Planning Starts With The Basics

Written by Jonathan Citrin

Continued from page 1

Balance Sheet

A balance sheet is a snapshot of your personal finances at one point in time. It contains two main elements: what you own (assets), and what you owe (liabilities). Your net worth is expressed as: Net Worth

Jonathan Citrin provides financial goal planning services. Go to for hundreds of educational articles about Personal Finance, Retirement Planning, Investment Planning, and College Savings.

Debt Consolidation -- Choose Your Credit Counselor Carefully

Written by Charles Essmeier

Continued from page 1

*Watch out for firms that want excessive fees up front. Be particularly wary of nonprofit agencies that ask for fees or “voluntary contributions” or nonprofit agencies that tell you that they cannot help you if you do not pay a fee upfront.

*Beware of firms that ask for a sizeable fee to obtain a copy of your credit report. Such agencies should be able to obtain your report at no charge, and you are entitled to one report per year for free.

*Sometimes, bankruptcy is unavoidable. Watch out ifrepparttar agency doesn’t mention bankruptcy at all, or if they changerepparttar 135480 subject if you bring uprepparttar 135481 topic. Debt consoldators cannot make any money on bankruptcy cases, but sometimes, that’s your only option.

*Shop around. Talk to several different agencies and compare what they tell you. Any agency that differs dramatically from whatrepparttar 135482 other agencies are telling you should probably be avoided.

*Check with your local Better Business Bureau, and ask if they’ve had any complaints aboutrepparttar 135483 agency.

*Watch out for firms that offer quick solutions to your problems. You didn’t get into financial trouble overnight, and you won’t get out of financial trouble overnight. Any competent debt or credit counselor will know this and will undoubtedly tell you that working your way out of debt takes time.

*See ifrepparttar 135484 agency belongs torepparttar 135485 National Foundation for Credit Counseling or Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. Many do.

By taking a few simple precautions before agreeing to work with a credit counselor, you may save yourself a lot of grief and a lot of money later.

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