How to clear your credit report like a pro

If you are dreaming about a new home or a car, it’s a good time to check your credit report before hunting down potential lenders. This is a mirror of your financial maturity, your ability to take care of debt in a systematic way, proving good faith. The idea of a score measuring integrity is almost 30 years old and has been perfected over the years. Currently, the FICO algorithm is at its 9th version which takes some of the burdens of unpaid medical bills, doesn’t count the paid collections as debt and takes into consideration rent as an indicator. If you are below that perfect 700+ range, here are a few ideas that could prove useful to get it a few points up in a couple of months. Remember, there are no quick fixes.

Is it talking about you? The devil is in the details

As astonishing as it might seem, over 25% of credit reports contain errors. Therefore, it is safe to assume that without proper verification your score could be different. The first line of defense is to ensure the debt is indeed yours. Name spelling mistakes, changes of address or other similar errors could result in assigning the wrong person with a record that impacts their score. If you see any mismatch in your personal data (name, DOB, social security number), contact each of the three offices and notify about discrepancies.

Dispute judgements

One of the most damaging things you can have on your credit report is a judgment since this stays on your name for seven years. The unsatisfied judgments can seriously affect your score, and you should do your best to remove them either by full payment or negotiating installments if the value is significant. Vacated judgments should be reported to the bureaus to prevent them from turning into phantom money. The worst-case scenario is a re-filed judgment which is another seven years of bad luck on your FICO statement. If you have such a problem, consult the following material on clearing your statement

Avoid hard inquiries

Every time you apply for a credit card, a mortgage or any other type of loan, the lender or bank will perform a hard inquiry that impacts your FICO score. The fact that you are looking for credit means that you don’t have enough cash and you could present a risk to a lender. Shopping around too much can lower your score for 12 months. If you are not sure you want to apply for a particular product, ask the lender to perform a soft inquiry or a simulation. If you have past hard inquiries, over 12 months old, check that these have been appropriately removed.

Phantom money?

If one of your accounts is given to a collections agency, it could show up twice on your report. This error is easy to spot when you see the amount twice, from two different creditors. It should not happen since you own the same amount, just to a distinct entity. Debt that has been paid, but not removed from your report falls in the same category.

Ask for forgiveness on bills paid a few days later

Everybody makes honest mistakes and can forget about payment. If it is a one-time occurrence, you can ask for a good faith agreement. A creditor who has a long positive history with you will most likely admit your claim and remove it from your credit report.  Another idea is to promise that you will automate payments to avoid missing any other terms.

What situations did you encounter on your credit reports and how did you solve them?

3 ways to reduce your debt right now

Around 8 in 10 people are in debt. From personal loans, to credit cards and credit facilities, unsecured debt is used widely. As interest rates have risen and the cost of living continues to go up, for many the focus is now on reducing existing debts to avoid paying more interest on them. This is especially important if you have high cost borrowing on doorstep loans or other short term loans. So, what can you do to reduce your debt right now?

  1. Pay it off with what you have

Even with recent interest rate rises, the cost of debt today is still significantly more than the potential interest you can earn from savings. So, it makes a lot of sense to use at least some of any savings you have to reduce existing debts and stop paying the interest on them. If you don’t have savings then look for other ways to start chipping away at debts. Selling old electronics, books, clothes or unwanted Christmas gifts could quickly generate cash you can use to reduce your debts. You could also look at reworking your budget so that, for the next few months at least, you spend less of your income and put the savings towards repaying your debt instead.

  1. Look for ways you can save

Ask your current lenders to reduce the interest rates on your existing debts so that you’re paying less for them overall. If the lenders won’t negotiate then refinancing your debts with a lower interest rate – or consolidating them – will reduce what you owe in total. Be proactive about finding better deals for monthly expenses, such as energy costs or insurance. If you’re able to reduce what you’re spending each month – starting from now – then you’ll create “spare” cash that you can put towards reducing your debts.

  1. Analyse how you’re paying your debts

If you have multiple debts then look at the way that you’re managing these debts. Are you paying more on the lower interest rate debts and so find yourself stuck with the more expensive debt for longer? Do you repay debt on a credit card each month only to then go on and re-spend everything a week later? If you want to reduce your debt now then it may simply be a case of reorganising the way that you’re making repayments – and changing your priorities. Cut up your cards so that you can’t spend what you repay and the balance remains reduced. Reschedule your payments so that you’re paying more to the debt with the highest interest rate first.

Reduce your debt right now – quick tips

  • Make a debt repayment plan and stick to it
  • Start making two minimum payments per month
  • Transfer your balance to a cheaper lender
  • Improve your credit score to access better interest rates
  • Get better at budgeting and find extra cash to reduce your debts
  • Consolidate multiple debts into a single one with a lower interest rate
  • Stop spending – cutting back will mean that all your efforts to reduce your debt will have much more impact


5 Invoicing Mistakes That Will Kill Your Business

Making money is great. Congratulations if you’ve landed a new client or had successful sales. Do you want to keep it up?

Of course you do. That’s why you need to be careful not fall into the trap of messing up the invoicing process. It’s really common that businesses and freelancers will expect to simply send the bill and collect the money, but there are a few mistakes you need to avoid if you want to keep that business going.

Steer clear of these 5 invoicing mistakes and you’ll set yourself up for success.

1. Not listing the terms on invoices.

You spend time networking to get the meeting. You talk with the prospect about what you can do to help. You email the lead your proposal with all the specifics. You both agree on the terms and, finally, you land the client.

Now you just send the bill and get to work. Right? Wrong. It might seem redundant to include the terms of your arrangement on the invoice. After all, you discussed this with the client verbally, they signed the contract, and you’re both clear on what to do next.

Even when things seem like they’re packaged neatly in your contract and you both are on the same page, listing the terms on every invoice is absolutely critical for you for a lot of reasons.

The payment terms, for one, are important because you don’t know if the person paying this bill is the same one that you’ve spoke with. They may have no information on what you and the buyer agreed on let alone who you even are. Include the date when you expect to receive payment and how much of the total payment you expect on your invoice to avoid this confusion.

List the services you’re providing on every invoice and when you will deliver them by. This is for your own sanity as well as the health of your relationship with the client. When you have a list of what you’re doing each month it becomes easier to plan ahead for you and the client can’t use the lack of clarity as a reason to ask for more or claim that you didn’t deliver.

Seriously, include this information on every invoice. You’ll be preventing headaches down the road and keeping clients happy by doing so.

2. Not branding the invoices.

Let’s face it. “Many of the invoices sent today are not from agencies or large companies with established branding and logos,” says Deep Patel, the founder of Owlmetrics.

If you’re one of the thousands of individual freelancers or small businesses that regularly invoice clients, you shouldn’t use your size as an excuse to miss the opportunity to increase your brand awareness and appear as professional as possible.

If you don’t have a logo already look into getting one made using a site like Deluxe, so that you can include it in your invoices.

If you have a logo, but haven’t yet incorporated it in the header of your invoices, take the time to add it. Not only does this make you more professional looking, but you never know who’s looking. I had a client come to me to help market her startup simply because she noticed my brand on the invoices that she paid for her 9-5 job. It’s an important little detail that can get you big results, so make sure you brand your invoices!

3. Not accepting multiple forms of payment.

If you’re running an ecommerce business or other site where you accept payments online, you’re leaving tons of value on the table by limiting the types of payment you accept.

As the world continues to go digital and new options become available for both domestic and international payment you’ll want to be set up for success no matter what the next invoicing innovation might be.

Consider partnering with a company like Due for a quick and easy way to accept just about any type of payment online that the world can throw at you. It makes it easy to collect without having to learn about each payment option and do all the on-site implementation for each choice.

4. Not factoring in fixed costs and expenses

“Invoicing for the services provided and ignoring the fixed costs that you incur as you provide them can be a costly mistake to make,” says Mike Clum, the founder of a Facebook advertising agency.

Obviously, the fixed costs associated with your business are going to vary depending on what you do, but they always impact the financial results over the long run unless you account for them. Consider the tools you use for clients and how much they cost you on a monthly basis. Factor in the money you spend on marketing services like Facebook ads and other PPC campaigns.

Add up all of your expenses and fixed costs before you start quoting prospects on price. When you land clients, include a breakdown of the costs in your invoice to them.

Every business has operating costs, but it’s easy to forget about accounting for them when quoting prices. Don’t make this mistake. If you have several costs that can be spread between clients, make sure you include them in your invoices so you’re not shouldering the entire burden every month. By doing this you avoid any surprises down the road when you start accounting for your income.

5. Not establishing invoicing agreements or collecting retainers before starting.

When you’re a freelancer or just getting started with your business, landing those first few clients is a great feeling. It’s so important to keep things logical and systematic when you’re in business for yourself.

Without keeping up systems like your retainer collection policy and setting up clear and written invoicing agreements, you’re risking damage to your business and the relationship with your client.

This invoicing mistake can be avoided with a little planning and organization on your part before you go prospecting for new business.

The Best Ways to Crowdfund Property Investments 

Most of us are no strangers to crowdfunding. Perhaps you’ve donated to a friend’s Kickstarter campaign, or given money to a hot new product that you think shows potential. In recent years, though, the face of crowdfunding has changed. Instead of cash donations, crowd funders are instead investing in small stakes in projects, with property becoming one of the fastest-growing sectors in the industry.

Businesses are able to market formerly private investments to the public and are designed to help startups get their foot through the door. Property crowdfunding has also been adopted by house-flippers as an alternative to bank financing, which can sometimes be difficult to access. Nowadays, there are more and more crowdfunding platforms breaking into the field of property investments.

Crowdfunding helps to level the playing field in today’s housing market, giving individuals the opportunity to participate in lucrative projects that were formerly only available to large-scale investors. Now, lawyers, doctors, small business owners, and other professionals can invest in properties from family developments to shopping centers. Property crowdfunding is still relatively new, but if you’re interested, there are a couple of avenues that you can follow when investing.

Equity Crowdfunding

Equity crowdfunding platforms allow investors to participate in projects alongside major property companies as they build or develop new properties. Typically, investors might raise some cash by releasing home equity, using alternate savings or even taking out a loan for investment purposes. Investors receive a share of the profits without having to worry about managing any property themselves. Fees are typically reasonable, usually between 0.5% and 3% annually, and there’s often a low barrier of entry for interested investors.

Syndicated Debt Crowdfunding

Instead of allowing individuals to invest directly, debt syndication platforms divide up an existing housing loan and syndicate it out to several investors. These loans are usually offered by private lenders instead of banks, and often issue high interest rates. While syndicated debt crowdfunding is less risky than equity crowdfunding, it also includes a middleman, which means lower returns for the investor.

Platform-issued Debt Crowdfunding

This model often involves smaller properties, including single-family homes that are to be renovated and resold for a quick profit. Many house-flippers use this type of crowdfunding to raise the money they need to fix up and sell a property. Investors can buy into a property backed loan with the platform acting as a lender, so no middleman is involved. This type of investment is relatively low-risk and often yields results quickly, but offers less upside than equity.

How to Organize a Stunning Destination Wedding on a Budget

Nearly 350,000 destination weddings occur each year, representing 24 percent of all American marriages annually. A destination wedding can provide the happy couple and guests with a memorable travel experience that adds to the excitement and fun surrounding a wedding.

Unlike weddings that occur locally, destination weddings can be difficult to plan because of a variety of logistical challenges. Whereas it is usually easy enough to visit a wedding venue should questions about seating or catering arise, it is often much harder to access a destination wedding venue during the planning process because of the need to travel.

This article will help those interested in organizing a memorable destination wedding to do so without breaking the bank. Follow a few simple tips to create an occasion that will satisfy everyone involved.


Find a destination that offers a lot of value


A study published by the Knot found that the average cost of a wedding varies greatly between different states. For example, it costs approximately $22,000 to throw a wedding in Oregon but double the amount to get married in Los Angeles, California.

Those interested in hosting a destination wedding, be it inside of or outside of the United States should first identify a wedding destination that offers genuine value. Finding a destination that traditionally offers good bang for your buck is a great way to prevent the need to go into debt to finance a wedding. Otherwise, you’ll need to invest in some serious credit repair efforts.


Search for well-made attire produced by boutique brands


Well-known brands charge a premium for items that might otherwise be considerably less. This is true for a number of industries including the fashion industry. For those searching for a well-made wedding dress, it is best to avoid purchasing the dress from a name brand designer. Instead, look at the dresses offered by famous designers and choose a similar style offered by a lesser known brand. Azazie offers stunning bridal and bridesmaid dresses that are reasonably priced.

The groom and groomsmen should follow similar advice. It is best to look for items that were made to last, without focusing on household brands. Take the dress shoes designed by Taft Clothing as an example, the same shoe offered by a name brand might retail for two times as much.


Ask guests to chip in for wedding expenses


There are a number of new platforms designed to make it simply for the bride and groom to collect cash gifts that can be used to pay for aspects of the wedding. Tools like Zola and Zankyou allow new couples to start funds that encourage wedding guests to generously provide money rather than gift yet another unnecessary homeware.


Combine the wedding with the honeymoon


Having a destination wedding offers a unique benefit that can help to save money while providing a memorable experience. If the bride and groom choose the right destination, the wedding can double as a honeymoon retreat. Instead of needing to pay for airfare and accommodations after the wedding, both experiences can be rolled into one.

By bundling transportation, and accommodations it is likely that the happy couple will be able to negotiate a more reasonable rate for big tick items related to the honeymoon. Hotels for example are often willing to lower room rates for those who book a block of rooms, something the couple can benefit from when the wedding is over and the honeymoon begins.


Plan festivities well in advance


A great way to save money on a destination wedding is to plan the festivities well in advance. Booking flights and hotels are usually less expensive when done in advance. Planning in advance will also give you time to negotiate price with various wedding vendors, something that is much harder to do when trying to plan a wedding at the last minute.

To negotiate the price of various vendors, get a quote from a series of competing providers. Negotiate each quote down if possible, and share the quote with the other prospective vendors. Doing this in advance is often a great way to get rates that might otherwise be difficult to secure.


A destination wedding has the potential to make what would ordinarily be a special occasion, even more memorable. To save money on a stunning destination wedding, be sure to select a destination that is usually well-price. Purchase wedding attire from smaller boutique brands, and consider asking wedding guests for cash gifts that can be used to pay for some wedding costs.

Planning in advance, and organizing a joint wedding and honeymoon are other ways to reliably save money while planning a spectacular destination wedding.

When are you not covered by home insurance? The Pittsburgh Example

“Pittsburgh, it’s just more prone to flooding.”According to Action News, the geographical location of Pittsburgh and the increase in ferocity of rain storms, have led to the nightmare flooding scenario that has occurred in the city this summer.

Due to the high likelihood of flooding in some areas of the city; they are designated flood zones, where state law requires home owners to have flood insurance. In other areas this is not the case, and home owners have had to face the nightmare of not being covered by their home insurance. Flooding is just one occurrence that is not covered; what other surprises might there be if you ever must make a claim?

What your home insurance probably will not cover

You do not want to be in the same situation as some of the people in Pittsburgh, so it’s always best to know what your home insurance covers. Too many people do not read all of the content of their home insurance policy; you need to spend some time doing so. This is the best way to find out exactly what it covers. Here are some tips about what is not likely to be included in coverage.

  • Mold – most policies do not cover this, unless you pay extra. Mold can be expensive to deal with so it’s best to try and prevent it from appearing in the first place.
  • Damage from construction work – this is an important consideration if you are having your property renovated or extended. You need to make sure you are covered in case of any damage. When you hire a contractor, you should check that they are fully insured. You may also need to take out specialist insurance.
  • Expensive collectables – if you own any expensive jewelry or antiques, you probably already have them insured separately. If not, you need to make sure that you take out separate insurance as soon as possible.
  • Trampoline accidents – given how many people now have trampolines in their yard, for their children to play on, this could be an important exclusion. It’s worth checking that you would be covered if your children, or their friends, had an accident.
  • Infestation by termites – if your home suffers from one of these infestations, it can end up costing you thousands of dollars to repair the damage. The best way to stop this from happening is to try and prevent an infestation.

This list of potential exclusions is not exhaustive. When you buy a home insurance policy, you should check what is not included in coverage.

What else do you need to think about?

Home insurance is an important investment, so you need to take time to choose the right policy. You will have seen the advertisements for big name insurance providers such as All State and MetLife. But, you may want to start by approaching your bank for advice. Institutions such as PNC Bank help with several different financial products, including home insurance. You can visit PNC bank to discuss your requirements with the experts. It’s worth checking with your bank, to see what it offers. Then you can research all of your options, and make the best decision for you.

Do not forget that exclusions should always be included in any consideration. It’s fine choosing a cost-effective policy, but you do not want to be the victim of any unpleasant surprises in the future.

How to personalise your home away from home on a budget

Owning a holiday home can offer an array of benefits. Not only do you get to visit whenever you have a spare weekend, but you can rent it out to friends, family and strangers for cash. But how can you personalise your home away from home and make it feel welcoming? We’ve put together some home improvement tips to consider if you want to make your holiday home the best it can be.

  1. Use soft furnishings

Soft furnishings, such as cushions, bean bags and outdoor chair covers can make your home feel more inviting and offer you endless hours of comfort. What’s more, you can pick up attractive cushion covers and other soft furnishings cheaply wherever you are in the world. Interior design company Graham & Brown has put together a useful guide to using soft furnishings in your home – check it out for inspiration as to what cushions and throws you should buy for your property.

  1. Add a personal touch

The best way to personalise your home away from home is to add personal touches, such as photographs and trinkets, which remind you of your friends and family back in the UK. You can print off photographs from your smartphone for just a couple of pounds, and pick up cheap frames that finish off your look. However, remember that if you are going to be renting out your holiday home to generate a side income, through a Monaco estate agency, for example, then you should aim to ‘de-personalize’, or keep your private family photos hidden away when you’re not in the property.

  1. Let them decide

If you have children and you want to help them get involved in your home away from home, then let them decide on the style of their own bedrooms. For example, you could visit a local DIY store and let your children choose their favourite wallpapers or colour schemes, and then pair it with matching bedding and furnishings. You don’t need to spend a fortune to transform a bedroom – a lick of paint or new wallpaper is often enough to make a house feel more like a home.

  1. Show off your travels

If you’ve invested in a home away from home, then the chances are that travel is an important part of your life. Show off your journeys and make a personal statement in your home by turning walls into travel display units, adding postcards, photographs and trinkets from your travels as you go. You could even splash out on an oversized world map, and pin Polaroid pictures and plane tickets on destinations that you’ve visited. It’s a fun and unique way to showcase your love of travel – and personalise your home away from home without splashing the cash!

There you have it – four great ways to give your home away from home some personality without digging deep. Whether you’ve built your own holiday property or you’re moving into an existing building, you’ll find that a few simple touches can make you feel right at home, wherever you are.

How To Make Extra Money Dog-Sitting

 Many pet sitters don’t define what they do as “work.” They get to do one of their favorite things, and get paid in the process! It’s hard to imagine a more perfect way to earn money on the side. is a wonderful community of dog-loving owners and caregivers. The site does all the work of connecting you with clients, getting you paid, and making sure that everyone involved has a wonderful experience—including the dog!

Once your sitter application is accepted by the approval team at Rover, you’ll be taken through each step of launching your services:

  1. Creating a profile

 Help dog owners in your neighborhood get to know you. You can specify what services you’ll offer, set your own rates, and describe your experience. This is where you can let your personality come through! Owners are looking for a friend and companion for their pets, and they want to get to know who you are. Writing isn’t your strong suit? No worries—apply for RoverGO and that team will take care of writing your profile, too.

  1. Marketing your services

Rover will automatically feature your profile whenever local owners make a targeted search. Want to increase your ranking? Ask for reviews from friends whose dogs you’ve watched in the past, keep your availability up-to-date, and respond quickly when you get a request. You’re well on your way to your first paid sit!

  1. Acing the Meet & Greet

 When you first meet a dog and her parents, you’ll probably want to jump right into playtime—but hold on. It’s best to approach the pup gently and let her make the first move, so she can warm up to you. With a skittish dog, you may want to walk alongside them, avoiding direct eye contact and letting them lick your hand.

The Meet & Greet could be on neutral ground, such as a park or yard. Be prepared with questions, and take notes. Once you get a sense of the dog’s personality, likes, and dislikes, you can engage more directly: play with a favorite toy, go for a walk together, or just get on the dog’s level and talk to them.

  1. Your first sit

Whether you’re boarding a dog in your home, house-sitting in the owner’s space, or doing drop-in visits and walks, communication is the key to excellent customer service. Know the owner’s expectations, and outline your plans clearly. The app makes it effortless to update the owner regularly, and to check in if any questions come up. Stick to a dog’s usual routine as much as possible, with regular mealtimes and bedtime, and spend extra time playing and going on walks so they know you’re there for them. Be sure you have any emergency numbers you might need before the stay begins.

Finally, it’s time to get paid! After your first stay, don’t forget to leave a review of the dog for your notes, and stay in touch with the owners for future care opportunities. You’re a pro dog-sitter now!

3 Steps to Retiring Comfortably

Retirement is pretty inevitable, yet only a few workers focus on the notion of leaving the corporate world. Statistics show that less than half of the work population in countries such as the United States are ready for a complete exit from their job. Most workers either have debt that will lead them well into their old age or have failed to save enough to avoid seeking part-time work during the retirement years. Still, even with the statistics being a bit disheartening, it is possible for those over the 40-year-old threshold to start saving for the golden years now. Here are three ways that you can prepare your finances for retirement.

1 Set a goal and stick with it

It is not enough to tell yourself that you need to have thousands saved in the bank for retirement. You need to have a specific dollar amount to strive for along with a plan that you can stick with while en route to retirement. It is best toset reasonable standards and start savingsmall amounts. Then, as time passes and your priorities adjust, you can begin putting back a significant percent of your paycheck every two weeks. A general rule of thumb is for those over 40-years-old to set aside at least 20 percent of their monthly pay for retirement. Your situation may differ depending on the amount of debt you have and the type of lifestyle to plan to pursue during the retirement years.

2 Take advantage of your employer’s retirement plan

Many people stop short of what the company takes out of their check for retirement. You, however, should go deeper and discover all of the benefits associated with your pension savings plan. Find out if you can contribute more every pay period and if there are other ways to increase your financial gains. Your retirement plan works for you if you take advantage of all of its incentives.

3 Invest wisely

Investing has everything to do with quality and little concern with quantity. You can have dozens of stocks in your portfolio with only a few of them lending profits suitable for living. At the same time, it is possible to invest in one company and make thousands in return. Understanding the market is key when you arebuying stocks for retirement. A professional advisor can help you diversify your portfolio and ultimately reduce the risk of you losing all of your money with one bad investment.

Retirement is not all fun and games. You can find yourself in a serious financial bind if you fail to prepare for your exit from the workforce. Getting ready with consistent saving practices, smart investments and, of course, frugal spending is the best route to success.

5 Ways to Pay Less on Credit Cards

Credit card debt is an issue that most American households face. Statistics suggest that 1 in 3 Americans carry balances on their credit cards. Credit card debt adds a significant burden to the overall level of household debt, and reducing it is priority #1 for borrowers. Once a debt exists, it needs to be repaid, to avoid the ballooning interest-related repayments on that debt. Most people understand that debt repayment is the easiest way to reduce the debt burden, but are there alternative options available to pay less on credit cards when debt already exists?

This article explores some inventive ways of tackling credit card debt, by seeking out contrarian options to pay less on credit card debt. We will first examine how to reduce your debt burden by using conventional means, and then provide you with ingenious methods to use the system to your advantage. First, we will tackle the issue of repayment of existing debt. Here are 5 ways to rapidly repay your credit card debt:

  1. Make Timely Payments on Each Outstanding Credit Card. It is advisable to always make on-time payments for each of your outstanding credit card debts. If you miss a payment, you will be billed late charges, and additional debt will be incurred on your debt.
  2. Pay off More Than the Minimum Every Month. It is common knowledge that the more you pay, the less you pay. Since you’re probably dealing with APRs in the region of 20% – 30%, you probably realize that the minimum monthly repayments barely scratch the surface of the interest component of your credit card debt. Pay more than that, and you are paying down the principal.
  3. Evaluate Your Expenditures. This may seem an odd inclusion in credit card debt repayment, but it is valid. Once you categorize your expenditures, you will see which components of your spending habits can be curtailed. By categorizing spending, you can budget accordingly and reduce expenditures. The money that you save by curtailing expenditure can be used to pay down your credit card debt.

Now let’s look at some unconventional ways to reduce the total amount that you’re paying on credit card debt.

  1. Compare different types of credit cards . There are many ways to do this, the best of which involve credit card aggregator sites. These provide comparative statics for you to evaluate one credit card against another. There are multiple options available, such as American Express, Discover, Visa, and MasterCard. Once you have compared different types of cards, it is advisable to pick cards with the lowest APR. APR is an acronym for annual percentage rate – the lower the better. The APR includes things like the interest rate, fees, commissions, hidden charges, and monthly maintenance fees, and all other lesser-known charges that raise your interest rate. You may find it useful to select a 0% APR credit card (typically for 12 months – 18 months) since this will reduce your interest -related payments on your credit cards.
  2. Debt consolidation loans have proven to be one of the most effective ways of paying less on credit card debt. A debt consolidation loan ‘consolidates’ similar types of debt such as credit card debts into a single loan which is repayable over a pre-set period of time, at a lower interest rate than the prevailing credit card rate. This is a great way to reduce your overall burden. The thing about a debt consolidation loan is that you will pay off your credit cards instantly, so there will be no monthly carryover and interest-repayments on outstanding debt.
  3. Pay off your highest credit card debts first, particularly those with high APRs. Since these are associated with the highest interest repayments, they are the most burdensome debts.
  4. Use cashback to your benefit. Most credit cards offer perks such as frequent flyer miles, or cashback. You will typically receive between 1% cashback and 2% cashback. If you are going to be spending money on things like home renovations, new equipment, new furniture etc., it’s always a good idea to use the cash back option to receive cash back on those types of purchases. Remember to repay your credit card bill in full before the end of the month so that you don’t incur interest-related charges on those expenditures. If you don’t make a timely payment, you will nullify the effectiveness of the cashback offer.
  5. The fifth and final tip to pay less on your credit cards is to avoid using credit cards at ATMs. Many folks are unaware that the fees on withdrawing cash from ATMs are highly restrictive. You’re better off using your credit card at a POS terminal, but do not use it at an ATM because you will be paying through your nose to withdraw those funds.
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