Financial woes? Get help!
THESE ARE TRYING TIMES FOR CONSUMERS as the American economy struggles with a housing and credit slump, job cuts on the rise, and fears of a recession looming looming: see mirage. . Many are struggling with mortgage payments, car payments, credit card debt Credit card debt is an example of unsecured consumer debt, accessed through ISO 7810 plastic credit cards.
Debt results when a client of a credit card company purchases an item or service through the card system. , and all the other living expenses which are forcing them to face a financial crunch. Financial agencies and organizations have some great advice to help those who are knee deep (or neck deep) in debt. Budgeting wisely or getting credit counseling Credit counseling (known in the United Kingdom as debt counselling) is a process offering education to consumers about how to avoid incurring debts that cannot be repaid. This process is actually more debt counseling than a function of credit education. are options to consider as you dig yourself out of debt.
Determining how much money you earn and how much you spend is the first thing you should do, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the Federal Trade Commission (FTC FTC
See Federal Trade Commission (FTC). )--the only federal agency devoted to addressing economic issues of interest to consumers. The FTC Facts for Consumers' "Focus on Credit" notes that you should first list your fixed expenses such as mortgage payments or rent, car payments, insurance premiums and food. Then list how much you spend on entertainment, recreation, clothing and other such expenses which may vary from month to month. By doing so you may identify patterns in your spending, zero in on unnecessary expenses, and make adjustments where needed. There are also a lot of software and countless books on the market that can help you develop a budget, balance your checkbook, and pay down your debt. As you work to address this issue, there are a host of Web sites online offering you free advice on how to go about becoming a better consumer (see Free Resources Online below).
If self-help won't work because you can't stick to the plan or things are way over your head, it may be time to get some professional help by choosing a credit counseling organization. Credit counselors should be certified See certification. and trained in the areas of consumer credit, money and debt management. They can advise you on how to better manage your money and debt, help you get on a budget, and work with you on the best course of action to pursue. But be careful when choosing a credit counseling organization. Some charge fees (which may be hidden), and some may not be legitimate organizations. When choosing, it's best to do your research. The U.S. Department of Justice has a list of credit counseling organizations that it approves. The FTC has online a guide to choosing a credit counseling organization, and you can also get referrals and information from your financial institution and local consumer protection agencies. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling is also a valuable resource which lists credit counseling agencies and professionals, and offers free or low-cost debt counseling programs and information to help you improve your financial situation. Once you have chosen a credit counseling organization, or financial adviser, you can work with them on the best course of action to pursue.
Free Resources Online
There are Web sites offering free resources such as the FTC's site--a repository of information on a range of consumer issues. Bankrate.com has a Financial Literacy Financial literacy is the ability of individuals to make appropriate decisions in managing their personal finances. Raising levels of financial literacy is now a focus of government programmes in countries including Australia, Japan, the United States and the UK. Series that offers detailed information on subjects such as budgeting and paying taxes. The site features calculators and other tools to help you get the most out of your money. The Consumer Federation of America's (CFA (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986) Signed into law in 1986, the CFA was a significant step forward in criminalizing unauthorized access to computer systems and networks. The Act applies to "federal interest computers" that include any system used by the U.S. ) Web site includes information, research and publications about consumer issues such as finance. Its free brochures include "Your Credit Score," "6 Steps to Six-Figure Savings," "Buying a Home," and "Build Wealth Not Debt. Become a Cleveland Saver." The Consumer Literacy Consortium's "66 Ways to Save Money" has useful tips to save money from getting a mortgage to saving on home improvements or food shopping.
It can be an uphill battle Uphill Battle was an metalcore band with elements of grindcore and noisecore. The group was based out of Santa Barbara, California, USA. History
Uphill Battle got some recognition releasing their self-titled record on Relapse Records. , but by developing good budgeting skills, sticking with your program, and maybe getting a little help, you can liberate (Liberate Technologies, San Mateo, CA) A software company that specialized in the information appliance field. Formerly Network Computer, Inc. (NCI), a spin-off from Oracle in 1996, it changed its name in 1999. yourself from too much debt.
National Foundation for Credit Counseling
The Federal Trade Commission
The Consumer Federation of America The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is a non-profit organization founded in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, education and advocacy.
According to CFA's website, its members are approximately 300 consumer-oriented non-profits, which themselves have
N. Susan Emeagwali is managing editor of Techniques. She can be contacted at by e-mail at email@example.com.