Credit Counselling Program: Can This Benefit You?

If you find yourself constantly living from paycheck to paycheck, you might want to consider a credit counseling program. A credit counseling program helps you develop a budget while managing your debt. For most of us, just keeping us with daily expenses is an ongoing effort. To manage this problem, we take out needless loans and use too many credit cards, and before you know it, we have a mountain of bills that can’t be paid.

Credit counselors and their services

Nonprofit credit counseling programs are the most common type of programs currently available to assist those who have gotten in over their heads with debt. Most will help you in a positive way to solve your debt problems. However, the nonprofit label for a credit counseling program doesn’t necessarily mean that its services will be free, cheap, or even legitimate. Some might charge hidden fees or expect unnecessary contributions that could plunge you further into debt. Be sure the company you are dealing with is reputable and has your best interests at heart.

Most credit counseling programs offer services through the Internet, local offices, or through telephone consultation. The most effective type of credit counseling program is one that offers in-person counseling. Try to get in-person counseling if possible. From your counseling, a good program will teach you how to manage your money and debts, develop a budget, and offer free workshops and educational materials. Counselors should be certified and trained in the areas of financial management. You should feel comfortable about discussing your personal financial matters with the counselor assigned to you.

Shopping around for a credit counseling program

Reputable credit counseling programs should be able to send you free information about their program, without the need to know any personal information about your financial situation. You should not work with a credit counseling program that will not provide this for you. Getting free information will enable you to select from a variety of programs to find the one that’s best for you. You can also do background research on credit counseling programs by seeing what your local consumer protection agency, attorney general, or Better Business Bureau has to say about them. If consumers have registered complaints about the credit counseling program, they might not be the best to use. Carefully consider any complaints you find, keeping in mind that some people are unreasonable or vindictive and not every complaint necessarily has validity. If the agency has a complaint, be sure to read their explanation of events to see what they claim occurred. Then decide if it makes sense to you to work with that company.

Questions to ask

After you narrow down which credit counseling programs you might like to use, you can make a final decision based on probing questions with which to “interview” the credit counseling program. They’re going to be asking you everything about your life, and you have the right to know all about them as a business too. A good question to ask is if agreements and price quotes can be made in writing. Formal written agreements and contracts can minimize confusion later on. Another good aspect to ask about is the qualifications of their counselors. Find out how they are trained or if they certified or accredited to help you with your problems.

What Advantage Credit Counseling Does

Advantage Credit Counseling Service (ACCS) is a nonprofit company that provides credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, bankruptcy classes, debt management counseling, housing counseling, and online classes for consumers that are struggling with debt. Advantage Credit Counseling provides free, confidential, and professional credit counseling services, and has been doing so for more than 37 years. Advantage Credit Counseling makes potential customers feel at ease by letting them know that their company has helped many others before in similar situations.

Counseling sessions with Advantage Credit Counseling

Your counseling sessions with Advantage Credit Counseling include one-on-one work with a certified credit counselor. Your counselor will help you get a better understanding of your financial situation and help you put together options you have that can help you better manage your money. After asking a series of questions and assessing your monthly spending habits, the credit counselor will help you develop a balanced monthly spending plan. This is an important step in the process because it will give you more money to work with and help you restructure some of your debts. The counselor could refer you to a specific debt management program, or local, state, and national programs that you could use to your advantage.

Who they work with and what they can do for you

Advantage Credit Counseling works with people in all stages of financial trouble and economic level. Unlike other programs, Advantage Credit Counseling has no minimum debt level that you have to meet before you can use their programs. In fact, credit agencies usually look favorably upon consumers who use these programs early in their financial troubles. Get control of your finances and you will gain control of your life.

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Debt Consolidation Credit Counseling

Do you need debt consolidation credit counseling? If you are deep in debt and headed for personal bankruptcy you might need to consider credit counseling.

Debt consolidation credit counseling is an important undertaking. Avoiding bankruptcy and keeping your credit record intact are two keys to financial success. You also need to know how to distinguish a good credit counseling agency from a bad one. There are many good credit counseling agencies out there but some are bad apples. It is important to understand how credit counseling can effect your credit report. Also be aware of a key change to the bankruptcy laws that involve credit counseling.

What is Debt Consolidation Credit Counseling?

Debt consolidation credit counseling agencies provide a service to people who are in over their heads in debt. Credit counseling agencies provide counselors, education, and Debt Management Plans (DMP). A Debt Management Plan is a service where consumers send an agency a lump sum payment which is then distributed to creditors who have agreed to the plan. Creditors sometimes agree to lower interest rates, waive fees, and post updates to credit reports as well. The convenience of making one payment to a single credit counseling agency is also a plus. The problem with Debt Management Plans is they only address unsecured debt. Secured debts such as home loans or auto loans should be prioritized and paid first. You risk losing your home through foreclosure and your car through repossession if you fail to make your payments.

How to Find a Good Debt Consolidation Credit Counseling Agency

A good credit counseling agency is one that offers an in-person consulting in your local area. Services beyond Debt Management Plans including personalized education are also good options to expect. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCA) and the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (AICCCA) are the key industry groups for credit counseling agencies to be members of. Ideally you want a counselor who will give you personal attention and present you with all of your options. You don’t want to feel pressured into a bad decision.

Some Debt Consolidation Credit Counseling is a Scam

With consumer debt at an all time high and federal personal bankruptcy laws requiring credit counseling many aggressive agencies have opened up shop targeting unsuspecting consumers in need. Non-profit credit counseling status does guarantee legitimacy or trustworthiness. In many states non-profit status is a requirement for a debt consolidation credit counseling agency to do business. Another caveat is that some not-for-profit credit counseling agencies are closely aligned with for profit businesses. Some debt consolidation credit counseling agencies charge excessive fees and only push DMPs. Asking good questions and referring to credit counseling agencies on the NFCA and AICCCA lists will help you sort the wheat from the chaff.

How Debt Consolidation Credit Counseling May Effect Your Credit Report

When you enter into a Debt Management Plan creditors will often make updates to your credit report. These updates include “re-aging” accounts and removing delinquent payment references. A potential drawback is that since lending is subjective, lenders may consider the notes your creditors put on your report as a good or bad sign. A good sign would be that you took steps through credit counseling to take care of your debts. A perceived bad sign would be that you had so much debt that it became unmanageable and you may be a credit risk. In the long term this may effect your credit score.

Debt Consolidation Credit Counseling and Personal Bankruptcy

If you decide that personal bankruptcy is the best course of action for your situation, you need to be aware of a key change to the bankruptcy laws. Before you can file for bankruptcy under either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 you need to know the law. Changes in the Federal bankruptcy laws brought about by the Bankruptcy Act of 2005 require folks to get credit counseling from a federally approved agency six months before they can take advantage of bankruptcy protection.

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Consumer Credit Counseling Service

Consumer Credit Counseling Service

Legitimate consumer credit counseling services are not easy to find, as many of them have come under public wrath of late. A common criticism about credit counseling is that participating in such a plan ruins a consumer’s credit which also has led to charges that credit counseling is a marketing gimmick the lending industry makes use of. Probably it is for this reason the experts opine that credit counseling is ineffective. But one must not forget that credit counseling is not the same as debt consolidation.

In the forefront is the Christian credit counseling which is making a difference in this field not just by demonstrating genuine intentions but also by offering credit counseling in an affordable way to consumers. It helps consumers take steps to improve their credit.

A consumer credit counseling service has the goal educating debtors of different consolidation ways. Of which the secured debt credit is the one with which you can avoid unnecessary additional clerical costs and also prevent legal actions against you. In short credit counseling is designed to persons who are neck deep in debt.

The Statutory Bindings

If you are looking for information on nonprofit credit counseling agency Christian credit counseling is your natural first choice. Like all nonprofit organizations they have an obligation to educate and counsel the needy people. All nonprofit credit counseling agencies are bound by nonprofit corporation statutes and comply with state charitable solicitation laws. This is why nonprofit credit counseling agencies provide free services or at least charge minimal fees to recover their cost. It helps to keep in mind that appropriate Federal and Senate committees have taken cognizance of the profitable nature of some of the nonprofit credit counseling agencies.

In fact, for more than five decades now, nonprofit credit counseling organizations are helping consumers. Those providing assistance to consumers credit counseling and debt management services must keep your private information confidential. Rules are put in place to limit the fees a nonprofit credit counseling firm charge their clients. Californian licensed nonprofit credit counseling firms must file their financials with the statutory agencies regularly.

However, some community credit counseling services are setting precedence and are taking their services beyond expectations. If you act sensibly you can actually get free counseling and debt consolidation advice from them.

Here Are Some Helpful Steps

List out all community based and nonprofit credit counseling services.
Checkout their accreditations and business histories through their websites and testimonials.
Talk to them before signing any documents.
Don’t leave anything to ambiguity; get their and your obligations in writing.
Take help from The National Foundation for Credit Counseling for researching about some credit counseling organization.

You must always remember, at the back of your mind that, credit counseling is a legal and ethical alternative to file bankruptcy. In any case, credit counseling is a viable option before meeting a bankruptcy attorney. For an industry having more than its share of questionable reputation, at least this is the only way out. In addition, for those consumer credit counseling agencies in the for-profit side of the industry, the problem is that the fees are rather too high and typically take long times to clear off the debt. However, the bottom line is credit counseling is still best if you want a total makeover of your finances.

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The HUD Credit-Counseling Requirement of the “Making Home Affordable” Plan

Introduction

The portion of the Treasury Department’s Making Home Affordable Plan (implemented on March 4, 2009, please see earlier article summarizing this Plan) regarding plan participants with high “back end” debt (defined as other debt in addition to your mortgage debt, such as credit cards.) Homeowners in this category, to receive the benefit of a mortgage modification or refinance, must participate in HUD-approved credit-counseling.

This article pertains to situations where borrowers qualify for the portion of the mortgage modification program or mortgage refinance program for homeowners with high back end debt and therefore must participate in mandatory HUD counseling. This article discusses the qualification requirements for this prong of the mortgage modification program as well as the counseling requirements required under this prong.

Credit Counseling and High Back End Debt

Borrowers with high “back end” debt (housing payment, credit cards, and car payment) will have to undergo mandatory credit-counseling to receive a mortgage modification under the Plan. However, under the loan modification prong of the Plan, there is a specific program available for borrowers with high back end debt. Under the Plan, borrowers with back end debt exceeding 55% of their income could be eligible for a loan modification, if they also participate in a HUD-approved credit counseling program.

Generally, if you have less than 20% equity in your current home and your equity has been reduced as a result market conditions, you are among the target group of homeowners at which the Plain is aimed. If your income has declined or your mortgage payment has increased to more than 31% of your gross income (all income before taxes), you also generally meet the guidelines to receive a temporary, five-year reduction in mortgage payment , as well as significant incentives for successful participation in the program.

To be clear and avoid scams, there are no closing costs or fees of any kind for participating in the mortgage modification program or the refinance program for Fannie and Freddie Mae mortgages. You should, to the extent possible deal directly with your lender and you should be aware of and avoid any kind of scheme where a broker might try to charge you fees to participate in this program.

For example, among other incentives, homeowners qualifying for and participating in the mortgage modification program qualify for an initial cash payment of $1500, as well as a $1,000 reduction applied to the loan principle for five years. For more exact breakdown of the incentives available to borrowers, lenders and servicers under the Plan, please see my prior article detailing the entire plan. For the purpose of this article, I will be focus primarily on the credit counseling requirements.

How the Credit Counseling Will Work

Credit counseling agencies nationwide must certify themselves as HUD counselors and can then provide the required counseling under the Mortgage Modification Plan. The Treasury has issued some general information to credit counselors to begin implementation of the Plan. The following is a breakdown of the information provided to credit counselors thus far. For example, the Treasury advises credit counselors that if they are already working on a modification plan to benefit a borrower, they must now first consider whether modification under the Plan may be more beneficial to the homeowner.

When a credit counselor determines that a homeowner does not qualify for a mortgage modification under the Plan, the counseling agency is supposed to discuss all loss mitigation options, including loan modification scenarios outside the Plan and opportunities to refinance or access to available local resources such as rescue grants and loans. If it is impossible to work out a deal to keep the homeowner in the home, the counseling agency should discuss short sales and deeds in lieu of foreclosure as ways to help a borrower transition to more affordable housing.

Treasury advises credit counselors that one of the important components of the Making Home Affordable program is community stabilization. Treasury views short sales and deeds in lieu of foreclosure as options that minimize the impact of vacant and abandoned propertied on communities. Counseling agencies are presumably required to inform participating loan servicers that they could be eligible for an incentive of $500 and can make reimbursable payment of up to $1000 to extinguish other liens. Borrowers in this situation are eligible for a payment of $1500 in relocation expenses in order to effectuate short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure.

Although all delinquent borrowers are encouraged to seek the advice of a HUD-approved counselor, only borrowers with a back-end debt-to-income ratio at or above 55% must certify that they will participate in counseling as a condition of a modification under the Making Home Affordable Program.

Level of Counseling

Borrowers required to participate in mandatory credit counseling must agree to meet with a counselor from a HUD-approved housing counseling agency or a National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program (or NFMC, was launched in December 2007 with funds appropriated by Congress to increase the availability of foreclosure counseling services across the country) participating agency to create an action plan that includes steps and a time line to eliminate unnecessary debt, minimize expenses, increase income and create savings. The action plan requires the borrower to establish a follow-up schedule with the counselor. The program generally requires that the borrower have two mandatory sessions with a HUD-certified credit counselor.

Counseling Referrals

The Treasury allows a credit counselors to make referrals to specific servicers if the borrow contacts the credit counseling agency and it is determined that the borrower may be eligible for a Home Affordable Modification, the counselor must work with the borrower to submit an intake package to the servicer. To be eligible for compensation, the counseling must conform to Level 3 counseling requirements, as established by the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) Program, including some additional requirements detailed in the counseling protocol on the NFMC website.

Counseling Fees

NFCM Program funds and HUD Housing Counseling Grant funds can be used to pay counseling agencies for counseling provided to borrowers with back-end debt-to-income ratios greater than 55% and for counseling borrowers who are referred to servicers. TARP funds cannot be used to pay for housing counseling. Because the loan modification program is supported by TARP funds, there are no direct financial provisions for fees to be paid by the Making Home Affordable program to counselors.

NFMC Program reimbursement for the required counseling will be set at a new Level 4 fixed price pending available resources. Other counseling will be reimbursed at the current fixed price for Level 3 counseling as established in each organization’s existing NFMC Program grant agreement. HUD Housing Counseling grant recipients may request reimbursement for the actual, document cost of counseling up to the amount available under the grantee’s counseling award. If a portion of the counseling has been reimbursed by NFMC, HUD Housing Counseling grant recipients may bill against their HUD Counseling grant actual costs not covered by the fixed price NFMC reimbursement, up to the amount available under the grantee’s counseling award.

Counseling agencies that do not receive NFCM Program funding or HUD housing counseling grant funding are encouraged to provide counseling through other funding sources. For example, servicers can pay for this counseling. If a housing counseling agency participating in HUD’s Housing Counseling Program or the NFMC Program does not have sufficient resources, they are not required to provide this counseling, but must make a reasonable effort to refer borrowers to counseling agencies that can assist them.

Conclusion

Under Obama’s new Making Home Affordable Act, potential Plan participants with high “back end” debt, will be required to undergo HUD-certified credit counseling as a condition of their participation in the program.

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A Brief Introduction to High Voltage Installation

We all know that LV installation requires design and construction according to the technical prescriptive requirements. But in the case of HV installation, the application is unique in the application and the design is according to the engineering safety rules and principles. As a result, all the regulations that are setting up meet the fundamental criteria only. At the power stations, most of the owners hire the professionals who have many years of experience and knowledge in this field. The engineers arrive at the site to check the place very nicely and then start the operations.

Additionally, high voltage installations always require planned and an ongoing maintenance and the entire set up have the design that perfectly interact with the distribution channel of the electricity. This results in implementing various measures across the supply systems and installation interface. Keeping in mind, the engineered installation philosophy, all the regulations achieve the control through various factors at the time of design. It is very important to set all the parts in the right position so that there is no chance of damage or electrical loose connection. There are several tips the engineers follow to keep the machine parts in good condition.

The Requirements for High Voltage Installation According to Safety Obligations-

1. Design – The design of the parts have all the general safety requirements.

2. Construction- In the field of technical rules, all the safety requirements relating to the overhead rules, conductors, notices, isolation to the supply of electricity and also the earthing systems. Certification is also mandatory.

3. Connection to The Channels- All the high voltage installation is subject to testing, including the third-party inspections.

4. Periodic Verification- It is very important in the case of proper functioning. The engineer comes to the place to verify with all sorts of requirements. The verification happens in a periodic manner in the reasonable intervals. He also keeps all the records in the right manner.

Tips for Safety Protection –

The workspace and installations are unsafe if all the characteristics of the fittings impairs, when the connections are not secure and reliable, there is a risk of ignition, preventing accidental contact with the exposed parts, there is insufficient space for working and providing automatic disconnection of the power systems if the fault arises, resulting in injury.

There are various companies that provide the services of installation and maintenance of electrical channels. The engineers also offer the services of demolition and repairing of old circuit systems.

Rajib Saha is a well-known writer and he writes various articles on installation and maintenance of electric systems. He suggests the engineers follow special tips while performing high voltage installation.

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10 Tips To Help You Edit Videos At Speeches Or Conferences

The techniques used by video editors to shape content shows a lot about how people can create meaning. Editors understand how people feel, think, learn, and remember. Here are ten tips to help you edit videos at speeches or conferences:

1. Always choose the best angles for every moment. As you are going through footage, your goal should be to balance the intent of speakers with the expectations of the audience. Think about what audiences would want to look at during the talks if they were there. This will make it easier for you to select the best possible angle to reconstruct every moment. This will also help you choose angles which let the speaker express their story better.

2. Use medium and close-up shots more than wide shots. This is important to help cut between various camera angles, and the audience will then understand more about what’s happening. It is very engaging to watch the facial expressions and the body language of speakers with a closer view.

3. Watch the body language of speakers and how they talk. Language is always embodied. The thoughts, breath, and words are revealed in their body language. Every speaker will have a unique cadence and rhythm to their voice. Paying attention to such things will allow you to create a natural rhythm while editing.

4. One of the best ways to make edits between shots effortlessly is to cut on gestures. The viewer will be watching the start of a motion in one shot and will follow it across the edit to the next shot. The completion of the gesture will mask all the editing.

5. The sound of certain words, especially the ones with hard consonants, can reduce the obviousness of edits. When words that are relevant to the talk are mentioned, they can be highlighted this way and made more memorable.

6. Always think of the audience as one with a short attention span. It is important to frame the words of a speaker with various camera angles to make it more interesting and dynamic than just holding the camera at one angle for a long time.

7. You should also consider breaking up the graphics. If there are any slides that are part of the talks, try breaking them up into different sections. This may not help with the editing, but it is important to be methodical when you are trying to direct attention.

8. Try and edit out as many technical errors or speakers errors as you can. You can mask the edits by cutting from the action.

9. Think about the people who are speaking and those that are listening. One challenge here is interviews. Edits here should be motivated by words. This will help shift the point of view for the interview.

10. Take space from your edit. Once you’ve spent time on it, you may just get desensitized. It is important to take a break. Taking a break and coming back with a fresh outlook can help you maintain the sense of the audience.

With these video editing tips you should not have any trouble creating amazing videos which can capture the attention of the audience and keep them hooked throughout. So start editing.

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Navigating an Internet Provider’s Spectrum of Services

Customers aren’t always aware of every service that’s available. With ever-evolving technology, it’s tough to stay on top of the latest offerings. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, call an Internet provider and inquire directly.

High-Speed Broadband

The primary service provided, it comes in different speeds suited to a customer’s usage. Providing a connection that’s significantly faster than a dial-up modem, high-speed Internet (also called broadband) can utilize a variety of available technologies to bring faster service to customers’ homes. Speeds run from 4 to 110 Mbps (megabits per second).

A digital subscriber line (DSL) provides Internet service by sharing a standard phone line, using frequency separation for voice and digital data.

Cable broadband utilizes the same network that delivers cable television broadcasts. It shares some similarities with DSL but makes use of different cabling systems. Cable speeds are higher than standard DSL speeds.

Fiber optic service provides broadband through telecommunications technology, with data sent as light pulses through optic cables with fibers made of plastic or glass.

Satellite broadband incorporates a satellite dish, transferring information back and forth via a two-way broadband connection.

Fixed Wireless

Increasingly common in rural areas is the fixed wireless option. This method utilizes radio signals and antenna technology. In places where cabling and other wired infrastructure aren’t in place, antennas can make Internet access a reality. Generally, between 1 and 10 Mbps of network bandwidth can be supported.

Business Services

Small and medium businesses can benefit from multiple services offered. Faster data transfer rates are available. Also, services can be customized to include a combination of voice and TV features. A business can expect access to industry standard services such as business phone lines, credit card machine lines, video for offices and the hospitality industry, and mobility applications, to name a few of the many features available to commercial clients.

Many Internet providers have an in-house technical team dedicated to providing businesses with the specialized, on-demand support they expect. Also, providers may partner with other companies to make additional services available to business clients.

Routers and Network Adapters

For customers who want Wi-Fi home networking solutions, an Internet provider can help by making recommendations, or by selling or renting out the necessary equipment. Wi-Fi is a wireless method of connecting multiple devices, like two computers and a printer, using a routing system. This creates a local network with the devices connected to each other without cables.

Coverage Areas

A provider can check service areas for prospective clients. In fact, coverage maps often are accessible online via the provider’s website. Simply enter an address and instantly see whether or not the home or business is within the coverage area.

Package Deals

Depending on what the customer needs, package deals are available combining Internet, voice, and cable services. Customers can select the high-speed broadband service of their choice, or they can opt for a package that adds options, including premium cable and unlimited voice with local and long-distance calling. Package deals can add convenience and deliver cost savings.

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