Like most of us, we bet you do. Regardless of your debt situation, many of us want to know how to manage our money more effectively so we can clear our debt and then start saving. We spoke to Andrew Schrage, co-owner of Money Crashers, about how our readers can start managing their money more effectively and get themselves out of debt quicker.
Most of us have the best of intentions and want to learn about ways to manage our money better. However, with all of our monthly financial commitments and our lifestyles, it’s not always to achieve this. After speaking with Andrew Schrage, co-owner of Money Crashers, we learned quickly that those of us across Canada are not alone and this is a common feeling for many North Americans.
Bad Credit Loans: Thanks for speaking with us, Andrew. Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.
Andrew: My name is Andrew Schrage. I was educated at Brown University and after graduating college, I worked for a short period of time at an investment fund in Chicago. I soon became frustrated with the corporate environment and decided to branch out on my own. The personal finance website Money Crashers was my next step. Its goal is to further educate its readers, followers, and subscribers on ways to manage their money more effectively. The topics covered include personal budgeting, planning for retirement, investing, the dangers of credit card debt and other topics.
Bad Credit Loans: We’ve found through our research that in Canada, it seems like more and more people are taking out debt. At Bad Credit Loans, we are trying to find ways to help them manage this better and improve their credit rating over time. Are you finding a similar trend?
Andrew: Yes. Even though you would think that Americans learned a lesson as a result of the recent economic collapse, they’re now once again taking on debt at levels not seen since right before the last recession.
Bad Credit Loans: Do you find in your business that you spend a lot of time educating people that it is actually possible to manage debt?
Andrew: Yes. Money Crashers tries to create the mindset with its readers that managing personal debts is simply a matter of personal choice. Either you run your finances or they run you. For those that need outside help, there are a variety of online forums and networks for help with managing debt.
Bad Credit Loans: What are some strategies you suggest for people who read your blog that want to genuinely improve their situation?
Andrew: Get on a personal budget. Reduce monthly expenses as much as possible. Scale back personal purchases until your debts are gone. Send in your monthly surplus towards your balances until you are debt-free.
Bad Credit Loans: At Bad Credit Loans, one of the aspects we’ve found it hard to get information on is how bad a person’s credit can be for them to still be able to get a loan. What factors do you see that contribute to an approval or rejection?
Andrew: The biggest factor that results in a loan approval or rejection is your credit score and report. It’s important for individuals to know where they stand. This information is readily available too and all it takes is contacting one of the credit bureaus to find out more information.
Bad Credit Loans: Do you feel that it is easier or more difficult to get a loan these days?
Andrew: Banks have loosened their credit restrictions and requirements now that the recession is behind us. So it is now easier for consumers to secure loans and credit.
Bad Credit Loans: We hear a lot about high interest rates with payday loan companies and that is typically a negative association when we discuss bad credit loans. Do you have any views on payday loans?
Andrew: Payday loans are generally a bad idea. The interest rate is sky high and can climb to as much as 350%. Plus, once you get in the habit of taking them out, it’ll be hard to break. You’re much better off finding other forms of financing or better yet, manage your money effectively so you never need to borrow.
Bad Credit Loans: If you could give our readers one way to improve their credit score, what would it be?
Andrew: Pay your bills on time and in full each and every month. It accounts for as much as 35% of your score.
Bad Credit Loans: Finally, do you see things improving generally for bad credit in the future?
Andrew: Unfortunately, I think that Americans will continue to take on more debt as the economy continues to improve. The only thing that I can hope for is that they remember past mistakes and do a better job of managing their debts and taking better control of their finances.
Speaking with Andrew provided some greater insight into what is going on in the US and some of his insight on credit. The best part of our discussion was the sense of hope we can all have even if we’re in a bad credit situation. All it takes is taking the right steps to managing your money better now and in the future.