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How Do I Get the Collectors Off My Back?

This is a million dollar questions, and those who have faced the dogged determination of debt collectors know that they can be extremely harassing and intimidating. This is what they are meant to be; the debt collectors earn their keep through commissions they charge their clients on the amount they successfully recover. If you find yourself thoroughly harassed by this kind of situation, here is what you can do to get rid of your collectors.

1. Negotiate with them. Contact the collectors and inform them that you want to rectify the situation. Explain your present situation, whatever that might be, and endeavor to work out a mutually acceptable method by which they will get some money every month, and you will regain your mental peace.

2. Write to them to stop calling you. If they are calling you by phone and you write to them asking them to stop calling, they are required by law to stop. There are many such clauses under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that are meant to protect you. Educate yourself in this regard and you'll find many ways that will give you relief from debt collectors’ calls.

3. Hire a credit counselor and adopt a debt management system. This will mean that you can take positive action towards eliminating your debt. The credit counselors are professionals who know how to best negotiate with debt collectors to effectively reduce your loan burden. They will be able to get your interest rates down, work out better payment terms, and allow you to pay according to your abilities. When this happens, the debt collectors will no longer harass you since they are getting what they want, i.e. repayment of the outstanding loans.

4. Hire an attorney. This is a costly alternative, but an exceptionally good one if you feel that the situation is beyond your capacity to handle. The attorney will not only reassure you, but also will be able to protect you from undue harassment from the debt collectors.

5. Find ways to repay the debt(s). Try to generate funds to repay the loans at your earliest opportunity. Some suggestions would be – hand loans from friends and relatives, searching for grants (with the help of which you could liquidate the loans), taking up a second job or even a third one if possible, so you can use the extra cash to liquidate your loans. At the same time, try to live off the bare minimum expenses until you are out of the red.

You can use one or a combination of the above tips to get rid of debt collectors. Once you do so, learn from your experience and ensure that you will never fall into the "debt trap" again. If you are able to make the best of such a situation and turn a over new leaf with regard to personal finance management, the whole episode will have been well worth the trouble.

5 Foolproof Tips to Strengthen Your Personal Finance

It's not until you are hounded by debt collectors wherever you go, that you realize how terrible it is to be indebted and unable to pay back outstanding loans. It's only then at that you realize the wisdom of the advice, "A stitch in time saves nine." Here are five foolproof tips that will ensure you are never caught in the dreaded "debt trap."

1. Budget.

We all know that it's necessary to budget for the month’s expenses. However, why is this not happening ... even with the best of us? Everybody can draw up a rough budget for the month. Everybody can keep track of their daily, monthly, and yearly expenses, provided they are willing to put in a little effort.

Start today. Start now. Make a list of recurring expenses, projected expenses, and unforeseen expenses. Ensure that you do not plan to spend more than 2/3rds of your income, so you can save at 1/3 every month.

2. Save.

There's nothing better than savings when you're in a financial jam. Even without the financial jam, savings can boost your personal credit score quite a bit. Try to save 20% -30% of your income every month, and you will never have anything to worry about. This safety net will come in very handy if you are suddenly laid off, want to launch your own business, have an accident or sudden illness, and the like.

3. Prioritize expenses.

Too many people keep complaining that budgeting does not work for them because there is never enough money around. Wrong! You are unable to prioritize your expenses and hence, you never have enough for these expenses.

In case you are having trouble staying within your budget, or are unable to make a budget for lack of funds – try prioritizing expenses. Take care of the top priorities first – some of which should be non-negotiable – and the rest will fall into place. Do not compromise with the portion you kept aside as saving.

4. Cut all that can be cut.

Look around you. Chances are that you will see about 30% of the things in your home as clutter. Take a close look at your budget (the part that shows expenses itemized) and you will definitely see the same, i.e. about 30% clutter.

Stop draining your income on unimportant things. Consider going on a Spartan life style for about 3 - 4 months per year, and you will be delighted with how much you will be saving. For best results, try this every third month – or any other way you find easy to follow. Chances are that once you realize how your money is drained off, you'll stop spending on frivolous items.

5. Make your money work for you!

Whatever your income may be, when you are earning money, it's a shame to use it only for spending. Make it work for you! Invest. Learn HOW to invest. In this way you'll multiply your money easily, and have more for your needs/savings.

Resources

The Credit Repair Organizations Act
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
Consumer Credit Protection Act
The Fair Credit Billing Act
The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)

 

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