Question: Does working with a credit counseling service to lower your interest rate affects your credit score? While our scores are good (715-730), we overextended ourselves and the interest/finance charges on our credit cards are outrageous (29.99 percent in some cases). Our goal is to get the balances down as much as possible. I know not using the card will be one of your suggestions, but it will take much longer because anything extra we pay is eaten up by the interest.

Answer: First, with a credit score of 715 to 730, you should qualify for a credit card with a much lower interest rate. If you have not received balance transfer offers from other credit card issuers, I suggest you look...

1. You dont know how much you owe.

Hiding from your debt does not make it go away. In fact, purposely ignoring it means you have more than you can handle and are simply afraid to face up to it.

2. You pay your bills late every month or you juggle your bills.

If your debt payments are more than you can afford, you have too much debt. Paying late only makes things worse because now you have to deal with late fees and higher interest rates.

3. You stop answering the phone.

Its only a temporary fix, while youre not talking to them, they may decide to sue you.

4. Youve borrowed money to pay your bills.

Its not a good idea to go further...

Military families have many worries that other families do not have.

And a recent study from National Federation of Credit Counseling of active duty military personnel showed that military families have one more worry on their plate — financial instability. The survey showed the 77% of respondents have financial worries and 55% feel not at all or only somewhat prepared to meet a financial emergency.

Since the financial needs of military personnel differ from those of civilians, it is essential to have a plan that is geared specifically for your specific circumstances.

Here are five steps to help keep your familys finances on solid ground during active duty:

1....

These days it seems everyone is offering financial advice, whether its a self-proclaimed expert on Twitter or a well-meaning but misinformed friend. While a good nugget can help you keep more money in your pocket, bad advice can leave you digging out of a financial hole.

Here are some signs that a piece of financial advice should be considered with caution, if not ignored.

1. The advice is confusing. Always have a clear understanding of what youre doing before making a financial move, says Thomas Nitzsche, a spokesman for ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions in Atlanta. Too many people come to ClearPoint for help after following advice that confused them, he says. For example,...

Utah homeowners who had home loans through Bank of America or Countrywide Financial may be eligible for compensation as part of a settlement announced Thursday by federal agencies.

Utahns with loans that were not part of a 2012 settlement and who had federally backed loans may be eligible for balance reductions or new loans for the low-income, said Wade Farraway, an assistant Utah attorney general.

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Brian Curtis took out his first payday loan when he was 19. It took more than a decade before he got out from under it and the climbing interest payments that followed.

Its a trap, he said.

Curtis, 37, living in Davenport, said he had roughly $5,000 in payday loan debt after taking out loans for a $1,500 car repair while living in Florida, and then again when he moved to Missouri and needed a deposit for an apartment.

Add to that more than $22,000 in interest that accrued and he said he faced a bill topping $27,000.

Who has $27,250 just laying around? Because if you had it just laying around you would never have been in the payday loan store in the first place,...

ABU DHABI // Lawyers who run a free legal advice service for Filipinos have warned that serving a prison term or paying a fine does not mean their debts are negated.

#x201c;Banks are becoming more aggressive in filing civil cases against loan defaulters,#x201d; said Michael Almazar, 32, director of the commercial department at Gulf Law in the Middle East, the UK and in the Philippines.

#x201c;Most defaulters think that if they pay the fine or serve a jail term their debts will be erased, which isn#x2019;t the case.#x201d;

Lawyers at Gulf Law have been working with the Philippine embassy and consulate in the UAE to raise awareness about civil, criminal, immigration...

More than 31.2 percent of Coloradans have an account held by a collection agency, a recent study by the Urban Institute shows.

When someone owes money on a medical bill, telephone bill, credit card or other similar bill, and that debt is not paid within 90 days, the original creditor will often contract with a collection agency to try to collect what it is owed.

Accounts in collection are routinely reported to the credit bureau and damage your credit score. This has serious ramifications for the credit standing of almost one third of Coloradans. Similar statistics were noted for all Americans.

The high number of collection debts carried by so many might be continued fallout...

When it comes to challenging jumbo loans, Patrick McKenna with CS Financial caters to the type of unique requests that come from people on the Westside.

Specializing in home loans between $1 million and $6 million, McKenna and his team of qualified financial experts are able to craft a loan that works for people with complex finances. In some cases, they might have recently acquired sizable assets or don’t haveĀ a traditional salary.

“We have a lot of clients who own multiple businesses with different types of revenue streams but can’t really show that on their tax returns because they might have loss carryovers or whatever the case may be,” McKenna said....

Debt Management Credit Counseling Student Loan Repayment Program Featured on Hallmark Channel
The student loan repayment assistance program offered by Debt Management Credit Counseling Corp (http://www.dmcconline.org), a nonprofit credit counseling organization (DMCC), was featured on Hallmark Channels Home amp; Family Show. Harvey Warren, personal debt expert and author of Drop Debt: Surviving Credit Card Hell Without Bankruptcy, promoted low cost student loan programs from nonprofit consumer credit counseling agencies.

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