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Defaulting on a Loan Can Have Serious Consequences, but You Have Options to Avoid Default. Here’s How to Take Action

February 3, 2022

Although missing or being late on a payment for your loan can have serious consequences, “lenders are willing to work with people, so you shouldn’t be afraid to reach out,” says April-Lewis Parks, Financial Education Director for Consolidated Credit. “As soon as you miss or are late on a payment, your loan is considered delinquent.” Explaining your situation to your lender, in most cases, will allow you to negotiate a payment plan to get back on track.

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Why I Budget for the Holidays on January 1

December 21, 2021

While charging holiday expenses on a credit card is nothing new for many Americans, in fact a 2020 survey by Consolidated Credit found that 30% of people use their credit cards for gifts, many of them will struggle for an average of 14 weeks to pay off that spending. Figuring out your expenses beginning January 1st, will give you a good idea of what your budget will look like come holiday season.

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Rebuilding Credit After Bankruptcy

August 17, 2021

If you've recently been in a situation where you had to file bankruptcy, it most likely did serious damage to your credit score. However, that damage is only temporary and you can rebuild quickly with the right strategy. Financial education director April Lewis-Parks talked to Bankrate about how to avoid common credit traps as you rebuild your score after bankruptcy.

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7 Ways To Retire With $1 Million

May 19, 2021

Many people don’t realize that by taking small financial steps they can turn their dreams of becoming a millionaire into a reality. Consolidated Credit’s Director of Education and Corporate Communications, April Lewis-Parks, gives Channel 3000 advice on how to retire with $1 million.

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How long can a debt collector pursue old debt?

May 6, 2021

April Lewis-Parks, Consolidated Credit's Director of Education and Corporate Communications, spoke with Bankrate about the importance of clearing debt early. “[They] can also attempt to find out where you work and garnish your wages…[and] try to find out where you bank too, and freeze your accounts,” explains Lewis-Parks as she describes what happens when you put off paying debt collectors.

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Stimulus checks: What to do if you haven’t received your payment

May 4, 2021

While many have been able to take advantage of the three government-issued stimulus checks, some have still yet to receive any COVID-19 economic relief. April Lewis-Parks, Consolidated Credit’s Director of Education and Corporate Communications, tells NBC4 WCMH-TV why you might not have gotten your payment, and what steps to take to get the money you’re owed.

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Coronavirus hardship loans: What you need to know

March 19, 2021

Bankrate talks to Consolidated Credit’s Director of Education and Corporate Communications about the low to zero-interest benefits of coronavirus hardship loans. April Lewis-Parks explains where and how to apply for this short-term COVID-19 financial aid.

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How To Manage All the Extra Debt You Piled Up in 2020

February 22, 2021

GOBankingRates spoke to Consolidated Credit’s Director of Education and Corporate Communications about managing debt from 2020. April Lewis-Parks had this advice for consumers looking to get out of any debt they piled up last year: "Always payoff the highest APR debt first to make the most of your money."

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Women have more debt: Here’s how to pay it off and break the cycle

February 3, 2021

Women often face disproportionate earnings and heavy debt burdens. Due to workplace discrimination and family obligations, women can struggle to build wealth. April Lewis-Parks, Director of Education and Communications at Consolidated Credit, talks to CreditCards.com about the career moves women can make to increase their net worth.

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The FHA Increased its Loan Limits for 2021. Here Are the New Guidelines:

January 13, 2021

Consolidated Credit's Housing Counselor Program Manager, Barry Rothman, spoke with NextAdvisor about the state of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans. "Lenders have what are known as overlays, their own set of rules that they put on top of the FHA requirements," explains Rothman, as he describes the realities of applying for — and securing — a FHA loan.

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Comerica Bank Raising Expectations – Florida Market

December 13, 2020

In its continued effort to provide community assistance, Comerica Bank has allocated $3,750 to Consolidated Credit's Housing Counseling. Consolidated Credit's Director of Community Outreach and Housing Counseling, Maria Gaitan, remarks on the partnership as an huge benefit to Broward County renters and homeowners.

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What Is Mortgage Underwriting?

December 9, 2020

While the red tape involved in mortgage underwriting may seem burdensome, Consolidated Credit's Housing Counselor Manager, Barry Rothman, tells NerdWallet that the mortgage underwriting process is this way due to the 2008 housing market crash and the economic effects of the current coronavirus pandemic.

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Coronavirus hardship loans: What you need to know

September 11, 2020

The pandemic has left many Americans without a stable income for months on end. Consolidated Credit's Director of Education and Corporate Communications, April Lewis-Parks, tells Bankrate that there are special loans for this particular group of people. Coronavirus hardship loans can help Americans who have lost their jobs during this crisis.

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Why You Need To Cut Your Kids Off — and How To Do It

November 15, 2019

Having adult children move back into your home creates a burden on your finances and can put your retirement at risk. Financial Education Director April Lewis-Parks talks GOBankingRates about how parents can maintain stability, specifically by having adult children contribute to the household finances and pay specific bills, so they aren't just freeloading.

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Survey: Holidays bring spending stress for most Americans

November 13, 2019

Seasons greetings to holiday spending stress. The holiday shopping season can create anxiety and pressure to spend money you don't have. Consolidated Credit's Financial Education Director April Lewis-Parks talks to Bankrate about how free tools like Consolidated Credit's holiday spending planner can help shoppers stay on budget this year and reduce their holiday stress.

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Advantages of using credit cards

October 24, 2019

Credit cards aren't all bad. In fact, as long as they're used correctly and the debt is managed properly, they can offer a wide range of benefits. Consolidated Credit's financial education director talks to CreditCards.com about how features like built-in fraud protection help protect consumers from identity theft and fraud.

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401k Plan Sponsors’ Fiduciary Obligation to Former Employees

October 22, 2019

Finding a new job to advance your career is phenomenal, but most workers don't really understand what happens to their 401k plan when they leave a company. Gary Herman, President of Consolidated Credit talks to FiduciaryNews.com about what a company's responsibility is in managing a former employee's 401k and how workers can educate themselves so they understand the ins and outs of their plan

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7 ways to retire with $1 million

October 1, 2019

You may think saving for retirement is out of your reach, but even when you're facing financial challenges like limited income and excess debt, there are ways to start saving for retirement. Consolidated Credit's Financial Education Director talks to Fox Business about easy ways that Americans can start saving to have a million dollars by the time they retire.

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Have Your Kid Use Allowance for Needs As Well As Wants

July 2, 2019

An allowance gives parents a great way to introduce children to the concept of money. But if your kids are only spending the money on things that they want, that's missing an opportunity to teach your kids how to manage their money effectively. Consolidated Credit's Financial Education Director April Lewis-Parks explains how you can use kids' allowance to teach them about paying for essentials first

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How to Teach Young Kids about Money So It Sticks with Them

June 27, 2019

Most of us never received any financial education beyond hearing from our parents that, "Money doesn't grow on trees." But are parents doing enough to educate their children? Financial Education Director April Lewis-Parks talks to NBC News about easy ways parents can teach their kids about money, such as making kids allocate allowance for more than just the fun stuff they want.

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How to Get Your Finances in Order in 30 Days

June 5, 2019

Achieving a better financial outreach can seem daunting, but creating a 30-day action plan to get your finances in order can put you on a path to success and give you the momentum you need to move forward. Consolidated Credit's Financial Education Director talks to Fox Business about how to create a 30-day action plan that will help you budget, manage debt, improve your credit and start saving for retirement.

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