students take loans which are a good thing but we insist that you must know how to handle and pay off your debts after graduation.

Also taking debts for setting up a business is good but it depends how the structure is going to be setup.

You must have a clear plan, and know how much money you would need and the most important, how to pay it back. In cases like these, debt is a part of the business success.

If you can afford to pay cash and limit the risk of taking debts, do it! Do not hesitate to pay by cash when you have the money.

The problem is when you borrow money but do not use it productively.
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