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reliable information on credit cards - online investing - personal loans - owning and operating your own home business. indepth information from professionals in their field. dont forget to check out our links to the best sources on the internet, these days information and research is critical to making the best educated decision to suit your needs.

Monday, July 10, 2006

How to Deal with Credit Card Debt



There's no doubt that credit card debt is a problem. More than 30 million people have a credit card in the UK, and many of those have more than one.

It stands to reason, then, that credit card debt accounts for a significant proportion of the grand total of �1.1 trillion personal debt in United Kingdom.

Credit cards are an incredibly useful way to buy goods whether in store or online and the idea of paying for expensive items or holidays etc and putting off the day when you actually have to part with your own cash is very appealing, not to say tempting.

Unfortunately, temptation can get the better of you and before you know it, you have more credit card debt than you can handle.

CAN YOU HANDLE IT?

The most important question you have to ask yourself is: can you handle having a credit card(s) without letting your debt get out of control? Do you have a history of overspending where credit cards are concerned?

If that�s the case, the simplest solution might be not to have a credit card at all and just use a debit card or of course cash for all your transactions.

But if you can trust yourself not to spend irresponsibly with a credit card, it is still important to use it sensibly and it will help to follow some of the basic rules.

CHOOSE WISELY

There are more than 1,000 different cards to choose from so you really will be spoilt for choice, but you have to make the right choice. You should look further than the high street for the best deals as often it�s the bigger names that carry the bigger interest rates. Search on the internet for sites that compare different cards and their rates.

THE PAY-OFF

Without doubt the best way to use a credit card is to pay your balance in full every month. That way, you won�t have to worry about interest mounting up and also you can be sure you are not spending more than you can afford, thus allowing your debt to spiral.

Paying the minimum amount every month is no way to handle a credit card because it will take you literally years to pay off a relatively modest debt as the interest is allowed to mount up. Worse, of course, is paying nothing at all from month to month as you could also be charged penalty fees.

If this isn�t possible, then it is more important than ever to make sure you are not paying more interest than you need to, which brings us to�

PLAYING THE SYSTEM

You cannot have failed to notice the multitude of credit cards on the market offering a very tempting 0% interest rate. The downside of these is that the 0% interest only lasts for a limited period, after which you could find you are paying an excessively high rate.

There is a way round getting tied into unfavourable interest rates by this initially attractive proposition: once the 0% interest rate finishes, simply switch your balance to another card offering 0% interest for a limited period. And when that finishes� well, you get the message.

Even if you don�t want to get on the 0% interest merry-go-round, you should still assess the credit card market regularly to see if it would be worth your while switching your balance elsewhere. There is no point in paying extra interest when switching is so easy.

STORE CARDS

The best advice as far as store cards go is leave well alone. The interest rates these cards carry are ridiculously expensive when compared to ordinary credit cards. Sometimes they offer money-off incentives. If you are tempted by these, make sure you pay the balance in full every month to avoid paying the excessive interest.

IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING�

Tell the credit card company about it. Don�t just sit there and watch the unpaid bills drop through your letterbox. That way, the interest will just get bigger and the charges pile onto your original debt.

All reputable credit companies will be open to suggestion and willing to negotiate because they want to make it as easy as possible to recover the debt.

Enlisting the services of a professional debt counsellor can be beneficial for negotiating with your creditors � they can sometimes get the interest frozen and are experienced at securing more favourable terms for repayment.

It pays to change your attitude by taking advantage of the credit card companies rather than letting them take advantage of you.

For more information on credit card debt, go to: http://www.debtcounsellors.co.uk/credit_card_debt_free.htm

-->by: John Porter

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Running Your Own Home Business



Everyone dreams of independence and the ability to spend more time with their family. For many this remains just a dream due to financial obligations that send one or both parents to work full time. For single parents, it can be even more difficult or unrealistic to dream about spending more time at home with their children.

Thousands of people do own their own home business, so it must be possible, but can I do it? That�s the question. How do I get started? How do I go from Joe or Jill NineToFive, to Joe or Jill I�mAtHomeAndILoveIt!

First of all, don�t let anyone tell you that you can just jump up right now and quit your day job. Unless you have a nice nest egg put away, you will probably have to continue working your normal job until you are making enough on your home business to move to it full time.

Anything that is worthwhile takes a lot of sacrifice. There are no free lunches. To keep working and start your home business, you will be spending even more time working than you do right now. Your goal is to become independent, but until you are, your workload will increase.

You have to decide how much �sweat equity� you are going to invest in your new home business. That means that you have to invest time in your business. The more time you can invest, the quicker your home business can support you.

You may have to work your eight-hour day at your day job, then put in another 2-4 hours on your home business. It�s like taking a second job. It�s hard, but the rewards are great in the long run. Better than a second job, though, your home business will eventually pay you enough so you can be your own boss full time.

But the whole reason I want to work at home is so I can be with my family. I hear that from people all the time. We all want things right away, but we know the truth is that we have to work a long time to get what we really want.

Once your home business is able to support you and you can quit your day job, you will have more time with your family. Until then sacrifices have to be made. That�s the reality of things.

Now, if you can somehow involve your family in your home business, you have the best of both worlds. With small children that is very difficult to do, however, if your children are old enough they can help you achieve the goals you set together for your home business.

If you have teenagers, they can answer emails, help you make or package up the products you sell, and maybe even help you run your website. Use your imagination for ways you can involve members of your family and not only will you be able to spend more time with them, your home business will succeed even faster than going it alone.

A new home business is not the only way you can work from home. Look for jobs that allow you to work from your home computer. See if your boss has work that you can do from home. You may find that you actually have more money working part-time at home than working full-time at your job.

When you take into consideration auto maintenance, parking, gasoline, buying lunch, and all the other expenses directly related to your job, you may be surprised at how much of your paycheck goes into continuing to work at your current job.

Only you can decide if working at home or starting your own home business is for you. If you are not a person who is truly self-motivated and self-disciplined, you won�t succeed without that boss to push you. If you do have those qualities and truly desire to have more freedom and want to work at home where your family is, then working at home will be a great adventure for you.

You have to be willing to make the sacrifices and do whatever it takes to make your new home business a success, but in the long run, when you are your own boss and your business is a success, you will look back and say it was all worth it.

-->by: Jennifer Tarzian

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