Debt consolidation is a popular and widely used financial solution. What is debt consolidation, what are the potential benefits of debt consolidation, and what are the different types of debt consolidation you may wish to consider?
Debt consolidation is a type of debt refinancing. When you consolidate your debts, you use a new loan to pay off all your current debts, thus consolidating your debts into one payment.
If you use debt consolidation as a financial solution for you, what are the benefits you may enjoy?
Debt consolidation is a great tool and solution for moving towards becoming debt free. However, if you use debt consolidation because you are insolvent, you may subsequently struggle to repay the consolidation loan. Also, if you continue to open new credit accounts after consolidating debts, and fail to keep up with the repayments on your consolidation solution as well as the new accounts, you could face serious sanctions including your accounts falling into default, and being subject to court proceedings or potentially even becoming bankrupt.
Here are some of the different types of debt consolidation that you may be considering, as well as a brief overview of whether they are likely to be beneficial to your situation.
Debt Consolidation Loans
A personal loan for debt consolidation is probably the most traditional and common method of consolidating debts. Many lenders offer specific debt consolidation loans, and will pay the loan out to your creditors rather than to yourself. This saves you the hassle of contacting all your creditors yourself, but also allows your new lender to protect you by ensuring the loan is used for its intended purposes.
When shopping around for a debt consolidation loan you need to make sure that the terms of your loan mean you’re definitely better off. Debt consolidation loans don’t automatically mean a better interest rate and lower repayments. If you don’t plan correctly you could easily find yourself having consolidated debts but now repaying more or at a higher interest rate, meaning it’ll take you longer to become debt free.
Balance transfers are commonly used to consolidate credit card debts, but depending on the type of new credit card you have you might be able to transfer loan balances and other credit accounts onto them.
Balance transfers with credit cards are a useful debt consolidation option if:
Under these circumstances, you would be able to repay a large chunk of your debts without accruing any further interest. Depending on how much debt you then have left outstanding, you could look to consolidate again onto another card with a promotional rate. It is crucial that you commit to repaying your debts if you opt for a balance transfer, as repeated balance transfers without actually reducing your debt in the long term can cause damage to your credit score.
Short Term Debt Solutions
Using short term debt solutions, such as payday loans, is definitely a debt consolidation option depending on your level of debt and the amount you can borrow, but it is definitely not one we would recommend. Even if you are able to access a short term debt solution that allows you to repay over 6-12 months, the interest rate is likely to be so high that you’ll ultimately pay much more than if you just repaid your creditors at your current rate.
If you are starting to struggle with debts, it is far better to be open and honest with your creditors than it is to turn to short term debt. Creditors will usually be understanding and willing to help you if you apply for hardship consideration. If you use short term debt and begin to miss payments, your debts could quickly spiral even further out of control.
When it comes to debt consolidation, consider which option is best for you under your circumstances, and in the case of balance transfers think about whether you’re able to make the necessary repayments to reduce your debt during any promotional period.
If you opt for debt consolidation, ensure that you’re set up to enjoy what should be the benefits of doing so, and not using it as a mask for deeper financial troubles or as a means of clearing up credit to use once again.
Disclaimer: This article contains general comments and recommendations only. This article has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before taking any action you should consider the appropriateness of the comments made in the article, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If this article relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular credit product you should obtain and consider the relevant disclosure documents before applying for the product.
Modern dentistry is not just about going for check-ups and having essential work done to maintain your oral health. Cosmetic dentistry is becoming increasingly popular and is a fast growing industry. While awareness of cosmetic dentistry initially came from celebrities who would undergo procedures that would then be reported in the press, today opportunities to undergo cosmetic dentistry are often widely advertised and are more accessible to the public than ever.
Cosmetic dentistry is usually undertaken as a means of improving your appearance. You might decide to undergo a cosmetic dentistry procedure for the same reasons you might have a course of Botox treatment, a facelift, or even something as simple as changing your hairstyle. At the same time, cosmetic dentistry is an option for individuals that have undergone emergency dental treatment or have had other problems with their oral health that have affected their teeth. It might be the case that the emergency dental treatment didn’t include cosmetic repairs post-treatment, or that someone could only afford to cover the costs of the priority treatment at the time.
The term cosmetic dentistry encompasses a wide range of treatments, which include but are not limited to:
A wide range of veneers are available from most dentists, including composite veneers and porcelain veneers. Veneers are often used as a cosmetic treatment to treat discolored or damaged teeth, closing gaps between teeth, or as a means of repairing chips, cracks, and any other damage.
The thought of ugly looking amalgam fillings, which also carry health risks, has often been enough to encourage people to take their dental health seriously. For those who find themselves needing fillings even after years of carefully looking after their teeth, white fillings are a popular alternative that keeps the inside of your mouth looking natural.
Crowns or teeth caps are similar to veneers but are often used to treat teeth that are very badly broken or that have been filled repeatedly but won’t be removed.
Teeth implants are a popular but costlier alternative to other treatment options such as receiving traditional dentures or a bridge. Teeth implants involve placing a titanium rod into the gum before then applying a denture or crown.
The most straightforward cosmetic dentistry treatment. There are several types of teeth whitening available, including bleaching and laser whitening. Simple methods of teeth whitening and general cleaning may be available from your regular dentist.
As you can see, a range of cosmetic dentistry treatments are available for individuals under varying circumstances.
Undergoing cosmetic dentistry really can change your life. Whether you are self-conscious because of you find your smile unattractive, or have a long standing dental issue that you need to resolve, undergoing a cosmetic dentistry procedure will enable you to put these issues behind you once and for all.
How might you benefit from cosmetic dentistry?
These benefits are on top of any long standing dental health issues that might have been your first priority when considering cosmetic dentistry treatment.
The costs of cosmetic dentistry can vary depending on the specific treatment you’re looking for, and on how much work actually needs to be done. If you’re unsure about how you’re going to meet the costs of cosmetic dentistry treatment, or you are considering taking out a loan but don’t know what you can afford, MacCredit can help. We aim to provide all our customers with the best payment plan to suit their circumstances, helping you to identify which treatments you can afford and how to make them financially viable.
If you are considering undergoing cosmetic dentistry treatment, and are looking for a payment plan to help cover your costs, call MacCredit today on 1300 884 355.
One of the most basic pieces of health advice we receive, whether it is from a general health perspective, a body performance perspective, or a weight loss perspective, is to ensure we keep ourselves adequately hydrated at all times. Yet, there have been cases when people have become seriously ill and even died as a result of drinking too much water.
What are the facts you need to know to stay hydrated and stay healthy?
Most medical and health professionals and organizations recommend drinking a minimum of two liters of water per day. This is given as a basic level of water intake, and it is recommended you drink more if you’re hot or taking part in physical activity, in order to replace water lost through sweating. Although you can count water drunk as tea or coffee, for example, towards your daily intake, you should consider any additional factors this may bring into play, such as caffeine acting as a dehydrating agent. A simple rule of thumb to follow and keep track of how hydrated you are
is to check your urine when you go to the toilet. The clearer it is; the more hydrated you are.
Two liters of water each day, and you’re going to be mindful of how you consume this as tea and coffee. What are the benefits of drinking your daily two liters of water? They include, but are not limited to:
What is notable about this list is that it is clear staying hydrated offers long term benefits as well as keeping you healthy on a day to day basis. If drinking two liters of water per day will reduce your risk of developing chronic conditions, protect your joints and ligaments, and keep all your essential bodily functions in good working order, what reason is there not to do it?
This is a good question, and one that often leads to misconceptions. The simple answer is that it is up to you. However, bottled water being better for you than tap water has now been widely proven to be a myth. It is thought that as much as 25% of all bottled water is simply tap water that has been treated or purified, although some bottled water suppliers that do take water from public supplies are now starting to state this on their packaging. Several studies have also cited the potential for harmful chemicals to seep into water from plastic bottles as a reason to stick to tap water.
While cases of people becoming seriously ill or dying due to excessive water intake are rare, it can happen. Water intoxication, or hyponatremia, usually only occurs when you drink liters upon liters of water at once, and your body suffers an imbalance of sodium and water. Your kidneys are only able to deal with around half a liter of water an hour. If you are drinking water excessively, the inability of your kidneys to deal with it means the water can leave your blood and cause your vital organs to swell, leading to serious illness. Signs of water intoxication are similar to those associated with heatstroke and include headaches, a general feeling of drowsiness or not feeling great, nausea, and vomiting.
Use the urine test mentioned earlier to keep you on track. If your urine is clear, then you’re well hydrated and don’t need to drink any more water, unless of course you’re feeling thirsty anyway.
Drinking two liters a day is more than enough to enjoy all the short and long term health benefits; drinking more will not help you to lose any more weight, or further reduce your risk of developing chronic conditions as you age, but it could make you ill if you drink too much.
Health News, Uncategorized
Laser eye surgery is a popular and relatively common procedure. As with many medical treatments and procedures, laser eye surgery first hit public prominence in part thanks to the number of celebrities who were using it. Today, laser eye surgery is widely accessible to the public and is often not an expensive means of correcting our eyesight. Here’s all you need to know about laser eye surgery.
Laser eye surgery, or laser corneal sculpting to use its medical term, involves reshaping the surface of the eye. Laser eye surgery can be used to correct a number of sight issues, including short and long sightedness, as well as being a solution for astigmatism, which is uneven curvature of the eye’s surface. During laser eye surgery, the focus is on the cornea, which is the transparent tissue that sits on the front of the eye and helps to focus our eyesight. When you undergo laser eye surgery, the laser is used to remove microscopic amounts of tissue from the cornea. The desired outcome
of any laser eye surgery is to restore normal eyesight without the patient needing to use contact lenses or glasses, although this is not always possible to do.
Two of the most commonly used types of laser eye surgery are PRK and LASIK.
There are numerous reasons why you might be considering laser eye surgery. These include:
You can’t wear contact lenses and don’t want to wear glasses, perhaps because you dislike how they make you look or because you feel uncomfortable wearing them Your job, a specific passion, or hobby means you cannot wear contact lenses or glasses You don’t want to wear contact lenses due to the inconvenience of needing to change and care for them on a regular basis
As well as thinking about the reasons for wanting to undergo laser eye surgery, you should also consider the following:
Both the PRK and LASIK eye surgery procedures have been outlined above. During the surgery, the laser used will vaporize the microscopic tissue of the cornea as required. The laser is pre-set by computer prior to surgery, and is set-up based on your own cornea so that it can be reshaped as required.
A local anesthetic is used to perform laser eye surgery, and takes the form of eyedrops. The total surgery time is between five and 10 minutes per eye, although the laser itself is usually active and working on your eye for less than a minute.
Immediately after laser eye surgery you can expect to feel some minor discomfort. You will be able to see, although not 100%, and you will need to be driven home by a friend, family member, or in a taxi. Potential Side Effects and Complications of Laser Eye Surgery Consumer advocacy group CHOICE states that around 5% of laser eye surgery patients will report problems following surgery.
The most common problems tend to occur in the first two to three weeks following surgery, and include:
Less common problems include:
Complications that threaten your eyesight are very rare, though in the first two days after surgery infection can occur, which can lead to scarring or even blindness in extreme cases. Infections are more commonly related to PRK surgery than to LASIK eye surgery. There is currently no data or evidence to highlight the long-term effect of removing corneal tissue given that laser eye surgery has only become available relatively recently. However, studies have failed to find any suggestion a laser eye surgery patient will suffer any long-term negative effects, and most complications or side effects are experienced within one year of having undergone the procedure.
The cost of your laser eye surgery will vary depending on the specific treatment required and the type of laser eye surgery you choose. Treatment typically ranges from $1,500 – $3,700 per eye in Australia, with $2,500 per eye the typically quoted average cost.
If you are considering going ahead with laser eye surgery, it is important to find a clinic and a surgeon that you feel comfortable with. We would suggest you use the following as a checklist when looking for a laser eye clinic and surgeon:
Ensure you are comfortable with the decision you make. If you feel uneasy about a particular clinic, don’t use them just because they might be the cheapest. Laser eye surgery can change your life, and you want to be comfortable and ensure it does so for the better.
Like any medical procedure, there are risks and potential complications with laser eye surgery. However, by following the advice of your surgeon, and ensuring you choose a clinic you are comfortable with and that has a proven reputation of providing successful treatment, you will reduce the level of riskattached. You should also remember that complication rates are historically
very low, meaning that laser eye surgery is a very safe, not to mention common, procedure.
Health News, Medical Treatement
Australian law states you can request to see your credit report from a credit reporting bureau free if:
If you ask to see your credit report under the circumstances listed above, then yes, they are completely free. Outside of the above circumstances, you may be able to find services that allow you to access your credit report free. While you won’t pay anything for these services, you may need to consider additional factors, such as the reasons behind something being free.
In some cases, including with Equifax and Dun & Bradstreet, Australia’s two leading credit referencing bureaus, the credit bureau offers a free service as well as premium credit checking services. Equifax, with Get Credit Score, and Dun & Bradstreet, with Check My File, do this under different trading names. They may generate a significant income from advertising on their websites. They could have partnership deals in place with other businesses. Depending on the credit bureau you use for your free credit check, you might find that you can access additional services or features. Check whether these are also free, otherwise you could incur charges without realizing.
While you will need to provide some personal details when requesting a free credit check in order for the credit bureau to verify your identity, you will have control over how that information is used later. As with completing any submission form or application, you will be asked if you are happy to be contacted by carefully selected partners and other third parties. Ensure you choose the preferences you wish so you aren’t targeted with emails and leaflets advertising products you have no interest in.
When you ask to see your credit report you will be doing so with Equifax, Dun & Bradstreet, or Experian, or with companies operated by these credit referencing bureaus. In terms of your information being safe, you have nothing to worry about. If anything, by taking the opportunity to check your credit report and potentially identifying where you have been a victim of identity fraud, you are making yourself safer. What you should consider is if you allow your personal information to be passed onto the carefully selected partners as mentioned earlier, you might not know where your personal details are going after that.
You are legally entitled to see your full credit report under the circumstances highlighted at the beginning of the article. Your free credit check is not a partial report, nor are certain snippets of information withheld from you. When you see your credit report free, you are seeing the full reality of the information held by that specific credit bureau against your name at that time. While you do have the opportunity to use premium services from the credit bureaus if you are interested in additional features and benefits, the detail you see on your free credit check is full and accurate.
Not checking your credit report is dangerous. You could be falling victim to identity fraud without realizing it, and could have thousands of dollars worth of debt against your name that have nothing to do with you. If you do not request to see your credit report following a declined application or because you have requested information be corrected, you should take advantage of your entitlement to view your credit report once every 12 months.
News outlets, gossip columns, and social media are regularly awash with celebrity rumors. Some of the biggest talking points occur when new photographs of particular celebrities emerge and their appearance has changed, which often lead onto rumors of them having undergone plastic surgery. Heres our top five rundown of the top rumored celebrity plastic surgeries.
Although Kim Kardashian has admitted to using Botox and laser hair removal treatment – in the latter case even taking husband Kanye West along to experience it for himself – rumors have been rampant for years regarding the extent to which she has undergone plastic surgery. Photographs are littered across the internet purporting to show Kim Before and After these surgeries.
The rumored list of surgeries includes:
Quite the list, and one that is likely to keep growing, if nothing else but to ensure magazines continue to sell and websites continue to be visited!
Megan Fox will argue that the plastic surgery rumors surrounding herself are due to her being unfortunate enough to have been blessed with near flawless looks. She has even gone so far in the past to outright deny via her Facebook page that she hasnt had so much as a minor Botox procedure,
although Before and After photos in recent years have kept tongues wagging. Through the years there has been little to substantiate rumors about Megan Fox and plastic surgery other than these photos, but her supposed list of treatments other than Botox includes:
One of the biggest Now that is definitely plastic surgery cases of recent years has undoubtedly been Renee Zellweger. The star of the popular Bridget Jones movies allegedly underwent surgery sometime in 2014, shocking onlookers with her appearance at the Elle Women in Hollywood Awards in October of the same year.
While surgeons asked for their opinion claimed everything from liposuction, Botox, a facelift, and even a desire by Renee to distance herself from her Scandanavian ethnicity, the lady herself puts it down to a lifestyle change and years spent out of the public eye changing how she lives. Renee herself says the rumors are silly, and to this day they remain unconfirmed. In defense of Renee, she has probably not been helped by her spending so much time out of the public consciousness. Had she changed her look over time while being in the news a couple of times each month, would the reaction have been the same?
Jennifer Hawkins, 2004s Miss Universe and currently the host of Australia’s Next Top Model, has faced rumors of having undergone plastic surgery for years. This is generally attributed to a desire by Jennifer to maintain her appearance from winning Miss Universe. Such have been the rumors around Jennifer Hawkins that she has even been accused of having undergone numerous procedures by a fellow Australian model. Scherri-Lee Biggs
went so far to say that Jennifer had undergone too much surgery to try and achieve perfection, though she did later apologise for this.
Although Jennifer herself has always denied having any plastic surgery, the refusal of her management team to comment has kept the rumors going. Her alleged surgeries include:
Nicki Minaj is an interesting case, as she has stated that she hasn’t changed anything on her face, but never commented on the rest of her body. Many fans and other analysts point to her nose as an obvious place where surgery has occurred, while Nicki has also emphatically denied on numerous occasions that she has had a facelift or other facial procedures. However, she hasn’t said anything about rumors of breast augmentation and buttock implants, even answering questions about these by referring back to her face, leading many to treat these as an open secret.
As individuals we are always looking for ways to save money. Even when considering how and the reasons for borrowing, there are opportunities to save. Here are some great tips for saving money when borrowing; keep them in mind the next time you’re planning to take out a loan or make a high value purchase.
This might sound like an obvious tip, but it is amazing how many people simply accept the first deal that they find when looking for a payment plan or loan. The next time you are looking for a loan, credit card, or another finance product, help yourself by drawing up a list of what you’re looking for.
This might include a specific type of loan or a certain level of repayments. By listing your requirements first and then eliminating any lenders that can’t meet your needs, you ‘ll quickly find yourself looking at the best deals for your circumstances, and you’ll avoid simply taking out the first product you find.
If you focus on affordability, you are likely to find yourself saving money when borrowing. When we talk about affordability, we mean the repayments you can afford to make comfortably within your household budget and current circumstances. Let’s look at these two scenarios for someone looking for a personal loan:
Person A goes to a finance website, sees the example terms and repayments advertised, can’t afford them, so leaves and doesn’t apply for a loan. This pattern is repeated throughout the shopping around process.
Person B works out what is affordable for them, then starts shopping around. Because they already know what’s affordable, they can quickly dismiss the lenders that don’t offer a flexible finance option, and can quickly look elsewhere.
By looking for a loan that is affordable, rather than simply taking out the first loan you find, not only could you save a significant amount of money but you also reduce the risk of missing payments and damaging your credit file as a consequence of borrowing more than you could really afford.
If you are planning a holiday, or are considering undergoing cosmetic surgery to improve your appearance, you might be able to save money by opting for finance rather than using your own savings. When you are looking to fund a lifestyle purchase, you can take the time to shop around, understand
what is affordable, and then find a specific loan or payment plan that fits your needs. If you spend your savings on your lifestyle purchase, then find yourself with an emergency expense, you may find yourself taking out the first loan that comes available, or even using dangerous short term finance.
By holding onto your own capital to cover emergency costs when they arise, you can instead use a payment plan for your lifestyle purchases, and repay loans at an affordable rate over a time suited to you and your financial circumstances.
Here at MacCredit, we are specialists in helping our customers find the best and most affordable loans if they are looking to secure finance for medical treatments or procedures. We are committed to ensuring you find the best payment plan that is most affordable under your circumstances.
By coming to us, you will be put into contact with the lenders that provide payment plans closely suited to your needs, which can help you save a significant sum of money in the long term. It is possible to save yourself significant sums money when borrowing if you follow these tips. If you are looking for a payment plan to cover the cost of a medical procedure, call us now on 1300 884 355.
How To, Payment Options
Medical tourism is a popular practice, albeit a controversial one in some parts of the world. There are often misconceptions associated with medical tourism, leading to people not knowing exactly what it is or holding misinformed opinions on the matter. Here is an overview of everything you need to know about medical tourism.
Medical tourism is the practice of travelling abroad to receive medical treatment or to undergo a cosmetic procedure. People use medical tourism to access a wide range of procedures.
There are two main trends in medical tourism today:
While medical tourism is considered a relatively modern phenomenon, it actually dates to at least the fourth century BC. Medical records discovered dating back to Ancient Greece at this time mention pilgrims that travelled from across Europe in order to be treated in the small city of Epidaurus. A more recent historic example of medical tourism, albeit on a local scale, was people with illnesses in 18th century England who would travel to visit spa towns with the aim of finding treatment. It is unknown whether this trend was seen in other countries that have spa towns.
A news report from the news.com.au website in 2014 stated that as many as 15,000 Australians undergo medical procedures abroad, spending as much as $300 million in the process.
There are several reasons why medical tourism is popular. The main reasons typically given by those seeking a medical tourism solution, and as already stated earlier, are that they can both reduce costs and access treatment quicker, while still receiving an excellent standard of treatment and care, by looking abroad.
Advances in medical care and expertise around the world mean that individuals can save significant sums of money by choosing to undergo a procedure away from home, even after considering the costs of flights and accommodation. There are clinics in some countries that even operate with the sole purpose of attracting clients from overseas.
Several countries around the world are hugely popular for medical tourism. Some countries are popular due to their proximity to densely populated nations, while others prove popular because they are easy to get to, offer cheap treatment as well as accommodation, offer reduced waiting times, and in some cases because they’re a desirable destination to take a holiday!
In terms of proximity to Australia, popular medical tourism destinations include:
Thailand; which is the most popular medical tourism destination in the whole world as well as among Australians
If you are considering seeking medical treatment, for whatever condition or procedure, abroad, you should ensure you do so with caution. Paramount in seeking medical treatment abroad is ensuring you are going to be safe, way before you start thinking about being able to save money on your procedure.
The best approach to take is to only consider being treated at clinics that are accredited with the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards International (ACHSI). This will help ensure that you’re receiving the equivalent standards of care that you would in Australia, and help to ease any doubts or worries you may have over your treatment.
In addition, you should also look at reviews and testimonials from those that have already been treated at the clinics you are considering. Thanks to social media you might even be able to identify and contact previous patients direct if they have been open about where they have been and the treatment they have received.
In some cases, even if a specific treatment is much cheaper abroad, you might still find yourself struggling to cover the costs. MacCredit might be able to help provide you with a medical loan even if the treatment is to be undertaken outside of Australia. You can contact us today on 1300 884 355 to discuss your options if you are considering using medical tourism for your medical treatment or cosmetic procedure.