Getting Out Of Credit Card Debt

Are you swimming in credit card debt and searching for a way out? You are not alone, credit card debts is a huge problem for many Americans. Don’t give up, because there is a way out. What you need is a plan.

Take a look at the two most popular methods of credit card debt reduction, the Debt Snowball and Debt Avalanche methods. Both work well but are based on two different ideas. Take a look.

The Debt Snowball Method

When you make a snowball, you start out slow and gradually build it up. That is the idea behind the Debt Snowball method.

To get started, organize all of your credit card accounts by balance. You then take the card with the lowest balance and pay as much as you can on it while paying the minimum on the other accounts. Since it has the lowest balance, it will be the card that you can pay off the fastest. When you see that account with a zero balance, it will be a very satisfying moment.

Once you get the first card paid off, simply move on to the card with the next lowest balance. Repeat this process until all of your cards are paid in full.

Debt Snowball is all about motivation. If you need a quick reward of seeing an account paid off, this method may work for you. If you are more analytical though, you might want to take a look at the next method.

The Debt Avalanche Method

When you think about it, the logical thing to do would be to pay off the highest interest credit card first. By doing so, you would save yourself the most money in interest.

That is exactly what you will do with the Debt Avalanche method. Organize your cards by interest rate and then pay as much as you can on the card with the highest interest. On the others, pay the minimum balance. Keep doing this until the highest interest rate card is paid off and then move on to the next card.

This method is the most logical approach but it might not provide the same motivation as the Debt Snowball method. The highest interest card could very well be the one with the highest balance. If it is, it will take longer to pay the card off which is not very motivating.

Take Action Now

Whatever the method you choose, the important thing is that you get started right away. Living with debt is never a good thing, especially if that debt is costing you 20 percent interest every year.

Immediately stop using your credit cards and put them away. If you have online shopping accounts with saved credit card numbers, delete them. If you have memorized card numbers, call your creditor and ask for new numbers. Whatever it takes to stop accumulating debt.

Then, pick one of the methods above that makes the most sense to you and get to work. It will take time and it will take some discipline, but you can get it done.

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Save Yourself From Identity Theft

There is nothing worse than identity theft. Having someone steal an account from you or open new ones in your name is a huge ordeal. It can take months or even years to fully recover from the damage. Like everything else in life, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Take a look at some simple ways that you can prevent becoming a victim in the first place.

1) Use Credit Monitoring

This is the very first thing that you need to do in order to protect yourself. Credit monitoring will notify you just as soon as a change is detected to your credit report. This could be just a simple inquiry or a new account. In any case, you find out fast so that you can take action.

There is really no excuse not to be using multiple credit monitoring services. Why? Because they are free. Credit Karma and Credit Sesame are two of the bigger free monitoring services. They will advertise to you relentlessly, but they are free. In addition, most credit credit card providers will offer free monitoring. Take advantage.

2) Check Your Accounts

Credit monitoring can really only detect new accounts and inquiries. How can you detect if someone steals your credit card or account information?

Credit providers do a decent job of detecting illegal activity, but they can not pick up everything. For this, it is up to you. Check your account balances daily for the best protection. This means manually checking each account and looking for new or pending transactions.

This might seem like it would take forever, but it really is not that hard. Just save all of your accounts in a browser tab and load them all at once. It takes about a minute and if you see something odd, you can nip it in the bud immediately, before the damage gets bad.

3) Use Better Passwords

People are generally lazy with passwords and criminals take full advantage of this. You should be using a random password and you should use a different one for each website you use. Here is why.

If you use a password that can be guessed, it is possible for hackers to use a Brute Force hacking attack to guess yours. They try millions of random combinations until they guess yours. You might think your password is unique, but someone else likely has a dog by the same name.

As for using a unique password for every website, this is in case one site gets hacked. If you use the same password on every website, if a hacker gets into a low security website, they will likely now have your bank password. Then, all they have to do is try to log in to every bank on the internet until they find your account.

Use unique random passwords and let your secure browser manage them.

4) Get A Shredder

You can get a good cross cut shredder for around $50. Do so and use it. Shred anything that has your name on it. Even if you think that there is no sensitive information on it, go ahead and shred it. You never know what angle an identity thief is going to use.

5) Be Skeptical Of Emails & Calls

If someone contacts you, always be skeptical of who the person really is. This could be an email from a bank or a phone call from your credit card company. Never confirm any information with them until you have positively identified them. Crooks will go as far as even recreating entire websites on similar domain names to fool you.

If someone contacts you, tell them that you will call them back. Then, look up the number and call it directly. As far as emails, never click on any links. Search for the address of the company in question to visit them, no matter how legit the email looks. Don’t be a Phish.

6) Keep An Eye On Your Plastic

Last, but certainly not least, keep an eye on your credit cards. Try to never let them out of your sight if possible, because it is too easy for them to get skimmed. This might mean paying with cash at restaurants, but it is worth it for the extra security.

Also, be wary of gas pumps. Skimmers are a huge problem, so look for anything out of the ordinary at the pump. In addition, choose pumps closer to an attendant. Pumps in view are harder to install skimmers on.

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7 Ways To Make Money Fast

Want to make a little extra money today? Here are seven proven ways that you can get some extra cash in hand today. Use the money to take care of an emergency or just drop it into your savings for retirement, every dollar counts.

1) Sell Your Backup Phone

A lot of people like to keep a backup phone on hand, just in case. They likely upgraded but decided to keep their old phone in a drawer nice and safe. If they drop their new one in the toilet or just plain lose it, they can get back into action.

The problem is that you are probably never going to need it. Unless you are particularly clumsy, that phone is likely just collecting dust and losing value. Sell your cellular phone now while it is at it’s maximum value.

The easiest way to sell your phone is with a service like Gazelle. Gazelle will make you an offer for your phone and, if you accept it, they will even pay for you to ship it to them. Just box it up and when they get it, they will send you money.

2) Use eBay For Cash Today

When most people think about eBay, they think about 7 or 10 day auctions, not money today. You can get money the same day though, sometimes in hours. Here is what you need to do.

Take a hot item like an iPad or perhaps your last generation gaming system. Check out what auctions are ending at and then price your item 5 to 10 percent cheaper as a “buy it now” listing. Also be sure to specify that the buyer must pay immediately with PayPal.

If the item is hot, it will likely sell in a matter of hours and you will have money in your PayPal account. Then ,take advantage of PayPal’s instant transfer function to send money directly to your bank account. You must have a linked debit card on your account to take advantage of this feature but it is very convenient, fast and relatively cheap.

3) Clean Out Your Closet

Used clothing is big business, as long as it has a designer label. You are not going to be able to get anything for a used Hanes Tee.

Gather up the designer clothing that you no longer want or need and take it to a local resale store. They will try to talk you into taking store credit, but just take the cash.

4) Donate Some Plasma

Plasma is needed these days more than every. It is used to treat a variety of conditions and, if you have had Covid, it is even used as a treatment. It is also worth some money, as much as 50 dollars.

Find a “for profit” donation center if you want to get paid. They are fairly common in any decent sized city. It takes about an hour to donate plasma and you can get up to a fifty. The money you get will depend on how much you can donate. The more you weigh, the more that you can give and the more you will earn.

5) Recycle Some Scrap Metal

Scrap can fetch nearly 30 cents a pound. That may not seem like much for light weight aluminum cans, but you have to think bigger. Used water heaters, for example can weigh 50 pounds. This type of scrap is often just tossed to the side of the road or left on the curb for the taking. Get your truck, SUV or trailer and go get it.

Once you have your metal, take it to a local metal recycler and sell it by the pound. You would be making some decent extra money while cleaning up your neighborhood.

If you decide to go this route, a brief chat with your local recycler would be a good idea. Every company is different in what they like to accept and pay the most for.

6) Use Facebook For More Than Just Friends

Facebook has a great Marketplace where people are very active. It is a lot nicer than Craigslist because it is easier to post and there seem to be less people trying to scam you. They are there, so still use caution, but there are less of them.

You can list just about anything on Facebook Marketplace and find a buyer. Furniture does well as does old tools, clothing, etc. If it is worth at least 10 dollars, it is probably worth listing.

7) Start A Side Gig

Got a lawn mower, some cleaning supplies or a ladder? You potentially have a side business that you can start. Advertise your services on Craigslist and you could start earning money as soon as today.

Get creative with services that you can offer. Take a look on the Craigslist website and see what services other people are offering. Painting, lawn care, carpet cleaning, house cleaning and even dog walking. These are services that everyone needs and will pay you for, usually with cash.

 

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