Wednesday, March 22, 2017

11 Easy Ways to Get Out of Debt Today

How to Get Out of Debt Fast - CNI

April is National Financial Literacy Month. Many Americans are still struggling to get on track with their finances. Consumers are reliant on credit cards as a primary form of payment. However, credit card debt balances are steadily increasing and many consumers are one paycheck away from being homeless.

Many Americans are still recovering from the 2008 recession. Others are nearing bankruptcy, foreclosure, or experiencing a financial crisis.  This has resulted in delays in marriage, starting a family, filing for divorce, and attending or completing a college education. According to Experian credit bureau 73% of American die with an average of $61,554 in debt. There are several reasons Americans are in debt:

  • Healthcare costs have increased 113% since 1999 and continue to climb. Premiums are expected to climb another 166% by 2019.
  • Medical bills and expenses.

Cost of Living
  • Since 2000, the Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) has increased benefits 41% while senior expenses have increased 84%. According to, in 2014, 1.5%, in 2015, 1.7%, in 2016, 0%, in 2017, 0.3%.
  • Living costs continue to increase for housing, rent, airfare, clothing, tobacco, food, gas and utilities according to
·         The sandwich generation who are helping their children and parents financially are getting further in debt.

  • College tuition prices increased at a rate higher than inflation for the past 30 years.
  • Couples with children or single parents have greater expenses and more debt than those who don’t have children.
·         Debt incurred by parents helping their children or family members who experienced a financial crisis.

What Can Consumers Do To Fix It

  • Get a copy of your credit report at least once a year.

·         Ask for a debt verification to verify you owe the debt.

·         Setup a payment plan you can afford to pay the debt.

Seek Professional Help
·         If you are able to negotiate or manage your debt on your own contact a credit counseling agency, credit counselor, financial coach, or financial planner for assistance.

Downsize or Downgrade
·         Downsize or downgrade your lifestyle. Reduce spending by 30-50%.   

·         Earn extra income to pay down debt.

Live Like a College Student
While you were in college you did whatever you could to get a meal and make ends meet. That same philosophy can be applied to reduce your monthly expenses.

Pay More
  • Pay more than the minimum monthly payment.

Crowd Funding
  • Use crowd funding websites to raise money to pay down your debt such as Prosper, IndieGoGo and Kickstarter.

·         Sell something online at Amazon, Etsy or eBay you believe is valuable such as: jewelry, art, furs, etc. and use that money to pay down debt.

Voluntary Simplicity Movement
  • Buy nothing new other than food and basic necessities - donate existing possessions to charity. Focus on being needs versus wants.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Get Access to Business Capital

 If you are a minority business owner that needs business capital, attend the U.S. Black Chambers Capital Pathways event to gain access to business capital. Register now at

Business owners:

Register now for the event in your city at

Friday, February 24, 2017

Business Capital Event

funding your business venture, you need to decide between debt capital ...
If you are a minority business owner that needs business capital, attend the U.S. Black Chambers Capital Pathways event to gain access to business capital. Register now at
Business owners:

Register now for the event in your city.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Fabulous Financial Resolutions for 2017


Happy New Year! Did you create any New Year’s Resolutions? It’s not too late. Hopefully one of your resolutions was to improve your finances.  Finances are a big part of your life.  Finances can destroy relationships; result in divorce, cause arguments, sadness, depression, anxiety, fear and health issues. Finances have to be properly managed at all times to ensure you are able to handle any ups and downs in life.  

One key to improving your finances is to set financial goals that you know you will be able to achieve.  Make a promise to yourself that you will do at least one thing to become better at managing your finances in 2017.  Make sure your resolutions are positive statements that are linked to a specific goal, i.e. I will pay off my Visa bill (whatever that amount is) by March 2017 instead of an uncertain or negative goal such as, I hope I can pay off my Visa bill by March 2017 or I will try to pay off my Visa bill by March 2017. 

If you stop following your new year resolutions, don’t fret. Dust yourself off and get back on track. Remember you have 364 more days to get it right. Take advantage of them. Here are 9 easy ways to help you improve your finances in 2017. 

If what you did in 2016 did not work then stop doing it. Avoid repeating the same mistakes. Do research or seek counsel to find a better way to do things and achieve your goals. You deserve it!

Ghost charges. Review your monthly financial statements, credit card statement and bank statements. Review every transaction. Look for recurring or variable charges that you no longer use, need or want and cancel them. Ensure that all charges are accurate. If not, contact the company immediately to dispute the error.

Save on interest. Refinance your auto, home, student loans or other loans to lower your monthly payments and interest rates and save money over a period of time.

Create a budget or spending plan and subtract your total monthly income (net) from your total monthly expenses and bills. Track spending daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Spend 70%, save 20%, donate 10% to charity.  

Pay bills as soon as you get your paycheck. Pay bills online, by phone (if there is no charge) or by postal mail.

Learn how to negotiate prices. Pay less for everything. Learn the sales cycle for every store you shop. Ask the store manager when items go on sale and the types of sales they offer. Sign up for text or email alerts or connect on company social media sites.

Spend less than you earn. Reduce spending by 30%. Pay for most items with cash. Buy more needs versus wants.  

Increase your income by at least $3,000 by getting additional training or education, getting a higher paying job or creating multiple streams of income.

Automate savings. Open a savings account at a bank that is outside of your neighborhood or away from your employer.  Create a savings account to cover monthly bills and expenses for 12-18 months. Look for online savings accounts that offer higher interest rates at

Do not depend on social security because it may not be enough to live on during. Remember retirement is for one; do not depend on your spouse or partner’s retirement to cover your retirement. Look for no load or funds with low fees.

Save at least 20% of your monthly income towards retirement. Your retirement account balance should equal at least 30 times your current salary. Maximize contributions at least up to the percentage your employer matches. Make “catch up” contributions if are 50 or older.

Pay down debt. Pay loans off prior to the end of the loan term. Refinance loans to pay them off sooner. Pay more than the minimum monthly payment on credit cards and loans.

Monitor your credit for free by ordering your credit reports at least once a year at and increase your credit score by at least 15 points. Keep credit card balances to 20% or less of the credit limit (pay off 80% of the balance).

Protect Assets
Get insured. Make sure you have adequate health, auto, life, disability and long-term care insurance. Reevaluate insurance policies yearly or when a big event occurs – marriage, childbirth, death, illness, divorce, etc. Ensure you have adequate coverage.

Setup an estate plan no matter what your income to ease the burden of handling your financial affairs when you die. Create a will and advanced medical directive. Create a trust to reduce estate taxes and clearly identify how, when, where and to whom you want your assets distributed.