Tag Archives: debt

A letter to my past self: Put down those credit cards

Dear Past Self,

I have gone back and forth about whether I should send you this letter, because you know, if someone knows too much about their future it can mess with the space-time continuum and all that stuff. But things are kinda bad right now and I figured it was worth the risk.

I am writing to tell you to stop using those credit cards. This is not a joke. Seriously. Put. Down. The. Credit. Cards.

I know you’re having a lot of carefree fun right now and the bills seem manageable, but eventually things spiral out of control to the point of no return. Yes, future you is a bit dramatic. And broke. And depressed. And about to get evicted.

In particular, there are specific events that I’d like to warn you about, in hopes that you’ll recognize when they’re happening and avoid them completely:

You don’t have to accept every credit card offer you receive in the mail

I know you feel special every time a letter comes that says you’ve been selected to take advantage of a particular credit card program, and that being pre-approved means you simply can’t let the opportunity slip you by. But stop. Right now, you have two credit cards, and that’s an acceptable number. Future you has 27 of them.

Ban yourself from shopping online

It ends up getting way too easy to spend a lot of money in such a short time. You end up getting several packages on a daily basis over the next few years. You don’t even remember what you order anymore. You had a spare key made for the mailman. Your garage is literally filled with cardboard boxes and you can’t park your car in it. You’re sick, truly.

You really don’t need that Hawaiian t-shirt in every available color

They’re insanely overpriced, stupid looking, and we never end up wearing any of them. It’s kind of embarrassing how much we end up paying for them over the years when you factor in the interest charges. Now, there a ton of dumb purchases you’ve made throughout the years, but I really felt the need to bring this one to your attention. Please, just don’t.

Make bigger payments

I contemplated sending this letter to a point in time when you never even had a credit card yet, but when used responsibly, they are great tools for building your credit. But the keywords here are used responsibly. Those minimum payments are just barely covering the finance charges. Literally, our balances haven’t changed in the future by much. Make bigger payments! I know we have some extra cash to make it happen every month, and every little bit helps.

Don’t ignore your bills

If you’re stupid enough to ignore everything I’ve said in this letter so far, do us a favor and don’t end up ignoring your bills when things start to get overwhelming. Because it happens, and we end up getting awfully creative with those pesky bills that arrive every month. Campfire starters, birdcage liners, emergency toilet paper—you name it, we’ve done it. Definitely not good decisions. Open them up, make the payments, and repeat. Do what you can to work out payment plans with the creditors—don’t ignore their phone calls.

Contact J.G. Wentworth

I know times are tough and you’ve been using credit cards to catch up on other bills, but seriously, why? You’re receiving structured settlement payments and J.G. Wentworth can help get you that money sooner. Just call them and they’ll help you out!

 

That’s really all I can say, but I hope this letter reaches you and that you take it seriously, especially that last part.

Here’s to a less depressing future,

Your Future Self

Tips for paying off your debt

If you’re tired of those relentless calls from debt collectors and the pile of bills you haven’t even begun to tackle yet, the following tips can easily help you pay off your debt once and for all:

1. Create a budget

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If you haven’t already, sit down and make a list of the money you have coming in, and where it goes each month. It may not be the most thrilling task in the world (in fact, it can be downright depressing), but it needs to be done if you want a simple way to begin tackling your debt. Identify the expenses that are variable and the ones that you can cut down on. Some of your monthly expenses will be fixed, such as your rent. But other things, like food, utilities, etc. will vary month-to-month. Find things you can cut down on, ways you can spend more sensibly, and things you can get rid of completely (i.e. that monthly gym membership you’ve only used twice in the last three years). Once you can find areas that free up some extra cash, make a commitment to put it towards your overdue debts.

2. Go beyond the minimum payment

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It may seem impossible if you’re already struggling to make those minimum payments, but if you budget accordingly, it can be done. If you really want to make some serious progress, making the minimum payment won’t do much because that money mostly goes towards interest. Make it a goal each month to pay just a little bit more than your minimum. Even if you’re just paying a few bucks more, it’s a start. You can begin lowering more of your principal (and overall balance) when you go beyond that minimum payment.

 

3. Pick a repayment method

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You can tackle the debts that have the highest interest rate first and then work your way down. This might be a good method to choose if you have some credit cards with insanely high APRs. You’ll notice that as you begin banging out the stuff with sky-high interest rates, you’ll start saving more money overall. Another approach is just to work on your debts by the balances; you can start with your highest balance and work your way down, or if you want to begin closing out accounts as soon as possible by paying them in full, you might want to just get those small accounts out of the way first.

4. Don’t dodge the phone calls

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If you’ve gotten into the habit of storing all debt collector phone numbers under a “Do Not Answer” contact on your cell phone, or you’ve just simply blocked and/or tend to ignore any numbers you don’t recognize, consider actually answering. In fact, be the one to pick up the phone and reach out to them. Explain what’s happening and why you’ve fallen behind on your bills. Then, ask about settling your debt for less than what you owe. The older the debt, the more you’ll likely be able to negotiate it down. It’s actually possible to settle thousands of dollars of debt for just a few hundred. If they think they aren’t going to get anything out of you anyway, they often feel they have nothing to lose. At this point, settling may not help your credit score—unless they agree to wipe the debt from your credit report and mark it as paid in full. But at the very least, you won’t have to worry about other serious consequences, like your wages getting garnished.

Are you receiving structured settlement payments, but would prefer to receive your money sooner so that you can take care of debt? Contact J.G. Wentworth today to learn how you can sell future payments for a lump sum of cash.

 

Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.

J.G. Wentworth claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respective owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please e-mail information@jgwentworth.com with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

The process of getting your very first credit card

“I can’t wait until I’m old enough to finally get my own credit card,” you once told yourself, long before you knew any better. Fast-forward to the present and it might look a little something this: bills piling up, debt accumulating quickly, and tons of anxiety. If you can relate, you’d probably agree that the process of getting your very first credit card looks a little something like this:

1. Holy Batman! My very first credit card just arrived in the mail. I didn’t even have to do anything!

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2. Oh, it’s just cardboard. 

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3. Okay. An application that says I’m pre-approved. That sounds promising. Time to fill this bad boy out.

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4. Woohoo! I got approved! FREE MONEY!

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5. First bill arrived. Well, at least I only owe $10. I can swing that.

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6. Wait, these things come every single month?

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7. What is interest?

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8. Increased credit limit – MORE FREE MONEY!

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9. More approved credit card applications!

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10. …..and more bills.

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11. Confused as to why the minimum payments I make don’t really seem to go anywhere.

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12. People are calling here often. They sound….angry.

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13. This has gotten slightly out of hand.

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14. I guess I need to start selling some stuff.

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15. Maybe take on a second job.

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16. Or file for bankruptcy.

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17. Um, yeah. I think I’m gonna just use cash for a while.

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18. I hate my life.

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Do you have a substantial amount of credit card debt you need to pay off? If you’re receiving structured settlement payments, you may be able to receive that cash sooner and in a lump sum payment. Receiving your cash in a lump sum can make it easier to take care of large expenses, such as credit card debt. Contact J.G. Wentworth today to learn more and to receive your free quote!

J.G. Wentworth claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respective owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please e-mail information@jgwentworth.com with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

20 amusing tweets that hit close to home if you’re overwhelmed with bills

Monthly bills: They usually can’t be avoided, and sometimes adulting isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. If you’re overwhelmed with all of the different bills you’ve got to take care of each month, you’re certainly not alone:

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Do you need extra cash to take care of credit card debt? J.G. Wentworth may be able to help if you’re receiving long-term structured settlement payments. Contact J.G. Wentworth today to learn more about selling future structured settlement payments for a lump sum of cash.

16 funny tweets that anyone with credit card debt can relate to

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Are you receiving structured settlement payments, but would prefer to receive your cash sooner so you can catch up on bills and pay off credit card debt? Contact J.G. Wentworth today to find out how you can sell future payments for a lump sum of cash.

 

Why prepaid cards are better than credit and debit cards

It’s almost impossible these days to avoid using some type of credit card, and while you may be able to get by just using checks and cash, it probably won’t make your life very convenient. Generally, there are three choices to consider when exploring credit card options, which include traditional credit cards, debit cards, and prepaid cards. They might all offer their own benefits, but consider all the extra advantages that prepaid cards can offer that traditional credit cards and debit cards don’t. The following are some examples of the different ways that prepaid cards can be much more beneficial:

No debt

Sure, charging up a storm on a credit card with a decent credit line might allow you to go on that dream trip you’ve always wanted to take or to furnish your new home, but you know what they say: it’s all fun and games until your statement arrives. You’ll eventually have to pay that money back, and the longer you wait, the more in debt you’ll get. A debt won’t just disappear; it lingers for many years, and in the meantime, you face a lot of consequences. From plummeting credit scores to wage garnishment, debt is just not something you want to mess with. If you are able to pay your bills by making those minimum payments, you’ll avoid getting in trouble (i.e. judgments), but depending on how much you charged, you’ll still be in debt. Most of your small payments will go towards interest, which really increases the costs of your purchases over the years. That hamster you bought at the pet store and charged on your credit card, for example, certainly won’t just cost $10 by the time it’s finally paid off.

Less stress and fewer bills

Remember back in the day when people sent each other real letters via postal mail, and other fun stuff, like birthday cards? Well, those days are pretty much gone. If you dread opening up your mailbox because all it ever seems to contain is bills, why do you want to add to that? Why receive more bills in the mail and why add to that stress? Although you can opt to receive a statement with a prepaid card, which simply reminds you of all the awesome things you purchased and can help you track your spending, there is no bill—because you already paid for it!

Inexpensive and easy to qualify for

If your credit score is shot, qualifying for a traditional credit card might be next to impossible. And unless you have amazing credit, you’ll likely end up with a credit card with a high APR, if you are eligible for a traditional credit card. In order to have a debit card, you’ll need a bank account. Not all consumers are eligible to open up checking accounts, or they might be required to keep their balance above a certain amount if they want to avoid being charged a monthly maintenance fee. In the end, prepaid cards often cost much less than these other two options, and they are also super simple to qualify for as long as you have a deposit for your spending money.

Safety

From shopping online to restaurant visits, there is always a risk of your financial information getting stolen. If someone gets a hold of your debit card information and makes a ton of unauthorized charges, it can be a total nightmare. After all, this is money that is coming straight from your bank account, and you may never see that money again. With a traditional credit card, it can be a little bit easier to dispute the charges and get them reversed, but it’s not always simple. Not only is it a hassle to deal with, especially if a lot of damage has been done, but you may not be able to dispute all of the unauthorized transactions. A prepaid card, however, can be the safest payment method of all. If you only load a small amount of money at a time, and only when you know you’re about to charge on it, there is much less at risk.

Are you interested in opening up your own prepaid card? Visit our prepaid card section for more information on the prepaid cards we offer and to get your application process started today!

22 tweets that are painfully relatable for anyone with student loans

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Twitter: @smoon321

 

 

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Twitter: @CrazyRXMan

 

 

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Twitter: @TLHuizinga

 

 

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Twitter: @MartyKauffman8

 

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Twitter: @DanSanchez1869

 

 

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Twitter: @Zachthedestroyr

 

 

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Twitter: @themowryshow

 

 

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Twitter: @kgoody75

 



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Twitter: @KanyIZZY

 

 

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Twitter: @CourtneyDolson

 

 

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Twitter: @TyNostbakken15

 

 

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Twitter: @NotChrisChavez 

 

 

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Twitter: @VillanForHire

 

 

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Twitter: @burtyful

 

 

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Twitter: @saOlsen_

 

 

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Twitter: @KaraBoo_11

 

 

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Twitter: @biancascarlettt

 

 

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Twitter: @RadiancePoetry

 

 

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Twitter: @GeorgeTakei

 

 

 

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Twitter: @nick_glover

 

Whether you’re looking for another way to pay for college, or you already have student loan debt you need to pay off, you have other options. Contact J.G. Wentworth today to learn more about the personal loans we offer, or to sell your structured settlement payments for a lump sum of cash.

Tricks for giving your credit score a boost

Whether you’re about to apply for a credit card or you’re getting ready to fill out a leasing application for an apartment, your credit score might not currently be where you’d like it to be. Although significantly improving your credit is a long process that can sometimes take a few years, there are things you can do right now to give your score a little bit of boost. Sometimes, a small boost is all you need to put your score into a different bracket, and can mean the difference of your application getting approved or rejected.

Ask for a credit increase

If you’ve been paying all of your credit bills on time and have been keeping your balances fairly low, you may be eligible for a credit increase if you’ve had the account open for a while. If you’re not automatically given a credit increase after six months, ask for one—but don’t actually use it. Keep your spending habits the same and keep those balances low; if you have that higher credit line with a consistently low balance, it can help to improve your credit score.

Piggyback on someone else’s good credit

If you know someone with terrific credit, ask him or her if they would be willing to add you as an authorized user to one of their credit cards. You don’t have to have access to the credit card or make any charges with it—simply being added as an authorized user can help your credit without hurting theirs.

Settle your debt for less

If you have a lot of debt, in addition to past due accounts on your credit report, these are likely the main reasons that your credit score isn’t where you’d like it to be. Although settling overdue debts is one of the best ways to work on your credit, it’s not always financially feasible. However, many creditors are willing to accept what you can afford, and will often settle the debt for less than what you owe. During the negotiation process, be sure to also mention that you want the accounts to reflect as “paid” on your credit report. Otherwise, they might still show as past due accounts and still negatively affect your credit score, even though you’ve settled them.

Check your credit report for errors

Even minor credit report errors can cause your credit score to drop, so if you haven’t been already, be sure to monitor your credit report on a regular basis. If you do notice a mistake on your credit report, take action by disputing it. Once the item is removed from your credit report, you should notice an improvement in your credit score.

Diversify your credit profile

Lenders like seeing that a borrower has different types of credit, and by diversifying your credit profile, you can also potentially see a boost in your score. This means that if you’ve strictly used credit cards since you’ve begun establishing your credit, for instance, consider branching out. Whether it’s an auto loan or a personal loan, mixing up the types of credit you have will usually help improve your score—so long as you’re timely with the payments.

Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.

14 signs that you’re probably using your credit cards a bit too much

1. You’re completely horrified every time you look at your monthly statements.

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2. Or you’ve decided to just dispose of them in creative ways.

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3. You’re constantly asking people to loan you money so you can pay your bills.

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4. If you actually do you take a short break from spending, you receive a call from your credit card issuers, because for you, it’s “suspicious activity.”

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5. You don’t even remember what credit cards you have anymore.

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6. You have so many credit cards that you can’t keep track of, you’ve literally applied for one of the exact same ones you already have.

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7. When friends/family/your spouse/basically anyone you’ve ever interacted with/bring up your spending problems, you become slightly….defensive.

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8. You checked your credit score and didn’t know it was even possible for it to get that low.

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9. You depend on your credit cards for every. little. purchase.

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10. You find yourself scraping together every penny just to make those minimum payments.

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11. Your wallet is full—with credit cards. Cash, not so much.

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12. You are constantly buying things nobody would ever want or need.

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13. Like, you know they’re a bad idea, but you buy them anyway because why not? You’re just charging them.

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14. And 50 years later, you’re still paying them off.

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How to Pay Off Your Debt with a Lump Sum

Hi Everyone, J.G. Wentworth here.

Debt has become a growing concern affecting countless Americans. And while some are able to manage their financial issues on their own, others find themselves knee-deep in debt and looking for a solution. Fortunately, J.G. Wentworth can help.

By selling your structured settlement payments for a lump sum of cash, you can start climbing your way out of debt and move towards a fresh financial start. While you must make the decision as to how to pay off your debt with your lump sum, below is helpful information regarding the two most commonly used types of debt payoff methods and the benefits of each. Before you have received any money from selling your structured settlement payments, you should list all of your debts. Then, by taking a look at your debts and what you owe, this will help you decide which debt payoff method below fits you best.

1.  Pay off the highest interest rate first

Paying off your debt with the highest interest rate first can grant you several benefits. To begin with, this method may allow you to save money in the long term. Think about it – holding onto a loan with a 7% interest rate and paying off a 14% loan could save you money, depending, of course, on the amount of the 2 debts owed.  Additionally, paying off your debt with the highest interest rate first, is emotionally refreshing. You’re paying off the highest rate you owe, leaving you with lower rate payments that should motivate you to pay off even more of your debt.

2.  Pay off the highest balance first

Others, however, have turned to the “snowball method” in which they pay off their debts from the smallest to largest amount, while making minimum payments on other balances. Several prefer this method because after paying off one amount in full and seeing results, they become motivated to continuously make other payments.

Both payment methods have proven themselves effective in helping those people struggling with debt. By reviewing your own financial situation, you can determine which method fits you best. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how a lump sum can help you pay off your debt, feel free to contact us.