Would You be a Remote Worker to Earn Money For Debt Settlement?

Working remotely has become a fact of life in America. According to a Census report released recently some 13.4 million people or 9.4% of all U.S. employees work from home at least one day per week. This is up from 7% or 9.2 million people in 1997. And it’s thought that by 2020, nearly half of all US employees could be working remotely.

If you’re interested in raising money for debt settlement, you should consider becoming a remote worker. Some remote or telecommuting jobs are full-time, but it’s also possible to find ones where you can work part-time or even have a flexible work schedule.

If you’ve never worked off-site, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of remote work as it’s not for everybody.

The pros

Remote workers don’t have to commute. If you become a remote worker you can kiss that commute goodbye, which will save you both time and money. Plus, you’ll be doing a good thing for the environment.

Working out of your home eliminates those noisy conversations and other distractions that come with working in an office. You would have more uninterrupted spans of time to think or to focus on detail work.

There is a big plus to not having to “get ready” and dressed to go to the office. Some people spend almost an hour every morning just getting cleaned up and made up. Eliminating this translates into the valuable time you could use for something personal or professional.

You will probably have more flexibility, which translates into more time for your family. We know of one work-at-home mom who is just out-of-pocket from 3 PM to 4 PM when she drives her kids to school and sports. That’s an hour she can easily make up at other times.

You may be able to tailor your work schedule to fit those times of the day when you’re most productive. Everyone isn’t productive at the same times of the day. If you’re a morning person or night owl, working remotely could mean working at those times when you are at your peak.

It’s likely you’ll have less face-to-face time with your manager and your coworkers. This can mean that when you do have meetings, time will be used more efficiently. Some of your meetings may even be via the telephone or computer, which can be a real benefit if you’re a bit of an introvert

The cons

Wouldn’t it be great if there were no downsides to working remotely? Unfortunately, downsides do exist.

For one thing, you may not receive a lot of feedback and there may not be much brainstorming. Working remotely can sometimes feel like working in a vacuum. If you need to train someone who’s new in your field, you may find it harder to mentor them.

Sometimes, there is just no substitute for face-to-face interaction. Working remotely can make that difficult, or in some cases, flatly impossible. If you’re in an office and need to ask your manager an important question, all you may need to do is get up and walk to her or his office. When you’re working remotely, you might not be able to reach your manager for several hours or even a day.

Working remotely puts you at the mercy of technology. Your Internet access could go down at a critical time, or you could lose access to servers. You may be constantly required to master new practices and software, which may be complex and difficult to use.

You may be faced with serious issues such as protecting your company’s databases and intellectual property. Worse, yet if your employer hasn’t gone paperless you may have a tough time accessing the information you need to do your job.

You may lose the feeling of being part of a team. Meetings held remotely simply aren’t the same as meetings held in person. You may not have a sense of common purpose, and you may find it harder to establish a good working relationship with a remote team than an in-person one.

You may run into problems of communication, or worse, yet miscommunication that leads to problems and errors. One of your team members could become confused over an assignment and leave you holding the bag.

Finally, some remote workers fall victim to burnout. You may be always on call or never really away from your job. You may find you have less downtime and end up overworking. The difference is that employees that work in an office may stay late, but once they go home, they’re home. For you, home is always your workplace.

In conclusion

Working remotely can be great – helping you earn money for debt settlement. Or it can turn into a living nightmare, as it’s just not for everybody. Make sure to consider the pros and cons you’ve read in this article before signing up to be a remote worker.

Try this Revolutionary New Method to Pay Off Serious Credit Card debt

If someone asked you to picture your debt, what would you see? Would you picture it as a prison cell, an incredibly steep mountain, or maybe a huge pit?

Regardless of how much debt you have, or how you picture it, one thing is certain. You’re desperate to get rid of it.

So, What could you do?

The two proven methods

Until recently, only two proven ways to pay off debts existed. They were the snowball method and the avalanche method.

The way the avalanche method works is that you make a list of your debts in order from the one with the highest interest rate down to the one with the lowest. You then put all your efforts towards paying off the debt with the highest interest rate. This is because that will save you the most money. Once you have it paid off, you move on to the debt with the next highest interest rate, and so on.

The other way, the snowball method, is where you list your debts from the one with the lowest balance down to the one with the highest. Then, instead of focusing on the debt with the highest interest rate, you put all of your energy towards paying off the debt with the lowest balance. The psychology behind this method is that it should be relatively easy to pay off that first debt, which will give you motivation (as well as extra money) to begin paying off the debt with the second lowest balance and on and on.

The problem with both these methods

Unfortunately, both of these methods share a common problem. They rely on you budgeting money every month to make the minimum payments on all your other debts while throwing extra money at the debt you prioritized

This can be very taxing financially as both require you to come up with large payments every month.

Introducing the snowflake method

An alternative to both the snowball and avalanche methods was recently developed – the snowflake method.

The way it works is that instead of having to worry about coming up with those big payments every month, you just find ways to shave some money off your everyday spending. You then use this money to make small, frequent payments on your credit card debt. You may feel those small amounts are microscopic when compared to your overall debt balances. But over time, those little payments will save you hundreds of dollars and knock months off your repayment term.

Of equal importance, you can use the snowflake method in combination with any other repayment options.

Apply those everyday savings to your debt immediately

At the heart of the snowflake method is applying those everyday savings to your credit card debt immediately. As an example of this, let’s suppose your weekly budget for groceries is $50. However, thanks to coupons you only spend $46 this week. With the debt snowflake approach, you’d take the surplus or the $4, and immediately make a payment on your credit card account. Then, do this every time you save some money. Instead, of spending $60 for a haircut, go to Great Clips for $25. Then, put that extra $35 towards your debt the minute you get home.

Does this really work?

If you visualize your debt as that very steep mountain, the idea of paying an extra $4 or $5 here and there might seem kind of ludicrous. But, believe it or not, those little snowflake payments can end up having a big impact.

Here’s an example. Let’s suppose you have a credit card with a balance of $3000 that has an APR of 15%. Assuming your minimum monthly payment is $100, it would take you 38 months to pay off the debt and would cost you $784 in interest.

If you could save four dollars a week by clipping coupons and apply that extra $16 a month to your credit card debt, you would be able to pay it off in just 32 months, and you’d pages $647 in interest. As you can see, applying those snowflakes, or small savings, each month would get that debt paid off a full six months earlier.

In summary

If you’re trying to pay off a mountain of credit card debt, it can be unrealistic to try to find large sums of money to repay your balances. This is why the debt snowflake method can be effective. If you’re diligent about applying those little daily savings to your credit card debt, you’ll both pay off your balances sooner and save a lot of money to boot,

Should You Use Your Equity to Pay for Debt Settlement?

If you’re unfamiliar with debt settlement, it’s where you contact a lender, and offer to make a cash payment to settle the debt but for less than you owe. Suppose, for example, you owed $8000 on a credit card. You could contact the bank and offer to make a lump sum payment of, say, $4000 to settle the debt. If the bank accepts your offer, it will treat the debt as if it had been paid in full – at least so far as you’re concerned. Unfortunately, it won’t report it to the credit bureaus this way. It will report your debt as “settled,” “settlement,” “settled for less than full amount due,” or some similar wording.

The downside

While debt settlement has become a popular way to achieve debt relief, It does have one big downside. You must have the cash available to pay for any settlements you’re able to negotiate. Getting back to our example of settling a $8000 debt for $4000, you’d need to have the $4000 ready to send the lender in the form of a wire transfer or certified cashiers check. Needless to say, if you’re struggling with debt it’s unlikely you’ll have enough cash available to pay for that settlement.

Do you have equity in your home?

If you have equity in your home, you could use it to pay for your debt settlements. There are three ways to cash out equity. The first is to refinance the mortgage. Today’s mortgage rates are at nearly all-time lows, though they are expected to gradually rise over the next year. For example, Consumer Direct is currently offering 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loans with an APR as low as 3.875%. The online mortgage provider, GSF, has 30-year fixed-rate loans with an APR of 3.77%. And American Financing is offering 30-year fixed-rate refi loans with an APR of 4.250%.

If you don’t want to refinance your mortgage, you could get either a home equity loan or homeowner equity line of credit. FlagStar Bank now has a home equity loan with an introductory rate of 4.49% with a loan to value of 80% required. It’s also possible to get a home equity line of credit (HELOC) with an APR of 3.99% from PNC Bank or 4.0% from Alliant Credit Union.

Note: To be eligible for the interest rates quoted here, requires a credit score of 740 or better.

Do the math

Now, compare these interest rates with the interest rates on your debts. If most of your debt is credit card debt, you’re probably paying anywhere from 14% to 21%. Plus$4000, you’d’s compound interest. If you’re making just the minimum payments on your credit card debts, you’re actually paying interest on interest. As an example of this, if you owed a total of $10,000 on your credit cards at 17%, and made just the minimum payment each month of $242, It would take you five years and three months to pay off the $10,000. And it would cost you $15,147 in interest.

In comparison, a home equity loan for $10,000 with an interest rate of 7.5% would require a monthly payment of just $100 for 48 months. And it would cost you only $2,750.23 in interest. So, if you were to take out a home equity loan and use the $10,000 to pay off your credit card debts, you’d realize potential savings of nearly $13,000.

If you don’t own your home

Of course, if you don’t own your home, you lack equity. In this case, you might be able to get a debt consolidation loan and use the money in debt settlement. If you have at least a “good” credit score (above 700 points), you could get an unsecured loan with a term of five years at an 11.21% interest rate, which would mean a monthly payment of just $218.

Hire a debt settlement company

If you can’t get a personal loan, another good option is to hire a debt settlement company. There are two advantages to this. First, it eliminates the need to have the cash available to pay for your settlements. Second, it lets you avoid having to haggle with your lenders yourself. Of course, debt settlement companies do charge for their services. The best ones charge a percentage of the amount of debt being settled, which usually ranges from 15% to 25%. However, the reputable ones, like National Debt Relief, don’t actually collect their fees until they have settled all of your debts. This means if you were to become unhappy with your program at any time, for any reason, you could simply drop out, and it wouldn’t have cost you a cent.

In conclusion

If you owe $10,000 or more and have a sufficient amount of equity in your home, you should think seriously about cashing it out and using the money in debt settlement. This will save you money versus trying to pay off the debt yourself. Plus, if you use a debt settlement company, you could be debt free in as few as 24 to 48 months.

Tips for Settling Debts With a Debt Collector

Being contacted by a debt collector can be very scary.

The debt collectors’ only objective is to collect as much money from you as possible, as they’re usually paid on a commission basis. If they can’t collect much money from you they earn less.

The Federal Trade Commission has rules about how debt collectors can act and what they can say. Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous ones that will say anything to get you to pay up.

What Debt Collectors Can’t Do

It’s Important to understand that according to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act FDCPA), debt collectors cannot:

  • Call you before 8:00 Am or after 9:00 PM
  • Call you on a Sunday
  • Contact you at work if the debt collector knows that your employer does not want you to be contacted there during working hours
  • Get in touch with your employer about a debt you owe, unless the debt is past-due child support.
  • Contact your relatives, friends, or neighbors about the money you owe in order to embarrass you into paying your debts
  • Swear or insult you when you are having a conversation, or threaten you with the loss of your reputation or with jail time
  • Call you repeatedly during a relatively short period of time. Such behavior is harassment, and the FDCPA makes harassment illegal

The first step in dealing with a debt collector

The first, or next time a collector calls, you need to verify the debt. This means requesting what’s called a Debt Verification/Validation Letter. You can ask for this letter either verbally or by mailing/faxing a letter to the collection agency.

Make sure it’s not a “zombie” debt

Your next step is to see if it could be a “zombie” debt. This is a debt that’s many years old and has passed the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations varies from state to state but is typically five years from the time you last took some action on the debt like making a payment. Before you do or say anything, make sure you get your debt verified or validated, so you will know it’s not a “zombie” debt. If you do say or agree to something, you could restart the debt’s statute of limitations, so it would once again be active.

Negotiate to pay as little as possible

The little secret of debt collection is that collectors buy debts for much less than their balances. The collector’s agency could have paid as little as $20 for your $800 debt. A debt collector often will settle for much less than your balance. As in any negotiation, you will want to start low because once you name a number you can’t go any lower. For example, you might start at 30% or less of what you owe. You can also make your offer more appealing by offering to make a lump sum payment.

Ask to have the debt reported as “paid as agreed upon”

It’s very bad to have your debt reported to the credit bureaus as settled or settlement. Ask the collector to report the debt at least as “paid as agreed upon.” While the collector may not agree to this, it’s worth asking – especially if you’re offering to pay the debt in a lump sum.

Reduce the debt by no more than $600

Any amount of debt over $600 that is forgiven will be reported to the IRS and taxed as ordinary income. You can keep this from happening by reducing any debt you settle by no more than $600. Of course, it may be worthwhile to pay taxes on an amount over $600 because that’s debt you don’t have to pay – assuming you can dramatically reduce the amount you owe.

Get everything in writing

If you and the debt collector are able to come to an agreement, make sure you get everything in writing before you pay off the debt. This is so if the collector doesn’t do what the two of you had agreed on, you will be able to prove your case.

Check your credit reports

Finally, wait for a few weeks after you’ve paid the collection agency and then check your credit reports. This is to make sure that everything was reported to the credit bureaus per your agreement. If you find an error, you will need to go back to the debt collector and work to get it corrected.

In summary

Getting contacted by a debt collector can be a frightening experience. But if you understand your rights, as you have read this in article, you can keep the collector from making your life miserable. And if you follow the tips you’ve just read, you should be able to get any debt reduced considerably, paid off and then reported to the credit bureaus in a way that won’t damage your credit history as severely.

How to Negotiate and Settle Your Debts

Is it possible to negotiate and settle a $15,500 line of credit for only $3200! We know of one woman who was able to do just this. But the way she negotiated wasn’t what you might guess as she never used the telephone. She did all her negotiating by letter and fax.

Debts that can and can’t be settled

Did you buy a big home you can’t afford, a luxury car, or a boat or mobile home? The sad news is that these debts cannot be negotiated. If you’re living in a home you can’t really afford, you have only one option – to sell it and downsize.

Debts that can be negotiated include personal lines of credit, credit card debts, department store credit card debts, and old judgments, in other words unsecured debts.

Negotiating your debts

If the stress of dealing with your debts is so severe that it’s actually damaging your health, you need to get busy and start negotiating with your creditors. Despite what you might think it’s best to do it by letter as this gives you an indisputable record of your offers and how lenders’ responses.

You need to first prioritize your debts. The easiest ones to pay off will be the ones with the smallest balances, so put them at the top of your list. Next, call your lenders to get contact information – that is who you should write, her, or his title, their address and phone number and fax number.

Always have a goal

Never begin negotiating with a lender without having a goal. In the case of a credit card debt, there are four things that can be negotiated. You can negotiate to have your interest rate reduced, to have your payments waived for several months, to have your debt converted into a payment plan, or to have your balance reduced.

You may want to have a different goal for different debts. If you owe a lot on a credit card, your goal might be to get your balance reduced by settling the debt. Do you have a personal line of credit that’s choking you? Then, your goal might be to get your interest rate reduced, so you’d have lower monthly payments.

The important thing is to set a goal for each of the debts you’ll be negotiating.

If your goal is to get your interest lowered

If this is the case, you will need to be ready to give the reasons why you need to have your interest rate reduced. This could be that you’re a long time customer, you have a good credit history with them, or that you like doing business with the company and would rather stay with it instead of having to go to a different credit provider. And you must be ready to make your case – whichever is your point – because it won’t necessarily be self-evident to your lender.

If your goal is to settle a debt

If your goal is to settle a debt, the first letter you send to your unsecured lenders should be very blunt. You need to state that you need to settle the deb, andthe amount you’re willing to pay. You should make it clear that lender refuses to settle on your terms, your only option will be to file for bankruptcy. Be sure to end the letter by requesting a response in writing.

Always start low

This first settlement offer should also be almost ridiculously low. For example, if you owe $5800 on a credit card, you might offer to settle the debt for $800. No credit card company will accept an offer this low, but it’s a place to start. What will happen instead is that the lender may counter at, say, $5000. The point here is to start low because once you name a number you can’t go any lower. When a lender responds – either by letter or fax – you can then make a counter offer, and so on until you arrive at an acceptable figure.

Negotiating with lenders is not for the spineless

It’s important to understand that negotiating your debts will take time and more than a small amount of intestinal fortitude. Some people are just not cut out for debt negotiation. You need to be quick on your feet mentally, and have a strong spine. Your lenders won’t just roll over. They will definitely push back. They’ll be tough and you’ll need to be tough, too. If you don’t feel you fit this profile, you might be better off using a debt settlement company such as National Debt Relief to negotiate settlements for you.

What You Absolutely Need to Know About Debt Settlement

If you’re struggling to pay your bills, if you’re several months behind, and just can’t see any way to get caught up, you should definitely consider using a debt settlement company.

A debt settlement company is different from a debt consolidation company. While both types can be helpful, debt settlement is the only way to pay off debts for less than their balances. In comparison, debt consolidation just moves your debts from one set of creditors to a new one.

How it works

If you contract with a debt settlement company, it will approach your creditors and negotiate settlements, where you pay less, in exchange for a lump sum payments.

You will then deposit payments monthly into a trust-like account you set up through the settlement company. You will also pay a fee for the settlement company’s services.

When enough money has accumulated in your account to a level where one of your lenders has agreed to settle a debt, the settlement company will pay it out of your account, which eliminates the debt.

When you should turn to debt settlement

Working with a debt settlement company can be helpful if you already have poor credit and bills you can’t pay. It can also be helpful if you feel you wouldn’t be a very good negotiator or just aren’t a very quick thinker.

Reasons to be cautious

There are downsides to using a debt settlement company. For one thing, there’s the fee. Reputable debt settlement companies generally a percentage of the amount of your debt it’s settling. This usually ranges from 15% to 25%. This reduces the amount of money you save by using a debt settlement company, though you should still save money.

Using a debt settlement company will cause significant damage to your credit history and credit score. However, this will depend on how your debts are reported to the three credit bureaus. If your settlement company can convince your lenders to report the debts as paid in full, this will not damage your credit. If they report them as “settled for less than amount due,” “settlement,” or “settled for less than full amount,” this this will definitely have a bad effect on your credit and credit score.

Peace of mind

One important thing you get with a debt settlement company is peace of mind. You’ll no longer have to deal with angry lenders or pushy debt collectors. The settlement company will be working with them, so they’ll no longer be harassing you. Your life will be simpler, too, because you’ll have only the one payment to make a month in place of the multiple payments you’re currently making. And it should be much easier to remember just that one payment.

Before choosing debt settlement

The government’s Federal Trade Commission page has good information about debt settlement that you should read before choosing it. This will give you a good understanding of the process and what to expect if you do hire a debt settlement company. You might also want to get a free consultation with a consumer credit counseling agency or a bankruptcy lawyer. A consumer credit counselor will review your finances with you and then suggest either a budget or a debt management plan (DMP) to get you out of debt. If you choose a DMP, you’ll then pay the credit counseling agency each month, and it will disperse the money to your lenders. The downside of this is that DMPs generally take five years to complete, plus all your credit card companies will close your accounts. Consider balances comparison that concern is

Beware of the cheats

The Federal Trade Commission passed rules a few years ago designed to weed the cheats out of the debt settlement industry. Unfortunately, some of them have found ways around these rules. Howeveer, it’s fairly easy to spot a company that’s out to scam you. First, it will contact you via email or chat and it will try to get you to pay a big fee upfront. The fact is that reputable debt settlement companies never contact you first and never charge upfront fees. Another red flag is if the settlement company says it will pay your creditors monthly instead of in a lump sum. You should ask how long the company has been in business and if it’s less than five years, you should definitely say goodbye.

The Lessons One Woman Learned From Paying Off $42,800 Of Debt In One Year

If you have, say, $40,000 in student loan debt do you think you could pay it off in one year? This is not only possible it’s doable. In fact, one young college professor did exactly this and in doing so learned some very important lessons. For example …

Figure out where you are

This woman was a 39-year-old adjunct professor. She had not made over $30,000 in each of the five prior years. In fact, in a few of those years she earned less than $20,000. So to begin with she took a very hard look at what she was working with. She listed all the tools she had at her disposal – her car, her technical skills, people she could ask for work references, wardrobe pieces and people she could call in her network if she needed a referral. When she completed her list she realized that she had a lot more resources available that she had thought. She noted that even listing “Internet access” could help you understand how many tools you have available for changing your life. In addition, this list did something else for her. It made her see that, despite her financial predicament, she had many things to be grateful for.

Learn to love the math

A second important thing she learned is how much fun that she could have with math. She didn’t just love doing the subtraction in watching her balance go down but also loved the addition of seeing her payments take shape. She tried every day to apply for some kind of side hustle – part-time tutoring, focus groups, writing assignments, scoring jobs etc. While she didn’t get all of those for which she interviewed she did get quite a few. This enabled her to make bigger debt payments. As she took on extra income she also found that she loved to see how much she could amass in a month. An important lesson she learned is that the more she put herself out there the more opportunities she created to make money. While there’s no one but you that can manage your time it’s important to take on as many extra jobs as you can. The more you do this, the more money you will make and the faster you’ll get your debts paid off.

You are not exceptional

She quickly discovered that there were people in the personal-finance community that were doing exactly what she was doing. As she became more involved in both her debt payoff project and the personal-finance community, she discovered many inspirational stories. This taught her that rapid debt payoff is not novel. More and more people are paying off their debt as fast as possible. When she read their stories she realized that she was not exceptional and that this was a very good thing! Reading the stories of all those other debt fighters helped keep her motivated and helped save her financial life

Having a support system is invaluable

Another important thing she learned is that there is a very large and welcoming online community waiting to help you out and cheer you on. In fact, the personal finance blogosphere is filled with people who are enthusiastic and ready to urge you on. She started a blog, got on Twitter and commented on other sites dedicated to personal finance. When she did this she found herself surrounded by individuals of a like mind who understood that mindful spending leads to a much happier life. And reading their blogs and posts helped lift her spirits all through the onerous process of paying off her debt.

You can do the follow through

One of this woman’s greatest fears was that she’d pay off some of her debt – or even most of it – and then feel as if that was good enough. She had a history of struggling with follow-through. Some of the reasons for this included fear and indecision. She learned that a combination of support from friends and the personal-finance community, along with some determination kept her on track. She did not want her story to be a failure. She wanted to have it added to that stack of inspirational success stories. She found that this all by itself kept her taking on extra work and watching her spending very carefully. Anytime she felt her motivation lagging she would write a post about. She would then get support and encouragement from the personal-finance community that would help keep her motivated.

At the end of her 12 months

As the end of her year approached and she looked back at her progress she realized how disappointed she would have been if she hadn’t done the follow-through. She had created stakes that she really cared about. When she makes her final payment she’ll not only have paid off $48,000 in debt but, just as important, has learned that she did have follow-through. She just had to find it. The net/net of her journey was that she learned much about who she was and what she could do. If you have a big stack of debt, don’t despair. Make a goal and you will learn a lot about what you can do and who you are. Never be afraid. You will learn that some of the lessons are harder than others. However, each of them will be a revelation that may change your life forever.