getting-debt-collectors-to-stop-harassing-youGood morning Dinks. Some of us have been in a situation where debt collectors would call repeatedly and try to collect the debt. In my younger days, I used to dodge those calls all the time. I was going through some hard times and paying off debt was the last thing on my mind. My rent and power bill being paid were much more important. I’m so happy that my finances have gotten better, and I don’t have to worry about debt collectors calling me anymore. I haven’t missed a debt payment in nearly two years.  There are a few things that you can do to get debt collectors to stop harassing you. Today, I want to discuss a couple of ways on how you can do just that.

Pay your debts

The easiest way to getting debt collectors to stop contacting you is to pay your debts. It’s that simple. Once my income got better, I started to make payments on all my debts. Once I did that, the phone calls “miraculously” stopped. If you’re not struggling financially, the easiest thing is just to pay your debts. The sooner that you do that, the sooner that they will be a thing of the past.

If you are struggling financially, you might not be able to make payments. Instead of ducking and dodging the debt collectors, you should pick up the phone and talk to them.  By speaking with them, you can get an idea of what’s going on. First, you will be able to verify if the debt is legit or not. Second, you can figure out how much you need to pay. Third, you can let the debt collectors know your situation. You might be able to negotiate a better deal than you’d expect. If you’re really lucky, you may be able to postpone your payments to another date. I’m not sure if many debt collectors will let you delay a payment, but it is worth a shot. If you’re fed up and still choose to ignore your creditors, here’s how to get them to stop contacting you.

FDCPA

You should cite the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA is an act that prevents debt collectors from acting out of line. It can be your main leverage when it comes to getting debt collectors off your back. If you want debt collectors to stop contacting you, all you need to do is send them a letter citing the FDCPA. Ask them to cease all contact with you as required by law. I wish I would have known about this a few years ago. It would have come in handy. Make sure you send the letter with a return receipt. That way you will know when they received the letter. Once they received it, they cannot try to collect a debt any longer. The only two reasons they can contact you is to either let you know that they’ve added you to their do not contact list or to inform you of further action, such as a lawsuit. There are many versions of the letter online. Just print on out, change the address and send it off.

If they still contact you after you’ve sent them the letter, you’re eligible for a lawsuit. You can get paid $1000 plus legal fees if a debt collector still continues to contact you after you’ve requested them to stop. This simple method can get debt collectors off of your back in no time. If you have a lot of debt and can’t pay it right away, this might be an option for you.

brokeGIRLrich

Investing in DRIPs

by Jason Butler on September 21, 2016 · 3 comments

dripsI recently wrote an article on ways that you can invest in the stock market without that much money. I have another way that you can invest. Have you ever heard of Direct Investment Plans (DRIPs)?

DRIPs

DRIPs are a direct investment account that allows you to purchase shares in companies without the help of a broker or financial intermediary. DRIPs have been around since the 1960s. A lot of businesses offer DRIPs. These plans allow you to reinvest the dividends to buy more shares of the stock. There are general advantages to investing through DRIPs.

Cost Effective

Many people want to invest, but they lack the funds to do so. With DRIPs, you don’t need a large amount of money to get started. You can start investing in DRIPs by owning just one or two shares. Seriously, that’s all you need.

Long Term

DRIPs allow investors to buy stock and hold on to it. As a result, the investors start to think long term and often invest in small amounts of money on a regular basis. Several companies offer the option to make periodic DRIP investments through automatic debits.

Low Transaction Fees

DRIPs have lower transaction fees than other investment opportunities.

Let’s say you have $500 to invest. If you were to purchase shares in the S&P 500, you’d be looking at a transaction cost of $50.00 through Vanguard. Fifty dollars on an investment of $500 is 10 percent. You would immediately lose 10 percent of your investment if you directly purchased your funds through a brokerage account. On the other hand, an equivalent investment in a DRIP security would cost you maybe 8 – 10 dollars. As you can see, DRIP plans are generally a lot cheaper than traditional transaction schemes.

The company whose shares you purchase pay for the management of DRIPs. They do that because investors to customers and executive managers prefer a wider shareholder base to reduce equity volatility and to limit the influence of large institutional stock owners

When you invest in DRIPs, make sure that you know the number that is needed to enroll. Many of the plans only require one share. Check with the company beforehand concerning stock requirements for enrollment so that there are no surprises when it comes time to join the program.

Some people get burned and lose a lot of money as investors. They buy the wrong stock sell it at the wrong time. Beating the market rarely works. DRIP investing can help you with your discipline. You have some diversification. Some of your stocks could be doing great, while others aren’t. Remember that you are not in a get rich quick scheme. You are investing in stocks. It usually takes a while to make any real money.

Since your DRIPs are diversified, you won’t have to deal with all of your investments being in one basket. If you don’t have that much money, but want to start investing, DRIPs is the way for you to go. It will save you money, and it’s a very safe investment.

Have you ever invested in DRIPs before?

credit card arbitrageHello, Dinks. I know many of us have credit cards. Some people use them for every purchase so that they can rack up award points. Some people use them for emergencies, while others use them for something called credit card arbitrage. You might be wondering what credit card arbitrage is.

According to Investopedia, credit card arbitrage is when someone borrows money at a low interest rate from a credit card, then investing that money at a higher interest rate to try to make a profit.  One of the most common types of credit card arbitrage happens when someone takes advantage of a credit card that offers 0% introductory APR balance transfer. People can get a cash advance for thousands of dollars depending on their credit limit. The 0% introductory period lasts between 12-15 months. The borrower would then use that money to invest in a high-interest savings account. If the borrower makes the required monthly payments on the credit card and repays the balance before the introductory period is over, they can turn a profit.

Is credit card arbitrage smart?

In my opinion, credit card arbitrage is not a smart idea. There are too many things that could go wrong. You might forget to make a monthly payment and incur a late fee. If that happens, your 0% introductory rate may be a thing of the past. Also, if your credit is getting pulled too often, it can impact your score. Your credit utilization ratio will also be affected.

What are some better ways to invest?

As I stated earlier, I don’t believe that credit card arbitrage is worth it. Below are some better ways that you can invest.

Your 401k

If your company has a 401k, sign up for it immediately. If you don’t want where to start, contact your human resources office. Your 401k is a retirement savings ln sponsored by your employer. It allows workers to save and invest a part of their paycheck before the taxes are taken out.

Mutual Funds

Mutual Funds are a good place to invest. They give you access to several different investments. The amounts that you can invest will fluctuate per company.

Rental Property

Rental properties are usually great investments. They take a little more money to start than the previous investments, but they are worth it if you have the funds. When deciding on a rental property, you have to figure out which area you want to get the property, the demand for housing and the type of housing (single, duplex, etc.). I want to eventually acquire some rental property once I get out of debt. That’s something that I’ve been thinking about doing for a while.

As you can see, some of the other investment options are a tad bit better than credit card arbitrage. I’d rather invest my money in a 401k or mutual fund instead of trying to get an extra $50 – $100 by doing credit card arbitrage. In due time, you can see good returns from them.

What are your thoughts on credit card arbitrage?

Expense Tracking Worksheet

September 16, 2016

The other day I discussed ways that you can review your expenses. Those three ways were to use Mint, use a transaction register and to review your bank statement each month. Those three ways are very helpful in looking at your expenses. There are other ways that you can track your money as well. One […]

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When Should You Start Thinking About Retirement?

September 16, 2016

Financial independence during retirement is becoming more and more difficult to achieve. That’s why you need to start saving early – a little foresight now could mean a lot when retirement comes around. We expect to live comfortably in our old age, since we’ve worked so hard to get there. We expect to receive a […]

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Three Ways to Review Your Expenses

September 14, 2016

Good Morning, Dinks! How is everyone today? I hope all is well. Do anyone’s expenses seem to fluctuate each month? For the most part, my expenses stay the same. I know what bills I’m paying, and I usually budget for everything else.  Some people have no idea where their money is going. At the end of each […]

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One Way to Become Creditworthy

September 12, 2016

Many of us are striving to get better credit. For some people, it’s a struggle. They weren’t taught certain things about credit when they were younger. They made bad financial mistakes and are now paying for them by having horrible credit. Becoming creditworthy may take a while for people with bad credit, but it can […]

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Investing in Stocks With Little Money

September 9, 2016

Hello, Dinks. A lot of people believe that you need a lot of money to invest in stocks. That is not always the case. There are some inexpensive ways available that you can invest in stocks. Today, I want to go over a few of them. Employer Retirement Plan One of the easiest ways to […]

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5 Ways to Make Money While You Sleep

September 7, 2016

Making money while you sleep is not as hard you might think. With strategic, hard work, it can be done. There are several ways that you can make money while you sleep. Today, I want to go over five of them. Selling an Info Product If you’re good with a particular subject, you may want […]

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