If you have multiple credit cards and especially if they’re high-interest cards another option would be to make a balance transfer either to a card with a lower interest rate or, better yet, a 0% interest balance transfer card. If you were able to transfer credit card debts that averaged 15% to a new one at 12% you would have a lower monthly payment and this could make easier for you to reduce your credit card debts. An even better deal would be to transfer those debts to a 0% interest balance transfer card, which would give you a timeout of anywhere from six to 18 months during which you would not be required to pay any interest at all. This means all of your payments would go against reducing your balance and if you were able to heavy up on those payments you could actually be debt-free before your promotional period ended. If this sounds like a good option be sure to read the fine print before you sign up for that new card. It could have a high transfer fee that would wipe out some of the savings you would achieve by transferring your debts.
For example, if you owed $5000 on a credit card you could contact the issuer and offer to make a lump sum payment of $2500 to settle the debt. If you can prove that you are suffering from a serious financial hardship the credit card company might agree to settle for the $2500. You will need to have the documentation available to prove you really have a serious financial hardship including a list of all your debts, the amount you owe on each, the last time you were able to make a payment on them and any minimum payments.
The American Opportunity Tax Credit has been improved by the Tax Cuts & Job Act.  This is one of the more popular deductions for student loans that allows up to a $2,500 deduction for qualified education expenses for the first 4 years of higher education. The IRS data show that 9m Americans applied for this tax credit last year.  The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act has increased the allowable deduction period to five years instead of four, but the fifth year is at a reduced $1,250 deduction.  The deduction is calculated as being 100% of the expenses incurred up to the first $2,000, and after that it’s 25% of the next $2,000 for a max of $2,500.
Both of these are important questions that may finally be getting early answers.  Sadly, those answers are scary for a huge number of student loan borrowers.  Reports as of May 2017 are that Trump and DeVos’ initial education budget will seek to eliminate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program which could cost student loan borrowers billions of dollars.  Trump and DeVos will likely seek to eliminate over $700 million in Perkins Loans and massively reduce the amount of work-study programs.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/11/16/the-house-is-voting-on-its-tax-bill-thursday-heres-what-is-in-it/ https://www.theverge.com/2017/11/7/16619246/tax-bill-trump-gop-cuts-and-jobs-act-graduate-students-tuition-waiver-reductions https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/aotc https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/02/student-loan-interest-deduction-is-on-the-chopping-block.html https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1
This depends on whether you make on-time payments. If you're looking to consolidate your debt, it's possibly because you're having trouble keeping up with multiple monthly payments from various accounts. Debt consolidation will help make these monthly payments easier, which may help you pay on time. However, just like with any other type of loan, late or missed payments on your debt consolidation loan could result in a credit score drop.
To “settle your debts” means to offer your creditors a one-time lump sum payment to pay off part of what you owe them. In return, they will write off what you aren’t able to pay back. It is important to speak with one of our Debt Settlement Specialists to find out if signing a debt settlement agreement with your creditors is a good option for you. There are long term consequences to your credit rating when you have debt written off against you. Get all the facts before you sign. To find out more of the pros and cons of consolidating debt using debt settlement services, click here.

Now that you’ve learned some of the steps to repairing your credit, let’s take a look at how long it can take for this process to work. Each individual is different, and therefore each individual credit score is as well. What works for one may not work for another, but using general lessons as guidelines, everyone can see an increase in their credit score. The chart below shows the average length it takes to increase credit scores by doing a variety of things. The average time it takes to go from poor credit to fair credit is roughly 65 days.
Isolating your financial needs on different credit-card accounts will help you get the best possible terms on every transaction that you make. For example, you could get the best cash-back credit card for everyday expenses, the best travel rewards card for airfare and hotel reservations, and the best balance-transfer card for reducing the cost of your existing debt.
A Debt Management Program (DMP) is a way of consolidating your unsecured debts without borrowing more money. It allows you to get out of debt by making one monthly payment that fits your budget. To find out if a DMP is a good debt consolidation option for you, one of our Credit Counsellors would be happy to look at your situation with you. If a DMP is a good option for you, they will explain how it will consolidate your debts into one payment, how the interest rate is lowered or waived by your creditors and how we will help you successfully complete your Debt Management Program. To learn more about consolidating debt payments with a Debt Management Program, click here.

Debt relief services include credit counseling, debt management and debt settlement. These services can help you strategize how to pay off your debt, create payment plans with creditors or negotiate on your behalf to settle accounts for less than the full balance. While some debt relief services can be helpful, working with debt relief companies can be risky, as scams are common in this industry.


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Keeping up with multiple due dates, interest rates and payments on various debts can be so mentally draining for some that it just becomes another chore. The more debts you have, the more difficult it is to stay ahead of their due dates and the more likely something will fall through the cracks. If you miss a payment or make a late payment, you could face penalties that may cost you even more money, and no one wants that.
If you've already used up your free credit reports for this year, you can order your credit reports directly from the credit bureaus for a fee. The bureaus all offer a three-in-one credit report that lists all three of your credit reports side-by-side. The three-in-one credit report costs more than a single credit report, but less than the combined price of purchasing your three individual credit reports.

Debt management and debt relief are terms for programs that allow a company to manage debt repayment on your behalf. Typically, you’ll make a single payment to your debt management company, which can negotiate debts and monthly payments. The service provider will divvy up your payment to each of your creditors, often keeping part of it as a monthly administration fee.


Ideally, you will use a financial product with a lower interest rate to pay off debts charging a higher rate. The reduction in interest will help you save money you would have been required to pay had you not consolidated your debts. It also saves money on late fees, missed payment penalties and other consequences you may face when you have a difficult time managing debt. Depending on the size of your debt and the difference between the two interest rates, your savings may be worth thousands of dollars.
You should expect your credit score to be lower while you’re working to get out of debt; after all, important credit score factors such as your payment history and credit utilization are likely key reasons why you’re working to get out of debt in the first place. While you should be concerned about your credit score, and monitor it at all times, a lower credit score is not a reason to panic. Remember, you’re considering a debt consolidation plan to help you manage your debts more effectively, which should help your credit score in the end.
A variable-rate loan has an interest rate that changes over time. They are typically tied to the U.S. prime rate, which is a foundation rate for loan products used by American lenders. With a variable-rate loan, you may have a lower starting interest rate, but your rate and payment amount can change over time when there are changes to the U.S. prime rate. Some variable-rate loans have a cap, which puts a limit on the maximum interest rate. Variable-rate loans often have lower starting interest rates, although that is not always the case.
Come-ons like these can be especially seductive for people seeking to buy a home and apply for a mortgage who have negative items in their credit reports. In order to qualify for a loan, they're told, they need to make their credit look better — mainly by neutralizing the bad stuff in their files at the national credit bureaus, whether it's accurate or not. But mortgage and credit industry experts warn that repair services can be far more harmful to homebuyers than they suspect — even getting them rejected on the spot.
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Check whether you’re applying for a secured or an unsecured loan: If it’s a secured loan (backed by an asset such as your car) and you fail to make your payments, the lender can repossess the item. Unsecured loans, on the other hand, aren’t backed by this kind of collateral, but often come with higher interest rates. Make sure you consider the trade-offs before you apply for the loan.
When shopping for a debt consolidation loan, you should watch out for red flags including aggressive sales representatives, guaranteed approvals and quick-fix promises, as well as requirements such as upfront payments before loan approval or access to bank accounts for automatic withdrawals. “No lender should charge you upfront before you get the loan … and you certainly shouldn’t send money with a wire transfer or prepaid card,” Detweiler cautions.
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