3 Simple Ways to Ease Debt Trouble

getting out of debtWith American consumers now owing $11.91 trillion in debt, it’s time to learn how to start paying that back. Finance is one of those things that takes a while to get, and when you’re young, it may seem like it’s not a priority. But with that much money in outstanding debt, Americans need to take a serious look at their finances and figure out how to make it a priority. Read on for three easy ways to get on track.

Cut Cards
Did you know that the average American home owns 13 different payment cards? This leads to a lot of overspending, because many of us see the credit limit as our own money. That just isn’t the case. That company is paying for you, and then you need to pay it back — often with huge amounts added due to interest. The key is to never spend more than you can realistically pay back.

Track
You need to track and prioritize spending if you’re serious about getting out of debt. Prioritizing and tracking helps you decide what is important, so that you can spend more money paying off debt.

Annuities
An annuity is a sum of money paid out every year. They are offered in varied lengths, with the two most popular being over the course of 25 years or until death. Getting out of debt may be easier by making money work for you, and then taking the lump sum every year and putting it toward paying off your debt fast. An annuity settlement would make getting out of debt even easier. Speak to a financial advisor about possibilities.

What do you think? Are these ideas simple enough to get you started on paying down your debt? Do you have any other ideas? We would love to hear your thoughts, comments, and ideas!

3 Ways to Reduce Debt

ways to reduce debt

Managing your personal finances can be hard and feel impossible a lot of the time, and when you add in debt, it can feel overwhelming. The great thing is, there are ways to reduce debt that don’t require you to be a financial genius. With a little bit of planning and a lot of tracking, your loftiest financial goals can be within your reach sooner than you thought possible. Read on for just a few ways to reduce debt in your household.

Consolidate
In the average household, American adults owe $11,244 in student loans, $8,163 on their autos, and $70,322 on their mortgage. If you can consolidate any or all of your loans, you should absolutely do it. Consolidating means paying one bill, paying one interest rate, and being able to track your debt much easier. This is the best option to reduce debt in a better way.

Freeze Credit Cards
The average home in America has 13 different payment cards, and about 40% of families are spending more than they earn. Another thing that can help you out is freezing some of those cards. Doing this will ensure that you are no longer putting yourself in more debt by spending more money than you can reasonably pay back. The golden rule of better finances is only juggling them with a few cards at a time.

Manage Your Finances
With words like “annuity” and “stock” it can often feel like you are fighting an uphill battle when it comes to understanding your finances. Getting out of debt can be as easy as tracking your finances though! For a couple of months, track every single thing you spend money on. Then, go over it and figure out where you can be saving money. This will free up money to use to pay down your debt.

Did you find these tips helpful? Will you be using any of them? We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments!

3 Tips for Better Finances

manage your finances

It is hard work to manage your finances in a way that pays off debt, allows you to live comfortably, and helps you plan for the future. The fact that American consumers are $11.91 trillion in debt and are still spending 40% more than they earn on average is evidence of this. But if you know what you’re doing with your finances, and you learn more about it while you’re younger, you can avoid many of the pitfalls that come with not knowing how to manage your finances later in life. Read on for a few tips to help you with your money!

Tracking
Tracking your finances is key to managing them, debt or no debt. You need to know exactly where your money is going and when before you can plan anything or pay off any kind of debt. Keep a spending log for a while to get the hang of it, and you will definitely see a difference!

Investing
Knowing how to invest your money is absolutely huge. While many do not trust the stock market anymore, it can still be a lucrative endeavor if you play with low-risk stocks. Another way to make this work for you? Don’t invest all of your money in one place. Move it around, and you’ll see results.

Make Money Work
Something like an annuity is a great example of this. These are available in varied lengths and/or payout periods. The most common are payments over a 25 year course or payments until death. You can get cash for settlements like these, or keep them and reap the benefits each year. This is a good tactic for getting out of debt, because you can put the annuity toward strictly paying loans back.

What do you think of these tips? Did we miss any? Were they helpful? Let us know your thoughts and comments!

Why Are Financial Writers Victim Blaming Americans in Debt?

how to get money from a settlement

In the click-based economy of digital content writing, a common type of trend piece has emerged. These red hot takes follow a tired formula, and usually have headlines like, “Why Are Americans Renting Instead of Buying Homes?”, “Why Aren’t Millennials Using Savings Accounts?”, or “Why Aren’t Millennials Investing?!”

These so-called trend pieces often fail to recognize very basic facts. Millennials aren’t renting apartments instead of buying houses because they like living a “mobile” lifestyle. Forbes contributor Mitch Tuchman writes, “whatever the reason, the kids just aren’t that into investing. Yes, they could cut back on other things they do spending money on, like eating out, vacationing and expensive gadgets and find a way to get started (sic).” Tuchman even titled his patronizing article, “Show this article to someone under 30.”

Here’s a hint: the reason Millennials aren’t investing isn’t because they’re lazy layabouts, it’s because they’re struggling with a record $1.3 trillion in student loans (and counting). Middle class families aren’t renting because they love moving every few years, but because they were evicted from their homes. In 2014, 35% of Americans (64 million of us) admitted they struggled to pay bills or medical debt that year. At the same time, the average U.S. household lives under an average $11,244 in student loans and $70,322 on their mortgage.

Tuchman does concede that Millennials are struggling with student loans, but he also takes the victim-blaming approach that what those ignorant kids really lack is “willpower.” Pieces like this often fail to grapple with fundamental truths about the American economy in 2015. People aren’t buying “fancy gadgets” because they’re reckless spendthrifts, but because for many people having a smartphone, laptop, and wi-fi are absolutely necessary to live and work in the 21st century.

And that’s why so many Americans of all ages end up seeking cash for structured settlement payments. For people with lottery winnings or structured settlements, they’re often left wondering how to get money from a settlement NOW. Not because they’re careless, but because they have very real, very pressing debts and loans to repay. Because they need to get their heads above water. Not five years in the future, but now. Again, that’s why people wondering how to get money from a settlement now often end up seeking cash for annuity settlements, lottery winnings, and more.

For many people, the answer to the question, “How to get money from a settlement now?”, is selling fixed annuities for cash. As with any major financial decision, it’s important to carefully weigh all the pros and cons before moving forward. But getting out of debt isn’t a luxury or vanity purchase. For millions of American young people, families, and individuals, it’s a necessity.

Finding The Right Company To Buy Your Structured Settlement

findingtheright3There are plenty of reasons why people look for ways to get out of a structured settlement — and the majority of reasons focus on the fact that it can take years, or even decades, for the recipient to receive what’s owed. If you happen to be looking for a way to get out of your own structured settlement, you’ve probably gotten pretty frustrated because even though all of that settlement money is yours, you can’t touch that money until it’s sent out.

Opting to sell your structured settlement payments can be a great way to avoid early withdrawal fees while still gaining access to the money that’s already yours. The best way to go about selling your settlement payments is to look for a trustworthy company that will purchase your payments in return for a lump sum of cash — and if you aren’t sure how to find a legitimate company, here are a few tips:

  1. Request a quote. Keep in mind that this is only a ballpark estimate — it’s not the amount that you’ll definitely receive.
  2. Look for a company that has purchased settlements from people in many states. In most legal situations, it’s better to look for a service that has experience working in your immediate area — but selling a structured settlement is the one major exception here. Almost every state abides by a Structured Settlement Protection Act, but the exact regulations typically vary from state to state.
  3. Get a timeline. It usually takes between 30 and 90 days to receive your full payment. The exact timeline will ultimately depend on regulations in your state and how quickly you’re able to provide all the necessary documents.
  4. See if immediate cash is an option. Some services will allow clients to take out cash advances if they don’t want to wait 30 days.
  5. Ask about the necessary documentation. In general, you’ll need to have two forms of identification (including at least one picture ID), a copy of your settlement and release document, and a copy of your settlement/annuity policy.
  6. Check out the recommendations. Whether it’s a personal recommendation or an online review, try to find out what other people are saying about a service before you agree to sell your settlement.
  7. How easy was it to find all the info you wanted to know? It’s important to your research before making a big decision like selling your structured settlement. Regardless of how you access the information, it’s essential that you work with a company that doesn’t try to hide anything.

Now we want to hear your thoughts on the matter — what concerns do you have as you look for a company to purchase your structured settlement? Be sure to let us know!

A Basic Guide to Annuities

annuityWith over 40% of American families now spending more than they earn, it has become clear that many in the U.S. do not know enough about finance. One thing in particular that stumps people is annuities. We’ve compiled a beginner’s guide to get you started on the path to understanding these aspects of finance.

What are they?
Annuities are payments given out in lump sums over the course of a certain period of time. They’re available in different lengths and payout periods, with the most common being over 25 years or until death. Annuities go back to ancient times, when kings and queens would give pay outs to lords and other favored subjects. These lump sums were often given out yearly for their lifetime, thus coining the term annuities.

How do they work?
Basically, it’s like life insurance or health insurance. You pay a premium once you’ve purchased it, which goes into a pool which you’ll draw from later to pay out the annuity.

What are the benefits?
If you have a limited amount of savings, annuities are amazing investments. You don’t have to stretch your savings, because if you live longer than most, annuities keep paying out. If you’re only going off of savings, you could run out before you pass away. Without an annuity, you have to look for alternative options to have money. With an annuity, you’ll get much more than you would simply living off of interest from other investments. In 2013, there were 34.8 million annuity contracts worth more than $2.58 trillion.

Can you sell them?
Selling a structured settlement is quite popular today. This is because when you sell your structured settlements, you gain all the money in one lump sum. Selling fixed annuities is even more profitable because they are guaranteed to pay out on time for their run.

What You Need to Know About Annuities

annuity

Many Americans are in bad financial shape, and it’s mostly because many don’t understand basic points of finance. More than 40% of families in America are spending more than they earn. There are numerous people out there who don’t even have basic medical insurance, let alone life insurance. Most probably don’t realize what annuities are either.

An annuity is a lump sum of money that is paid out to an individual every year. For example, if someone leaves you a $1,000 annuity in their will, that means you will receive $1,000 each year. At the end of 2013, 34.8 million individual deferred annuity contracts were in place, totaling more than $2.58 trillion. They’re paid out using varied lengths and/or payout periods. The most common types are paid out over 25 years or until death.

People have many reasons for selling fixed annuities throughout their lives. In fact, selling a structured settlement is incredibly common. You may sell your structured settlements to pay for college, a home, debt, divorce, investing, liquidating long term investments and more. They can be used as collateral because they are a fixed amount of money paid out in pieces over time.

Annuities are helpful because they give you a source of income if you aren’t sure that you’ll always have a consistent one. Another attraction of them is the fact that your money is pooled with other people’s money and gains interest. Because of the differing amounts and the accumulation, you’ll get back a much healthier amount than you ever could have gotten on your own!

If you are really stumped on what to do in terms of annuities or any of your other finances, don’t hesitate to get in contact with a financial advisor. They can help answer questions and even handle certain pieces for you. Many people never invest because they don’t understand how it works, and they miss out on the payoff. Get in touch with someone soon, and begin investing in your future.