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3 Tips For Consolidating Your Debt

debtIf you find yourself owing too much money and owe it to far too many people, you may want to consider consolidating your debts into one single payment each month. When this is done, you will simplify your personal finances. A single payment is made each month instead of paying several lenders. There is less chance of forgetting to make a payment to someone. The best part of consolidating your debts is that a single payment will be less than all of your monthly payments combined, and this will give you a little more cash each month, making your life easier and less stressful. The question is how to consolidate your debts. The following are three strategies to consider.

A debt consolidation loan
A debt consolidation loan is a single loan that will pay off all of your debt. If you are approved for this type of loan, your lender will likely be the one to pay off your debts, and then you will pay the lender a monthly payment until the loan is paid off. For large debts, you may need to provide security to get the loan.

Use a debt management service
A debt management service will consolidate your bills for you while at the same time negotiating your debt with your creditors. Often this type of company will be able to reduce the interest rates on the debt you owe and eliminate certain fees that may have recently been incurred. One payment is then made to the debt management firm, and they take care of the payments to your creditors.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy
In some situations, you may be completely overwhelmed by debt and simply cannot use the above two strategies. This may be a time to think about a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy filing is a reorganization and consolidation of your debts into a single payment to a trustee. This type of debt consolidation should be done with the help of an attorney. You must qualify for this type of bankruptcy, but it is easier to qualify for a Chapter 13 than a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This latter filing is when most or all of your debts are simply discharged by a bankruptcy judge.

Illness and the Internet: Browser beware!

illnessThe Internet has given each of us great power, and as we all know from watching the Spider-Man movies, with great power comes great responsibility.

I remember the day my youngest daughter became aware of the sweeping power of web search engines to help her find answers to pretty much any question she might have. “Dad,” she told me, her eyes wide open in wonder, “Google is like God.”

It may seem that way at times, because there’s a ton of information out there in cyberspace. But armed with the power to search, we also have the responsibility to make sure the information we’re receiving – and often then pass along to others – comes from a credible source.

A perfect example is when we’re looking for information about a medical condition.

There are more websites offering medical advice than you can shake a thermometer at, and not all of that information is reliable, to put it kindly. And we tend to go with the worst scenario possible out of all that information-gathering, and that can be a scary thing.

We Google “stiff neck” and become convinced we have spinal meningitis. We Bing “sore elbow” and are sure we’re having a heart attack. And don’t even ask about searching for “constipation” causes – some of the results are downright terrifying.

So what are some guidelines for obtaining accurate information on the Internet? We’ve gathered a few: