Debt Settlement Advice When Struggling with Credit Card Debt By Paul Ritz
There are plenty of public misconceptions about dealing with debt. As your quest to get a handle on your mounting obligations has unfolded, you've probably heard quite a few of these. None of them are accurate. In fact, some of them are downright untrue. For instance, you might have heard that you can get out of debt simply by making the minimum payments on your credit cards and personal loans. While this is technically true, such a strategy could take decades to pull off and might cost you thousands of dollars in unnecessary interest charges. Thanks to a new law that Congress enacted in response to the recent financial crisis, your credit card issuers are now required to tell you how long it would take you to pay off your current balances using their minimum payment guidelines. They're also required to tell you exactly how much it would cost you to do so. You can find this information prominently displayed in a box on your credit card statement. If you're straining just to make the minimum payments on your bills, you'll save untold amounts of money on your interest charges simply by devoting more of your disposable income to paying down your debts. This doesn't have to be difficult or inconvenient. Simply prioritize your debts according to their cost: Pay off your most expensive credit card or loan and then repeat the process with your next most expensive debt. While this strategy may not be sufficient to eliminate your debts completely, it could save you hundreds of dollars in superfluous interest charges. It might also buy you valuable time as you weigh your debt consolidation options. As you've searched for a path out of debt, you've probably heard a few things about the debt settlement process. Unfortunately, some of these tidbits are liable to be rumors or misconceptions about the drawbacks of the process. As you look for quality debt settlement advice, it's important that you evaluate the source of your information before drawing any conclusions. For instance, you may have been told that you shouldn't contact a debt settlement provider because certain debts aren't eligible for debt settlement. While it's technically true that secured debts like auto loans, back taxes and mortgages can't be settled through debt settlement, it's also true that they can't be discharged in bankruptcy. In fact, your secured debts may become a serious liability during the bankruptcy process. As your debts are being discharged, it's likely that your mortgage and auto lenders will seize the assets that secure their loans. Should that occur, you'd exit bankruptcy without your car or home. By contrast, debt settlement can actually help you keep your car and remain in your home. The debt settlement process may be able to reduce your total debt burden by negotiating lower
principal balances on each of your existing obligations and not be added to your public record. While every debt case is different, debt settlement might cut the value of your debts by thousands of dollars. Even better, you won't have to make any payments while your debts are being settled. Instead, you'll save up your hard-earned money and make a final payment after your debt negotiation company has reached agreements with each of your creditors. While your existing debts are being re-negotiated, you may be able to remain up-to-date on your secured mortgage and car payments. You could be able to keep your most valued assets and reduce your unsecured debts at the same time. Forget the naysayers who tell you that you'll be stuck with your debts for years unless you declare bankruptcy. It's time for you to get serious and slog off your debt burden once and for all. All you need is a good dose of realistic debt settlement advice from a reputable company with many positive reviews and a strong Better Business Bureau rating. Debt settlement is unlike other forms of debt relief. Unlike some credit counseling services, reputable debt settlement companies will not levy upfront fees or administer ongoing "account maintenance" charges. Over the life of a debt consolidation program, these charges can total thousands of dollars and take a deep bite out of any consolidation-related savings. The debt settlement process may also be faster than other methods of debt relief. Most cases take just 24 to 48 months to resolve. Yes, settlement can take longer than a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, but it will not be a part of your public record for anyone to see. Settlement is more of an alternative to Chapter 13 bankruptcy than Chapter 7. Deciding how you want to resolve your financial problems is not an easy decision. Do your homework and research all options before you decide on one. Do not let a pushy salesman steer you toward their plan without explaining the pros and cons of other debt consolidation options. Debt settlement is not for everyone, just like bankruptcy or credit counseling is not the best solution for everyone in every situation.