Monthly Archives: September 2015

Understanding The Hidden Costs of Cash Advance Loans

If you need cash in a hurry, and have a credit card, you might be tempted to use the ATM and your credit card for a cash advance. Its rather easy to break out the plastic and hit the ATM up when you need some fast cash. Yet these transactions can carry a hefty price.

Many people like to use this method for fast cash in a pinch because of how easy it is, and how quick it is. If you are stuck somewhere and need cash quickly, this method will do. It is as simple as hitting up an ATM. You would think it is the same thing as withdrawing money from your banks ATM, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The truth rests in your credit cards terms and conditions, or the fine print if you will. Before deciding on taking that cash advance you need to make sure you know what you are in for. On top of an ATM fee, with very few cards being excluded, you will face a service fee for that cash advance. This service fee may be upwards of 5 percent of the amount of the cash advance. This means paying a hefty fee just to use your own money.

While this 5 percent fee on top of the ATM fee might not sound to bad, especially if you are facing an emergency, that is not the only costs you will face. The interest rates that you will face will make that fee look like chump change, with most credit cards that is. There are a few select credit cards that do not charge extra interest, but these are few and far between. You likely will face interest rates that are far higher than your standard interest for purchases. Another catch 22 is that this interest compounds from the very day you withdraw the money, unlike when you use your credit card at the register for a purchase.

What does this boil down to? Well on a $1000 withdrawal, you are looking at about a $50 service fee. Then you are looking at several hundred dollars possibly in interest from day one. Most places take credit cards, so you would be better off just using your credit card at the register instead of doing a cash advance. If you run into a business that does not take cash, you need to ask yourself if it is really worth it before breaking out that credit card at the ATM.

If you are the type of person who needs cash advances, for example if you travel often overseas, there are options for you. These options however require excellent credit standing. If you have excellent credit you can obtain one of the few credit cards that do not charge extra interest or compounded interest from day one. These cards however are hard to come by, and the search for one may take some time, yet it would be wise to find one if you find yourself using cash advances often. Mind you that you will still have the service fee and ATM fee to deal with.

Tips For Researching Debt Settlement Companies Online

In our last article we discussed the dangers of dealing with and using a debt settlement company. If you are still planning on using one of these services, you should at the very least do your homework on the company you are intending to do business with. You owe it to yourself, after all to do due research into the company since you will be spending a lot of your hard earned money. Since the money you will be placing in escrow could be going towards paying down your debts, and the fact that your debts are going to increase during this time, you owe it to yourself to make the most educated decision you can on whether or not to do business with that debt settlement company.

The first order of business will be to call your state attorney general office and inquire as to whether or not the company you plan to do business with is required legally to be licensed to do business in your state, and if so, if the debt settle company in question is in fact licensed or not. If a license is required, and they do not have it, that is a huge red flag. You should also ask the state Attorney Generals office if there has been any complaints filed on them. Your local consumer protection agency is also another place to inquire about any complaints that may have been lodged on them, as well as your local Better Business Bureau.

Google and Bing are also your friends when it comes doing back ground checks on debt settlement companies. Simply type their name into the search engines along with terms like complaints, scam, fraud. Any negative information about these companies on the web will be highlighted right away. Any lawsuits that have been filed against them will also show up. You will want to hear about others experiences with the company, both good and bad. Be on the look out for any information regarding unfair practices, rip offs or deception.

Next you will want to learn what fees are involved, and when those fees can be triggered. Debt settlement companies can charge you a fee only when they have successfully negotiated a settlement with a creditor on your behalf, and they can only charge you a portion of the full fee. For example if you have 7 debts and they settle out two of those debts, they can only charge you for settling two of those debts, as the remaining 5 are still yet to be settled. You can also face a fee for the managing of your escrow account, but you are however entitled to interest on any money within that account.

Lastly make sure that the company you are dealing with has full disclosure. You want to ensure that the full cost and terms are disclosed and defined, as well as any conditions involved with the use of their service. The company must also be realistic in explaining how long it will take to see results, specifically how long it should take to make an offer to each of your creditors. They must also fully disclose the effect that not paying your creditors will have on both your credit report and your credit score, as well as the full scope of the consequences of not making payments to your creditors. You should also make sure that they are not the account administers, if they do in fact manage your escrow account this is a major red flag. The debt relief agency must also fully inform you of the minimum amount they need to collect from you before they will begin making offers to your creditors.

One thing to remember is that you can do this same service yourself, often with less impact to your credit score. I would advise anyone reading this not to do business with a debt relief agency as they offer very little, but can cost you dearly. Again just make sure to gather all of the facts before making any long term financial decisions that can affect your long term credit future.

Brought to you by the editorial team from Installment Loans Network, the top rated provider of personal and unsecured loans in the U.S. You can research credit cards, debt settlement and money saving advice online.