Budgets, Taxes & Your Fresh Start

Once again, it’s tax time in the USA, and even though you’re digging through all of your receipts, statements, and paperwork from last year, it’s never too early to start thinking about this year!   If you’re like most people, as you go through all those papers, you’re looking at what you spent on things like groceries, electronics, utilities, and credit cards, and it can get pretty depressing.  You look at all those payments, and you start thinking that it’s really hard to ever get ahead when you’re paying so much interest every month.  You wonder if you’ll ever get everything paid off so you can relax and maybe even have a little bit of money left over in your budget at the end of each month.

Well, 2019 just might be the year that you are able to do that, if you’re ready to take the bull by the horns and make a few smart moves with your credit cards!

First and foremost, if you ever want to get them paid off, you’ve got to stop using them!  Gather up all your credit cards, take them out of your wallet or purse, and put them away.  That’s right, put them away.  Put them in a box, file, or on a shelf, but don’t carry them around any more.  If you don’t have them with you, you won’t be able to use them for those impulse buys!  And, chances are, if you have to go home to get one of your credit cards, you won’t go back to the store and use it.

Secondly, you’ve got to make a plan to pay off the bills that you already have, and you have a couple of options to accomplish this.  You can utilize money you have in savings, you can consider balance transfer options with introductory rates, or you can take out a personal loan.  All three of these options have both pros and cons – using your savings can eat up the cash that you have on hand, and should you have an emergency expense later on, you’ll end up having to use a credit card to pay that expense.  Taking advantage of a balance transfer option on a new or existing card is a great option as long as you are able to pay the balance off within the allotted time frame – if not, you’ll face a huge interest charge when the introductory period ends.  And finally, taking out a personal loan does involve interest charges, but typically those interest rates are less than credit card interest rates, so you do save in the end.

Which option is for you?  While the balance transfer is a good option for those who don’t have much credit card debt to pay off, when you need to consolidate a lot of credit card debt, a personal loan is usually the easiest way to pay off everything, lower your monthly payments, and still keep your emergency cash in savings.

Think a personal loan is the right choice for your financial situation? Take a look at these lenders and see if one fits the bill:

A Fresh New Year

As the year winds down and the new one starts, we’re all finding the first of many Christmas bills landing in our mailboxes every day.  Rather than start the new year off with the old year’s bills, why not start the new year off with a fresh start on all those Christmas bills?   With a simple balance transfer, you can combine one or more of your high interest credit cards with a new credit card with a zero percent introductory interest rate!  Not only will you save lots of money on interest, but you may actually cut down on your monthly bills, too!

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to make one payment instead of several? Wouldn’t it also be nice to see the balance on one credit card dropping lower and lower every month until it’s completely paid off?  With a 0% introductory rate on balance transfers, it’s actually possible!  

Where do you start?  First, sit down with all those monthly credit card bills, see what you owe, and how much you’re paying in interest charges.  Then, check out the balance transfer options for your credit score range.  And finally, apply for the one card that offers you what you need.  Some cards have a longer introductory period than others, while others offer cash rewards, lower or no fees, and more!  Make sure you study them carefully and read all the fine print, but chances are, you’ll save both money and time.  Just make sure that you plan ahead and pay off the balance transfer before the introductory period expires!

Here are some of the freshest balance transfer offers out there!


Get A Fresh Start on Your Budget!

You know, a fresh start on your credit isn’t just for those who have less than perfect credit.  Sometimes, those of us with Fair, Good, or even Excellent Credit need a fresh start on those monthly bills!  

That’s why, as the year winds down, you should sit down and take a good, hard look at your monthly bills… Just how much are you paying towards those credit cards every month?  What’s your interest rate?  How long will it take you to pay them completely off?  

If you could pay them off sooner, save money on interest, and have extra cash leftover at the end of every month, would you do it? 

Believe it or not, most people who take out a personal loan to consolidate all those credit card bills do end up with all of those things and then some!  So, go on, what are you waiting for? 

Take a look at your personal loan options today!

No Money for Christmas?

Even though the economy is a lot better, it’s still hard to find the money to buy Christmas presents!  In fact, there are times when it is nearly impossible to squeeze a few extra dollars out of your monthly budget, and this makes Christmas one of the most stressful times of the year for most of us.  But, if you don’t have the money for Christmas, you do still have a few really good options to get the gifts that you need and not completely ruin your budget.

Of those options, one of the best is to consider applying for credit with a catalog shopping site, like a Fingerhut Credit Account issued by WebBank , so that you can take advantage of one of the many holiday promotions that they’re offering this month!  From free shipping to no payments til Spring to low, low monthly payments, if you’re looking for the best way to buy gifts, you might want to look at catalog shopping.

Oh, and yes, there is still time to get approved, place your orders, and have everything wrapped and under the tree before Christmas!

Skip Black Friday Sales

Right about now, your mailbox is stuffed with Black Friday ads for the impending holidays, and catalog shopping ads offering you “Preapproved” credit of $300.00 or more with your first order… but is catalog shopping really a smart way to handle your Christmas shopping?   Catalog shopping can actually be far better than trying to fight those “Black Friday” shoppers, and depending on how you handle the buy now / pay later option, you could have a stress free Christmas!

At first glance, that preapproved credit line can be very appealing, especially if your credit is less than perfect or if you don’t have enough money saved to actually pay for holiday shopping.  But should you actually take advantage of the offers in your mailbox or should you consider alternatives?

Obviously, if the offer in your mailbox is from a well known, respected catalog merchant, like a Fingerhut Credit Account issued by WebBank, then you’re probably safe in sending an order in based on what’s in the catalog, but if you don’t recognize the catalog merchant or it’s just an application for credit, I’d be a little leery of sending in a written credit application. Instead, find the merchant online, read any independent reviews you can find, and apply online once you’ve determined that the vendor is legitimate.

Applying online is also typically faster as most applications get near immediate responses AND once you’re approved, you can usually shop the same day.  However, it’s best to take your time, study the products you’re interested in, study the pricing, and then decide how you’ll pay for what you plan to order before you actually place the order. You don’t want to be surprised by the payment terms (or interest rates) when the bill comes in after the holidays are over. Some sites, like Fingerhut, actually post the monthly payment that you’ll need to make along with the full price of the item, so you can determine if you can afford the payments.

Personally, I prefer to make a plan to pay off the account balance early if at all possible, so that I can save money on the interest rate AND see the little bump that I get on my credit score when I pay a balance in full. But in the event that you can’t pay it off early, then do try and pay extra when you can so that you, too, can save a little on the interest rate over time.

Remember, catalog shopping in itself can be a lifesaver when you don’t have the cash to buy the things that you need to buy, but you want to be a smart catalog shopper and use your credit wisely above all else.

Here are the most popular catalog shopping sites:

Can’t Find the Right Credit Offer?

Sometimes, even after you’ve perused all the websites that you can find searching for the right credit card, the perfect loan, or even the right credit reporting / monitoring vendor, you still can’t find what you want.

What should you do?  Just take whatever offer you got in the mail?  Settle for less than you want or need?  Pay more interest?  More annual fees?

Absolutely not!

When you run out of options, we encourage you to let the experts help you to find just the right credit card, or personal loan, or whatever you need.  Use the tools that you’ll find online, get your free credit scores, let them “match” you to the best credit cards for your credit score.

Otherwise, you’ll pay way too much for far too little.

Credit Cards & Catalogs

Well, the season is here again! If your mailbox is like mine, every day it is stuffed with both catalogs and credit card offers.

Buy now! Pay later! 15 months interest free! Pre-approved! Save money on interest!

But before you fill those credit card applications out, you might just want to sit down at your computer and compare what exactly you would be getting when you sign up for that new credit card.

Are you getting the best possible interest rate for your credit score? Remember, most of those mailers are based at least partly on the demographics for your area, meaning that it’s not just your credit that is considered, but also that of your neighbors, and other people around you.

Are there hidden fees? Is the length of the balance transfer offer the best one available for your particular credit score range? Read the fine print carefully. Over the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of credit card companies charging a monthly usage fee as opposed to an annual fee, especially if you’re in the lower tiers of the credit score ranges. That monthly usage fee could apply even if you don’t carry a balance on your card.

Are you absolutely certain that the offer is legitimate? Sadly, some of the credit card offers that you receive in your mailbox could very well be identity theft scams masquerading as credit card offers. Before you fill out any application (mail-in or online), verify the source!

Here at Fresh Start Card Offers, ALL of our online applications link directly to the credit card, catalog, or loan provider, so you can be sure that your personal information is safe!

Christmas is Upon Us Once Again

It’s almost impossible to believe, but it’s here again… time for Christmas shopping!

It’s literally just a little over 3 months until Christmas Day. How’s your Christmas budget this year? Do you have the cash saved up to buy all those gifts? If not, how’s your credit score? Do you have enough room on a credit card to charge it all? Do you have a credit card? Do you have credit?

You see, if you don’t have the extra cash or the credit that you need, your Christmas season quickly becomes the most stressful time of year… you try and you try to figure out where you’ll get the money for even just a few nice gifts for your family, your spouse, or your kids. And if you don’t have the money? Or a credit card to use? Relax. You still have options.

Fingerhut has long been known for working with those of us with less than perfect credit. Not only will they extend credit at times when others won’t, but opening a Fingerhut account might even improve your credit score!

So, go ahead – apply now and get the credit that you need to do this year’s shopping AND work on your credit score while you’re at it!

Planning Your Christmas Shopping Yet?

Last month, I wrote about the school supplies flooding the stores in anticipation of the onset of back to school shopping… hard to believe the kids are already back in school, isn’t it? Now we’re beginning to see Halloween decorations, Thanksgiving dinner ideas, and even Christmas decorations appear in the seasonal merchandise aisles, but it’s true. Yes, Christmas is literally just around the corner, and you know what that means? Yes, it’s the most expensive time of the year!

How will you afford this year’s Christmas gift giving? While there are a select few who have faithfully been saving all year, the rest of us will end up having to rely on Christmas bonuses from work, credit cards, and catalog shopping as a way to afford all of the Christmas gifts that we end up buying every year. And for some of us, even that can be a struggle, especially if you really don’t have the extra money, or you’ve had a financial setback recently.

Personally, one of the best ways that I’ve found to recover from those financial setbacks, as well as those severe cash flow shortages, is to consider doing your Christmas shopping through Fingerhut. Not only do they have nearly all of the big, brand name, most requested gifts available at competitive prices, but Fingerhut is well known for working with those of us with less than perfect credit, so not only can you get the credit you need to do your Christmas shopping, but your responsible use of that credit can be used to improve your credit score, as well.

You see, Fingerhut reports your available credit and your timely payments to all three of the major credit bureaus, so over time, and assuming that you’re seriously working at improving your credit score, most people see their credit scores begin to rise as these two factors are the most important ones on your credit report. And, Fingerhut is really good at increasing your available credit over time, too, so you’ll always have the credit with them that you need to buy those important gifts, or even something for yourself.

Isn’t it time to start planning your Christmas shopping?

(Did I mention Fingerhut’s Christmas Catalog? It is AWESOME!)

Christmas is NOT That Far Away!

The other day, I was in one of the department stores near my house, and I noticed that they’re already pushing school supplies.  Row after row of school supplies, as a matter of fact.  Then, it dawned on me.  Once school starts, the stores will be putting out Halloween and even Christmas decorations… in less than a month, we’ll start to see them.  And Christmas is now only five months away.

Have you figured out how you’re going to pay for this year’s Christmas gift giving?

Wait, you’re still trying to figure out how to put the kids back in school, right?  And now we’re talking Christmas?  Yep, Christmas really isn’t that far away, is it?  And if your money is as tight as mine at times, just the thought of having to come up with the money for Christmas triggers a sick little feeling right in the pit of your stomach, doesn’t it?

So, how will you afford Christmas?

You know, one of the best ways that I know to do your Christmas shopping when you don’t have a lot of money is to use a trusted catalog shopping site, with a credit program like the Fingerhut Credit Account issued by WebBank.

The thing that I like about Fingerhut, to be very honest, is the simple fact that when my credit was bad and no one else would even work with me, Fingerhut issued me a credit card for their site, and not only was I able to afford Christmas, but they also reported my regular payments to the credit bureaus, then rewarded my responsible monetary behavior with more available credit.  In fact, I probably have more available credit with Fingerhut than I do with any other creditor (and now that my credit score has bounced back, I actually have other credit cards, too).

So, when someone asks you how you’re paying for this year’s Christmas?

You might want to consider one of these catalog shopping sites: