Discover what debt consolidation can do for you in Long Beach
What Debt Does
Overwhelming debt causes stress, anxiety, loss of sleep, family discord, and a host
of related physical ailments. In short, debt is not healthy! If you live in California,
and Long Beach in particular, you have a great climate and lots of opportunity to
enjoy a great life. If those high credit card and revolving balances are preventing
this, discover what debt consolidation can do for you.
What is Consolidation?
The idea behind debt consolidation is that you obtain a loan to pay off all of your
creditors, the payment for which is lower than the total of your former debt bills.
Thus, you get one single payment and free up additional cash each month for other
things and for savings. For the debtor who is significantly behind in payments (60+
days), there may be the ability to negotiate with creditors for lower interest rates,
elimination of fees and penalties, and a reduction in the total debt amount. Then,
the single lower payment is even better for your pocketbook.
How to Get it Done
If you still have great credit, you can probably secure a bill consolidation loan
on your own, either through a credit union or bank, or by accessing the equity in
your home. If your credit has already taken hits due to late or missed payments,
you will need to go another route. Contacting all creditors to see what you can
negotiate is a time-consuming process, involving skills that you may not have. In
this instance, it is probably a good idea to find a professional debt consolidation
agency to complete this process for you.
Finding the right agency will require some research and pointed questions. First,
look into nonprofit agencies listed in the Yellow Pages or on the Internet. Check
out their reputations by contacting the Better Business Bureau and your state attorney's
office to be certain there are no complaints. Contact a few of these agencies and
ask important questions:
- If you enter a bill consolidation program with them, what are the fees?
- Do they belong to a national association?
- Are the counselors trained and certified?
- How long have they been in business?
- What services are offered for free? These should include analysis of your financial
situation, development of a workable budget, education and training classes for
personal financial management, and follow-up counseling once the debt program is
Two agencies you might want to look at are: Springboard Non-Profit Consumer Credit
Management and ByDesign Financial Solutions.
You can add to the debt management plan developed by your professional. Begin to
look at all of the possible cuts in expenses you can make. Be a smart shopper by
never going without a list. If it's not on the list, it isn't purchased. Plan shopping
and errand trips, so that you can use as little gas as possible. Use the outdoors
for your leisure activities. Pretend that those tax refunds or extra windfalls of
cash did not come in. They go right into savings. Make a game of this and get support
Long Beach Attractions on the Cheap
California is an expensive place to visit and play. Tourists on a budget will want
to check out the Greenleaf Hotel and Hostel for a low-cost place to lay their heads.
The Surf City Hostel is great for youth travel, and the Beach Plaza Hotel has very
reasonable rates for all ages. Once great free activity in Long Beach is whale watching.
This can be done from the miles of shoreline. Other attractions which are not terribly
expensive include the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Queen Mary and the Museum of
Latin America. Enjoy!