Wink Capital Discusses How a Debt Consolidation Company Can Help You Pay Off Thousands in Credit Card Debt

According to The Balance, as of June of 2019, American debt had surged past its Great Recession level to over $1 trillion. The average credit card debt per U.S. household is $8,398.

According to The Balance, many people have amassed a large amount of debt because of high health care and gasoline prices. Also, people are forced to rely on credit cards to pay for unexpected expenses when they are laboring under gig economy jobs that fail to even pay minimum wage.

Wink Capital, a firm that specializes in helping consumers who are struggling under heavy debt loads, is often asked by customers how debt consolidation companies can help them pay off thousands of dollars in credit card debt.

Credit Card Rates Are Too High

According to CNBC, the current average credit card interest rate is 17.61 percent. At such a high-interest rate, it is not possible for most consumers to do more than service the interest rate every month.

In fact, CNBC found that almost a quarter of all people who carry debt expect that they will die a debtor. These types of interest rates are excessive and have kept many consumers from experiencing any financial recovery from the last recession.

One Key is to Lower Your Interest Rates and Payments

If you can significantly lower the interest rate you are paying, you will be able to make a greater payment on the principal each month.

How a Debt Consolidation Loan Can Help

A debt consolidation loan combines all of your high-interest, credit card debt into one personal loan with a lower interest rate and one payment each month. Your credit cards are paid in full with the loan proceeds. Then, rather than having payments that mostly pay the interest each month, you will be paying a greater portion of the principal each time.

Your debt consolidation loan will have a pay-off date, unlike your credit cards, which you may never have been able to pay off. The term of the debt consolidation loan is usually a few to several years. At the end of the loan term, if you have successfully made all of the payments, you will be free of the former credit card debt.

Additional Guidelines

During the pay-down period for your debt consolidation loan, you will need to be very careful and disciplined so that you don’t fall into the trap of amassing more debt. For this reason, there are a few guidelines you need to follow during the repayment period of your debt consolidation loan in order to make a full financial recovery.

Create a Budget

In order for debt consolidation to be successful, you will need to make a budget and carefully stick to it. A key is to make the payments on your debt consolidation loan as well as saving up money for a rainy-day fund. You need to create a space in your budget where you are putting money aside for annual expenses, auto repairs, and maintenance and other expenses that do not occur monthly. This should be easier to do because the debt consolidation loan will likely be a lower monthly payment than you were making to the credit card issuer.

The idea during the repayment period is to get on a strong fiscal keel and to stay there.

Reduce Expenses

Likely, when you look at your budget, you will find expenses that you can do without for a while, maybe forever. Some people think they can’t survive without their daily Starbucks, cable television or other subscription services. The truth is that their budget cannot likely survive these expenses. These daily and monthly expenses eat a hole in your monthly budget.

Whatever expenses you can eliminate will make it easier to begin to set money aside for the larger expenses that are not anticipated.

Put the Credit Cards Away

During this repayment period, you need to leave your credit cards at home in a drawer. Don’t use them unless you can pay the balance in full at the end of the month. Otherwise, you will risk getting deeper into debt.

Approached with care, a debt consolidation loan can help someone awash in high-interest credit card debt emerge into fiscal stability. Call us at Wink Capital with any questions you have about debt consolidation loans

Vlad Rigenco Career Change

Vlad Rigenco on the Ways to Transition Smoothly from One Career Path to the Next

The mere thought of changing careers after you’ve already invested many years into your current field can be downright terrifying to many people, and understandably so.

People are often scared of going out of their comfort zone as well as the unknown. If you’re looking to change careers, you’re basically taking on those two daunting challenges at the same time.

Still, even if the idea of suddenly shifting gears professionally may seem scary, it could be exactly what you need. Staying in the same line of work because you’re wary of making a change even though you’re mentally and physically exhausted is not ideal.

There’s no getting around the fact that taking up a new profession can be difficult, but the tips below should at least make the transition more manageable.

Don’t Shy Away from Networking

There are steps you need to take prior to handing in your resignation if you want to change jobs and one of those is networking.

According to entrepreneur Vlad Rigenco, networking is something you have to do if you want to grow your business, which makes a ton of sense. You typically have to start somewhere small if you’re an entrepreneur and that means that the early growth of your business depends on your marketing efforts.

Nothing’s going to happen if you don’t talk about your business.

That piece of advice from Vlad Rigenco is something you should still take to heart even if you have no plans of becoming an entrepreneur.

Networking allows you to form connections with other professionals; and who knows, the people you get to know may be instrumental in helping you gain entry into your desired field.  Asking someone you know who’s in your target industry for a job right away is not advisable, but there’s nothing wrong with seeking some insight that could prove beneficial down the line.

Save Money

In an ideal world, you will land a position in your target industry as soon as you leave your current job. However, things don’t always play out that way.

There’s a decent chance that you will remain unemployed for a while if you decide to change careers, but don’t let that dissuade you from pursuing your dream job.

The key here is to save money so that you can feel comfortable resigning from your current position while also taking the time needed to find the career that’s best for you. This article from Discover notes that saving up enough money to cover six months of expenses should be enough, but try to aim for a year’s worth if you can.

Saving money in general is always a good habit, but it’s a must if you want to escape the doldrums of your current line of work.

Figure Out What Career You Want to Pursue

Change, as they say, is constant. The job you always dreamed of having when you were a kid may not be something you enjoy as an adult.

It’s okay to change your mind, but before you resign, you should at least have a clear idea of what you want to do next.

To identify what career will suit you best, you can try consulting with a career coach. As noted by The Muse, a career coach can get to the heart of why you grew dissatisfied with your old job and also help you determine what you want to do next.

You can also try to take part in some self-assessment by using some tools recommended in this Harvard article. Those self-assessment tools can evaluate different facets of your personality and help you better understand what it is you should be doing.

Research the Industry

You must also take the time to research the industry you are thinking about joining.

Most job markets are very crowded these days. Plenty of qualified workers are passed over for jobs every day because the industry they want to get into doesn’t have many vacancies at the moment.

Be realistic with your assessment of the industry and if the timing is not right for you to enter it, you should consider other options in the meantime.

Do other things so that you are better equipped to make the transition in the future.

Take Up Classes or a Side Job

Speaking of doing other things that will prepare you better for a future career change, you can dip your toe into your preferred industry by starting out with a side job. The experience you gain from doing so may turn out to be incredibly valuable once it comes time for you to send in a formal job application.

You can also try taking up some classes that are relevant to your dream job. If your current skillset is not ideally suited just yet for the career you want, then supplemental classes should help change that.

Changing careers as an adult is not without risk, but sometimes, you simply have to take that chance if you want to achieve your goals. Give yourself better odds of succeeding by following the tips mentioned above.

Tuck Associates Shares Three Questions to Ask When Your Credit Score Drops

Noticing an unexpected credit score drop can cause someone to temporarily despise the financial system in the U.S. For those who might be working on rebuilding their credit, the feelings of hatred and anger are much stronger. Fortunately, there is always a way to reverse a reduction in someone’s credit score. Not to mention that many of them reverse on their own after a few weeks go by. To determine the best course of action for each situation, people must ask the following three questions.

Did I Use Credit Cards to Pay for Items?

According to the company that specializes in debt consolidation, Tuck Associates, the number one reason for credit score drops is an increase in utilization. When people go from never using their credit cards to suddenly paying with them for everything, their utilization will no longer be zero percent. Due to various spending limits, however, everyone’s new percentage will be different. The higher that the utilization goes, the lower the credit score will be. Fortunately, usage is one of the categories that often fixes itself. When a person starts using their credit cards for the first time, their credit will need some time to adapt to the new debt. If they maintain a consistent pattern of purchases and keep the utilization rate under 30 percent, the credit score will eventually rise.

Did I Forget to Make a Payment?

Late payments on any liability will immediately reduce the credit score. Unlike utilization, bouncing back from a missed deadline may take a long time. The reason why is that there is no “adjustment” period for someone who forgot to pay their bills. Instead, the overall consistency will go down, and it might take a few years to bring the percentage of timely repayments back up. This is why people who have multiple deadlines for their liabilities should remain proactive by covering all of the expenditures long before the due date.

Did I Close Any of My Accounts?

When people close their largest or oldest credit account, they seldom consider the effects on their credit score. In most cases, there will be a noticeable drop in points. While it may sound counterintuitive, two perfectly logical reasons explain why this situation ensues. Closing the oldest account will considerably reduce the average age of someone’s credit. Lower age will translate to a lower credit score. Closing the largest account will have a similar effect as the utilization rate goes up. Consider, for instance, a person that has 5 credit cards with a total spending power of $20,000 and a current debt of $6,000. If their largest account has a spending limit of $10,000, closing that account will increase the overall utilization rate from 30 percent ($6,000 divided by $20,000) to 60 percent ($6,000 divided by $10,000). Even though there is no new spending, the new usage percentage is twice as high, and the credit score subsequently plummets.

In case that none of these questions resolve the mystery, people should check if new collections were filed against them. Circumventing them, however, is borderline impossible because most collection disputes have an unfavorable outcome. Luckily, learning from the aforementioned questions from Tuck Associates can help avoid major credit issues, especially when it comes to large point deductions

What Is Customer Churn?

According to Forbes Magazine, over three-fourths of the customer service groups that are high-performers have at least an above-average understanding and use of predictive analytics. Medium calls the churn rate one of the most important measures of customer experience. What exactly is customer churn?

Churn Rate Definition

Investopedia defines the churn simply to be when a customer decides to stop doing business with a company. Churn rate can either be measured by customers lost in a given period of time or by customers lost divided by customers gained. The latter is a measure of growth.

How is it Measured?

For online presences, Medium states that churn occurs after a predetermined time period when the customer last used the service or purchased the product. This time period is dependent upon the type of business and the target customer pool.

What is really important is to compare the growth rate to the churn rate. If the churn rate is higher, the company is losing its customer base. Companies with higher growth rates to churn rates are taking on more customers than they are losing, so they are in a period of growth.

Why is Churn Rate Critical?

As reported in Medium:

  • When companies reduce their churn rates by 5 percent, their profits tend to increase by 25 to 125 percent.
  • Each new customer costs, on average, five times more to gain than it does to keep your existing customer base.
  • Churned out customers may give your company negative reviews in social media.
  • When a company’s churn rate is high, it is a sign that either a product or service is failing to provide value or meet expectations or that there is a customer service issue.

Things to Look for in Churn Rate

Are your customers switching to another provider or are they no longer purchasing that product or service at all? This is an important point in your steps to reduce customer churn.

Forbes suggests gathering data to find out why customers leave. This data can be a part of predictive analytics. In turn, that data can be used to carefully identify the customers who are at risk of churning out. Then, messages can be sent to help induce customers to decide to stay.

Other Means of Reducing Churn

Medium suggested a few other means of reducing churn:

  • Give your best customers a larger focus
  • Ensure you are targeting your ideal client
  • Give the best customer service
  • Identify your different market demographic segments and personalize your appeal to each segment
  • Fully and quickly resolve complaints to the customer’s satisfaction
  • Think of ways to get the customers back in the fold and satisfied

Don’t Forget to Upsell and Cross-Sell

Forbes suggests that upselling existing customers and finding new products to meet their needs are also an important part of customer satisfaction and retention.

Customer churn is a critical predictive analytic factor. The more your business knows about not only the churn rate but also about the reasons behind churn, you will be able to find effective means of retaining customers and preventing churn