19 Ways to Avoid the Obamacare Tax Penalty. (I Did a Happy Dance When I Got to #14.)

If you didn’t carry qualifying health insurance last year, then you could be facing a stiff Obamacare penalty tax when you go to file your returns this year. The penalty could be anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to a few thousand depending on your income.

So can you avoid the Obamacare tax penalty? Actually, yes. There are, in fact, 19 different exemptions that allow you to avoid the tax.

Continue reading 19 Ways to Avoid the Obamacare Tax Penalty. (I Did a Happy Dance When I Got to #14.)

Debt Blogging – The Biggest Benefit of a Public Debt Blog

I began this debt blog, which I called Debt Reduction Formula, in September of 2007.

That happened to be the same month I sold my home in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and moved into a rental home in Parker, Colorado.

At the time, I owed $75,286.38 in debt. I was really feeling the pressure of the debt I owed and felt I needed to do something proactive to get it under control.

Continue reading Debt Blogging – The Biggest Benefit of a Public Debt Blog

Car Taxes – Know Your Tax Rate Before You Buy

This past fall, my mom decided to sell her 2006 Honda Pilot and upgrade to a new Pilot. My wife and I had been getting by with just our van for a few months, but we were ready to have a second car again.

So: Rather than go car shopping, we decided to buy my mom’s used Pilot. It had relatively low miles and was still in good condition. Plus, my mom was willing to give us a good price.

I called up USAA because they offer really good rates on car loans. I was already pre-approved, so the car loan was processed quickly. Of course, I had to decide how much of the car I wanted to finance, as well as if I wanted extra to cover the sales tax.

Continue reading Car Taxes – Know Your Tax Rate Before You Buy

Getting Out of Debt Not Always Straightforward

Getting out of debt is not always a straightforward process, especially if you’re self-employed like I am.

Last year, I made some business investments that didn’t pay off quite as well as I wanted. As a result, I had to tap my line of credit in late fall and again in January to pay taxes.

With a job, you have predictable income. But in business, cash flow can often be erratic and unpredictable.

Continue reading Getting Out of Debt Not Always Straightforward

Debt Consolidation Programs – Benefits & How to Avoid Scams

If you’re burdened with your unpaid bills and want to get out of financial trouble, you may opt for debt consolidation programs. With the help of these programs you can simplify your debts and become debt free.

Debt consolidation programs

A debt consolidation program combines all your multiple debts into a single one. Whether or not you will be eligible for the program will depend upon several factors, like, your credit report, amount of debt you owe, your current income, etc.

All your unsecured debts will be consolidated into a single one. You may have to take a new loan for this, at a lower interest rate. It will be easier for you to make a single payment towards the new loan, instead of paying multiple creditors.

You may take a home equity loan or a new debt consolidation loan to consolidate your multiple debts into a new one. If you take a new loan you may have to use your home or car as collateral.

You will need to negotiate with your creditors to consolidate your unpaid debts, with a new loan at a lower interest rate. You may do this negotiation on your own or get the help of third-party professionals to find out the most suitable consolidation program for you and do the negotiation, on your behalf.

Benefits of a consolidation program

A consolidation program has several benefits which are mentioned below:

  • Single payment: This program helps you to make a repayment plan according to how much you can afford. Once your creditors approve the plan, you have to make a single monthly payment to pay off your debt.
  • Counseling: If you opt for a consolidation program with a consolidation company, they will do counseling with you to help you realize your financial goals.
  • Negotiation with creditors: The consolidation company also negotiates with your creditors, on your behalf, to lower your interest rate and waive off your fees towards late payments.
  • Less time: If you opt for a consolidation program, you may get rid off your debts in 4 to 6 years. Thus, in a very short time you will be able to attain freedom from debt.

Debt consolidation programs are beneficial for you if it really helps you to get rid off your debts in a shorter time. With the help of this program you can also pay less than the amount you actually owed. However, you need to be aware of the fraudulent companies and avoid those.

How to avoid fraudulent companies

To avoid scam companies, you need to find the reliable and authentic companies, based on the following factors:

  • Proper license holder: Every state has its own list of license-holder companies. Prior to enrolling for a consolidation program with a company, you should make sure that it has a valid license. You can get the list of license-holder companies from the office of the attorney general.
  • BBB rating: Every registered company receives a grade from the Better Business Bureau. You can see the rating of the company to know about its credibility.
  • FTC: The Federal Trade Commission has a list of companies against which the customers have lodged any sort of complaint. Before selecting a company you can check with the FTC list and find out whether or not the company is reliable.
  • Consult with relief networks: You can take help of people associated with relief networks. It has experienced people concerned with debt, so you will get authentic advice/suggestions on the program you may want to opt for.

If you want to opt for debt consolidation programs, you should choose reliable and authentic agencies. You can get list of authorized agencies from the Yellow Pages or from the Internet. You can also get references from friends and neighbors.

Before finalizing with an agency you should make sure that it has legal accreditations so you do not fall prey to a scam and lose your hard-earned money.

About the Author: Jason Holmes is a regular writer with Debt Consolidation Care and is also a contributor to other financial sites. His expertise is woven around various aspects of the debt industry and with his e-books he tries to impart to people the different situations and simple solutions to get out of difficult situations. Some of his works include e-books like Credit Score: The Quintessential Therapy for a Happy Pocket, Take Creditors and Collection Agencies to Small Claims Court, and My Story- From Depression to a Smile.