10 Reasons You Will Never Get Out of Debt

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Do you feel as if you’ll be in debt forever? You’re not alone. According to a survey commissioned by CreditCards.com, 13% of Americans say they’ll never pay off all their loans, and another 8% say they won’t pay off what they owe until they’re at least 71 years old. That’s a discouragingly large number of people who consider themselves stuck in debt with no way out.

If you’re in this situation, step back, set aside the despair and ask yourself how you got here in the first place. Here are 10 common reasons people fall deep into debt and can’t get out of it. Identify the reasons that apply to you, then formulate a plan using our effective strategies to conquer the root causes of your debt.

  1. You Don’t Know How Much You Owe
  2. You Only Pay the Minimum
  3. Your Mortgage is Too Big
  4. You Took Out Too Many Student Loans
  5. You Can’t Say No to Your Kids
  6. You Don’t Have Money for Emergencies
  7. You Feel a Sense of Entitlement
  8. Your Car Loan Is Too Big
  9. You Rack Up Late Fees
  10. Your Interest Rates Are Too High

To read the full article, go to http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/credit/T025-S001-reasons-you-will-never-get-out-of-debt/index.html

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How to Dispute Credit Report Information That Can’t Be Confirmed

Would you know what to do if a debt collector reported a debt to a credit reporting agency and then went out of business, leaving no one to confirm or legally collect the debt?

That’s the problem facing consumers whose debts were owned by Crown Funding Company, a debt collection company the FTC sued for deceptive practices. The FTC’s law enforcement action permanently closed Crown and more than two dozen other companies linked with Crown, but the debts that Crown reported remain on many consumers’ credit reports.

The solution for Crown’s consumers is the same as for any consumer who finds information on their credit reports that’s inaccurate or can’t be confirmed: Federal law says that, when consumers dispute information on a credit report, the credit reporting agencies must investigate it. If the credit reporting agency can’t confirm the information with the company that reported the debt — and in the case of Crown, it can’t — it must delete the information from the consumer’s credit report, usually within 30 days of receiving the consumer’s dispute.

Disputing Errors on Credit Reports lists the steps you need to take, and includes a sample letter to help make your case.

The other companies linked with Crown are: AFK Solutions, LLC; Alhambra Enterprises; American FP, LLC; American PG, LLC; Asset Portfolio Partners, LLC; Capital FC, LLC; Capital FP, LLC; Capital IG, LLC; First CG, LLC; First FF, LLC; First FG, LLC; First FS, LLC; First Franklin Holdings, Inc.; First Planners United, LLC; First Technology Services; Freeman United Holdings, LLC; Global AG, LLC; Global Holding Services, LLC; Global Pacific Financial Services; Grant Services Management, LLC; Han Dynasty, Inc.; Heinz Capital Financial, LLC; Heinz Capital Funding, LLC; International Capital Holdings; Ish Inc.; Las Vegas Funding & Financial; Leon Solutions Services, LLC; National FC, LLC; National IG, LLC; National Service Partners, LLC; New Capital Holdings, Inc.; Pacific Holding Partners, LLC; Portfolio MG, LLC; Premiere PG, LLC; Revere Recovery Group, LLC; United CC Holdings, LLC; United FP, LLC; United Holding Services, LLC; United Services Partnership, LLC.

By Colleen Tressler , Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/how-dispute-credit-report-information-cant-be-confirmed

For bankruptcy information call Kasen & Kasen to schedule a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION (856) 424-4144.  The attorneys at Kasen & Kasen have over 40 years experience representing consumer and business debtors in bankruptcy.  David Kasen is board certified as a specialist in BOTH consumer AND business bankruptcy law.  Find out more about our firm by visiting www.kasenlaw.com.

How to Influence Coworkers When You’re Not Their Boss

First figure out if you would do it yourself, then avoid micromanaging them.

Ever had to get people to contribute to a project, even though you’re not actually their manager? Tough job, isn’t it? Managing people without being in a position of power over them can be a daunting task, especially if it doesn’t come naturally to you. But there are ways you can get your colleagues to help you in your job without the need for the carrot or, well, the stick.

  1. Why would YOU do it?

Before you approach another person with your project request, first try and answer their question yourself. If you were asked by another colleague to work on their project when it didn’t really help you in your rating or your career, would you? What would make you want to do it? That’s the first step to the approach you should take in reaching out to your colleague. Answer the question for them.

  1. Seek help, not adherence

When you are reaching out to your colleague for help, let them know what you want them to help you with. Don’t spend too much time on how you want it done, unless specifically asked. Micromanaging when you’re not the manager is not the best way to get someone to help you. Don’t follow up too much either; share a project plan and the timelines you are working with and then back off.

  1. Offer help

If you’re giving them more to do, offer them help with their work. Let them know that you are empathetic towards their schedule and commitments and are willing to offer help; if you are unable to help, offer resources. Your colleague may or may not take you up on your offer, but the important point is that they will recognize that you have the intention to offer support.

  1. Acknowledge their effort

When your project is done or when you’ve reached a huge milestone, thank the people that helped you, even if they’ve done very little or you had a tough time getting them to contribute. When you acknowledge their contribution, you’re setting up the stage for future meetings and a healthy work relationship. You don’t balk at giving credit!

  1. Keep them updated

Just because they’re not working on the larger project, doesn’t mean they want to be kept in the dark about the results of their efforts. Send regular updates with the option for them to unsubscribe.

A colleague of mine used this message, which I found very helpful:

“I am sharing these updates as a means of keeping you informed of the progress of the project, as you are involved in some capacity in the project. If at any point you feel that the messages are too frequent or are no more relevant to you, please let me know and I will try my best to keep your preference in mind for all future communication. Thanks for all your help thus far and look forward to our renewed collaboration.”

By Padmaja Ganeshan-Singh

http://time.com/money/4074114/how-to-influence-coworkers-boss/

Don’t Fall for These 5 Common Tricks by Credit Card Companies

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Credit card companies love to dangle juicy offers in front of you. You might be “preapproved” for a zero-percent interest credit card or valuable sign-up bonus. Maybe it’s even that fancy “gold” or “platinum” card you never knew you were eligible for.

Unfortunately, some offers that sound too good to be true probably are. The amazing benefits you see in the bold lettering aren’t always what you get once you understand the fine print.

To sort out the credit card deals from duds, take a closer look before you apply, and be sure to keep these five red flags in mind:

  1. Rates that aren’t guaranteed

One of the big draws of new credit cards is a low interest rate. But what you might not notice are the subtle caveats to the special rate that’s prominently displayed. Some offers will have “as low as” printed in small letters in front of the APR. You might also see asterisks and superscripts that refer you to the fine print, where the text explains the best interest rate is only available to applicants with the best credit. In other words, the rate they’re using to lure you in isn’t necessarily the one you’ll get.

The best defense? Read the fine print, especially the “Rates and Disclosures” information. It’s not exciting, but it will reveal what, if anything, is actually guaranteed. Banks are legally required to furnish this information in the easy-to-read format shown on the website of the federal Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. And if you’re uncomfortable because you can’t tell what the ultimate rate will be, don’t apply.

  1. Fool’s gold

“Gold cards” have been around for decades, with American Express debuting theirs in 1966. Since then, credit card companies have added silver, platinum and even palladium to the list of precious metals used in card names.

While such cards may have indicated prestige in the past — and there are still elite cards requiring exceptional income and expenditures — most precious-metals labeling is meaningless.

Solution? Choose a credit card by comparing the benefits that really matter, like low interest rates, low fees or rewards.

  1. Bogus business credit cards

Offers for small-business credit cards might seem like a great way to track business expenses and develop a credit history for your company. But these cards seldom live up to the hype and offer fewer consumer protections than consumer cards.

With most small-business cards, it’s your personal credit on the line, not that of your business. So using it does not create or develop a credit file for your business.

In addition, small-business cards lack important protections that consumer cards have. The Credit CARD Act of 2009 applies only to consumer cards, which means your business card can still be hit with fees and rate hikes that would be illegal for your personal plastic. So even if a particular business credit card has advantages, such as enabling you to track business expenses separately, you could be sacrificing consumer protections to get them.

  1. Big bonuses with a catch

It’s easy to get drawn in by the sign-up bonuses offered on new cards. You might see an offer of $150 back or 25,000 airline miles just for opening an account. But there’s often a catch.

In many cases, you’ll need to ring up a certain amount on your card within a specified time period, like $1,000 in purchases to get that $150, or $2,000 charged to earn 25,000 airline miles. While the details vary, completing these offers as stipulated may be difficult or even impossible, depending on your budget.

Percent cash-back bonuses might not be all they seem, either. Some offers boast “up to 5 percent back” on your purchases, but that may be only at certain retailers, and not for every purchase you make. Some cash-back deals might be for a limited period after you open the account and may cap how much you can earn.

When it comes to reward cards, understand what it takes to get the advertised perk. Consider the reason rewards exist: to make people spend (and borrow) more than they otherwise would. If that’s a trap you feel likely to fall into, a rewards card may be, in fact, punishing you.

  1. Not-so-special offers

Credit card offers come crammed with language that makes you feel like you’re getting a special deal. Envelopes might be stamped with “Important” or “Confidential” to heighten the urgency. Once opened, you might be excited to find you’re “preapproved” for a new credit card.

Unfortunately, being “preapproved” doesn’t actually mean the new card is yours. In fact, it doesn’t really mean anything. You’ll still need to apply for the card and go through the whole approval process as you otherwise would.

Be careful when choosing a card because it appears to be a special offer made just for you. It may just be another trick to reel you in.

By Jeffrey Trull

http://www.moneytalksnews.com/dont-fall-for-these-5-common-tricks-credit-card-companies/