Negotiating Credit Card Debt – The Do-it-Yourself Method of Debt Negotiation For Credit Cards

If your consumer debt has become too much to handle and you are starting to wrack up late charges, you may have considered negotiating credit card debt through a debt settlement firm. Although working with a settlement firm gives you third party expertise and stops calls from creditors and collection agencies, it can be costly. Instead, you may want to consider negotiating debt yourself.

With debt negotiation, the idea is to try and get your creditor to agree to accept a lower payment amount for the balance due. The agreed upon amount is paid in one lump some – payment plans are not part of debt negotiation. Creditors are willing to do this when they fear that they may lose the entire loan amount if a consumer files for bankruptcy. Because of this, they are generally not willing to negotiate unless you have fallen behind on your payments, usually by at least three months. If this is the case, then you can begin your negotiations by simply picking up the phone and calling your creditors’ customer service departments.

Before you make the call, you should do some preparation. Create a detailed budget so that you are aware of your financial situation – this will help you better explain it to someone else. Decide on the amount you can afford to offer the creditor. Never ask the creditor for the amount they are willing to accept, as this may not be an amount that you can afford.

When you speak with someone, try to remain calm and polite. Yelling or getting worked up with not help your cause. Explain your current financial situation with enough detail to get your point across, but not so much that you become long-winded. Inform the creditor of your goals to pay off your debt and avoid bankruptcy. Make it clear that by accepting your offer, the creditor will come out better off than if they leave it to chance.

Finally, as part of your negotiation, try to get your creditor to agree to report the account status as “Paid in full” or “Pay to delete”. With the latter option, the creditor agrees to delete your account history when you pay. Otherwise, you may get a “settled” or “paid as agreed” status, both of which can damage your credit score. In general, collection agencies are usually more willing to agree to lower payoff amounts and to alter their credit reporting than are other creditors.

With the right attitude and preparation, do-it-yourself debt negotiations can not only be successful at reducing your debt, they can save you the costly fees charged by debt negotiation services.

Finding Cool Presents For All Your Family and Friends

Is it your best friend’s birthday? Maybe it is your anniversary in a relationship or marriage. In any case, most people have a hard time finding cool presents for those that they care about. It really should not be that hard if you follow the tips set forth below.

First, make a list of those people for whom you would like to buy a gift. Think hard about where these people fit into your life. Some of these people may be very close to you. You mutually know each other and what each of you enjoy doing. Others on your list may not be as close, such as a brand new friend or your boss. Even though you do not have a closeness with them, you may decide to keep them on the list. You really do not have to put much thought in finding cool presents for these people. Just get them something that most people like and you will hit it right most of the time.

On the other hand, those on your list that are close to you require a little more thought when choosing the right gift. When choosing cool presents for these folks, you need to review what they like to do, such as their hobbies. Then, make a mental note of what they have already and what they need in relation to a certain hobby. Of those things they still need, figure out which items you can afford, choose the one of those the recipient needs the most and buy it. In other words, if your friend or family member is into astronomy, do not by them a telescope if they already have one. Be practical when choosing your gifts.

After you have made your list, it is time to go shopping. However, why get in the car and go to the mall when you can shop online from the comfort of your own home. Most of the popular stores (Best Buy, K-Mart, Sears, Walmart, etc) also have a website where you can buy their products. Often, these stores have deals that are only good through the website. In other words, you can not get the same deal if you walk into the store.

There are also businesses, such as kippsmart.net, that are strictly online that are worth checking. You can often find better deals online than you can when you physically go to the mall. There is a shipping charge. However, when you consider the cost of gas and your time, you can still save a great deal when you shop for cool presents online.

Crystal and Glass Are Now Very Popular With Corporate Awards Presentations

By far the most popular awards with companies and other associations looking for prestigious awards at their award ceremonies are quality crystal trophies, claret jugs, and other crystal items. Crystal really seems to have taken over from other awards. A good reason for this is because a lot of the awards presented have enough room for good quality engravings. These engravings often contain artwork of various types like company logos and appropriate pictures with reference to the particular award category.

Why has crystal become so popular at company presentations? It cannot just be because of the engraving potential. Something that struck me at the last event I was at where crystal awards were being presented was how good the crystal and glass reflected the stage lighting shining on them. Glistening like a table full of fallen stars, the sight was breath taking, and must have been exciting for the winning recipients as they walked up to the stage to collect their trophy. Yes the artwork was good, but there was something about the crystal decanters and claret jugs that oozed class and quality. People were genuinely impressed at how good they looked, both the people winning them and those at their tables who were not so lucky that night in picking up any awards themselves.

Pewter and silver plated tankards and salvers still look good, don’t get me wrong. But even at golf club events where tankards and salvers were the staple award for presentations, crystal trophies, and indeed crystal tankards are now becoming more dominant out of all the awards presented. It could just be a phase, or a fashion. Maybe it will slowly become less popular, and once again the various metal awards will become more fashionable.

A golf club manager explained to me once as I drank in the bar after playing eighteen holes with my business partner that crystal trophies usually comes boxed in presentation cases and have a charm and presence not found in many metal and resin awards. He told me how golf clubs had moved more towards crystal to upkeep the image of high quality at their awards evenings and competition days. I suppose when other clubs are awarding a particular type of trophy or award, it doesn’t take long for most to follow suit. No golf club wants to be seen as offering inferior awards at their functions.

Will new materials take over from the current trend of crystal and glass? Most alternatives, like gold, silver and platinum are far too expensive to be presented in large amounts at a presentation evening or sporting function. I personally think that crystal and glass will lead the way for a long time. Many products are now cheap enough for football & rugby clubs now, and many associations look to present crystal awards instead of the traditional metal and resin ones. I suppose we will have to wait and see if things change back to the traditional resin and metal items. I am quite happy if they don’t.