Debt Management Plan Blog

A Tax Break that can Boost Your Efforts to Reduce Debt

As tax time approaches one important federal tax program might provide you a good way to put some money away into savings as you work on improving your financial situation. Financial experts differ on how much you should have set aside, but agree that you should have something to prevent you from relying on credit to pay for emergencies. Like any federal tax incentive or credit that focuses on a particular group, the Earned Income Tax Credit and the accompanying Child Tax Credit might rise to the level of “political footballs” in the coming years. Both are scheduled for reduction in 2017. But they are still available now, for tax year 2013. As you prepare your taxes or have them done,...

Posted on Jan 24, 2014

Take a new view of the debt snowball

Just as there is no diet that works for everyone, the best and fastest way to reduce debt is whatever works for you. We all have different stories about how we got into debt and different personality traits will call for different strategies to get out. The good news is any of these plans will create financial freedom. The most commonly advised debt reduction strategy is called the “snowball.” Specifically, picture a snowball rolling down the hill and getting bigger. Usually you’ve seen that snowball as debt crashing down upon you. Instead, see yourself launching the snowball down the hill, watching it take out bigger chunks of your debt. The first step is to add up your monthly payments and figure out...

Posted on Jan 17, 2014

Simple Resolutions Can Make for a Financially Successful 2014

If you’re in a position where New Year’s Day 2014 finds you in a better financial situation than you were at the beginning of 2013, even if only a little bit, congratulations! If your situation is not better, take heart. Making a positive difference doesn’t necessarily mean making huge changes. With it being resolution time as the New Year begins, understand that small changes can, in the long term, net big differences down the road. You might be in a situation where you feel only major life shifts will fix things, but consider talking to a credit counselor to discuss some of the smaller steps you can take that will improve your financial outlook. Some of the steps you can resolve to do...

Posted on Jan 01, 2014

Know Your Options Before Addressing Financial Problems

Your financial difficulties could already be severe enough that you are tempted to accept the first solution that comes along. However, there are pros and cons to bankruptcy, debt consolidation, debt settlement and most debt repayment options. It is important to talk to someone who knows the ins and outs of the credit industry and can offer educated recommendations on how to get out of debt. Debt problems typically do not materialize overnight. Nor do they go away quickly. Many people have benefited from having a credit counselor guide them through their debt repayment options. For those worried that talking with a credit counselor will add another bill, most counseling and education services are offered for free. If you decide a debt management plan...

Posted on Dec 12, 2013

Survival Plan for Maintaining Financial Stability during Sequestration

  Washington, DC – Sequestration is now in place, and along with it came a good amount of uncertainty, causing many Americans to wonder how they will be impacted.  By some estimates, more than one million employees of federal agencies may receive furlough notices.   Some workers are not adequately prepared to deal with a loss of income, even a short-term one.  For those living from paycheck to paycheck or without significant savings, any income interruption is likely to put them over the financial edge.    For example, consider the statistics below from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) Financial Literacy Survey:   ·         Thirty-three percent of respondents admit to not paying all bills on time; ·         Thirty-nine percent have zero non-retirement savings; ·         Thirty-nine percent carry...

Posted on Mar 04, 2013

Military, Debt and Job Loss

One of the sad realities of our economic situation today is that many people with good credit have found themselves in a frustrating and overwhelming cycle of debt. We often hear from our military service people that they are facing a reassignment or, even worse, release from the military due to serious credit problems. These can include having too much debt or owing on bills that are past due. Typically a service person, or a civilian employed with the government, will receive a letter notifying them that they are facing the loss of their security clearance due to financial issues. That letter is the first opportunity a military member has to address their debt problem. According to Ms. Wanda Rhea, a Department...

Posted on Aug 19, 2011

iPhone Apps and Droid Apps to Help You Manage Your Budget

Looking for a way to keep track of your finances on the go? There are plenty of new cell phone apps out there that allow you to track your spending, manage your bank account and get updates if your account balance falls below a certain level. Below I have highlighted three apps that are inexpensive and have great features. But before you snag one of these programs, let’s talk about what you want to look for when using a money management application. Security, security, security. If the app is going to access your financial accounts – credit cards, checking and savings accounts, investments, etc. – make sure that you must use a password to access the information. Integration. If you use...

Posted on Jul 27, 2011

What Our Clients Tell Us

Did you know 90% of AFS client’s said they came to us because they needed help with high interest rates? Do you? There are so many ways that a credit counseling agency may be able to help if you are struggling with your debts. Our clients, who have enrolled on a debt management plan, have identified some of the most important benefits of working with our agency. Those include: 92% who value having one monthly debt payment consolidation 88% who liked that they could choose their monthly, debt management plan payment date 88% who needed a lower monthly payment What help do you need with your bills? Contact a creditor counselor today and see what American Financial Solutions can do for you!

Posted on Apr 29, 2011

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