Tag Archives: payments

The Ups and Downs of Doing a Balance Transfer

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-credit-card-debt-couple-help

So you’ve gotten yourself into some credit card debt and you’re feeling a little overwhelmed about how to get out of it. It seems like every time you look at your balance, it’s gone up way more than you expected because of those pesky interest charges, and you’re beginning to wonder whether you’ll ever be able to get it back to zero.

But then, a beacon of hope arrives in the mail. Your bank is telling you that you can put a stop to those interest charges—at least for a little while—by putting all of that debt somewhere else. Or, maybe a new bank is telling you to bring your debt over to them by opening an entirely new account. Whether or not you should take advantage of one of those balance transfer offers depends upon the current state of your credit and the merits of the offer itself.

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-piggy-bank-debt-drowning

If you’re interested in opening a new card, one of the negative sides is that, even though the direct mail letter may make it seem like you can basically call them and the card will appear in your hand, you still have to apply for the new line of credit. Because of that, the process can take time and you risk being denied. Daily Finance advises against applying for several lines of credit at a time because it will work against your credit score, decreasing your chances of actually getting a new credit line. However, if you are approved, your credit score could increase because your credit utilization rate (or your credit-to-debt ratio) will improve.

Using an existing line of credit may be a great way to consolidate your debt as well, especially if you already opened a new line of credit in order to complete a balance transfer in the past. CreditCards.com shares the important reminder that you may not be able to open a new line of credit because creditors could see you as a risk if you continue to carry a balance even after getting new credit. Being seen as a risk would make it harder for you to get different types of credit, such as loans for cars or a home.

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-debt-mouse-trap-money

Regardless of whether you need to open a new account or are considering using an existing line of credit, make sure to read the fine print to find out how much it will cost. Every balance transfer will have a fee associated with it, regardless of the bank or the newness of your account, but some balance transfer offers have lower fees than others. Another consideration is the length of the zero or low interest rate promotion: some give you 18 months to pay off the amount, while others give you 24 months. USA Today makes an important point for debtors: creditors have no legal obligation to remind you of the end of your promotional rate, so it’s important to be diligent about paying off the entire amount in time or be prepared for the appearance of interest charges when the promotional rate expires.

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-credit-card-debt-hands-help

In addition to enjoying a lower interest rate on your debt, you’ll have the added benefit of easier, streamlined payments. If you have found yourself confused by due dates and bill cycle closing dates, this may be a very real perk to help you get back on top of your debt. The phrase “consolidating debt” sounds a lot fancier than it really is: all it means is that you put all of your debt in the same account, typically using a method like a balance transfer. But, keep in mind that many balance transfer offers have a limit on the amount of debts you can transfer.

If you do a balance transfer, be careful not to forget about the debt or only pay the minimum just because you are enjoying a zero percent interest promotion. Make regular payments and remember, if you have zero debt, you won’t have to worry about finding a card with zero interest!

Celebrities Who Pay Child Support (And Some Who Don’t)

 

via Featureflash / Shutterstock.com
via Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

So many people are delinquent in paying child support, there is a whole federal bureau designated to its enforcement. The Office of Child Support Enforcement tries its best to help people who can’t afford child support and people who can’t afford to be gypped child support, but they’re merely putting a dent in the over $100 billion owed to mothers and fathers who legally deserve the payments. CNN Money explained that child support delinquencies cost taxpayers an estimated $53 billion in 2012.

The chains of child support certainly don’t escape the rich and famous, with some celebrities’ child support payments apparently getting lost in the mail. Here’s a look at Hollywood to see who paid their 17 percent per child, and who didn’t.

Who Didn’t

When things turn sour, many people run away. Below are a few examples of celebrities who apparently tried to ignore the problem of child support payments rather than deal with it.

Levi Johnston: After a highly public bout with marriage, Sarah Palin’s ex-almost-son-in-law managed to spend $1 million on dirt bikes and four wheelers instead of making his court-mandated child support payments totaling $21,000. Boys and their toys. (TMZ)

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-Levi-Johnston-child-support
via s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

 

Jon Gosselin: After making tons of money on his kids and his wife by getting a television show dedicated to their very full house, Jon of Jon and Kate Plus 8 decided he no longer really wanted to support the household he vacated. In an interview, he said Kate pays household costs at her house, and he pays household costs at his.

via People.com
via People.com

 

Allen Iverson: In a (not very) shocking announcement in 2013, Allen Iverson of basketball fame announced angrily that he no longer had as much money as he used to, citing this as a reason to skip out on his child support payments. Since his ex-wife got tired of hunting him down every month to make him hand over the check, she took him to court to get the whole amount in a one-and-done lump sum.

via Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com
via Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com

 

Skeet Ulrich: After his ‘90s fame came to a halt, actor Skeet Ulrich apparently could not afford his children anymore, and stopped making child support payments. The situation got real when he was held in contempt of court after letting his back payments rack up to almost $290,000.

via
via Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

 

Who Did

It’s always better to end on a positive note. Below are some celebrities who, despite being asked to give a lot to their pesky children, have thus far done their duty and paid up.

Russell Simmons: According to TheRichest.com, Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons pays $40,000 per month in child support to be split between his two daughters, to whom he has also legally promised new cars when they turn 16. Until they get the cars of their own, Simmons buys a new car worth at least $60,000 for them to be transported in.

via
via a katz / Shutterstock.com

 

Terrell Owens: Even after many purported financial troubles, Terrell Owens has apparently managed to squeeze out approximately $44K per each of his four kids per month. While his financial forecast is not looking good, Owens has not yet made any lists of celebrities with egregiously outstanding child support payments.

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-Terrel-Owens
via Ken Durden / Shutterstock.com

 

Donald Trump: The Trump paid about $300,000 per year (equaling almost $500,000 per year today) in child support after his high profile divorce in the 1990s, according to a New York news station. This number seems surprisingly low, seeing as his post-divorce alimony payments were $350,000 and the former Mrs. Trump got the house.

via Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com
via Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com

 

Britney Spears: Pop princess Britney Spears is one of the few ladies who makes the list of people who pay big bucks in child support. After a sad public decline in her mental health, Spears signed up to pay $20,000 per month in child support.

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-Britney-Spears-child
via s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

 

While it can be interesting to see which celebrities fall behind on their court-mandated duties, not being able to pay child support is no joke. Selling a diamond may help raise the cash needed to either pay child support, or to make up for someone else who fails to do their part.

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-finding-your-way-logo