It’s Never Too Early to Start Planning For Retirement

For many young, working professionals, retirement is a far-off thought that doesn’t require any urgency or immediate planning. In reality, it’s closer than you may think. While you may be busy working right now, before you know it, it’s time to retire. To ensure you’re in a healthy spot financially, there are steps you can take in the present day to make that a reality.

Retirement will look different for each individual, but a common goal is to have enough money set aside to enjoy those post-professional years. It’s never too early to think about your future, especially when it comes to your finances.

Let’s look at a few tips and pieces of advice that will help you take the first steps.

How to Get Your Finances in Order

When you reach retirement age, you’ll likely be ready to leave the workforce and enjoy more time with your family. To live comfortably, your money must be set aside now and as often as possible. Getting your finances in order is an essential step to living your retired years more fulfilled.

1. Making Early Contributions

While it may seem like a distant future, your retirement will be here before you know it. Contributing money early is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure you can live comfortably when you’re no longer working.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to put every spare dollar you have into a retirement account, mainly because many working professionals cannot afford to make drastic contributions. The good news is that every dollar counts, and even if you start with small deposits and work your way to more significant contributions, you’re making an impact. As you transfer more money throughout the years, interest will compound, and you’ll be left with a more significant balance.

2. Practice Smart Spending Now

Depending on how much you’re able to save over the years, your disposable income may vary. However, since you won’t be working anymore and receiving a steady income, you will be operating on a fixed budget. When that time comes, the spending habits you’ve procured as an adult will likely impact how you’re able to make your money last throughout your retirement.

Do you have a substantial budget in place? Are you able to spend less money on variable expenses like entertainment and instead put those funds into your savings? Do you know how to stop sales at the grocery store to save money? These habits will stick with you as you age, and if you know how to balance responsible saving with enjoyable spending, you’ll have the tools you need to make your money last throughout your golden years.

3. Deal with Your Debt

The longer you build up debt, the more challenging it becomes to pay it off and live comfortably. It’s essential to get out of debt well before retirement to enjoy the money you’ve saved rather than paying off creditors.

Consolidating your debt is a resourceful way to streamline your payments. Working with alternative lenders like is a convenient way to access funds without the paperwork and extensive interviews associated with traditional lenders. The goal is to pay off as many debts as you can, so you’re left with one or two payments to keep track of. Once you can get out of debt, you can use your income to save your retirement accounts.

Key Pieces of Advice

Thinking about retirement can feel overwhelming, especially when it comes to the financial aspect. It’s important to know how to approach this new phase in your life and just as important to know which steps you can take in your early working years to maximize your enjoyment later on.

1. Understand Your Area’s Taxes

Do you know how much of your retirement fund is tax-free? Understanding the tax proceedings in your area will likely impact how much you should aim to save today. If your withdrawals are tax-free, then you can rest easy knowing you aren’t losing any of your contributions. On the other hand, if your accounts are subjected to taxes, you can now decide to try and contribute more of your income to offset those losses.

2. Stay Up-to-Date with Your Finances

Making a point to schedule regular financial check-ins is a beneficial habit to put into practice as early as possible. Setting aside a quarterly or yearly meeting with your financial advisor is a smart way to hold yourself accountable and examine where you could make even better spending or saving choices.

When you prioritize checking in with yourself financially, you’re creating a healthy habit that will follow you well into retirement. When you’re living on limited capital, you’ll want to ensure you’re always up-to-date with your finances so you can trim your spending accordingly or treat yourself to that vacation you’ve always dreamed of.

3. Plan For Your Lifestyle

As a working professional, you should have an idea of how your spending affects your desired lifestyle. While your habits may change slightly as you age, certain lifestyle traits will likely remain the same — for example, if you love to travel, chances are this will still be a part of your personality even after you’ve retired. To ensure you’re able to enjoy travelling, your savings will need to reflect this.

On the other hand, if you prefer a low-key lifestyle and are on the frugal side, you may be able to stretch your money longer. The key is to clearly understand your spending habits and how you enjoy spending your free time to ensure you can match that when working with limited money.

When it comes to thinking about retirement, it’s never too early to start making plans. Creating healthy spending and saving habits early on will set a positive precedent as you move into the next phase of your life. Knowing how to balance your finances now and making contributions to your investments and retirement accounts is the simplest way to ensure you have everything you need when you reach that milestone.

7 Important Things You Need To Know About Bankruptcy

Uttering the word “bankruptcy” was once taboo. Anyone that found themselves over their head in debt without any way out would only consider such an option in total secrecy. However, as more people find their way deeper in debt the stigmatism associated with these words is quickly evaporating.

So, if you find that you are over your head financially and cannot see a way out, you should consider taking the help of professionals from as they might be able to find a way that is better than filing for bankruptcy. However, if you are sure to file for bankruptcy, you should also know that you will suffer some backlash for years and your credit will be affected badly. Here are some things you should consider before filing for bankruptcy.

1. There Is More Than One Bankruptcy

There are at least two different types of bankruptcies for individuals. Chapter 7 allows an individual to completely liquidate their assets and then use the money received to pay off their creditors. In Chapter 7, some physical assets you own can be excluded from the process (car, home, and personal possessions). In Chapter 13, your debt is reorganized with the courts help so you can pay off most of it.

2.  It’s A Long Process

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Going through bankruptcy proceedings is not as cut and dry as it seems. It is not like you will file and the next day and it’s all over. Expect to spend a minimum of four months going through the entire process if you are filing for Chapter 7. Chapters 11 and 13 could easily take years before it is all over.

3. Your Finances Are Opened Up For Public Scrutiny

Usually, when people are in serious debt, they try to hide their personal financial situation. When you file for bankruptcy though, get ready to go public. Your financial record will be exposed to the public listing all of your debts, assets, expenses, and income – mistakes and all. You will be asked probing questions in front of creditors, which can be very embarrassing.

4. Some Debts Cannot Be Discharged

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When filing for Chapter 7, some debts like credit cards, repossessions, medical bills, and unpaid rent may be discharged, but there are some debts that cannot. If it is revealed that you made excessive use of your credit just prior to filing bankruptcy, creditors can challenge the request to eliminate them. You may not be able to get rid of some debts and end up footing the bill for them anyway. If you are unsure about the entire procedure, you may seek advice from the professionals from They would be able to help you in such stressful situations.

5. It’s A Complicated Process

Filing for bankruptcy is not easy. You will be required to fill out many confusing and difficult forms, that contain complex questions in relation to your finances. It is not a process that can be rushed so make sure you have adequate time to understand and fill everything out honestly and as accurately as possible. This is why most people opt to use a bankruptcy attorney to walk them through the process.

6. It Will Affect Your Credit Score

While there are many factors that go into determining your credit score, expect that you will get at least some negative impact. On average, a person’s score could expect to drop as much as 200 points, which could be very damaging. This could kick you off a good credit rating for several years after you file.

7. It Is Not Cheap

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The cost of filing for bankruptcy can vary depending on individual circumstances, but it will cost you. Some people can save on bankruptcy fees by filing all the forms themselves, but even then, there are expensive filing fees that need to be covered. If you hire an attorney to do much of the grunt work for you, then expect to pay anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on how much work is involved.

Filing for bankruptcy is one way, but it comes with many challenges. Before you file, make sure you fully understand everything that is involved so you can navigate safely through the complex process.

What Can You Expect from Your Bankruptcy Lawyer?

Did your business go awry? Did something huge happen that led you to debt? Bankruptcy is a term for when a debtor cannot repay their outstanding debts. It’s difficult for you to get out of these debts without any assistance. During bankruptcy, your non-essential properties, like your properties and possessions are used to clear your debt.

Bankruptcy lawyers are essentially your partner during your bankruptcy. During the court proceedings, they will hold a council and assist you in reducing or eliminating debt; or to proceed forward with bankruptcy. They will help you go through the labyrinth of paper works and decisions.

These special batch of lawyers will guide you through key decisions like filing a bankruptcy case. Your lawyer will choose which case is most suitable for you. Two of the most prominent cases are chapter 7 and chapter 13 cases. Filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy case means that you will use your properties and possessions to pay your outstanding debt. Your lawyer will help you choose which properties you need to give up and which you should save.

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On the other hand, a chapter 13 bankruptcy case denotes that you will have to file a plan of repayment. Your lawyer will guide you through the best repayment plan for you.

Bankruptcy is not a walk in a park.  These lawyers are professional in their fields. Your whole life and saving may be right in their palms. Here are things that you can expect from your bankruptcy lawyer.

1. These lawyers have trained and studied to become who they are. They will give off an air of professionalism. Expect that your lawyer will able to calmly and properly help you through your court proceedings.

2. Sound Advice. Like above, these people are professionals. They know the in and outs of bankruptcy. They will be your guide through this storm. You can expect to receive sound advice on your decisions, whether it is about going through things you need to sell, or about choosing a long-term repayment plan.

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3. Missing a bankruptcy deadline can cause a rollercoaster of problems in the long run. It may cause delays in your proceedings or, in the worst case, the dismissal of your case. Lawyers are trained to be prepared to file your case and submit your paper works in time.

4. Your lawyer will have a proper understanding of your case after they receive your information. With this, then they can correctly choose which bankruptcy case is most applicable to your problem.

Filing for bankruptcy is hard, and it will surely damage your record. However, if you ever find yourself in such a precarious situation, then Hanson Bankruptcy is your key to success. A bankruptcy lawyer is a trusted confidant during your bankruptcy. They are professionals in their field, and they will surely not let you down. They will get you out of bankruptcy through their knowledge and experience. A lawyer is your partner during these times.

Drowning in Debt? 9 Reasons to Use a Personal Loan to Pay off Credit Card Debt

Do you ever feel like you’re treading water financially? Are you living paycheck to paycheck because of your credit card debt?

The average person has more than $35,000 in debt, and credit cards are largely to blame. They seem like such a convenient option until that interest rate kicks in.

You could be paying your minimum balance every month toward interest instead of lowering your principal. Is there a better option out there?

In this article, we’ll give you the lowdown on using a personal loan to pay off credit card debt. We’ll also help you find bad credit personal loans.

Unsecured vs. Secured Loans

The first step toward getting a personal loan is to talk to a credit union about which kind of loan you need. Credit unions often have lower interest rates than banks and are more willing to lend money.

A secured loan means that you’ll be putting up collateral, such as your car or even your house. If you have decent credit, you may be able to get a lower rate on a secured loan.

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On the other hand, an unsecured loan requires a credit score of at least 700. Before you talk to your bank or credit union, take a few minutes and check out your credit score online.

In general, it’s a good idea to go to a credit union for personal loans. Their interest rate tops out at 18% and you may have longer repayment options.

Slash Your Interest Rate

One of the best reasons for taking out a personal loan is getting a lower interest rate. If you’re committed to paying off your credit card debt, you need a manageable interest rate.

Here’s an example: if you have $1,000 in credit card debt and a 25% interest rate, you’ll end up paying $1,280 over the course of two years.

That’s $200 more than you owed, just going to interest.

If you can get a personal loan that has a rate of 18%, you’ll only have to pay $1,100 in total.

Of course, if your credit is good, you’ll end up paying far less in interest.

Lower Your Monthly Payment

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Another benefit of personal loans for credit card debt is lowering your monthly payments. If you want to double up on payments, you can, but that could actually hurt your credit score.

Surprisingly, your credit score improves when you have a few open accounts. You don’t want to drag out your repayment schedule, but you do want to establish a consistent payment history.

Even if you have iffy credit, there are bad credit loans with guaranteed approval. Before you apply for a personal loan, think about how much you can repay every month.

Ideally, you should be aiming for a 24-month or 12-month repayment schedule.

Consolidate Your Debt

Before you get a credit card debt loan, make sure that your credit cards allow balance transfers. Some credit cards offer 0% interest for the first year, but they don’t always let you consolidate all of your accounts.

If you’re wondering how to consolidate credit card debt, just talk to the loan agent at your local credit union. They can help you contact your credit cards and combine them into one account.

If your debt is greater than $10,000, you might want to talk to a credit specialist. They can coordinate your debt consolidation, getting you a lower interest rate.

For accounts that are in default due to non-payment, try to see if the company will take a partial repayment.

Are Payday Loans Worthwhile?

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Payday loans are short-term loans that often have high interest rates. You might think that a payday loan is a good idea, but you have to make sure you can pay it back immediately.

The problem with payday loans is that you’re going to be charged $20 or more for every $100 that you borrow. So for a $1,000 loan, you’ll need to pay back $1,200.

If your repayments were spread out over a few years, you could pay $50 per month. However, payday loans need to be repaid within a week or two.

Before you decide to get a payday loan or a title loan against the value of your car, talk to your credit union or look for a bad credit loan online.

The Hidden Cost of Being in Debt

Lots of us panic when it comes to our money. We worry that we’re always going to be in debt and we worry about being able to retire comfortably when we get older.

The truth is that money-related stress can be terrible for your health. If you have headaches or insomnia more than once per week, you could be setting yourself up for heart disease or a stroke.

If your level of debt is starting to get to you, it’s time to do an audit. Take out all of your credit cards and check their interest rates.

Next, give them a call and make sure they allow full payoffs with a personal loan. Loans can take a few weeks to clear, so you may have to make one more round of payments on your credit cards.

Get a Personal Loan to Pay off Credit Card Debt

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When you get a personal loan to pay off credit card debt, you’re going to have to stick to the repayment schedule.

Any lapse in payment will be reported to the credit bureau and will hurt your credit score. Always make sure that you can repay the amount that you’re borrowing.

After you get your personal loan and pay off your credit cards, you should probably cancel those accounts. Having active credit cards on hand will just get you back into the same situation.

Just look at it this way: the sooner you pay down your credit card debt, the sooner you can start to save for retirement.

Are you interested in making more money but you don’t know how? Check out our blog and start investing to live your best life!

5 Interesting Facts About The Credit Repair Industry

In today’s financial well-being, your credit reports and scores define you, and they are too important to ignore. They determine whether you will be saving money or spending more. The biggest credit reporting companies in the United States are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

These three giants usually get information from their own sources and on things like car and mortgage loans or credit card. And if you have a bad credit score, you need to get it fixed with credit tradelines. That’s why credit reports can have some errors if you haven’t got it repaired. Here are five interesting facts about the credit repair industry.

1. 35% Americans Adult Have A Report of Debt

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It’s estimated that almost 77 million Americans i.e. around 35% of the total US population already have a report of debt in collections. It’s estimated that an American has on an average $5,000 in debt i.e. around $5000 multiplied by 77 million Americans, which comes to $385 billion on debt – that’s a whopping figure. Phew!

Debts in collections don’t include car and mortgage alone. They also include a credit card balance, as well as medical utility bills that have over three months due and are already in collections. About 5% of people who have a credit file already have debt or past due on non-mortgage payment.

2. They Always Have Free Annual Report

The most effective way of identifying and correcting errors is by getting your credit report yourself and analyzing it. Some people don’t do that, and when they fail to, errors are left untouched and continue to spoil your credit. If you understand what an error in your credit report means, you know that it’s far worse news than death.

To make it worse, not everyone knows that they have the right to receive an annual report every year. The three credit giants (as mentioned above) allows you to receive the free credit report. It’s necessary to go through your annual report so that you can review your past credit history and plan for future credits and loans.

3. Almost a Quarter Of Disputes Are Related To Collections

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You would never want to end there, but circumstances force you to. Some people have found themselves in that situation. According to 2011 statistics, credit report companies received 8 million emails and calls from consumers to solve up to 38 million items in their credit files.

40% of the disputes is debt in collections and are 5 times the disputes culminating to mortgage information. CFPB reports that some of the disputes in collections concern the consumers’ negative information on their credit reports.

4. Large Companies Are The Source of Most Information

You are probably learning this now, but yes, large companies like The Bank of America and hundreds of others give information about credit reports to the three largest credit reporting companies. They are called data furnishers, and they provide 76% of credit report data.

It’s good to know. Right? You probably thought you were the only one responsible for most of your credit information. You can bet you aren’t the only consumer who had the same thought. Large banks and companies are the sources of information, and they really have an impact on many consumers as far as credit report industry is concerned.

5. Five Factors Determine FICO Score

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Five factors make up all FICO scores. Those factors consist of

  • your payment history
  • the amounts you owe to institutions
  • your new credits
  • the length of your credit history
  • and lastly your credit mix.

The last four make about 65% of the FICO score.

Your payment history single-handedly takes about 35% of your FICO score. There is a myth going around that your level of education also contributes to FICO score. Whether you are a school dropout or have a Ph.D. from Harvard, people that calculate your FICO score don’t care.


As we wrap it up, you now know some facts about the credit repair industry. However, you should know that some of the reports aren’t calculated or structured the same. They contain info about the activity and situations about your credit.