Handling Consumer Debt

If you want to get out of debt, there isn’t just one way. There are many ways to approach this. That may make it seem somewhat confusing, but it is actually a very good thing because you can find something that fits and that provides a solution to the problems that you are going through.

The main thing, though, is that you investigate a number of these methods and choose the one that seems best to suit your own particular situation in life. Then you will be on your way to eliminating that debt you carry on your shoulders. Once that happens you have a new lease on life and can get on with being productive and making a profit for yourself. One of the key methods for relieving yourself of this overwhelming debt is the process of debt counseling. However, you need to qualify for this, meaning that there are certain criteria that you need to meet if this is going to work well for you. Here we will tell you more about how to tell if it is a good way for you to go.

One big reason to go into debt counseling is if you know you can not find the will power to spend and save your money wisely on your own. You have to understand your own tendencies, and debt counseling can help you with this. It can also go further, into debt management, which helps you structure a repayment plan that works for you. The debt counseling you sign up for should be at no cost to you. However, if you move into debt management, understand that a fee will often be charged. This should be under $50 a month, which is affordable for a lot of folks, but just make sure that you can afford this type of professional fee before you sign up.

This is a good idea if you have the money to pay your debts but need the repayment schedule to be stretched over a longer period of time. This will make your debt repayment amounts smaller and give you some space to breathe and to get caught up with your obligations. Your balance, however, remains the same.

You may need to pursue another option if you require more help than this. It is also wise to pursue this course of action when you want the least negative impact to be made on your credit score. That is especially true if you own a business and will need a loan or are hoping to start some sort of business venture that will require people to be checking out your credit score. If you are sure you want to go in this direction, the next thing to do is to select an agency that can help you.

But there is a note of caution that needs to be stated here. Be wary of scammers. They exist everywhere but certainly in this area of life. Understand the difference between legitimate and grandiose claims. Check out the Telemarketing Sales Rule. And realize that what sounds too good to be true often is, so proceed with caution. And you need to realize that you should never be asked for money upfront when you are considering one of these debt relief programs. There is a solution for your money problems, whether you need help with making a budget, sticking to it, lowering your balance, or making smaller monthly payments.

If you are sincerely interested in improving your financial standing by lowering the amount of debt you carry, then there is going to be help for you out there. Just take the steps you need to take slowly and carefully and you will be on your way to solvency and even wealth at some point in the future.

Consumer Mailing Lists

When you own a business, whether it sells to customers or to other businesses, you want the word to get out there about the product or service that you offer. One of the best means of accomplishing this is through a mailing list. But it has to be a high quality mailing list or having one at all is of no use to you.

A high quality mailing list has to meet some specific guidelines. First and foremost, it needs to be targeted to the audience that you are trying your best to reach. And you want a clean list, one that is targeted to the right people and that does not contain the names of people who are no longer interested or who have gone through a transition that takes them from your reach. Having a mailing list that is both targeted and clean is not really a difficult endeavor. It actually can be quite simple to accomplish. However, you are going to need some help with this if it is going to happen. That is what these guidelines are for, and we can help you here in developing a good quality mailing list.

To start with, you are probably going to want to buy a good list from a vendor who sells these. However, all vendors are not created equal, so that means it is important for you to select a reputable vendor. There are questions to ask before you commit to such a purchase to ensure that you get what you need and want. So ask any potential vendors that you are considering a few questions such as those that follow. You need to find out whether or not the names and addresses you get from this vendor are going to be accurate ones. You also need to find out the kind of data that you can get and whether or not you can have the list customized to suit your particular business requirements.

Naturally, targeting is going to be very important. For instance, you may want a list that is only sent to families. But that can be further targeted to include only the names and the addresses of families with children under a certain age or that have a particular income level because your product or service requires that. Segmentation is also crucial in many cases. A segment is a specific part, and your list needs to be divided into specific parts. You will probably want one part of your list that you can call on to send a message to a group of consumers and another part directed at corporate clientele, for instance. It is not enough to just have or develop a list and then use it forever.

It needs to be kept current and to be purged at regular intervals. Changes are going to happen, and you want to know about them and make the updates. For instance, company mailing lists are going to change as staff members get promoted or leave for other jobs. Other changes have to do with people moving, getting new contact information, or even dying. Sometimes cleansing needs to be done, though, just because there are duplicate names. If you are sending out duplicate mailings you are definitely wasting your own time and money so you’ll want to make sure that things are in order.

If you purchase a good quality, clean list and then do your due diligence in cleaning it up and keeping it updated constantly, then you are going to be assured that your advertising and promotional materials are getting to their intended market. That means you have a head start in ensuring that people know who you are and what you can do for them.

Consumer Issues When It Comes To Processing Credit Cards

The biggest issue the majority of people have with credit card processing is the concern that their identity will be compromised because of security problems. When we use our credit cards to pay for goods and services, the last thing we want to worry about is whether we are going to be having long lasting problems because someone got hold of our information. The companies have been working on security, and it is generally very good.

However, there is a problem when the terminal that is processing the credit card lets information pass through without a sufficient amount of encryption. When that happens, it lets a thief get hold of your data and that can mean major problems. People also take issue with the fact that, by using their credit card, they will be charged more for the same item than someone else who is paying with cash. That is illegal, of course, although it is true that a flat fee can be charged to someone who is paying their bill for an item with their credit card.

The reason that it is legal to charge a flat fee for those paying with a credit card has to do with the fact that the store is going to have a lag time in getting their money this way. It could be as much as a month before the store in question will be able to recoup the money from the credit card company for the item you have purchased. You can contrast that with the lack of lag time that a business has when someone buys a good or a service with actual cash. Then the payment is immediate. And even if you give a check to a business in payment, then that business is only going to have to wait about two or three days to get their money from the bank.

Another issue that worries consumers is that they wonder if people who are standing close to them when they are making a transaction can read their information in such a way as to be able to use it against them. However, this is easily remedied. No one whom you do not know should be standing that close. That means it is your responsibility to have enough street smarts to look around you whenever you take that credit card out of your wallet. If someone is right behind you and looking over your shoulder, then you absolutely have the right to move away or to ask the other person to step back. You might even want to postpone your purchase. But of course the clerks at the counter or at the register are also human beings, and we worry that they might make bad use of the information we give them.

There have actually been cases where this has happened so it is a serious concern. However, that usually happened a few years ago under a different system. There were card readers in the old days that required that a paper transaction slip be generated and half of the slip was left at the store after you took your half and went home. This is no longer the case since there is electronic processing that’s been developed over the past few years and no paper trail exists that can be misused. There has been an additional change for the better these days, too. Most transactions nowadays require that a pin number be entered.

This provides a safeguard. There also has to be a three digit code given from the back of the card when a transaction is being made online or over the phone. So there are lots of reasons today to understand that credit cards are more secure than ever before.