Articles by Tammi

What Caused You To Go Into Debt?

There are many reasons why people go into debt. Sometimes, it is  due to circumstances beyond their control. Other times, it stems from  poor financial habits. Whatever the reason, we need to recognize the root of the problem and actively work to resolve it. Otherwise, it is very easy to get stuck in the vicious cycle of debt.

Some of the top causes of debt include reduced income, little savings, medical expenses, divorce, and poor money management.

Take our poll today: What caused you to go into debt?

online poll by Opinion Stage

Retire Your Debt Before You Retire

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In just a generation, the retirement landscape has changed dramatically.

Before, most middle-class families were able to save enough money during their working years to live with dignity in their retirement days. Many paid off their homes, got rid of all their debts, and retired with pensions from their employers. Even if all else failed, they could usually rely on Social Security to make ends meet.

These days, many people near retirement age have little to no savings and too much debt to even think about retiring. It’s bad enough that baby boomers carry mortgage debt into retirement instead of paying it off beforehand. However, they often have student loans and other kinds of debt too. This challenges their ability to retire the way they want to, or even to retire at all.

If you are nearing retirement age, make sure you get your financial house in order before you make the jump.

Ditch the student loans.
You can help your child with his/her tuition when they are young – but not when you’re about to retire. Don’t delay making retirement contributions in order to help pay for their college debt. As a parent, it’s tempting to want to help, but remember – these are their loans. Teach your kids to take full responsibility, and have them pay it down on their own. Then, move your money over to retirement savings instead.

Get rid of unsecured debt.
Ideally, you’ll head into retirement with no debt at all. However, if you have various types of debt to deal with, try to focus on the ones with the highest interest first (i.e. credit cards, car loans, etc.). If it is too overwhelming, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Sometimes, having the right partner on your side can be the difference between success and failure. Resolve your debt now, and your future self will thank you for it.

Prepare a retirement budget.
Don’t just estimate how much money you’ll need in retirement. Create an actual budget and spending plan. You need to give yourself an idea of what your expenses will be like when you are not working. Some costs may come down (i.e. commuting costs) but others may rise. You need to account for everything you plan to do in retirement. For instance, will you be traveling? Aside from covering the day-to-days basics, you may also need to set aside some funds for leisure in your golden years.

The better you plan now, the more financially secure you will feel when you actually retire.

Freedom Family: Ryan Singer

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Get to know the team behind Freedom Debt Relief! Today, we will highlight Ryan Singer.

“Hi, my name is Ryan Singer, and I’ve been with Freedom since 2010. My main role is consulting with potential clients to ensure an easy and comfortable enrollment process in our debt resolution program.

I love what I do! It makes me feel great to help people reach their financial goals, both in the long-run and in the short-run. In fact, it’s one of the best parts about working at Freedom. 

Along with the great relationships I’ve developed with clients, I’m also lucky to have great colleagues. We have a positive office culture, and we’re all dedicated to helping people on their financial journey. 

There have been so many memorable moments here, but I just wanted to share one that really sticks with me.  It has to do with a client who was facing a major financial crisis. She had medical bills and other debts that were severely impeding her ability to move forward in life.

With our help, she has been able to settle many of her debts. Now, she’s able to do things that she didn’t think were possible before.  I’ll never forget her, because after each settlement, she calls me and tells me how thankful she is.

That is what makes my job so rewarding.

When talking to clients who are going through a tough time, I always remind them that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I love being able to help people move forward with their lives and get them on their way to reaching their financial goals.

If you are interested in getting out of debt or on the fence about doing so, just remember that you have options. Freedom is an awesome company that cares about your success. Don’t hesitate to call –  I look forward to chatting with you soon!”

What is Holding You Back From Dealing With Debt?

There are many things that can hold us back from dealing with debt. However, doing so makes a big difference in the lives of those who accomplish it. Perhaps the best way to get motivated about dealing with debt is to realize what life would be like if you didn’t have any.

Take our poll today: What is holding you back from dealing with debt?

online poll by Opinion Stage

Spring Clean Your Finances

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Can you believe how quickly the months have flown by? Spring is already upon us, and you know what that means – spring cleaning!

Just as you clean your home, your financial clutter needs an overhaul every now and again. I’m a believer that orderliness will help you resolve your debt and reach your financial goals. Don’t push it off any longer – there’s no better time to tackle your debt.

To get started, download your FREE Debt Relief Guide today.

  • See your debt relief options
  • How to prioritize your payments
  • Warning signs that you’re in trouble
  • Find the solution that’s right for you

All the best,
The Freedom Family

 

Freedom Family: Ernest Auger

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Get to know the team behind Freedom Debt Relief! Today, we will highlight Ernest Auger.

“My name is Ernest Auger, and I joined Freedom Debt Relief in September 2012. I am currently an Account Executive in the New Enrollment Department. The majority of my day is invested in handling consultations over the phone with potential clients across the country. I also work closely with insurance advisors to help solve consumer debt problems.

In addition to talking with potential clients, I work with existing clients that I have enrolled. I try to answer any questions they may have and make sure they are equipped with the knowledge and tools to be successful in the program.

Hands down, the best part of working at Freedom Debt Relief is the relationships I have built with potential and existing clientele.

I’m also thankful that I get to work with such an amazing team. The leadership and the culture here is the best I have ever experienced. It’s so motivating, and it makes me strive be better each day – pushing myself to levels I didn’t know existed. I wish I had started with Freedom Debt Relief years ago. I LOVE IT!

If you are interested in getting out of debt, I encourage you to give us a call to see how we may be able to help. What I have learned in life is that if you want to change the future, you must do things differently today. As the old saying goes – doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results, leads to insanity. 

Placing yourself outside of your comfort zone leads to change. It may be weird to change how we deal with our finances and resolve debt, but we know it’s the right thing to do. Though it may be a bit uncomfortable, it will be well worth it.

So, if you aren’t happy with how things are going now, try something different, or the next few years of your life will be the same as they have been. Freedom Debt Relief may be the answer when it comes to helping you resolve debt.

Connect with us – I (and the rest of my team) am ready to help!”

Famous Frugal Person: Mariska Hargitay

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Celebrity and thriftiness usually do not go hand-in-hand. However, some stars have the best of both worlds. They make millions but still possess the financial knowledge and discipline to keep their fortunes.

Today, our famous frugal person is Mariska Hargitay. You know her from the popular TV series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Even though Forbes once estimated that Mariska makes $8.5 million per year, she is known to be very sensible with how she spends her money.

Mariska even admitted, “I make a lot now, but I don’t feel that way, because I was poor and had no money for a lot longer than I’ve had it. As an actor, if the show ends next year, then what? As an aging woman, then what? I’m saving money to live on, for the future. There are not that many roles for women, and I’ve been blessed with one of the great ones.”

Her frugality seems deeply ingrained in her sensibility, and she knows not to take her fortune for granted.

I applaud Mariska Hargitay for her maturity, being able to look at things in the long term and recognize that life is unpredictable. Fortune is fickle.

Celebrity or not, wealthy or poor, that’s a quality that will keep us grounded and help us stay in charge of our finances.

What’s your biggest motivation for resolving debt?

Getting out of debt can be an overwhelming process. It’s just like changing any bad habit – uncomfortable to start, but you know it’s good for you. While it isn’t easy to tighten your budget while resolving debt, the end result will be completely worth it.

Take our poll today: What’s your biggest motivation for resolving debt?

online poll by Opinion Stage

Debt Settlement or Bankruptcy?

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Many people who come to Freedom Debt Relief ask us what the pros and cons are of debt settlement versus bankruptcy. They often wonder which would be more advantageous. Is one process “easier” than the other?

Unfortunately, that isn’t something that we can immediately answer. While debt settlement is often considered a great alternative to bankruptcy for qualified candidates, you should consult with a licensed attorney about bankruptcy and whether or not it is recommended for your specific situation.

As you evaluate all of your debt relief options, you’ll also need to consider some important distinctions between bankruptcy and debt settlement.

Who it’s for?

Bankruptcy: It is often viewed as an option of last resort, but if you are carrying more debt than you think is possible to pay back, it may be something to consider.

Debt Settlement: This option is best suited for people who are struggling with serious debt, have trouble making their minimum payments, and are looking for an alternative to bankruptcy.

What are the pros?

Bankruptcy: If you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be cleared of any obligation to pay back your unsecured debt. After exhausting other debt relief options, this may be an effective solution. However, after bankruptcy laws were reformed in 2005, it is now much harder to qualify for Chapter 7.

Debt Settlement: With this option, there is a potential to reduce the total amount of debt owed. Also debt settlement usually has a lower monthly program payment. Reputable debt settlement companies will only charge fees on resolved debts. If they don’t get you results, they shouldn’t get paid a dime!

What are the cons?

Bankruptcy: It’s a known fact that bankruptcy really hurts your credit. In fact, it can stay on your credit report for up to ten years. Also, the costs for filing for bankruptcy are not insignificant, so think carefully before choosing this option.

Debt Settlement: Although less severe than bankruptcy, debt settlement may have a negative impact on your credit score. In addition, creditors or collectors may still contact you during the settlement period.

I hope this will give you a better idea of what bankruptcy and debt settlement involve. If you’re not sure which one is right for you, speak to a debt specialist at 1(800) 544-7211 to find your best options!

Freedom Family: Melody Acierto

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Get to know the team behind Freedom Debt Relief! Today, we will highlight Melody Acierto.

“Hi, my name is Melody Acierto, and I’ve been with Freedom Debt Relief since 2007.  I currently work out of the Tempe, AZ office and while I’ve worn many hats at the company, some of my responsibilities include negotiating and approving settlements on our clients’ behalf and maintaining account records to make sure everything is properly processed. The client may not see all of the back-end work that goes into the settlement process, but it’s crucial, and I’m glad to be a part of it.

Over the years, I’ve built up great rapport with the agencies and creditors I’ve worked with and am able to use that experience to help Freedom clients. I must say I am truly blessed to be a part of the Freedom Family.  I feel great knowing that I am helping our clients on their way to a better financial future.  It makes me look forward to coming into work every day. 

My word of advice to those who are considering Freedom Debt Relief is to give us a call and get the information you need. That way, you can make the most informed decision for yourself. Our track record speaks for itself, and I encourage you to address your debt issues now before they get any worse.   

I’ve already referred people to Freedom Debt Relief, and I’ve always received great feedback from them after they completed the program! This is what we want for all of our clients – to be successful and happy with the partnership they have with us!

I look forward to helping many more Freedom clients reach their financial goals!”