Credit & Divorce

January 21, 2009 · Filed Under Budgeting · Comments Off on Credit & Divorce 

By Cindy Morus, Creator of the Pay Debt Quickly System

Mary and Bill recently divorced. Their divorce decree stated that Bill would pay the balances on their three joint credit card accounts. Months later, after Bill neglected to pay off these accounts, all three creditors contacted Mary for payment. She referred them to the divorce decree, insisting that she was not responsible for the accounts. The creditors correctly stated that they were not parties to the decree and that Mary was still legally responsible for paying off the couple’s joint accounts. Mary later found out that the late payments appeared on her credit report.

If you’ve recently been through a divorce-or are contemplating one-you may want to look closely at issues involving credit. Understanding the different kinds of credit accounts opened during a marriage may help illuminate the potential benefits-and pitfalls-of each.

There are two types of credit accounts: individual and joint. You can permit authorized persons to use the account with either. When you apply for credit-whether a charge card or a mortgage loan-you’ll be asked to select one type.

Individual or Joint Account

Individual Account: Your income, assets, and credit history are considered by the creditor. Whether you are married or single, you alone are responsible for paying off the debt. The account will appear on your credit report, and may appear on the credit report of any “authorized” user. However, if you live in a community property state (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin), you and your spouse may be responsible for debts incurred during the marriage, and the individual debts of one spouse may appear on the credit report of the other.

Advantages/Disadvantages: If you’re not employed outside the home, work part-time, or have a low-paying job, it may be difficult to demonstrate a strong financial picture without your spouse’s income. But if you open an account in your name and are responsible, no one can negatively affect your credit record.

Joint Account: Your income, financial assets, and credit history-and your spouse’s-are considerations for a joint account. No matter who handles the household bills, you and your spouse are responsible for seeing that debts are paid. A creditor who reports the credit history of a joint account to credit bureaus must report it in both names (if the account was opened after June 1, 1977).

Advantages/Disadvantages: An application combining the financial resources of two people may present a stronger case to a creditor who is granting a loan or credit card. But because two people applied together for the credit, each is responsible for the debt. This is true even if a divorce decree assigns separate debt obligations to each spouse. Former spouses who run up bills and don’t pay them can hurt their ex-partner’s credit histories on jointly-held accounts.

Account “Users”
If you open an individual account, you may authorize another person to use it. If you name your spouse as the authorized user, a creditor who reports the credit history to a credit bureau must report it in your spouse’s name as well as in yours (if the account was opened after June 1, 1977). A creditor also may report the credit history in the name of any other authorized user.

Advantages/Disadvantages: User accounts often are opened for convenience. They benefit people who might not qualify for credit on their own, such as students or homemakers. While these people may use the account, you-not they-are contractually liable for paying the debt.

If You Divorce
If you’re considering divorce or separation, pay special attention to the status of your credit accounts. If you maintain joint accounts during this time, it’s important to make regular payments so your credit record won’t suffer. As long as there’s an outstanding balance on a joint account, you and your spouse are responsible for it.

If you divorce, you may want to close joint accounts or accounts in which your former spouse was an authorized user. Or ask the creditor to convert these accounts to individual accounts.

By law, a creditor cannot close a joint account because of a change in marital status, but can do so at the request of either spouse. A creditor, however, does not have to change joint accounts to individual accounts. The creditor can require you to reapply for credit on an individual basis and then, based on your new application, extend or deny you credit. In the case of a mortgage or home equity loan, a lender is likely to require refinancing to remove a spouse from the obligation.
More Help from Cindy:

Trouble with debt? Eliminate your debt and save your money using the Pay Debt Quickly System. It comes with the software and strategies you need get rid of your debt without making an large payments or making any significant lifestyle changes. Click here to learn more and get started right away or sign up for her free Powerful Debt Reduction Starter Guide.

The PDQ Factor

January 21, 2009 · Filed Under Budgeting · Comments Off on The PDQ Factor 

By Cindy Morus, Creator of the Pay Debt Quickly System

It’s just about the beginning of a brand new year: a time to set goals, make plans, and start afresh; a time to dream of making more money, having a more beautiful body, and experiencing more love. I can’t help you with your body or your love life but I can show you some tools for making more money this year.

Have you ever heard of the PDQ Factor? Probably not, but you probably have heard of the acronym PDQ, which means “pretty darn quick” and that can be expensive: think fast food, fast cars, and fast women. This PDQ, The PDQ Factor will save you money. In fact, it can even make you wealthy over time.

To illustrate…take an empty glass and set it under the water faucet. Now turn the faucet to a single drip, or a slow trickle if you’re really impatient, and watch the glass fill up. It takes a while but it does get full. If you were thirsty, it wouldn’t have been nearly as fast as turning the faucet to full force but it was just as effective. The PDQ Factor is the slow trickle equivalent in the world of money. It stands for Pennies, Dimes and Quarters. Nickels count too, they just messed up the snappy title so we left them out; but don’t you leave them out of your investment toolbox.

Here’s an easy plan to make an extra $1000 this year. It won’t take much time or energy-really none at all. By investing just $2.74 a day-the cost of a designer coffee drink; a bad drive-thru meal; or 8 quarters, 5 dimes, 4 nickels, and 4 pennies, in just 365 days you will have an additional $1000 in the bank. Did you know that accumulating wealth is this effortless? Make a plan, stick to it and watch success sneak up on you in teen-tiny increments.

With no pain and all gain you’ve just set a financial goal; a goal that can be effortlessly reached by making a very minor tweak or two in how you live your daily life.

Break down your goal and see how many PDQ’s it takes! And don’t forget to start today!

The same thing applies to debt. If you’re struggling with debt and it feels like you’ll never see the end, you can apply the same principles.

Get More Help:

Eliminate your debt and save your money using the Pay Debt Quickly System. It comes with the software and strategies you need get rid of your debt without making an large payments or making any significant lifestyle changes. Click here to learn more and get started right away.

3 Steps to Eliminating Debt

January 21, 2009 · Filed Under Budgeting · Comments Off on 3 Steps to Eliminating Debt 

By Cindy Morus, Creator of the Pay Debt Quickly System

Are you struggling with debt? I’ve been there (and it was a major cause of my divorce). This is information I wish I had known then.

Step 1: Draw a Debt Picture Gather all your statements and enter your information in the Debt Payoff Info worksheet. You’ll need to know your balance, interest rate and current payment. Total the balances and the payments. Acknowledge that you used your credit cards to fund your lifestyle and move on to debt-freedom.

Step 2: Stop using your Credit Cards The credit card companies are masters at this game and if you’re carrying a balance, you’re on the losing end of the deal.

* Did you know that new purchases don’t have a grace period if you have a balance?

* Did you know that new purchases don’t usually get the existing teaser rate?

* Did you know that if you have multiple interest rates on the same card that most or even all of your payments will go to the balance with the lowest interest rate while the balances at the highest interest rate just keep compounding?

These are all great reasons to stop using your credit cards now!

Step 3: Convert Minimum Payments to Fixed Payments This is the beautiful part! Let me explain. When you get a home and auto loan, you pay the same amount of money for a specific amount of time and then you’re done and the debt is paid off. With a credit card, though, your payment is a percentage (usually around 4%) of your balance. As you make payments, your balance drops and so does your minimum payment. This is what will keep you in debt jail for a very long time.

However, you don’t have to make just the minimum payment. I recommend that you take the minimum payment from this month and pay that same amount every single month until it is paid off. Converting your credit cards payments to fixed payments can save years and years and thousands of dollars. Let’s see how much this method can save by looking at one client’s debt information:

Name Interest Rate Current Balance Minimum Payment

Visa 32.24% $970.86 $29.00

MasterCard 19.49% $1,506.00 $128.00

Cap One 16.24% $11,700.00 $277.00

Store Card 13.07% $1,407.00 $42.00

Auto Loan 8.09% $10,356.00 $237.00

TOTALS n/a $25,940.00 $713.00

Paying the minimums only will take 350 months and cost $49,007 (total interest is $23,067 almost double the current balances!). Changing the payments to fixed (paying the same amount every month as listed above) will take 47 months and the total will be $33,272 ($7,332 in interest). Total savings is $15,735 and over 25 years!! AND they didn’t pay any more than they paid this month.

Get More Help:

Eliminate your debt and save your money using the Pay Debt Quickly System. It comes with the software and strategies you need get rid of your debt without making an large payments or making any significant lifestyle changes. Click here to learn more and get started right away.

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