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Bankruptcy Basics
Most people think of bankruptcy as a process in which you go to court and get your debts erased. It is not that simple.

In fact, there are two types of bankruptcy: the familiar liquidation bankruptcy, where your debts are wiped out (Chapter 7 bankruptcy) and “reorganization” bankruptcy, where you partially or fully repay your debts. The reorganization bankruptcy for individuals is called Chapter 13 bankruptcy. (There are two other kinds of reorganization bankruptcy: Chapter 11, for businesses and for individuals with debts over $1 million, and Chapter 12, for family farmers.)

Filing for bankruptcy puts into effect something called the “automatic stay”, which immediately stops your creditors from trying to collect. Creditors cannot garnish your wages, empty your bank account or go after your car or house.

Until your bankruptcy case ends, your financial problems are in the hands of the bankruptcy court. The [...]

Down Payments Drive Savings

When financing a car, a large down payment can initially sting, but it’s a benefit over the long haul. Cars depreciate and before you know it, you may owe more on a vehicle than it’s worth, known as “negative equity,” a side effect of long terms and small down payments. The more you put down, the quicker you’ll reach positive equity, and the lower your monthly payments will be.

Trading in a vehicle helps further reduce payments. Just make sure to negotiate your trade separately from the purchase price and financing package.

You are in the market for a new car or truck, but when is the best time to lease or make that big purchase? Does timing really make a difference? The simple answer is ‘yes,” timing is important, and buying a new car or truck at the right time can save hundreds or literally thousands of dollars.

Equally important is knowing in advance as much as possible about the desired vehicle, from the sticker price, standard equipment level, options, colors, trims, to rebates, transportation costs, financing and more. Many websites such as KBB, NADA, etc tell you what the dealer pays for that vehicle. An educated consumer will get a better deal than a shopper who merely scanned the slick, glossy vehicle brochure.

Here’s a few timing tips to help secure a good deal for a new car or truck:

End of the Month
Of course, everyone [...]

Buying a new car is always an exciting but often stressful experience. Most people would rather give up the best things in life than negotiate with a dealer. Not only do you have to negotiate with multiple dealers, finding the best option also requires hours of research and price comparison. So by the time you sign your documents and drive your new car off the lot, buying an extended car warranty would be the least of your concerns. This is very common among car shoppers.

The purpose of this article is to help you understand how extended car warranty works and if it’s a good investment for you in the long run.

How Does Extended Car Warranty Work?

There are two types of warranty: original manufacturer warranty, or OEM, and an aftermarket warranty offered by a [...]

The Benefits of Improving Your Credit Score From Poor to Good

Your Path to a Brighter Financial Future

Credit score means a lot in today’s world. This three-digit number can affect your life and your financial posture, especially when it comes to applying for credit cards or borrowing money for a car loan, home mortgage or even a retail account. Whenever you are applying for any type of a credit, the first thing a lender will check is your credit rating to estimate your future ability to pay. Based on this information, your application will either get approved or denied.

When your credit application gets approved, you will be required to pay a finance charge, or interest, in addition to the borrowed amount. You will also be required to make a minimum payment each month to repay the balance. Bottom line, the amount of money you are allowed to borrow and the amount [...]

Used vs New Car:

What Should You Buy?

Who doesn’t get excited about buying a brand new car? While buying a new car is always alluring, a smart consumer will take a hard look at the cost savings of buying a new vs. used car and consider value and depreciation.

It is true that on average, a new car will depreciate by as much as 11% the second you drive it off the lot, and it will lose up to 30% of its total value in the first year. By the end of year 3, you can lose up to half of the original price you paid for your brand new car.

Used cars, on the other hand, don’t depreciate as fast. Say you bought a car that’s 3 years old for $15,000. You could still sell it for $10,000 three years later, so it will depreciate [...]

If you are looking for a solid way to boost your credit rating and get a better deal on your next credit card, mortgage or business loan, take a look at tradelines. Adding tradelines for credit is a process of adding accounts to your credit report in order to enhance your credit rating. Sounds simple, but not all tradelines are made equal.

Try adding a seasoned tradeline, or a line of credit with a low debt-to-credit ratio and a solid history of on-time payments. Once the tradeline hits your credit file, you’ll see an immediate adjustment of your credit score, be it FICO® or Vantage. Most of the lenders use FICO® score which is made up of 40% revolving credit accounts where the credit limit is set by the lender. [...]

Debt Settlement: Pros and Cons

How Does It Impact Your Credit?

More often than not, financial struggles lead to poor decision making. If you are seeking to minimize your debt, it’s important to first understand how debt settlement works. Many debt settlement companies offer to reduce your debt by negotiating with your creditors but they don’t really explain how it will impact your credit score in the long run. Let’s evaluate some of the pros and cons of debt settlement to help you determine if this option is right for you.

How Does Debt Settlement Work?

Debt settlement is the process of offering a large, one-time payment toward an existing debt in return for the forgiveness of the remaining balance. This can be done by hiring a debt settlement company that takes your monthly payments and puts them into a savings account. Once the account [...]

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