Should you consider a personal loan to pay off debt?

If you are carrying multiple high-interest debts, then you may think of using a low-interest personal loan to pay off debt through one manageable monthly payment. It might be a wise and easy way to reduce the amount of interest you’re going to pay every month, as well as wiping your debt faster.


Yes, you also have to pay interest on your new personal loan. But, if you can negotiate with the creditor and get a low-interest personal loan, then your overall interest payment on that single monthly payment will be much lower than your existing multiple debt interests combined.


Choosing a personal loan to consolidate high-interest debts may sound easy, but you shouldn’t take it lightly.


Remember, you’ll be paying off all the debts with a new loan, your interest rate will be reduced, but the overall debt amount remains the same.


You have the option to consolidate all different debts using a personal loan. But you should first analyze whether or not it’s your ultimate option.


These are the two valid reasons why you should take out a personal loan to pay off debt:


a. It is cheaper

As you are dealing with high-interest debts such as credit card debt or payday loans, the interest rates payable will be quite high. Popular credit cards such as American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa, etc. have high-interest rates over 15%, even for consumers with a good credit score.


So, if you compare the interest rates of your debts with the interest rate of a personal loan, you’ll find that personal loan is a cheaper option to choose. If you have a good credit score, the creditor/lender might offer you a better interest rate compared to the market rate.

b. It will improve your credit score

Personal loans are considered unsecured installment loans. They are different from revolving credit accounts such as credit cards. So, if you choose to borrow a personal loan, your credit score won’t be getting a negative impact in the same way as it would get when you have a credit card debt.


For example – if you are paying off credit card debt with a personal loan, your credit utilization ratio will be zero, and your credit score will increase to a good level. But to achieve that, you should make the monthly payments on your new personal loan on time.


How to pay off debt with a personal loan

If you have multiple unsecured debts, such as credit card debts, high-interest loans, overdrafts, and payday loans, paying off debt fast will be easier through a single monthly payment. You may also manage your finances better and save a good amount from interest payments.


You can take out a personal loan and use it to pay off your existing high-interest debts. Once you pay off all the debts, you may start repaying your new loan in monthly installments, practically at a lower rate of interest.


This way you will be making only one payment every month. As you will be taking out a low-interest personal loan, your monthly payment will also be lower than before. As a result, it will be easier for you to afford it. So, you may make higher payments towards the loan and pay it off faster.


But still, before taking out a personal loan to pay off debt, you must consider all the pros and cons and then decide if it suits your needs.


The pros and cons of taking out a personal loan to pay off debt

Check out the pros and cons of using a personal loan to consolidate debt. It’s quite crucial to consider them before making any decision.


Pros Cons
  • You have the option to make one single payment each month, to only one lender.
  • Paying off debt fast can be possible once you reduce your overall interest rate.
  • You can reduce the total interest rate which you are carrying currently while paying off your multiple debts
  • You’ll have a fixed tenure to pay off the loan. So, you will know the exact time when you will be debt-free.
  • The monthly installment of the personal loan is fixed. So, it will be easier for you to create a household budget.
  • Making on-time payments on your loan may help you to improve your credit score.
  • Few lenders may not approve your personal loan application. It is because they might not entertain your request to use a personal loan to pay off debt.
  • For paying off debt fast, you might have to bear a fee, as well as an early repayment charge.
  • Many lenders offer cheaper personal loan rates to the borrowers who have excellent credit scores; so if your score isn’t up to the mark, you won’t be getting the best rate.
  • You’ll have a fixed tenure to pay off the loan. So, you will know the exact time when you will be debt-free.
  • With a higher interest rate, sometimes you may end up paying more in monthly payments.
  • If you choose a longer period to pay off the loan, then you may also end up paying more.
  • If you miss your due date to pay the monthly installments, it can affect your credit score.

Things you must consider before applying for a personal loan

If you want to use a personal loan to pay off debt, you should analyze whether you can save a decent amount by doing this. For this, you may need to consider a few things:


1) Analyze your financial status

Before you get a personal loan, review your finances to make sure you can afford to pay off the loan and your other outstanding debts too.


2) Know your debt amount

You need to determine how much money you need to consolidate debt. You should add up the total amount of your existing debts, additional charges for prepayment, and other conditions for borrowing such a big amount.


3) Fix a loan term

You should determine the possible loan term in which you can repay the personal loan. Choosing a longer loan term would make your monthly installments lower, but you might be paying more interest in the long tenure.


4) Look for additional charges

You need to confirm if there are any prepayment penalties or additional charges associated with the loan. This additional cost may impact your savings.


5) If you have a better credit score, it will be easier to get a competitive interest rate on a personal loan to pay off credit cards or other high-interest debts. The lower your interest rate, the more savings you can get.

Bottom line

A personal loan could be a great way to consolidate debt. But it’s not always the perfect option for every consumer. For a better assessment, you must review your debt situation and see if it is wise to use a personal loan to pay off debt. If it is not a suitable option for you, you may try other ways to pay off debt fast.

5 Signs and how to stop stress shopping with credit cards

Stress shopping, or the habit of shopping to reduce stress, may unfortunately increase your stress more than ever. The situation may become worse if you have a tight budget and most of your paycheck will be drained if you can’t control your spending. The eagerness of shopping may dissolve quickly, and it might be replaced by guilt and anxiety of making big credit card bills.

5 Signs of stress shopping

  • Impulsive buying – You don’t take too much time to decide what to buy. You are a believer in the “buy first, worry later” theory. You often buy things that you don’t need or didn’t think about.
  • Compulsive shopping – You feel a strong urge to visit the stores when you feel stressed. Normally this shopping habit triggers when you are frustrated or anxious.
  • Indulgent buying – You might have a thought that you need to buy an item that you’ve planned to buy for a long time. You rationalize your buying and think defensively about your shopping.
  • Shopping alone – You like to shop alone. It is because you don’t have to answer or explain your purchases to anyone.
  • Positively high on emotions – Whenever you experience a rush of positive emotions and excitement, you have a strong urge to shop. Practically, shopping makes you feel good.

You won’t be noticing how much your stress and anxiety are increasing the credit card bills. Due to the COVID – 19 you might be spending too much just to be prepared for living at home during the lockdown. So, control your overspending habit and find smart shopping ways through credit cards.

How stress shopping can affect your personal finances

a. Stress buyers shop in large quantities

During the current coronavirus outbreak, people have started shopping due to stress and panic. People are rushing towards the stores to create a stockpile of shelf-stable foods and health-safety products for the coming days. It is the core reason behind the massive crowd in multiple stores and the growing cart sizes. People are shopping due to the pandemic stress and picking up toilet paper or cereal boxes in large quantities. This kind of stress shopping may increase the cost of buying commodities compared to a regular grocery bill.

However, this has reduced to some extent. With time, this habit will eventually decrease, as people will have enough supplies stocked in their homes.

b. Stress shopping increases financial anxieties

Due to stress shopping tendencies, people buy in large quantities and most of the time it was unplanned shopping. People even do not estimate how much they are going to spend at a time.

As a result, people may overspend due to stress shopping without thinking about their monthly budget. People sometimes purchase groceries that they normally do not use. But those items may cost hundreds of dollars which practically affects their household budget. The situation gets worse when a significant amount of that grocery goes to waste.

Overspending due to stress shopping may increase unexpected expenses. It may increase your overall credit card debt and affect your savings for an extended period.

Due to such financial situations, you might be facing financial stress, which may cause negative effects on your physical and mental health.

c. Stress shopping boosts undesired purchases

During a stress shopping period, shoppers do not think about what to buy and what to avoid. They often forget about their actual requirement and purchase undesired goods. They normally try to scoop up whatever they find in the store shelves and pick up in large quantities.

So, it can be said that stress shopping does not encourage thoughtful buying. It only boosts undesired purchases which eventually increase spending. As a result, people may experience a financial crunch for a month or so.

So, what will you do? How will you avoid this?

Here are some tips to avoid the effects of stress shopping with credit cards during high-stress times:

1. Prepare a shopping list

Before hitting the store and buying everything you notice, prepare a list of things that you need to buy in the first place.

People may think shopping using credit cards is an opportunity to earn extra rewards or points. But, this strategy is effective for those credit cards which charge annual fees to their customers. Try to choose a zero-annual-fee card with good reward benefits. Apart from that, you should keep in mind that during such a crisis, you must save as much as possible from your paycheck.

Building a huge credit card bill throughout the month and exceeding your monthly budget won’t be helpful for such purposes.

Here are a few credit cards to consider for reducing overall credit card bills:

Credit cards Benefits
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card (Issued by Chase) For Amazon Prime members
  • $70 Amazon gift card
  • 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market
  • 2% cash back at drugstores
  • 1% cashback on all other purchases
TD Cash Credit Card
  • $150 cash back (after spending $500 within the first 90 days)
  • 2% cash back on groceries
  • 1% on other purchases
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards credit Card
  • $150 cash bonus on $500 purchases in the first 3 months
  • 1.5% cash back on every purchase
Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
  • $150 cash bonus on $500 purchases in the first 3 months
  • 2% cash back on groceries
  • 1% on other purchases

2. Buy only what you need

You need to be 100% sure what items you already have in your inventory and make sure you do not buy those things again. You might have enough sanitizer bottles to make it go for the next 3 months, then why should you buy it again? You might have stocked up medicines for your parents in your medicine cabinet or a few packets of coffee before creating the shopping list. So, now you should cut off such things from your shopping list. This is one of the smart shopping techniques to prevent stress shopping with credit cards during this crisis. It’s wise to assess what you have before you add things into your shopping cart.

You must also consider whether or not to buy some of the most in-demand products, such as hand sanitizers or masks. These are the most needed things right now all over the world and have limited stocks in stores near you. So, why don’t you try to make them at home? There are some DIY methods that you may find on the internet and can make such products all by yourself. The homemade gel hand sanitizer recipe includes things that you can find at your home, for example – isopropyl alcohol, aloe vera gel, and tea tree oil.

It might take a while to make an inventory or prepare sanitizers or masks at home. But, to save money from your credit card shopping, it’s worth it to try such things.

3. Opt for online shopping

If you want to avoid stress shopping with credit cards, you should try shopping online for all types of essential items. Shopping online enables you to compare products and their prices between different sellers and also between different e-commerce websites. There are many differences in the price of sunglasses on eBay and Amazon. So, you must compare and go for the seller which gives you more discount. Some sellers may allow you to pay through installments, mainly for a big amount of purchases.

Some credit cards are tailored for a few specific online e-stores. If you get such cards you might get big discounts on all the items, compared to using other credit cards. Do not forget to maintain a budget, track your spending, prepare a shopping list, and tell others how to stop stress shopping by making online purchases. This way you may save money from credit card bills and can get the best products at reasonable prices.

4. Track your spending and credit card balance

During such a critical situation, people may forget what is stress shopping and may engage in panic buying. As a result, you may end up increasing your credit card balances. You might incur huge credit card debt at the end of the month and may need to pay interest charges if you do not pay the entire amount in full. Interest payments will be an extra cost that’ll make all of your purchases more expensive, and it may put pressure on your next month’s home budget too.

Before every shopping session, you must determine what’s your ultimate budget for shopping. You should decide if you want to use your credit card or make payments via cash transactions. In both cases, track how much you are spending on a list of items. Calculate your total credit card balances and decide how much you can afford to pay in that billing cycle.

If you notice that your credit card balance is about to jump over your head, stop right there. You should immediately hide your credit cards, and start using cash or debit cards for making payments.

If you want to use credit cards but also want to save money, it will be wise to use a low-interest credit card instead of high-interest reward cards. This is one of the smart shopping ways that you may also suggest others.

5. Beware of the COVID-19 credit card scam calls

During this economic crisis, due to the Pandemic, few cases of scam phone calls and text messages were also noticed. Frauds and scammers have actively created difficulties for credit cardholders. Those imposters are calling credit card users, and introducing themselves as bank executives or health/government officials. They are stealing credit card information and other personal details while spreading generic information about the pandemic. If you receive such calls or messages relating to COVID-19, be alert. Just end the call, as soon as possible, without revealing your data. In case of text messages or Emails, avoid clicking any links.

They may also contact you, on behalf of your credit card company or online stores, and offer you discounts, if you sign up for a reward program. Do not entertain such sign ups. These are nothing but ways to rob you. If you want to avoid stress shopping with credit cards, then you must become aware of such scams too.

Conclusion

In the shadow of this pandemic it is quite difficult to shop for essentials. Most things you need might get out of stock. It can all get very stressful. But you must not lose hope and should take it as a day-by-day challenge.

Don’t panic and provide information from this content to your family about what stress shopping is, how stress shopping can affect us financially, and how to stop stress shopping habits through credit cards.

What makes it hard for millennials to pay off student loan debt?

Millennials are different! They think differently, they do differently, and they live differently.

They believe in experiences rather than spending life in materialistic beliefs, and stereotypical career growth.

They love to be at peace, maintain amical relationships with everyone, and very seldom rely on war, fights, quarrels, and immoral debates.

These might sound as strong words, hard to digest, but that’s what defines millennials.

Still, this highly intelligent generation is finding it troublesome to pay off their education / student debt, and some other consumer debts as well.

Why is that so? Why can’t this generation aim to become the most progressive financial generation, even though they are progressive in all other aspects, when compared to the past generations, who still believe that life is an endless struggle of becoming successful, where money takes up a big part of being independent and stress free!

The answer runs deep, with reasons turning out to be more complicated than what meets the eyes.

Millennials started off in a costly education industry:

What’s the price of education these days, when compared to 30 years ago? It’s really huge.

Millennials are mostly successors of the Generation X, and at times the Baby Boomers. Both the generations have seen political unrest, and financial crisis.

By the time the first class of millennials entered schools and colleges, the education field has become a lot pricey, with new money earning opportunities coming up in this field, for the Gen Xers and Boomers.

So, did those two predecessor generations make this costly foundation? We can’t readily say that, as market inflation will also come into the picture, if we are being unbiased.

But, education did become a lot costlier in the past 3 or 4 decades gradually. We have several reports to support the claim, based on the recent statistics.

As Forbes quotes it, the price of college is increasing at a rate of 8 times higher than wages . When compared to the college costs of 1960-1970, it has increased more than 1000% .

With this high surge in education costs, millennials are not finding enough income to take care of their student debts. And, just to dress it up a bit more, there are even some Gen Xers and Gen Zs, suffering from this rising education cost.

The maximum increase happened from 1980 and beyond. So, all those who pursued / are pursuing degrees in this time period, are the sufferers, with millennials comprising the most of the victims.

Millennials quite often indulge in splurging:

The youth of this world is mainly made up of millennials and the ‘coming of age’ Generation Z. They are surrounded by technology, and they make costly purchases related to gadgets, fashion, and many other lifestyle accessories.

Not to forget, tackling education costs, is hampered by other expenses, that takes up a chunk of one’s income.

When you are busy passing away most of your money to expand lifestyle costs, you can’t handle the increasing education costs, if your income is static and is of a fixed amount.

But, what makes millennials to splurge so much at times? The world of advertisement, media, social networks, peer pressure, and oftentimes the pampering they receive from their parents.

Baby Boomers and Gen Xers have seen several wars and fights, and they never wanted a single scratch on the millennials. This amount of love has spoiled many youngsters, which many of us won’t disagree at all!

So, it is a big time for the millennials to realize that it is important to take hold of their own life, their own finances, and their own dignity.

A better future definitely awaits for this brilliant generation!

Many millennials are not aware of debt relief:

In the current finance market, we have so many wonderful ways to clear debts. One just does not have to sit for a decade for paying off their consumer debts, like credit cards, personal loans and so on.

The same gets applied to student loans too. The federal student loans have many options of repayment, student loan debt forgiveness, consolidation, and even settlement in extreme cases.

Private loans, on the other hand, may not provide so many repayment options, but they can be served well with debt settlement or debt consolidation (in case of multiple loans), by working with a good debt relief company.

Moreover, the millennials can address their consumer debts pretty fast and save money on the debt payments, by working out consolidation or settlement plans.

After the miscellaneous consumer debts are gone, they can focus on getting rid of the student loans.

We belong to the modern world!

There’s absolutely no time to waste, especially when it is concerning debts.

Act fast Millennials! Get a stable financial life, by clearing your debts as soon as possible!

Types of debt consolidation loans and the best places to find it in 2020

Debt consolidation loans are primarily used to pay off and simplify existing debts. You may consolidate multiple debt payments and credit accounts into a single account with a single lender and one easy payment.

Considering your creditworthiness, you might be offered lower interest rates from lenders. The interest offered should be lower than your existing interest. This way you can save money on monthly payments by cutting off the overall interest payment.


Another way to reduce your monthly payment is by extending your loan tenure. However, with a long loan term, you might end up paying more interest in total.


Typically, a debt consolidation loan can be used to consolidate unsecured debts. Common types of debt that can be handled through debt consolidation are


  • Credit card debts
  • Medical bills
  • High-interest personal loans
  • High-interest payday loans

Now let’s check out the different types of debt consolidation loans available for you


1. Personal loans


Taking out a personal loan to consolidate unsecured debts is the prime object of a debt consolidation loan. If you can borrow a big loan with a low-interest rate, you can use that money to pay off all the debts easily and save on interest payments. Multiple high-interest debts may cost you more on interest payments than one big personal loan with a low interest rate.


A personal loan is typically one of the most common types of debt consolidation loans. It is an unsecured loan where you need to make fixed monthly payments over a certain period.


Your credit score plays a crucial part when you want to get approved for a personal debt consolidation loan. If you carry an average credit score, you might get approved, but with a higher interest rate. You may not get approved at all if you have a bad credit score.


It is not wise to opt for a high-interest personal loan; because in the long run, you won’t be able to afford the monthly payments. Due to the high monthly payment, you might face difficulties to carry it till the end. So, you should research well and choose a personal loan that you can afford to pay throughout the loan term.

Once you’re approved for a suitable personal loan, you can use it to consolidate all your unsecured debts easily.


2. Balance transfer on credit cards


The balance transfer method is one of the most common strategies of a debt consolidation process. By using the credit card balance transfer method, you may transfer your unpaid credit card balances into one or several credit cards. , you should find a 0% APR balance transfer card (offered by credit card companies) to transfer your balances. However, you should make sure you choose a card that has a zero transfer fee, and 0% APR applied also on the new purchases made by that card. Stay focused and pay off the balances before the promotional rates expire, typically within 6 to 12 months.


Keep tracking the interest rates if you want to use a balance transfer credit card as a debt consolidation loan. After the 0% introductory period, the interest rate might increase and become very expensive; so act accordingly. Also, you’ll need a big credit limit, enough to transfer all of your other credit card balances.


You should also consider the drawbacks of consolidating credit debts with the balance transfer method. First of all, you can only consolidate your bills that you have paid through credit cards. Secondly, transferring your credit balances may hit your credit score. If you use too much of your available balance on one credit card, it might harm your credit score, as it will increase your overall credit utilization. But you may normalize your credit score once you pay off all the balance.


3. Home equity loans


A home equity loan is also considered as one of the different types of debt consolidation loans.
You may take out a home equity loan by using your existing home equity as collateral. The word equity stands for the market value of your house minus your outstanding mortgage loan. To get a home equity loan you must have a good amount of home equity in your pocket and a good credit score.


A home equity loan offers a lower interest rate than other types of loans. But one major drawback you should not ignore about home equity loans. You are deliberately using your home as collateral and taking out money to pay off unsecured debts. Practically that means you will be converting your unsecured debts into secured debts (with collateral) through the entire debt consolidation process. If you can’t afford the payments, you’ll be facing foreclosure on your property. So, normally it’s not wise to pick up a home equity loan to consolidate unsecured debts.


4. A loan taken out from family or friends


If you decide to borrow money from a friend or relative, it can be a safer option to consolidate your unsecured debts. You can get a debt consolidation loan from them, and you may not have to worry about interest payments at all.


If you have a good relationship with your family and friends, they might give you more than enough time to repay the money. Compared to the commercial lenders, they sometimes even spare you the interest. But in most cases, your friend or relatives may charge a lower interest rate compared to a bank. So, this type of loan is quite affordable for debt consolidation and easy to repay with time. Also, your friend or relative might be less strict if you miss one or two payments.


There is a catch if you ignore paying off the loan to your relatives or friends. If you fail to make monthly payments or to repay the entire loan, as a result your relationship with the friend or relative would be at stake. For that reason, you should think twice about getting a debt consolidation loan from someone close to you.


If you still need to borrow money from a friend or relative, make sure you get the loan agreement in writing, just as you do with a bank. The written agreement will be signed by both parties, you and your friend/relative. The agreement should include each detail of the loan in the agreement. You need to meet the deadline for paying off the loan every month. As there are no penalty charges or late fees associated with that loan, you must pay off the entire balance as per the agreement and within the time frame.


The best debt consolidation loan companies of 2020


These are the most popular companies which may provide you different types of debt consolidation loans as per your specific financial situations:


  • Discover – Best Lender with no fees except late fees
  • LightStream – Best Lender for funds in a day
  • Avant – Best Loans for Average Credit
  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs – Best Lender for Customer Service
  • Prosper – Best Lender for loan for $2,000 or more
  • SoFi – Best Lender for Overall loan service
  • Upstart – Best Lender for Borrowers With FICO Scores As Low As 620
  • OneMain – Best Debt Consolidation Loans
  • Earnin – Best Personal Loan Alternative

Data courtesy – usnews.com


U.S. News examined all the top lenders and lending partners who deal with personal loans for debt consolidation purposes. The research reveals each lending company’s prime eligibility criteria. They are as follows:


  • credit score requirements,
  • loan terms,
  • additional fees,
  • repayment options,
  • additional benefits/limitations.

Each borrower has different requirements while choosing the best debt consolidation loan. So, as a borrower you should keep these in mind. This way you may find the best-fit loan provider, as per your specific credit background and requirements.

How to build a debt collection defense against possible lawsuit

You might face a collection lawsuit when a creditor files a lawsuit with the court against you. A debt collection lawsuit can take time and can be expensive. Most creditors do not want to choose this option while collecting old debts. Creditors will always go for other available options.


In most cases, creditors prefer to repossess your assets like cars, home or other precious things. A debt collection lawsuit is rarely issued for debts under $1,000.


There are collection agencies that may aggressively threaten consumers to garnish employee wages to collect debts. However, the creditor or collection agency cannot garnish your wages without a proper court judgment. But still, debtors might face collection harassment from the very beginning of the collection process.


If a collection agency filed a lawsuit against you, do not panic and prepare your next steps to deal with this issue. You may follow the below-given strategies to create a debt collection defense and win a debt collection lawsuit.


1. Give proper response to the lawsuit


Being a consumer, if you do not respond to the debt collection notice, it will be a grave mistake. This notice normally comes as a summons and complaint. If you have debts and can’t pay it, the creditor may file a lawsuit as a last resort.


If you do not attend the summon, the collection agency might get a default judgment against you. Through this, they may be able to garnish your wages and get money from your bank account. As per the collection law in different states, the debt collector may even collect their attorney’s fees, court costs, or interest from your wages.

So, when the plaintiff (the creditor or collection agency) files a lawsuit, you can’t contact the plaintiff via Email or phone. You must reply to the lawsuit via legal briefs called an Answer . This is how you should do it:


  • Do not accept the debt at first glance. Ask the creditor to validate the debt first.
  • File your Answer with the clerk of court.
  • Get your stamped copy of the Answer from the court.
  • Send that stamped copy via certified mail to the plaintiff.

You should send your Answer within the stipulated time as per the lawsuit summons. The given time may vary from 20 to 30 days from the date on the notice. Do not miss the deadline at all. As per the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), once a judgment is given, you can’t dispute the debt from that point on.


2. Challenge the debt lawsuit


You may challenge Plaintiff’s right to file a lawsuit against you. Collection agencies normally purchase your debts at a lower value from the creditors and get a transfer of the signed debt agreement. Through this, they establish the right to collect this debt and initiate collection harassment. But here is the catch. Normally 99.9% of debt cases are not properly transferred to the collection agency through a proper agreement signed by the creditor.


So, you may request the court to dismiss the case as the Plaintiff does not possess the “chain of custody” documents. If the court finds out that debt collectors do not have the required “chain of custody” documents, they may dismiss the case.


3. Check the statute of limitations


Sometimes, debt accounts may take too much time to get transferred from the original creditor to the collection agency. So, it will also take long to start the debt collection lawsuit process. Each state has a different statute of limitations for debts. That means in every state there are different times allotted to file a lawsuit. If the debt collector exceeds the statute of limitations period, the consumer may request the court to dismiss the lawsuit.


However, the statute of limitations clock may start again if you start making payments on an old debt.


4. Hire a good attorney


One of the best ways to create a debt collection defense is consulting a good attorney. He/she will help you choose the best options in defending against a debt collection lawsuit and raise any applicable defenses to the claim. You may get free consultations from many attorneys regarding your issue.


A good attorney may help you to:

  • Know if you have any options left and which one is the best.
  • Check if you are getting equal benefits compared to the legal costs.
  • Provide a helpful view of your case as a third party

If you have a strong case, your attorney may deal with your case without fees. It is because there might be a possibility that the court may order the creditor or collection agency to pay all legal fees including the fees of your attorney.


5. Take legal action against the plaintiff


If you have solid proof that your debt collector has violated the laws of debt collection, as per the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), you may be able to take strict legal actions against the debt collector. You may successfully sue them for violating the debt collections practices act and get statutory damage charges of $1,000, plus other monetary losses.


6. File a petition of bankruptcy


Devastated with the collection harassment, If you can’t pay off your debts and there’s nothing you can do to improve your financial situation, filing for bankruptcy might be the only option. When you file a petition of bankruptcy, it will initiate an automatic stay which will stop all debt collection activities from that moment.


You must talk to your lawyer first before choosing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. If you want to wait until you get a summons, just before the date of the hearing, your attorney might have to file an emergency bankruptcy petition to save you. But that would be more expensive.


Endnotes

There are multiple options to create a debt collection defense against possible lawsuits. Just remember that you should be honest with yourself and with your attorney. Only then your lawyer may help you to get yourself out of this misery. Good luck.

Beat money depression with 7 amazing tips

When you face downfall due to money problems, it can be dangerous for your mental health, physical health, and even for your family. But listening to this might give you peace of mind that you aren’t alone.

If you’re depressed about money and want to turn the table with a positive approach, here are some options to brighten your mind.


1. Review the past

If you are depressed with your finances, a good first step might be reviewing your past. Look at your past income flow and how much you have spent. Review how much you have borrowed and how much you still owe to creditors. Evaluate your assets and check if they are still worthy to be called assets or they have now become a liability.


You need to find the issue if you want to beat money depression. Most of the time, people become depressed because they can’t find the real issue that causes depression. A change of perspective may solve your problem. It might happen that the financial issue you’re facing might be totally out of your hands. For example, financial downfall during the economic recession.

2. Stay active like other happy people

It is the easiest way of recovering from money depression as per my knowledge. Instead of being depressed, keep yourself active. Go out with friends, do whatever you want to do. This might help you to distract yourself from the problems.


Doing this constantly can make you happy. It’s called the ‘fake-it-till-you-make-it approach’ for fighting money depression.


Keep yourself away from alcohol and drugs. You need sufficient sleep at night, but too much sleeping is also harmful for you. If you sleep more than 7 hours a day, try to wake up early. Do exercises regularly and drink lots of water. It will increase positivity in your body and mind. Initially you’ll find it difficult to cope up with these habits, but soon you’ll get positive results and start recovering from money depression.


3. Take the required actions

You’ll have to decide what your next step will be. To handle money depression, would you increase your income? Retirees might consider the idea of generating income, less spending, and more saving once again. You can try whatever you like, to start paying off some of your debts.


One practical step to deal with money depression is reviewing your monthly bills. Checking your monthly bills may give you the purpose of what you must take care of in the first place.


Trust me, paying off your debts, no matter how small it is, can make you feel relieved and happy.


4. Volunteer yourself to charity

Barbara Neitlich, a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist working in Los Angeles suggested, “The act of volunteering or helping someone actually has a chemical effect on the brain and will often raise your spirits.”

Research reveals, people who volunteered weekly of charities, were 16% more likely to be “very happy.”

Through volunteering, you can meet new people and make new connections.


Lisa Kindel, a multimedia freelance consultant in Frankfort, Kentucky, explained, “When I’m feeling insecure, unsuccessful, I go sit at the info desk at my local farmers market to talk about local foods, produce, weather, recipes… Talking to other people about food and recipes can pick me up because I’m not dwelling on what’s wrong with me that day.”


5. Focus on controlling your budget

You should be focusing on maintaining your current budget plan. Free websites like mint.com might come in handy to assess your income and expenses. Prepare a plan to beat your money depression. Improve your finances by maintaining a solid budget. You must also seek out new income streams.


Brad Klontz, PsyD, a financial psychologist based in Hawaii has explained, “Do an honest assessment of what you need because there’s very little correlation between things and happiness.”


6. Get mortgage counseling

In 2010, about 2.9 million U.S. homeowners got foreclosure notices. Make sure you do not become a part of a similar record in 2020.

If you’re behind on your mortgage payments, seek free help from mortgage counselors approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Craig E. Pollack, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, also suggests the same.


7. Create a temporary plan and deal with money depression

Practically, you need to find out how you will make payments of your bills and handle finances while dealing with money depression. If you are broke and have no income, you may consider taking a job to earn dollars.


If you can’t engage yourself in a job, then you may ask help from your family to lend you funds. This way you won’t have to worry about the interest. You may even opt for a low-interest personal loan. You may even take out a loan from 401(k). But try to avoid it considering your retirement funds.


If you are still having financial issues like debt (credit card bill, payday loans, etc.) and can’t find a way out, take help from professionals in the industry.


Endnotes

“One reason people can find themselves down about money problems is that they don’t know how to solve them.” – Colin Drake, entrepreneur, California.


You may take help from a financial planner as per your affordability. You might also need a therapist. Your health insurance does not cover any illness due to your money depression.
Talk to your friend or a family member. If you’re truly financially depressed, your dear ones may join you in fighting with money depression.