Monthly Archives: November 2010

Things to remember while choosing a debt relief firm

You are knee deep in debt, juggling with your credit card balances and have huge medical and other bills to meet. You are feeling at your wit’s end, maybe facing creditor harassment and wish to get some help. Well, you need not worry because there are thousands other in the same boat with you. Growing debt problems are propelling more and more consumers to seek help from debt relief companies.

But amidst all, it is also worth mentioning that increasing number of debt relief scams are affecting thousands of debt-stricken consumers across the US. In many cases it has been found that the scam debt relief providers coax the debtors into relief programs with false promises and bright hopes of debt relief success stories. But what the debtors achieve by the end of the program is more and more debt and no fruitful solution.

While scam debt relief companies abound, there are also a whole lot of credible and reputable debt relief companies that are ready to extend their help to you. Here are a few things that you need to remember while choosing a debt relief company so you can avoid getting into scams:

• First, check if the company is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Also find out if the company is recognized by any other pro-consumer group. Such credentials assure that your debt issues are in safe hands.

• Find out what kind of charges the company is asking for. If the company demands upfront fees, then avoid it right away, because under the new FTC guidelines no debt relief company is allowed to charge you with any upfront fees.

• See if the company is providing you with a transparent deal where all the terms and conditions are clearly mentioned. If you find anything shady about their approach, cancel the option immediately.

• Check if the company has a history of successful debt relief services. Ask the company representatives to provide you with testimonials and case studies that corroborate the company’s reputation and achievement. If the company is reluctant to provide you with same, then it is better to look for other options.

• Find out if the company has reputable lawyers and competent debt arbitrators to work on your debt issues. Check if the debt arbitrators are certified the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA) or the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (AICCCA). If the company does not have these, perhaps it is not worth putting faith in.

• Find out what your family, friends and acquaintances have to say about the company.

• Google the company’s name and get information and testimonials related to the company on various on-line discussions.

Anxious consumers, steeped in debt, are the ideal victims for the scam debt relief companies. So, it very important that you be cautious even in your toughest of times and prevent yourself from getting vulnerable to the fraudulent companies. Be a little careful and you are sure to get hold of a genuine debt relief firm that will get you out of your debt troubles.

Facts about credit card debt in America

credit-card-debt

credit-card-debt

Debt problems have become more similar like a baseball game in America. An average US citizen is keeping 5- 15 credit cards in their wallet and they are using these cards to make the smallest purchases. The society in US is changed from cash – savings society to a credit – debt society within a span of few years. Take a look at the following facts.

According to the Federal Reserve Board, the American households are reaching to a $2 trillion mark in debts. This is just excluding the mortgage debt.

On an average, one person in a US household is having at least $9000 of debt in one single credit card. So, if a typical household has 3 credit cards, that single family is having $27000 of debt.

What are the reasons for such a high growth of consumer debt?

The answer to this question is credit card companies offering credit cards to every single adult in the family. Previously, the credit card companies used to offer credit to only those people who are responsible and disciplined in making financial decisions. They knew that the person to whom they are offering credit will be able to repay his debts in a reasonable period of time. Nowadays, credit card companies are shoving these cards to almost everyone without reviewing his/her past credit history. There are companies sitting outside the college and offering credit cards to the students of the first year. It is expected that the students who have got a credit card for the first time in life will involve into impulsive purchasing habits by using a credit card. This is what most of the credit companies want when they offer a card to an 18 year old student. They know that s/he will get involved into a lot of spending habits and will rack up to $20,000 worth of credit card debt. He is expected to spend the rest of his life paying his credit card debts with high interests and fees. The story of the credit card debt in US starts from that age and has no end until your death, or is forced to file for bankruptcy or leave the country.

Here lies the importance of debt negotiation program to get rid of credit card debt problem. Debt negotiation plan can reduce your total amount of due to the credit card company with an easy installment monthly plan. So if you are having such problem then don’t waste time any more but go for a reputed debt negotiation company.

Great insurance sales do not come from a planned mindset sales pitch

insurance

insurance

There are many insurance sales training programs on the market. Insurances salespeople are keen to learn various techniques on how to do better, faster and more efficient sales of insurance products.

The recent ultra competitive sales market has grown so much that it has made tough for the new unconsolidated representatives to easily break into the market. There are lots of competitions not only between representatives in different companies but also within the same company in order to meet their targets.

Establishes sales representatives are able to get more customers through their referrals or experience in the industry. The new sales representatives are struggling to make their quota and even when they cold call, they are not able to make through because of their old outdated sales pitch.

The new representatives come into the industry and they are trained to hit the phones like the top salespeople before them. A majority of the customers are not interested to talk to the insurance agents because they feel happy with the type of insurance they have got and they already have a representative in their contact.

The biggest mistake with the old fashioned insurance sales training is that they use the same pitch that has been used from the age old times. The old sales pitch lacks the prospect to a natural, low pressure conversation that is needed to convert a customer. Many customers get bored when they hear a representative starting the call by saying “Hi Sir, My name is so and so from such and such company…” They lack the prospects to open a conversation. If you can start the call with a certain enthusiasm and in an excited way, half of the battle is won.

Once you open the conversation with a different pitch, a lot of people will feel interested in continuing the call. Compare it with the traditional sales pitch and you will understand why prospects react as abruptly as they do.

Always start your call with a low pressure conversation and trust building, along with gentle guidance triggers for working out exactly where the sale is and how to handle it.

FHA Streamline Refinancing

With most low and no money down mortgage products falling by the wayside over the past few years, more and more consumers are turning to FHA home financing solutions. According to a 2009 NYTimes.com article citing Inside Mortgage Finance as its source, FHA loans represented less than 2% of the mortgage market back in 2005 and 2006 and have since exploded to capture over 17% of new residential mortgages. Today, millions of homeowners may benefit from an FHA streamline refinance. If a consumer currently has an FHA mortgage, a streamline loan may enable them to refinance with very little paperwork, possibly no appraisal and some lenders and brokers may not verify income or employment, or charge lender fees. With mortgage rates near record lows, people can refinance to save money on their monthly housing obligations or even reduce the duration of their repayment period (i.e. going from a 30 year loan to a 15 year mortgage).

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) provides mortgage insurance on home loans offered by FHA approved lenders. This insurance helps to protect mortgage lenders against potential losses resulting from borrower default. Beyond just offering a low down payment solution, FHA loans are also known for having less strict financing guidelines in that credit standards and debt-to-income ratios may be slightly more lenient than what is available through other conforming mortgage loans products. FHA mortgages are available for single family homes, duplexes, triplexes, and 4 unit homes. There are also a handful of lenders out there that offer FHA mobile home loans. You can find a list of FHA approved lenders on HUD’s web site at http://www.hud.gov/ll/code/llslcrit.cfm.

What Is The Best Rewards Credit Card?

The following is a guest post by Nicole Sanchez of CreditCardForum.com

Finding the right rewards credit card is no easy task. There are literally hundreds to choose from. To further complicate matters, you’re not always comparing apples to apples since they all have different programs that give points, cash back, and miles. So to save you some legwork, I’ll go over my picks for the best reward cards in each category.

Best For Cash Back – Chase Freedom Card
If you are looking for a card that gives simple cash back, then you can’t go wrong with the no annual fee Chase Freedom card. Review it yourself to see why. It gives 5% in categories that rotate four times per years plus 1% cash back on everything else. Read my Chase Freedom card review to find out more.

Best For Airline – Escape by Discover Card
The Escape card is a no-nonsense way to earn airline miles. For a low $60 annual fee you get 2 airline miles for every dollar spend. Those miles can then be spent on any travel purchase you like, at a conversion rate of $0.01 per 1 mile… so basically this credit card is giving you 2% in rewards on all your purchases!

Best For Hotels – Starwood American Express Card
The Starwood American Express really has a unique rewards program. Why? Because it’s the only card that I know of that allows you to either use your points for stays at Starwood hotels – or – you can convert them to over 30 partner airlines, usually on a 1:1 basis. This makes the Starwood AmEx an extremely versatile choice whether you stay at their hotels or not. The annual fee is a low $65, which is quite reasonable when you consider the benefits. To find out more check out my Starwood American Express review.

Conclusion?
There are hundreds of reward cards but in reality, only a handful are even worth considering. I’ve listed three of the top contenders above, but I encourage you to read other credit card reviews to see if there are any others that may be a better choice for you.