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July 2015 Archives

Credit card debt consolidation may not always be wise

Many New Jersey residents struggling with credit card debt consider consolidating their revolving balances to lower their monthly payments and simplify their lives, but this may not always be a prudent strategy. Consumers with high credit scores may be able to pay off their debt more quickly after obtaining a low fixed rate, but doing so could temporarily damage their credit rating in certain situations.

Common errors consumers make with credit cards

For people in New Jersey and across the U.S., it can be very easy to fall into significant credit card debt by not understanding a few basics. Mistakes can be costly and can lead to financial challenges and even bankruptcy. For example, cardholders often choose to make the minimum payments due to finances or simply because they do not want to pay a larger amount. Making a late payment can damage a credit score. FICO states that payment history is 35 percent of how the score is determined.

Financial planning for divorcing spouses

Going through a divorce is often difficult for New Jersey residents, and some of them may find the process easier to navigate when they are able to differentiate between emotional and practical matters. It is often said that marriage is about love while divorce is about money, and spouses may find it easier to cope with the emotional challenges of a new life when they feel more confident about their financial situation.

Foreclosures vs. short sales in New Jersey

Many different things can happen that can lead to a person's inability to keep up with their mortgage payments. Often, people first try to sell their homes in the hope that a sale will help alleviate the problem. If the house doesn't sell quickly, however, people may be left trying to decide whether they should seek a short sale or instead allow their mortgage company foreclose on the house.

Drinking and texting are dangerous teen driver behaviors

Teenage drivers face a high risk of injuries and death when they get behind the wheel after they have been drinking or when they use a cellphone while on the road. Driving under the influence of alcohol had, for many years, been the number one reason for teen driver fatalities in car accidents. However, that has been recently surpassed by texting while driving. Residents Teen drivers as well as their parents might benefit from learning about the risks of both of these behaviors.

Measures to reduce drunk driving in New Jersey

Accident statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that over 1,800 lives were lost on the roads of New Jersey between 2003 and 2012 in alcohol-related crashes, and about a third of all fatal accidents nationwide involve a drunk driver. Drinking and driving is a social issue as well as a criminal problem, and authorities have approached the matter with a combination of emotive media campaigns and coordinated law enforcement efforts.

Collections agencies may collect debts consumers are unaware of

Some consumers in New Jersey may have had the experience of receiving a bill from a collections agency without ever having been informed that they owed money. They might wonder whether this is legal, and the answer is that it often is. But there are steps a person can take to prevent this from happening.

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