Nonprofit credit counseling agencies are granted 501c(3) status. But in order to qualify, they must provide impartial help. In other words, a consumer credit counselor must review all possible paths toward debt relief during a consultation. They can only recommend a solution if it’s the best choice to use in your unique financial situation. This allows you to get expert advice without being driven to a debt management program.

Write a business letter to the supervisor of the customer service department. Include your account number and the full name of the account holder. Open the letter with a direct request to reduce your credit card debt in the initial paragraph. Provide details about the reasons you are requesting this reduction and state the precise offer you are making. Finish the body of the letter in the final paragraph by asking the credit card company to contact you to discuss the matter within one business week. Sign the letter and place your telephone number and email address under your name. Enclose copies of your bank statement and income tax return to validate your request. Make a copy of the letter for your own files and send the letter to the credit card company via certified mail with return receipt requested.
Before and again after you’ve gathered your total debt and have decided how much extra you can pay each month and have adjusted interest rates and earning or spending, you want to have a goal and to know where you’re heading and how you’re doing. A budget and/or a debt management plan or debt pay-off plan can help and they don’t have to be complicated. In fact, many online banks and credit unions offer free budgeting tools.

National Debt Relief is a ten-year-old company headquartered in the financial district of New York City. Since our founding in 2009 we have helped more than 100,000 families and individuals become debt free by resolving more than $1 billion in unsecured debts. The company is Better Business Bureau accredited and has consistently maintained an A+ rating. National Debt Relief is a member of the US Chamber of Commerce and the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC). This organization is the watchdog of the debt settlement industry. It demands that its members operate with clarity, fairness, trust and legitimacy. There is no doubt about the fact that any company that belongs to the AFCC is one that can be trusted to treat you honestly and ethically.
The most important part of credit card reduction would be to complete the process with your creditors and or collection agencies. In order to do this, it is necessary to get a debt reduction company to have you sign a legal contract and a document that legally authorizes these to negotiate along with your creditors on your behalf; this is what’s called a “Limited Power of Attorney.”
Lower interest rates and monthly payments. A debt consolidation loan or debt management program should reduce the amount of interest you pay on your debt, plus get you a monthly payment that is more in line with your income. The stability of knowing that you have an affordable monthly payment that eventually will eliminate your debt can remove a lot of the anxiety associated with the problem.
Discover is a little behind its competitors in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. It was one of the last major credit card issuers to create a dedicated COVID-19 page, and it still doesn't give customers the option to request hardship assistance through their online accounts like many of the other banks listed here. But it is promising hardship assistance to credit card customers who reach out to the company by phone to discuss their options.
It simplifies your finances. Debt consolidation loans combine multiple debts into one monthly payment. The loans have fixed rates and a set repayment term, so your monthly payments stay the same and you know when the debt will be paid off. Credit card rates are variable, so your monthly payments differ, depending on your balance, and it’s hard to know when your debts will be paid off.

Receiving automated refund checks is great, it’s like finding money on the ground. As it turns out, stores owe you money all the time, but they don’t pay if you don’t ask. That’s where Earny comes in. They automate everything. Price drop? Get cash back for the difference. Deliveries arrive later than advertised? Get cash back. Effort required? Zero, just how we like it.


While following your repayment plan, you should contact your creditors and lenders to see if you can improve the terms on your debts. You may be able to lower your interest rates or negotiate a reduced settlement on some debts by speaking with the customer service or financial aid department. It is especially easy to negotiate the terms of debts that have been charged off by the creditor or are in collections already.

I have been approved for a 30K Loan which would clear all my credit card debt…would that give me a better credit score if had a 30K loan and no CC debt (Giving me 45k in available credit?) Or should I continue to pay off my credit cards as is….(I’m paying minimum on 3 until I pay the fourth one off and then higher payments towards the next card with minimum on the remaining two and so on)
Whether you need consumer credit counseling, credit repair, tax relief, debt relief or debt settlement, this list includes the top companies for each industry. The companies are ranked in order (i.e., the top companies have the highest accumulative score). Debt consolidation loan companies are not mentioned on this list. For the “top 10 debt consolidation loan companies” visit this page next.

Some people looking to settle turn to a debt settlement company, which negotiates on your behalf with your credit card companies and acts as an intermediary. Instead of dealing directly with credit card issuers, you pay the debt settlement company an agreed-upon amount every month, and the company disburses payment to your creditor after reaching a settlement agreement.
Hi Barb, it’s hard to answer this in an absolute yes/no way. It depends in part on what you are consolidating. Consolidating credit cards are different than, say, your house (which you might lose if you can’t pay). Some people definitely live up to the challenge of paying off a consolidated loan in full (balance transfers with 0% interest are often a great way to save thousands in interest). But lots of other people plan to pay off consolidated loans and can’t meet those obligations if something in their situation changes, and that can lead to much bigger problems.
Over time, the savings that we're able to secure could enable you to begin building up an emergency fund or adding to your existing retirement account. For many past clients, our program was a turning point. Before enrolling, they lived paycheck to paycheck and could still barely afford to make ends meet. After successfully completing our program, they finally had the means to prepare and save for the future.
Chase is encouraging customers to use the Chase Mobile app and Chase.com whenever possible, and to call if anyone needs assistance due to COVID-19. The bank says to use the number on the back of your credit or debit card, or on your monthly statement, but to be aware of longer-than-usual wait times. If you need help with more specific requests, take a look at Chase’s coronavirus page for more resources.
Our debt settlement process begins when we accept a person into our program. He or she then begins sending National Debt Relief money to fund an escrow account over which they have total control. When a sufficient amount of money has accumulated in the escrow account we begin contacting the client’s lenders to negotiate settlements. The way it works is that one of our debt counselors will offer to settle the debt with a lump sum payment but for less than the debt’s face value. As an example of this, our counselor might negotiate with a credit card company to get our client’s debt reduced from $10,000 to $5000. In the event the lender agrees to our settlement offer we will then ask our client to release enough money from his or her escrow account to pay the settlement. Of course, not all lenders will agree to settle for less than the total amount of the debt. However, we will never give up. We will continue contacting that lender until we are able to successfully settle the debt or it becomes absolutely clear that the lender will never negotiate.
Entry on credit report It remains on the report till account is paid in full. Late payments stay for 7 years; account reported as "Paid", "Settled", "Paid as agreed". Negotiate for "Paid", "Paid as agreed" status. Report shows you're paying through credit counseling agency or Debt management company. Account reported as "Paid". Remains on credit report for 7-10 years.
Because they are considered revolving credit, the repayment of credit cards is different from typically structured amortized loans. Whereas the latter requires a set amount to be paid a month, the repayment of revolving credit is more flexible in that the amount can vary accordingly, although the minimum payment due on each credit card each month must be met to avoid penalty. For more information, use the Credit Card Calculator.
The cost of credit is the additional amount, over and above the amount borrowed, that the borrower has to pay. It includes interest, arrangement fees and any other charges. Some costs are mandatory, required by the lender as an integral part of the credit agreement. Other costs, such as those for credit insurance, may be optional; the borrower chooses whether or not they are included as part of the agreement.
Should you need help in settling your debts, National Debt Relief can help you through their debt management program. All you have to do is to give us a call. We have debt professionals on standby to provide assistance and advice on your financial woes. You can also fill out the form on this page and a debt expert will get in touch with you very soon.
Upfront fees was a major issue with debt relief companies. Some were charging for services they had not performed and keeping this money without ever settling the debt. In 2010 the FTC banned the practice of charging upfront fees, however it doesn’t apply to all settlement companies and there are cases of companies doing it since: CFPB Takes Action Against Meracord for Processing Illegal Debt-Settlement Fees)
There is a concept in economics known as time preference, Earle says. It refers to the inclination of consumers to spend money on purchases now rather than save money to buy goods in the future. Low interest rates tend to spur high consumer spending, which in turn drives up debt. Unfortunately, this pattern of increasing household debt can also be a forbearer of a weakening economy, according to research published in November 2017 in The Quarterly Journal of Economics.
Tax consequences - Another common objection to debt settlement is that debtors whose debts are partially canceled outside the bankruptcy system will need to report the canceled portion of the debt as taxable income. (IRS Publication Form 982) The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers any amount of forgiven debt as taxable income. Under the Foreclosures and Repossessions section, the IRS mentions that the forgiving creditor must provide the taxpayer with a 1099-C tax form for "forgiven debt amounts" of $600 or greater.[15][16] The 1099-C form will list the amount of forgiven debt and interest in Box 2. Taxpayers with portions of personal loans forgiven may not subtract the interest reported in Box 3 from the amount of reported income on this form.
The cost of credit is the additional amount, over and above the amount borrowed, that the borrower has to pay. It includes interest, arrangement fees and any other charges. Some costs are mandatory, required by the lender as an integral part of the credit agreement. Other costs, such as those for credit insurance, may be optional; the borrower chooses whether or not they are included as part of the agreement.
In the U.K. creditors such as banks, credit card and loan companies and other creditors are already writing off huge amounts of debt. Most creditors are open to negotiations and are willing to accept reductions of 50% or more. Debt settlement allows the debtor to spread payments out over a set term, instead of having to pay a lump sum in one go which is the case with full and final settlement.
During your first conversation with a certified credit counselors, we'll evaluate your financial situation and help you set a budget you can live with while you work on a credit card reduction plan. We may recommend that you enroll in one of our debt management programs, depending on the details of your situation. In our debt management plan, we consolidate all of your payments to creditors, enabling you to make just one payment each month to ACCC. We then take the responsibility for distributing funds to your creditors directly while working with them for possible reduction in finance charges, interest rates, late fees and over-limit charges. Our counselors also find out if credit card negotiation is possible. Creditors are usually more willing to reduce or forgive charges when they know you're actively working at reducing your debt through our relief programs.
In general, you want to leave home equity alone. It’s often the largest asset you have for building net worth. When you borrow against equity, you turn an asset into a liability. (Literally, net worth is calculated by taking total assets minus total liabilities – i.e. your debts.) That will be a problem when you go to open a new loan because your assets-to-liabilities ratio won’t be where you need it to be. So, your solution to avoid hurting your ability to borrow can actually make it harder to borrow.
While most debt reduction software focuses solely on helping you create a debt payoff plan, Quicken is a comprehensive personal finance software that can also help you extract more money from your monthly budget to pay off debt faster. Use the software to create a budget and track your spending so you can design a debt reduction plan based on your goals.
Debt validation is similar in nature to how a speeding ticket can get dismissed, even if the person was speeding. However, when it comes to debt there are many laws that regulate debt collection companies. There are a multitude of debt collection and credit card related laws available to use when disputing a debt, like the Credit Card Act, FDCPA, Fair Credit Billing Act and the FCRA. All of these laws make it faily easy for a debt validation program to dispute a debt and prove it to be legally uncollectible. Especially when it comes to credit card debt, where statistically, more than 90% of credit card lawsuits can get dismissed after being disputed, due to flaws in the paperwork, according to a Brooklyn Judge.
During your first conversation with a certified credit counselors, we'll evaluate your financial situation and help you set a budget you can live with while you work on a credit card reduction plan. We may recommend that you enroll in one of our debt management programs, depending on the details of your situation. In our debt management plan, we consolidate all of your payments to creditors, enabling you to make just one payment each month to ACCC. We then take the responsibility for distributing funds to your creditors directly while working with them for possible reduction in finance charges, interest rates, late fees and over-limit charges. Our counselors also find out if credit card negotiation is possible. Creditors are usually more willing to reduce or forgive charges when they know you're actively working at reducing your debt through our relief programs.
Unfortunately, not all debt relief companies offering this service really help. But that is because they fail to address the source of the problem – the bad spending behaviour. While it is important to pay off what you owe, it is equally important to learn how to curb your spending. Some people tend to backslide to their overspending ways after a debt or two are paid for. This is a big no-no and could get you back in the same situation you started from. Any extra cash should be saved and if you can, stop using your credit cards!
A third option to consider to lower your interest rate and pay off credit card debt is a balance transfer. This can be especially helpful if you can find a credit card with a 0% APR on balance transfers specifically. Just make sure you pay off the balance before the introductory period ends when the 0% APR will expire. Rates after this period can increase dramatically.
While most debt reduction software focuses solely on helping you create a debt payoff plan, Quicken is a comprehensive personal finance software that can also help you extract more money from your monthly budget to pay off debt faster. Use the software to create a budget and track your spending so you can design a debt reduction plan based on your goals.
Government Action: This company was sued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, but the lawsuit was resolved. "On November 8, 2017, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a Complaint against Freedom Debt Relief LLC. Charges filed allege the business is in violation of Consumer Financial Protection Act and Telemarketing Sales Rule prohibiting deceiving consumers regarding creditors’ willingness to negotiate with freedom, deceiving consumers regarding charges, abusively requiring consumers to negotiate on their own, failure to clearly and conspicuously disclose consumers’ rights to funds."

Generally, credit card debt refers to the accumulated outstanding balances that many borrowers carry over from month to month. Credit card debt can be useful for borrowers seeking to make purchases with deferred payment over time. This type of debt does carry some of the industry’s highest interest rates. However, credit card borrowers do have the option to pay off their balances each month to save on interest over the long term.


One option for consolidating credit card debt is a balance transfer to a new credit card with a low or 0% promotional interest period. But, if you don’t pay down your balance before the promotional period ends, your interest rate could go up, costing you money. By comparison, a Marcus personal loan has a fixed rate, so you won’t have to worry about varying interest rates.


As a last option to eliminating credit card debt, you may want to talk with a bankruptcy attorney. A downside with bankruptcy is that; in your future, if you apply to purchase anything on your credit, you’ll have a difficult time getting approved, or you will get charged the maximum interest rate. One way or another, with bankruptcy on your credit, you could be paying the price for a very long time ahead. You’ll have a difficult time using your credit even for simple purchases. With bankruptcy on your credit, you may not be able to rent a home or buy a new car. Future employers will also see that you filed for bankruptcy when evaluating whether or not to hire you.
Programs are designed to help clients understand their debt, pay off their debt, and create budgets to stay out of debt. You can use the debt calculator to determine monthly payments prior to applying, and find answers to most of your questions by clicking on the "View all Debt Consolidation Questions" link. There are even programs to lower your payments should the need arise.
When traditional monthly payments don’t work, credit card consolidation can be an effective solution to get out of debt fast. You combine credit card debts into a single monthly payment at the lowest interest rate possible. This helps you save money as you pay off debt and it may lower your monthly payments, too. But credit card debt consolidation is not a silver bullet. It won’t work in every financial situation for every consumer. And when it’s used incorrectly, it can make a bad situation with debt even worse.
One of the best things you can do is learn your rights as a consumer. For instance, many people don't realize that you can contact credit card companies directly to negotiate your own settlement or hire a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf. Bossler adds that you should make sure you're covered by getting settlement offers in writing before sending money.
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