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Debt Consolidation vs. Debt Settlement: What’s the Difference?

July 25, 2018

Young couple studies their debt paperwork with computer and bills, debating debt consolidation versus settlement.Understanding your options

Whether you’re looking into managing credit card debt or other debt solutions, it’s important to understand the differences between debt consolidation and debt settlement before you start. Let’s break it down so you can make an informed choice about what’s best for you. 


Debt Consolidation
A debt consolidation plan is a debt solution that seeks to make it more manageable for you to pay down your debt using a solid plan through a financial institution. It generally involves evaluating your current financial and credit standing, moving your existing debt into fewer loans (consolidating) to make them easier to pay down, finding ways to adjust your household budget and payment schedules to fit your current needs, and more. The most important aspect of debt consolidation is that this method can keep your credit in good standing.


Debt Settlement 
Debt settlement is about paying a creditor or collections agency to end, or “settle”, your debt obligation. You may end up paying less in total, because they may be willing to settle for less. This option will hurt your credit though, making it more difficult for you to obtain financing in the future; your rates will also most likely go up the next time you need to borrow. This solution also doesn’t address the financial habits that may have created the debt to begin with.


Which is Best?
Our goal is to educate you about your current financial situation, explain the details of the difference between these debt relief solutions, and explain how you can better manage debt in the future.


Live Smarter with expert assistance by making an appointment today to meet with one of our Financial Services Representatives.

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5 Tips for Paying Down Debt

July 25, 2018

Millennial man studies bills at his desk with computer open, wondering how to pay down debt.Manage your debt before it gets out of control 

Whether your debt is on credit cards or from other sources, take a proactive approach to paying it down. Manage your debt before it gets out of control by starting with one or more of these simple tips to pay off or reduce your debt. 

1. Pay More Than the Minimum
Start by paying more than the minimum required payment on your bill. That minimum keeps the extra fees at bay, though it doesn’t keep them from charging you interest, nor does it bring down the principal amount. Pay as much as you can manage each month.


2. Pay Your Smallest Bill First
If you have multiple bills to pay, pay down your smallest bills first, and when each is gone, put that amount toward paying off the next largest. The accomplishment will keep you motivated to keep it going. 


3. Pay The Highest Interest First
As an alternative, start with the card charging you the highest interest, and concentrate on paying that down first. Then move on to the next lower rate card. 


4. Pay Revolving Debt Before Installment Debt
If you have both revolving debt (borrowing against an open line, like a credit card) and installment debt (paid back in fixed amounts over a set period of time, like a mortgage, car, or student loan), reduce your revolving debt first and faster, while continuing to pay your installment debt. 


5. Adjust Your Budget
Find places in your household where you can temporarily cut back, and put that savings toward paying down your debt. You may even find, after your debt is paid down, that you’re used to the new budget, and you can put the new savings to work for you! 


With time, discipline, and determination, you can Live Smarter with a debt relief solution that works for you. Start by making an appointment today to meet with one of our Financial Services Representatives to discuss your options. 

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Posted in: credit, debt, manage, reduce, relief

How to Finance a Motorcycle

June 20, 2017

Man about to ride a motorcycle he financed
Getting ready to apply for a Motorcycle Loan

1. Find Out if You Qualify

You’ve dreamed about this bike for some time, but it’s not a good idea to rush in blindly when it comes to financing. We’re here to breakdown the process and answer your questions.

In many ways, financing a motorcycle is a lot like financing any other road-worthy vehicle. There are just a few key factors to consider if you want to know if you can qualify for a new or used motorcycle loan:

  • Your credit standing
  • Your debt to income ratio (cash flow)
  • Your cash in hand

Secondary issues will affect if and how you can pay back your loan, such as the length, interest rate, and other terms of your loan.

Learn more about our Motorcycle Loans here.

2. Check Your Credit Standing

This includes your credit history and credit-worthiness. You can check your own credit ahead of time and we’ll take a look during the loan approval or pre-approval process. Have you always made loan payments on time? Do you keep your credit within practical limits (avoid over-extending yourself)? Do you have a limited number of loans you are currently paying? Do you have high balances on your credit cards? These and other factors can affect your credit standing.

Talking with a loan representative can help you discover the details about your situation, and if your credit needs improvement, we can suggest some great moves to help.

3. Decide How Much You Can Afford

Before you apply for motorcycle financing, figure out your budget and get a rough idea of how much you can afford. You don’t want to stretch yourself thin so that you can’t make your loan payments for any reason. Consider how much you have left over each week or month, how much you have saved for a down payment, and how long you can reasonably expect to pay off a loan. We can sit with you and determine what you can afford.

4. Narrow Your Loan Choices

Ask any questions you have before finalizing the loan. We’re here to help, and make it as clear and simple as possible. 

Live Smarter

We want to do everything we can to help you get out on the open road sooner. Live Smarter by learning more, and schedule an appointment with one of our representatives for a Motorcycle Loan.


 

 

Member Testimonial: Bernadette Rella

August 22, 2016

We have a business savings and checking account with First Source which helps to keep track of our finances, plus a business line of credit to help with production runs and contracts.

Our experience with First Source has been great. The staff is very friendly and helpful and experienced in their field.

We had chosen First Source for all of our business needs, because I was comfortable with the staff and I have been a personal member for years.

We would recommend First Source to anyone with any banking needs. They just make you feel at home!

Bernadette Rella, Rella’s Originals

Credit Card Tip #2: Read the fine print

November 5, 2013

Credit card promotions definitely have their benefits, but remember to check the fine print. Balance transfers at 0% are great, but check to see how long you have to pay it off at that rate (it could be only a few months). Also note that 0% is only on the amount transferred; any new purchases fall under the card’s normal APR. And pay attention: find out which purchases get paid off first if you make a payment—the 0% or the standard APR ones.

Posted in: Card, Credit, Tips

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