Guide to Personal Finance

Have you ever wondered what the terms Credit Counseling, Credit Card Consolidation encompass? Those are just two of the financial terms you will learn when you decide to learn the ins and outs of getting your finances in order. This day and age it has become too easy to get credit. Every time one opens their mail, there are at least two to three credit card offers. Be weary of which offers you consider. Always read the terms of the credit card offer. Even more important, be sure to read ALL the small print. There have been many a person who failed to do so and ended up with credit APR ratings doubling or tripling. When this happens, it becomes almost impossible to pay off the credit card debt. One rule that some credit card companies used to have was if you became delinquent or late with another credit card account, they could raise your interest rate on your card with them. Thank goodness recently the government stepped in and made that an illegal practice.

Credit Card Consolidation is a term used when you have let your credit cards get out of control. It simply means paying all the credit cards off with one loan, hopefully at a lower interest rate. This will only solve the problem if you learned from your mistakes and close some of the accounts after paying them off. Otherwise you will soon find yourself back in the same situation, plus the consolidation loan too. There has been some debate on what type of consolidation loan to apply for. Some believe a home equity loan is the answer. While others argue by doing this you will be putting your home in jeopardy of foreclosure if you fail to make the payments.

There are two states that help residents get their debt under control, Colorado and Maryland. Colorado Debt Consolidation works with the person in helping lower interest rates when possible and being an intermediary between them and their creditors. ( Maryland has a similar program that may require you not to apply for or use new or other credit while trying to pay off your credit card debt. (

While on the subject of debt consolidation, let’s touch on the Consolidation of Student Loans. Student loans can only be consolidated with other student loans. You can choose level repayment, graduated repayment, an income sensitive repayment plan or an extended repayment plan. For further information on this go to the consolidated student loan website:

Do not be enticed by websites that offer 3 in 1 Credit Reports. These offers are not totally free. They are free when you sign up for a credit monitoring service. Why pay for something the government mandated free as of September 1, 2005 once a year to everyone nationwide. Experian, TransUnion and Equifax all participate. These three also will supply you with a free credit report if you have identity theft issues. Plus they will put a fraud alert on your accounts for you.

The last consumer term we are going to explore is Merchant Account Credit. This is a credit card account used to accept credit cards for payment from consumers. You would only need this if you were to run a business that was to begin taking credit cards as payment for goods or services rendered. The information for choosing which credit card to take depends on what your specific business needs are.

I hope this Guide to Consumer Credit Terms has been helpful and answers any questions you may have had. Feel free to explore the websites listed for more information.