credit card debt

Reducing the High Cost of Credit Card Debt
Consumers pay over $100 billion every year on credit card interest charges and fees. We explain how to minimize the high cost of credit card debt.
What is Economic Abuse?
Economic abuse affects millions of Americans annually. We explain what economic abuse is and give examples that reveal the extent of this abuse in the US.
Best Way to Pay Off Credit Card Debt – Snowball, Avalanche, or Snowflake?
Credit card debt in the U.S. now topples over $1 trillion and the average credit card per household is over $8,000. While many of us endeavor to pay back our debt, some of us gain much more success than others. Why is that? Is there a correlation between debt reduction strategy and personality?
74% of Americans are Getting Married with Debt

A survey of 1,000 couples set to get married in the next 12 months found 3 out of 4 couples will go into debt to tie the knot. And most, 61 percent, say they will use credit cards to pay. But is starting married life saddled with debt a good idea? Here’s what the wedding experts at the Knot say and what Consolidated Credit’s financial expert says. Here are some tips on what you can do to cut cost if you’re getting hitched.

Can You Afford the Cost of Debt?
Another interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve means that the cost of debt for consumers just got higher again. WalletHub has revised their map of cities with the most and least sustainable credit card balances. Can you still afford to pay off your debt in a cost-effective way or do you need debt relief?
Don’t Loan Credit Cards!
If you thought lending money to family was a bad idea, consider that 36 million Americans admit they’ve run into trouble when they decided to loan credit cards to friends and family. Learn why it’s a bad idea and what you can do instead to help someone out.
10 Tips for Financial Spring Cleaning
We offer 10 financial spring cleaning tips so you can adjust your budget, find ways to cut costs and get your finances ready for summer and the two biggest shopping seasons at the end of the year. Are your finances ready?
Ronnie Pays Off $50K in Credit Card Debt and Swears Off Credit Cards
Many of us enjoy the convenience of swiping our credit cards. But, too much swiping can lead to serious debt problems. See how Ronnie paid off over $40,000.
How Althea Paid Off 20K In Credit Card Debt
Althea's $20K credit card debt were a result of repairs to her floors and what she calls "material foolishness".Consolidated Credit helped her pay it off.
Infographic: Avoiding Olympic-Sized Debt
The Summer Olympic games are here.While many will watch from their homes, others will travel to Rio. Budget‬ carefully to avoid Olympic-Sized Debt.
Consolidated Helped Mark C. avert 2nd Bankruptcy
How Mark C. paid off his $10K credit card debt through debt management and averted another bankruptcy. He says he will never be in debt again.
Infographic: Hispanic Perspectives on Credit Card Debt

Credit card usage is not as prevalent in Latin American countries as it is in the U.S. How do Hispanics in the U.S. feel about credit cards and revolving debt? Consolidated Credit wanted to know so they asked. What they found is encouraging. This infographic illustrates the results.

Distraction over Debt Almost Ends in Disaster

Debt problems can consume our thoughts and throw us off our focus. Susie can attest. Coming home from work one day, Susie was so distracted by her debt problems that she forgot to put the car in park before exiting. As her life flashed before her eyes, so did the bills, more bills. Consolidated Credit helped Susie regain focus and control of her finances.

A debt consolidation loan consolidates credit card debt
DIY Thursdays: Using a Do-It-Yourself Debt Consolidation Loan
I used a personal debt consolidation loan to consolidate my credit cards on my own. Here’s what I learned and how it solved my debt and credit challenges.
When Forced Early Retirement Ends in Debt Problems
When Wanda was forced into early retirement, she was still holding $50,000 in credit card debt. See how Consolidated Credit helped her eliminate her debt.
When Compassion and Altruism Ends in Debt
Margaret had a giving heart, but giving to others was bad for her budget. When altruism ends in debt, it's time to adjust your habits and stop charging.
23 Credit Cards Almost Cost Diane Her Marriage
Money problems caused by credit cards are a leading causes of divorce. Consolidated Credit helped Diane regain control of both her debt and marriage.
Client Profile: Donna G.

The holiday shopping season is in full swing. As you go about getting presents for loved ones, remember to stay on budget or you will end up with a debt hangover come next year. We helped our client Donna get out of credit card debt and now she’s banned her husband from spending thousands on Christmas […]

Gain financial success in spite of limited means
How to Gain Financial Success Even When Money is Scarce
You might feel limited by a tight budget, but with the right strategy you can gain financial success even when money is scarce. Here's how you get ahead.
Save big on your tax refund this year
Tax Refund: 5 Good vs. Better Ways to Use It
If you're receiving a tax refund this year, we have some suggestions on how you can use your refund to advance your financial outlook instead of wasting it.
Six Ways Not to Pay Off Holiday Credit Card Debt

Guest post by Dawn Papandrea. If you’re suffering from a case of post-holiday credit card bill guilt, you’re not alone. While making good on your resolution to pay down your debt is a terrific goal, you want to make sure you do so in a way that actually improves your overall financial status. In other […]

How to Handle Debt After Death

By April Lewis-Parks

Moves To Make As You Near Retirement

By April Lewis-Parks As you approach the time when you will leave the workforce for good, budgeting will be extremely important. Before officially retiring, there are certain moves you should make to ensure you will be successful. No. 1 – Determine where you will live When figuring out how much money you are able to […]

Retiring debt free gives you a bright future
Tips For Retiring Debt Free
Heading into retirement burdened with debt may take the shine off your golden years. Use these 4 tips for retiring debt free to ensure you retire with ease!
Things to Consider Before Transferring a Credit Card Balance

  By April Lewis-Parks If your credit card bills are getting out of control and you struggle every month to make your payments, you might be considering transferring your balances to a credit card with a promotional zero percent interest rate. If you are you’re not alone. Balance transfers are a popular option when you […]

Four specific strategies to help pay off credit card debt

Credit card debt can put a hamper on the personal finances of anyone who carries it for a significant amount of time as it accrues interest each month. To avoid a situation where debt piles up, people should consider one of these four strategies to help attack their balances: No. 1 – A balance transfer […]

Tips to help you avoid stress and frustration when paying off debt

When you’ve dug yourself into a debt hole and are struggling to climb out of it, you may experience feelings of frustration, stress and hopelessness that you’ll ever be in a good financial situation. Paying off thousands of dollars in credit cards or loans can be challenging, but it’s far from impossible and one key […]

How to End a Bad Relationship with Your Credit Card

  By April Lewis-Parks Your credit card may be your best friend when it comes to long shopping trips, booking vacations and your weekly manicure and pedicure sessions, but when the end of the month rolls around and your bill comes due, you may realize that your relationship with credit is more toxic than beneficial. […]

Common Money Blunders that Make it Difficult to Save

By April Lewis-Parks Most people can admit to money or budgeting mistakes that they’ve made once or twice, but for others, certain habits may have developed into a repetitive cycle of bad behavior. A mistake here and there can create a bump in the road when trying to save money, pay down credit card debt […]

Americans Still Splurging on Purchases: Are You One of Them?

By April Lewis-Parks Completely overhauling poor financial habits and going cold turkey on your favorite purchases is no easy feat, but in your infinite wisdom you may likely realize that making significant financial changes is important to your future. Despite this recognition, studies show that many people are not only falling into a worsening financial […]

Tips to Help You Avoid Stress and Frustration When Paying off Debt

When you’ve dug yourself into a debt and are struggling to climb out of it, you may experience feelings of frustration, stress, and hopelessness that you’ll never be in a good financial situation. Paying off thousands of dollars in credit cards or loans can be challenging, but it’s far from impossible and one key to […]

Welcome Spring! Time to Breathe Fresh Air and Spring Clean Your Finances!

by April Lewis-Parks Technically spring has sprung, but I know that for many of you around the country old man winter is still hanging around… but it is a good idea to start to think about reevaluating your household budget.  Now is a great time to review the different financial products you have and start […]

Breathe Fresh Air! It’s Time to Spring Clean Your Finances

By Ines Mato Spring is around the corner, and I’m sure many of you already started opening your windows and cleaning the dust that accumulated during the winter. While cleaning your house is important, don’t forget to give some fresh air to your finances. As organizing a messy closet makes you feel more comfortable and […]

It’s Tax Refund Time: How Will You Spend Your Windfall?

By April Lewis-Parks Tax season can be a grueling time of year, but if you’re like most people, the big payoff you may get in the form of a refund makes it all worth it. The IRS estimates that the average refund for 2013 will be $2,803, and if you’re dreaming of putting that money […]

Lowering Your Interest Rate Can Help Reduce Credit Card Debt

By Ines Mato Getting bogged down with credit card debt can be a stressful experience. However, there are ways that you can improve your situation, one being reducing your credit card’s interest rate. While not guaranteed to work, you can achieve this by calling the customer service number on the back of your card and […]

Achieve a perfect credit score
Steps to Achieving a Perfect Credit Score
It may seem impossible, but you can take steps to clean up your reports and build credit to achieve a perfect credit score with a little work.
Will You Spend Your Tax Refund Wisely?

By Ines Mato Tax season is here, and you are probably gathering your W-2s, 1099s and other documents to file your taxes. While the process of submitting returns can be tedious, many people look forward to receiving a sizable refund from Uncle Sam. I’m planning to use my tax refund toward the purchase of a […]

How to Pay Off Excessive Credit Card Debt

By April Lewis-Parks Relying too much on credit to get by has left many people in a position where they are now struggling to catch up. Credit card debts pile up and minimum payments increase. This can cause problems when your payments start to exceed what you can afford to pay in any given month. […]

Are You Being Honest with Yourself About Your Finances?

By April Lewis-Parks From time to time people have been known to tell little white lies – sometimes. You might tell you Aunt Jean that her (overcooked) pot roast is delicious. Or you might gush about your best friend’s new hideous haircut to make her feel better. Sometimes, we don’t just reserve these small acts […]

3 Steps to Boost Your Savings This Year

By Ines Mato Many people begin the New Year excited about accomplishing their financial resolutions, but they become discouraged when they feel they are not reaching their goals fast enough. In response, many give up and revert back to negative spending habits that are detrimental to their futures. Saving consistently is challenging, but it’s important […]

8 Ways to Make the Most of Your Holiday Bonus

By Andrea Woroch No matter where you work, there’s always a glimmer of hope you’ll find something extra in your paycheck around the holidays. In the event such dreams actually do come true, a windfall of cash can make us do some strange things. Suddenly, even the most frugal shopper is looking for any excuse […]

How Do Credit Card Penalties Work?

by April Lewis-Parks Credit card penalties can be scary and confusing. Asking your bank to explain the different penalties to you doesn’t help much, as they will tell you to read your statements and contracts. But with all the fine print and legal terminology, how are you supposed to know what you will end up […]

Miss Money Bee Writer Tells You how She Became Debt Free

By Ines Mato Back in 2007 spending money wasn’t an issue in my life. If I spent too much, I could get a second job or borrow money from my parents. At the time the economy was booming and it seemed that the only requirements to succeed were hard work and education. Once the economic […]

Which Debt Should You Pay Off First?

by April Lewis-Parks If you have more debt than your budget can handle, you are not alone. Today Americans owe about $47,000 in overall debt, according to the DailyFinance.com. When you owe so much it’s extremely hard to pay off debt while covering your basic necessities, but it’s not impossible. The first step is to […]

Is It Time For Plastic Surgery?

By Ines Mato Many Americans are convinced that saving money is a waste of time. Why should they save if they can borrow money every time they need it? A big problem begins when an unexpected event doesn’t allow a person to make the minimum payments on their credit cards. It’s then when people realize […]

Is transferring a balance in your best interest?

By April Lewis-Parks When you’re fighting piles of credit card statements and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make more than the minimum payment, a balance transfer may start looking like a pretty good idea. Interest-free payments thanks to a zero percent introductory rate? Yes, please. But before you call your lender, you should understand that […]

Are You Relying Too Much on Credit Cards?

By April Lewis-Parks Credit cards have several benefits that can help you better yourself. If used responsibly, they allow you to build a solid credit score, get out of a tight financial jam and enjoy spending perks, such as rewards and discounts. But if you fail to abide by the rule of moderation, you could […]

Are We Financial Slaves?

 By Ines Mato The concept of financial slavery is psychological, but no one is forcing you to be a slave. Many people feel this way because of giving into materialism. We work long days, pay bills to survive, and use credit cards to buy items we can’t afford. The problem begins when we rack up […]

Living Your Best Financial Life

The effects of the recession hit Americans hard, and millions are continuing to recoup what they lost or overcome credit and financial obstacles that have hindered their progress. In addition, many financial problems that are plaguing most Americans are affecting every demographic at pivotal stages in their lives. Large student loans have made it difficult […]

Creative Ways to Lower Your Credit Card Bill this Summer

 by April Lewis-Parks Being strapped down with credit card bills can create stress and make it more difficult to save money. In addition, heavy balances take away from your ability to use your money in more meaningful ways, such as booking a trip or taking part in a new activity or class. One of the […]

Know the Difference Between ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Debt

Whenever we talk about debt it’s usually negative and in most cases for good reasons! Credit card debt might be preventing you from saving money and high student loan payments may leave little room for traveling and experiencing the finer things in life, but the truth is that not all debt is created equal. We […]

Enjoy Spring Break Without Breaking the Bank!

 By Courtney Hall Between family vacation and teenagers heading out with friends, the ways to overspend during the spring break season are endless. Even more unnerving are all the ways in which your finances can be put at risk. Credit safety and security should remain top priorities at all times. You need to be monitoring […]

Leave Your Credit Card at Home on St. Patrick’s Day

 By Courtney Hall According to a 2009 survey, about 1 in 5 adults will celebrate on St. Patrick’s Day. No doubt green cocktails and Guinness pints will be flowing but make sure you have a plan to not overspend. A long night of celebrating can wreck havoc not only on your body but on your […]

Money well spent? Are your friends contributing to your debt?

by April Lewis-Parks The scenario is all too familiar. Your friends want to go out on the town for a fancy dinner and drinks at a high-end restaurant and you begrudgingly tag along, secretly worrying about how you’re going to pay the bill. Then come the weekend shopping marathons. Your best friend’s destination wedding. And […]

Do you spend a $1,000 a year on a cup of morning Joe?

 By Courtney Hall Being shouldered with credit card debt or finding it difficult to make ends meet every month can be a stressful situation, but many people may not be aware of the small changes they can make to their spending and the large results these simple alterations can have on their overall financial condition. […]

Are More Americans Starting to Use Credit Cards Again?

by April Lewis-Parks People have had a tumultuous relationship with credit cards since the recession. A sizable percentage of Americans struggling with unemployment and financial shortfalls were forced to rely on plastic and racked up significant credit card debt to meet their daily needs. Others shunned credit cards in favor of cash and debit cards, […]

3rd Place Winner of Consolidated Credit’s 15th Annual Holiday Story Contest

In early 2007, I had my daughter shortly thereafter my husband and I were married.  We soon found out we were expecting another baby due to arrive at the beginning of 2008.  With baby #2 on the way, the expenses from the wedding and having a new baby to care for, our bills began to […]

How to get organized in 15 minutes or less

By Samantha Savory Part of being a financially savvy is having order in your everyday life.  You can’t expect to keep a budget without keeping track of bills, receipts, checking, saving and investment accounts.  Reducing the chaos and implementing organization – whether it’s keeping your wallet clean and rid of old and irrelevant receipts or […]

89 Days until Christmas: Now is the Time to Prevent a Holiday Hangover

By Samantha Savory My favorite time of the year is swiftly approaching – Christmas!  For those individuals who celebrate other holidays like Kwanzaa, Rosh Hashanah, and Hanukkah – the tips in this article apply to you as well! Now is the perfect time to prepare your personal finances for a happy holiday that doesn’t land […]

Consolidated Credit is Recognized for Outstanding Customer Service by the International Customer Management Institute

Consolidated Credit, a top national credit counseling agency and financial education provider has been recognized for its notable customer service by the International Customer Management Institute by being awarded runner-up for the Global Contact Center of the Year Gold Award in the small business category. Four Gold Award finalists were recognized for their superb customer […]

Ways to Find Financial Independence

By James Ramone, a guest blogger Now that Americas birthday has past, it is a great time to reevaluate your money situation and start back on the right path to financial independence. Luckily, there are a number of ways to achieve financial independence and tons of advice for getting out from under massive amounts of […]

Declaring Your Financial Independence

By April Lewis-Parks The Fourth of July holiday is a good time to resolve to clean up your finances and start freeing yourself from debt, particularly because it often starts the two months of overspending on summer fun. Make this the year you tighten up your own personal economy and sharpen your long-term money plans. […]

The Five Critical Needs of Children

By Jon Noble, Guest Blogger Yes, debt can be daunting.  When most families find themselves struggling with debt or working to resolve their issues, often when both parents are working and the day to day just seems to be a grind, it’s important to take a step back every once in a while and truly […]

Don’t be Fooled by Credit Repair Scams

By April Lewis-Parks When a person is in debt they tend to get desperate because so much is on the line – they could lose their home, car, family and destroy their credit score. They lose sleep over it, don’t perform properly at their job and can become moody, which impacts their private life. They […]

What Happens When You Default on Your Student loans

By Samantha Savory A considerable number of college graduates are finding it hard to pay off their student loans as the economy remains sluggish and the unemployment rate remains steady.  While we always advise readers to pay off all debt in an effort to establish financial wellness and independence, it is especially important to pay […]

Is Debt Ruining Your Life?

by April Lewis-Parks Debt has been a curse to many Americans, especially since the economy bottomed out, the cost of living went through the roof and good paying jobs met the same fate as the dinosaurs. Aggravation and frustration greet people each morning and there seems to be no help in sight. But there are […]

Take on the “Get Out of Debt” Challenge

By April Lewis-Parks Over 40% of American families spend more than their monthly budget, which means that they are accumulating debt. It’s a terrifying scenario but many of them just can’t get their finances together in order to spend less and save money. The bottom line is: They need debt help. Getting out of debt, […]

The Cost of Happiness

By Samantha Savory Everyone wants to be happy; even the crankiest person in the world yearns to be happy sometime, but how happiness is attained can, in some cases, cost money. That’s because when some people get sad or depressed or have a really bad day, they go shopping. Shopping therapy produces immediate relief and […]

How to Measure Your Debt Load – Healthy vs. Unhealthy

By Samantha Savory Credit-card debt doesn’t have to be bad  – but it must be managed properly. Using credit cards is one of the primary ways Americans establish a healthy credit score.  Credit cards also act as great emergency fund resources when a big unexpected cost comes up – but using credit cards must be […]

Frugal Tip: Utilize Online Layaway Payment Systems

By Samantha Savory The layaway payment system is a promotional offer where retail stores allow customers to deposit a down payment on the cost of an item(s) that he or she wants to buy and then allows them up to 90 days to pay-off the item in full to receive the purchase. Layaway is now […]

Don’t Take a Vacation from Your Finances – Strive for Financial Independence!

By April Lewis-Parks Make this summer the time you tighten up your own personal economy and sharpen your long-term money plans.  Here are some essential steps to achieve financial independence: 1. Pay yourself first. This personal finance adage is one of the wisest, but Americans tend to make it a priority only in challenging times. […]

Are You in Financial Denial?

By April Lewis-Parks Financial denial is a money disorder not unlike other problems that people suffer from on a daily basis. I have encountered quite few people from all walks of life who have been in deep financial denial.  It can be so easy to just  throw away bills or not open them because you […]

‘Reasons Why Debt Sucks’ Video Contest

Consolidated Credit hosts a video contest, Reasons Why Debt Sucks. Most unique debt success story will win a free iPad! Consolidated Credit is launching a national YouTube contest now through June 30, 2011 with the hope of swaying people to share how they got into debt and what creative steps they are taking to pay off their […]

What’s Holding You Back from Negotiating with Your Creditors?

By Kathryn Katz When you’re struggling to put food on the table and a roof over your head, your credit card payments can get behind. If you’re delinquent more than 60 days, you could suddenly find your interest rate has sky rocketed and your minimum payments are more than what was previously expected. If you’re […]

Have we come to terms with the realities of money and credit at last?

By April Lewis-Parks While it is not surprising that a large number of Americans have begun to sort out their personal finances in the wake of the economic downturn, they have also become more cautious about opening new accounts, especially credit card accounts. People’s credit card habits have been altered by the recession, according to […]

Dining Yourself into Debt

By Kathryn Katz When you have a busy lifestyle, it’s easy to justify a quick run to Dunkin Donuts on the way to work, McDonalds for lunch or even an evening out at the local restaurant with the family. It’s common sense that dining out is going to be more expensive than dining at home. […]

Cool, Scary, or Scary Cool? Warning Impulse Shoppers – Do Not Get This App!

By April Lewis-Parks People who want to go shopping at local retailers without the hassle of waiting in long checkout lines now have the option of taking on more credit card debt directly through their Smartphones. Here’s how it works: You take a picture of your credit card using an app by Aisle Buyer, and […]

As gas prices rise, more people using credit cards to pay at the pump

By April Lewis-Parks While many people may be wary of taking on more credit card debt, some are being forced to do so by the high cost of gas these days. The country has seen the price of gas rise considerably in recent weeks as oil has continued to climb, and some experts predict it […]

Managing Personal Finances in 2011

By April Lewis-Parks It is the end of a decade and with a New Year comes new possibilities to forge a solid personal finance plan.  Incorporating positive change to get out of debt and live a less stressful life is the goal of many Americans as we tread into the second decade of the millennium. […]

Don’t be Afraid to Negotiate with Your Creditor

 By April Lewis-Parks Millions of Americans are becoming anxious because they realize how important it is to reduce their credit card debt.  Some people who are struggling panic and stop making payments because they’re not sure of what else to do – they need to pay their mortgage, car payment or other payments and the […]

2011 New Year’s Resolution: Get Out Of Credit Card Debt

By: Samantha Savory Getting out of debt, typically credit card debt or unsecured debt, is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions every year.  With 2011 literally around the corner, we want to help you get closer to that goal by reinforcing positive financial decisions.  Here are some tips and ideas for getting out […]

How to Prevent the Holiday Spending Spree from Impacting Your 2011 Budget

By April Lewis-Parks You threw frugality out the window for a couple months but now the spending is over and reality is setting in. Credit card bills are coming due and you must pay them off while setting up your New Year Budget. Hopefully you put enough money away to eliminate your debt, unlike over […]

A Personal Story About Drowning in a Sea of Financial Debt

We are receiving stories from people about their money struggles and we wanted to take this opportunity to share them with you.  If you have a story you would like to share, please email us. Imagine drowning in a sea of financial debt and feeling totally helpless. No help in sight. No life saver. No […]

Six Frugal Holiday Shopping Tips

By Samantha Savory 1.       Look for price-matching policies. Some merchants will match, or even beat, a competitor’s prices.  Walmart, Best Buy and Target definitely offer price matching.  Shop around to see if your favorite retailer does as well. 2.       Go online. Retailers are offering exclusive deals and sales only online this year.  With a few […]

6 Easy Credit Tips For The Holiday Shopping Season

By: Samantha Savory 1. Know Your Credit Limits Don’t get sidetracked by that amazing deal on a 42’ flat screen TV during your holiday shopping.  Why you ask?  When you check out at the register and are declined because you don’t have enough credit left on your card, you may find yourself feeling financially irresponsible […]

Your Parents and Preventing Bankruptcy

By Kathryn Katz About seven years ago my father passed away and left my mother with the responsibility of managing her finances for the first time, at the age of 60. She had never balanced a checkbook, paid the monthly bills or had to worry about her investment portfolio. My father handled everything because that’s […]

9 Ways To Earn Money To Pay Off Credit Card Debt

By Samantha Savory It’s almost cliché to talk about how bad the American economy is—but the fact of the matter is, the unemployment rate is still high, the cost of living is inching its way up and people are feverishly looking to receive debt help.  Once you have a clear understanding of your financial problems, the […]

Money Won’t Bring Happiness Unless You’re Spending it Correctly

By Kathryn Katz So you think a new car, a few pairs of new shoes or a top of the line flat screen will make you happy? Chances are they will, but not for very long. Most people receive that initial high when they purchase something expensive but it wears off and they soon find […]

Women and Their Financial Identity

By April Lewis-Parks Women need to empower themselves with financial information. They need their own financial identity. Women, more than men, need to make their money go a long way. The median income of women over 65 is a mere $6,300. Roughly 80 percent have no pension eligibility and with a longer life span there […]