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MasterCard Survey Nets Curious Responses

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Security is a big concern for everyone. MasterCard recently surveyed cardholders about their wants, needs, and fears, and while security topped the list of wants, needs, and fears, other answers were curious to those in the processing industry. While card security has been iffy the past few years, it is set to change (hopefully) in 2016 with the implementation of chip and PIN cards, the worries about card security are warranted.

According to the survey, 77% are concerned about identity theft. 92% are taking steps to secure their identities and keep themselves safe online, yet 46% rarely or never change their online banking or credit card passwords. Sadly, and perhaps most disturbingly, over 1/3 of those surveyed admitted to using a public computer or public Wi-Fi to check their online banking or credit card accounts. Forty-four percent also use the same password for multiple online accounts.

While online security is a big deal, many want security but are not taking the steps to ensure their security. Perhaps it is out of habit that they commit these financial sins, or perhaps they are not sure what to do. The financial industry needs to do a better job of educating the public on what they need to do – and avoid – when dealing with online banking and financial accounts. If not, everyone suffers, from the consumers to merchants, to processors having to deal with a chargeback.

The good news is that 69% already use a chip card, or want one when they are implemented. Some companies are using them as a voluntary option, and so far the feedback is positive. This cuts down on chargebacks, but merchants need to make sure that they have chargeback insurance, regardless of what type of card is being used by their customers. There are few chargeback insurance providers in the USA, but when you find one, make sure that you ask questions. Question their knowledge about the industry you are in, and question how their process works. Every chargeback insurance provider operates differently, and not all are the right choice for every merchant.

3 Spending Habits That Will Lead You To A Debt Relief Program

3 Spending Habits That Will Lead You To A Debt Relief Program

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If you want to avoid spiraling into a lot of debt that could lead you to stress and the loss a lot of money, you should nip your bad spending habits in the bud before they take root and become difficult to get rid of.

Identifying bad spending habits early enough could help you avoid a lot of strain and pain in the future. In order to stop increasing your debt, you need to adopt a debt relief plan and to get rid of the spending habits listed below.

  • If you Spend More than you Earn

It may seem impossible that you can actually spend more than you can earn, but in reality people with bad spending habits do it all the time. For example, if every month you have to borrow money or use your credit card to pay for an expense, you are most likely spending more than you earn and that is why you have to resort to debt.

If you keep the constant cycle of borrowing and using credit month on month, before you know it, you will have acquired a bad habit that will lead you to bigger debts that you will not be able to sustain.

If you find yourself in this situation, you need to create a budget so that you are clear on what your monthly expenses are in relation to your income. You will then most likely need to cut back on some unnecessary expenses.

  • If you Spend Money that you don’t yet have

If you are used to spending money that you don’t yet have, you will very likely get into a debt situation that you cannot manage.

For example, if you rely on an end of year bonus to make some purchases in the middle of the year, if something happens and you don’t get the end of year bonus you will automatically find yourself in debt. It is a better idea first to receive before you spend.

If you are also into the habit of using bank overdrafts, you will eventually not be able to pay back the overdrafts and you could end up in debt.

  • If you are Dependent on your Credit Card

If you are used to using your credit card for all your expenses you will sooner or later get into debt that you cannot manage. The fact that you are using a credit card for all your expenses means you are most likely inflating your budget because you will have to pay for credit card debt, which includes what you spent and some added interest.

It is better to get into the habit of spending cash for all your purchases or using a debit card that has money available in a checking account. That way, when you run out of cash, you will have immediate feedback that you are spending beyond your means.

If you want to learn more on how you can adopt good spending habits and a good financial attitude to match in order to avoid getting deeper into debt, visit our website.

Do You Need Debt Relief Services? Here’s What You Need To Know

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Being in debt can be a pretty scary place depending on your set of circumstances. You can feel like you are all alone and helpless to save your sinking financial future. This is not true. In these tough economic times, there are hundreds of people drowning in one kind of debt or the other, and just like you they are looking for a way out.

There is Some Hope

Debt relief services developed as a response to these challenges to help manage debt. They help people who are unable to negotiate a plan with their creditors for the repayment of those debts. Most of these credit relief services serve to either provide a plan for repaying your debts or help you manage your personal finances to deal with your expenses.

As such, there are three main ways you can be helped with your debt:

  • Credit counseling

This is basically advice on money management to help you develop, budget and manage your debt. There are several sessions that you will attend and work with counselors to develop a personalized plan for your finances. Some of these counselors are online, but it is best to get some face to face counseling if you can within your area.

  • Debt management planning

If you have a lot of debt, the credit counselor may recommend this. These debt management plans will involve the credit counselor negotiating a payment schedule with your creditors. You will then be required to deposit some amount with them to pay your unsecured debts as per the schedule.

  • Debt settlement programs

These programs are run by companies that want to make a profit, unlike the first two that are offered mostly by non-profit organizations. The company will negotiate with your creditors on a settlement amount that will be paid at once to clear your debt. You will be required to make payments to an account to accumulate the settlement amount and in that period, the company may ask you not to make monthly payments to your creditors.

But you have to Be Careful!

These may sound like great options, but before you get into any contract, you need to make sure that the debt relief service providers are legitimate. Check with your State Attorney General or consumer protection authority to see if there have been complaints about the company you want to deal with, and whether they are licensed to work.

You also need to find out how much these services will cost you. Even the non-profit credit counseling firms may charge a fee just like the debt settlement companies. Therefore, you need to know if you can afford their services.

Be sure to get every agreement down on paper. Verbal promises are only as good as the paper they are written on and are a classic scamming method for illegitimate companies. Get their contract and read it carefully. If you don’t understand it all, find someone to explain it to you before making any commitments.

You don’t have to drown in debt, but don’t be quick to grab hold of anything that looks helpful. To know more about debt relief, click on the link below.