American consumers love plastic. It is easy to use those credit cards and safer than carrying large amounts of money. Retailers like credit cards since people usually spend more when they use them. Special programs and bonus points encourage folks to reach for the card whenever they shop. Unfortunately, the convenience of using credit cards is habit-forming. That is a big problem.
The Unnoticed Cost
The interest rates credit card companies charge are a threat to financial wellness. The rates are ordinarily double-digit charges on purchases, and that adds to an already outstanding balance. The debt increases steadily as a consumer relies on plastic to pay for even small items. Anyone can quickly accumulate a five-figure due balance. Action must be taken before things get out of hand.
No one should ignore ever mounting credit card balances. These figures can lead to choices no one wants to make. However, there are some ways that people can get their credit cards under control.
- Never use credit cards for necessities. Utilities, rent, and groceries should never be charged to a credit card. Those expenses are ordinarily significant, and the charged interest rates increase the debt.
- Always pay on time. If possible, pay before the deadline each month to avoid any penalty for overdue payment.
- Consolidate debt when possible. Credit card companies offer a chance to consolidate all a person’s credit card debt at lower interest rates. It is not a bad idea, but a person must remember that once the grace period is over, existing credit card payments may include older and higher interest rates.
- Negotiate lower interest rates. If a person’s credit rating is strong, it is possible to bargain with the credit card company to lower the interest rates. It depends on the card issuer, however.
Seek the Right Help
A person can use the advice of financial wellness professional. Not someone who is a cable network guru but a person who usually helps people with common money issues. Countrywide Pre-Paid Legal Services offer help for those sinking in a sea of credit card red ink. Finally, we have a financial wellness benefit that produces results.
We have a nationwide network of certified counselors who will help a client organization’s employees come to grips with their finances. A counselor will benefit by doing a budget analysis to determine the financial wellness plan member’s cash flow. After that, suggestions are made on how to trim certain expenses so that money is available for paying off the credit cards.
The counselor can recommend various programs and tactics to eliminate credit card debt or reduce the burden. For example, that professional might know of reasonable consolidation programs. In addition, paying down credit cards should include an emergency fund so that sudden, significant bills can be paid immediately. A Countrywide counselor can recommend ways to establish those extra savings.
The Client Is Part of the Process
The Countrywide financial wellness benefit has several options that a prospective client organization might consider. It is vital to have a benefit that meets the needs of all the employees and not just a few. The best way to guarantee that is client input in the benefit design.
We explain all our benefits to a prospective client and point out how each one can assist the employees. We will answer all questions completely without trying to promote one option over another. Then, having explained everything, will step back, and let the client choose the options that would be part of the financial wellness benefit plan. Those are included in the plan document, and Countrywide will provide the administration and member services.
Our benefits intend to take significant domestic burdens off hard-working employees’ backs. Folks with medical bills, college debt, and even those facing bankruptcy learn how to deal with expenses. If you have any questions about what we offer, please feel free to contact us at your earliest convenience. We want to be of service and welcome the opportunity to do so.