The Jail Cell of Credit Card Debt

There is a thing as what the experts call the problem solving process. This is a systematic method for solving problems that you always use to go from the starting point where the problem is to the ending point where the problem is resolved. There are six basic steps to the problem solving process and none of them can be skipped. They are

1. Recognize the problem
2. Define the problem
3. Propose solutions
4. Identify risks and costs
5. Select the best solution
6. Implement the solution.

This process always works because there is no room for emotions, excuses or procrastination. You step from the first phase to the last in prompt fashion and the problem becomes solved.

Many times when it comes to credit card debt, people dont like to recognize the problem. In 12 step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, the first step is always to just recognize that you have a problem. And this is very often the biggest obstacle for someone who is seeing their credit card debt begin to take over their lives.

The credit card companies are no help. They like nothing more than to do all they can to make you incur more and more debt. It isnt necessarily that they are evil but this is how they make a living. The money from the interest you pay on your credit card debt goes to pay for the houses, meals, college educations and fancy cars of many credit card company executives. That alone should make you want to pull the plug on this grand scam called credit card debt.

Lets call a spade a spade. Credit card debt is a loan that you dont have to fill out any more paperwork than just to get the card. Once you have it, the credit card companies are thrilled to jack up your credit limit to where you can buy more and more and more all the while your interest rate creeps up too. Before long the debt level is huge and you are sending them hundreds of dollars and a big part of that payment is the interest.

Interest is money that doesnt buy anything. It is money the credit card company gets for doing nothing more than housing your debt. If we could get perspective on credit card debt, we would see that there is no rational explanation why one credit card can charge 5% interest and another one charge 25% interest. The credit card companies owe us no explanation of what that money goes for.

Its not like when you buy a loaf of bread that may cost one dollar for one kind of bread but three dollars for another kind of bread. In those cases you can easily see that the higher priced bread is of higher quality, tastes better or is more nutritious than the cheap bread. You literally get more for your money. When a credit card company charges you a higher rate of interest, there is no increased value for what they give you. They dont give you anything. If a credit card company raises your interest rate from 10% to 20%, you dont get twice as much good service or any kind of product for that extra money that are taking out of your product.

Then how can they get away with it? They do it because they can get away with it and theres no indication that any governmental body is going to make them stop. They get away with it because we dont get outraged and drop them when they cheat us like that. And they get away with it because credit card debt is a jail cell and we cant get out.

The purpose of this discussion is to get us to step one of the problem solving process. It is to make us aware that we are being had and to make you good and outraged. If you are outraged that you have a problem, then you can move on to step two and there and four and look for a solution and then do whatever it takes to make that solution happen. And when you do that, you are well on your way to springing open the door of the jail cell of credit card debt and walking away a free man or woman, hopefully never to go into that jail again.

You Can Get A Mortgage! Just Try Good Debt Management

You Can Get A Mortgage! Just Try Good Debt Management

Today, we believe that all people should have the same rights. The concept that the good or the good looking are more worthy than others is no longer a part of our society. Everyone, even those with bad qualities, haves the right to live side by side with those who have good qualities. The same concept has now been applied in recent years to people with bad credit. There are many who scorn people with bad credit and think they are despicable and have ruined their lives. They look down on them and don’t think they deserve a second chance.

There is, however, a trend today to give such people a second chance. Many financial institutions, agencies and businesses realize that this is necessary so these people can live normal lives. In this way, people who have bad credit can enjoy many of the benefits that the rest of us have.

One of the main areas where this is important is in the area of home mortgages. Today, most people consider owning a home as a basic right. It certainly is an advantage that everyone would like to take advantage of. Paying rent to a landlord earns you nothing, while paying a mortgage builds equity in a home. There are also tax advantages in owning a home.

But just as with any financial decision, if you have bad credit you have to do a lot of shopping to make sure you find the best possible deal for you. You have to get every rate and find out about every product before you can make the right decision about your bad credit mortgage loan. Financial institutions who lend to people with bad credit will do so only if they can get higher interest rates, larger monthly mortgage payments and a shorter tenure to the mortgage. It is up to you to find the best combination of all of these in your loan.

If you have bad credit, you will expect to be working with what is known as a “sub-prime” lender. They are usually the institutions who are willing to work with people with bad credit. Just remember the following things when you are working with a sub-prime lender:

A. Even though sub-prime lenders offer rates that are higher than would be offered to a person who is considered a good credit risk, there is still a lot of difference from one lender to another.

B. So you can shop around for the best rate. What that basically means is that, even though you know you will be getting a bad credit loan mortgage, you can still get the best rate among all of the bad credit loan mortgages available. This can only be done if you contact as many lenders as possible and find out what their rates are.

C. Pay attention to the restrictions and terms of the bad credit loan mortgage. Even if you get the best rate, if you have to make very large payments, or if it is a balloon that has to be paid off quickly, you may not be getting the best deal.

D. Know about all of the fees and charges that may apply to your mortgage. You may think that you can afford the mortgage payment only to find out that there are all sorts of extra fees adn charges that boost your payment up to where you can’t afford to make the payment every month.

E. Understand your current credit situation. The reason you got into this bad credit situation is probably because you didn’t understand credit and credit ratings. Change that right now. Make sure you understand what your credit rating is, and work on improving it by repaying your mortgage on time.

F. Make up a budget of all of your expenses and eliminate unnecessary ones so you can afford to pay your mortgage. Stick to this budget once you have formulated it. Many people feel overwhelmed by the fact that their credit is in bad shape, and then they don’t pay attention to doing the most important thing to fix their credit: that is, pay the bad credit loan mortgage back on time.

G. Be an expert on bad credit. Get all the information you can so that you can stay one step ahead of the game and get yourself out of it!

Process Change? Think ISO 9000!

In their haste to implement changes, a few companies fail to consider ISO 9000. They think that it is a technical standard to be reckoned with and that only certain industries must comply. But for the knowledgeable, the Switzerland-based International Standards Organization must occupy a distinguished place in company policy and strategy, especially when those strategies involve process changes.

Highlights of ISO 9000

While the focus of ISO 9000 is mainly on quality, it applies to all types of businesses,

ISO 9000 helps organizations regardless of their size to achieve quality standards that have been adopted by millions of companies in over 100 countries; the ISO 9000 standards are therefore recognized and respected globally,

Member countries come from 150 standard authorities in the globe,

ISO 9000 is the fruit of prior standards that have been replaced. It symbolizes quality management standards that apply to processes,

The first step in complying with ISO 9000 is for the business to decide that it must create a quality management system that meets the criteria of the ISO or to replace an old system that is no longer feasible. This mission mirrors the companys desire to be more competitive, to satisfy its customers who expect it to be standard-compliant, to reduce costs, and to adhere to government regulations,

Businesses must set their objectives based on the ISO requirements and not on ISO guidelines,

Depending on whether you want to improve your existing quality improvement system or start one because you havent got one in place, there are certain analyses and benchmarking tools you can use. People seek the advice of companies that are in the business of providing such tools and services to help organizations fulfill ISO requirements,

Once a company satisfies ISO requirements, they need an independent audit entity to see if those requirements have been adequately met – in some circles these audit companies are called Registrars,

When a business passes the audit test, the business is ready to announce publicly that it has satisfied ISO 9000 requirements. A company has the option to register as an ISO company. Registration is not mandatory.

Of Interest

Even if the International Standardization Organization has been in existence since the early 80s, companies still dont know how to go about the certification process.

One question that is frequently raised by companies doing ISO 9000 for the first time is how to determine whether a given standard they are considering is an ISO standard. The answer is found by consulting the World Standard Services Network, a network of publicly accessible World Wide Web servers of standard organizations around the world.

Businesses also want to know if there exist any standards that are equivalent to ISO standards. The ISO does not publish a list of equivalent standards but ISO members located in your country can certainly provide this information.

An ISO member exists in more than 100 countries. North American, European, Latin American, Asian and Middle Eastern countries have ISO members. For example:

United StatesANSI (American National Standards Institute) located in Washington, DC

United KingdomBSI (British Standards Institution) in London

FranceAFNOR (Lassociation franaise de normalisation) in Paris

ChinaSAC (Standardization Administration of China) in Beijing

MexicoDGN (Direccin General de Normas)

How Standards Are Developed

This is an interesting question because even if there is only one ISO, there are numerous ISO members. Doesnt this suggest that there could be endless debates on standards where prolonged lobbying can actually derail the process?

Not quite.

The ISO has a host of national expert delegations within technical committees. Generally, these committees meet on a regular basis to discuss standards, reach a consensus, and then come up with an initial draft agreement.

The draft is sent to all ISO members for comment and voting. It is the responsibility of each ISO member to collect feedback from relevant bodies before they define their position on the draft.

If the voting is in favor of the draft, it is then released as an International Standard.

Note that about 15 ISO meetings take place every business day around the world. Communication between all ISO members is done electronically where documents and correspondence are exchanged fairly rapidly.

In their book, Six Sigma Deployment (Elsevier Science, 2003), Adams, Gupta and Wilson point to the similarities of ISO requirements and the DMAIC framework.

In the definition stage of DMAIC for instance, the ISO requirements are to establish general and documentation parameters. This means that DMAIC and ISO both need to identify key business processes, measure effectiveness, and how processes can be managed and improved.

In the improvement phase, the authors say that DMAIC and ISO are similar in that the latter dictates continuing improvement for the sake of profitability, while Six Sigma (DMAIC) requires profit-related improvement.

If your business is planning to apply for ISO certification, your first step is to contact your local ISO member for more information. Request documentation on ISO 9000 and its pertinent guidelines.