To this catalogue of circumstances that tend to the amelioration of popular systems of civil government, I shall venture, however novel it may appear to some, to add one more, on a principle which has been made the foundation of an objection to the new Constitution; I mean the ENLARGEMENT of the ORBIT within which such systems are to revolve, either in respect to the dimensions of a single State or to the consolidation of several smaller States into one great Confederacy.
I have about $10-11,000 in credit card debt. I am thinking about consolidating, however, after doing some research I’m not sure I want to go that route. I have a good creadit score and I do not want to hurt my credit score by having to close accounts, etc. However, I feel like I can’t make any progress with my credit cards due to interest, and I’m trying to avoid opening anymore credit cards that would have low or no interest. I’ve thought about taking out a bank loan to pay my credit cards off. Does this seem like it would be the best option for me? Do you suggest any other options?
Plus, take comfort in knowing that you don’t need to eliminate these things forever. Personally, I look forward to hiring back our housekeeper and treating myself to a few pedicures next summer. But until we are debt-free and have a fully-funded emergency fund, we’ll be focusing on using the dollars we bring into our home to set us up for a lifetime of success.
For most though, that’s not the case. Our take-home pay when we started was only $3,000 per month. We did everything we could along the way to increase our income, of course. But even with the small changes we made at the beginning, we were on track to pay off our loans in just over 2 years. Once we saw the success we were having, we wanted to do everything we could to get it done faster.
Paying off your smallest balance first also has an added advantage: You can then take the money you were paying each month toward that debt and add it toward paying off the next smallest balance as well. Now you’ve got the snowball effect working in your favor — the quicker you pay off one debt, the more money you have left over and the easier it becomes to pay off the next one.

We are a nonprofit credit counseling organization committed to educating consumers on financial issues and providing personal assistance to consumers who have become overextended with debt. Our certified credit counselors provide personal assistance through free budget counseling, housing counseling and debt management plans to lower credit card interest rates and monthly payments.
With the debt snowball method, you target the card with the lowest balance and make extra payments toward that account, while paying just the minimum on all other cards. Once you've paid off that balance, move on to the next-lowest balance and add what you were paying on the first card to pay it off even faster—hence the "snowball" effect. You'll continue this practice until you've paid off all of your credit card balances.
With charge-offs (debts written-off by banks) increasing, banks established debt settlement departments whose staff were authorized to negotiate with defaulted cardholders to reduce the outstanding balances in the hope of recover funds that would otherwise be lost if the cardholder filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Typical settlements ranged between 25% and 65% of the outstanding balance.[2]
To initiate the debt analysis process with Franklin a customer must simply complete a quick questionnaire and await a call. Another option is to gather statements and records of unsecured debt and call Franklin directly to speak to someone. If you agree with the debt settlement plan, which is outlined by Franklin, you will be asked to stop making payments to creditors and forward all moneys to them to be placed in a trust account. They in turn will accumulate the cash and wait for the creditors to become anxious to settle your debt. In the meantime, interest and penalties occur on any of your outstanding debt, and Franklin Debt Relief takes their cut from your monthly payment.
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.
The drawback is that while you are not paying those bills, the interest is continuing to pile on, meanwhile, your credit score is tanking. The added interest plus the attorney’s fees could negate any cost savings from the settlement. This option could work if your debt is already in collections and you have savings or access to money that would cover a large chunk of your debt. If you can’t settle the debt right away, another option will probably work better for you.

Debt Snowball (Lowest Balance First): Even though the snowball effect applies to all of these strategies, the debt snowball strategy usually refers to the method of paying the lowest balance first. The benefit of this method is the psychological effect of seeing the number of debts disappear quickly. According to Dave Ramsey, it is important to build momentum and see success early on. After all, if it was easy to pay off debt, you probably wouldn't need this calculator.
Credit utilization accounts for about 30% of your credit score. A healthy utilization ratio hovers between 10% and 30% of your total credit limit. Personal loans and home equity loans don’t have much, if any, impact on your utilization ratio. If you use either of those vehicles to consolidate credit card debt and avoid racking up more credit debt, you may initially see your credit score spike after paying off your credit cards.
If your credit card interest rates are so high it feels almost impossible to make headway on your balances, it’s worth calling your card issuer to negotiate. Believe it or not, asking for lower interest rates is actually quite commonplace. And if you have a solid history of paying your bills on time, there’s a good possibility of getting a lower interest rate.
Credit score takes a beating. This definitely will happen with either debt settlement or bankruptcy. Even if you eventually reach a debt settlement with a lender, there will be a note on your credit report for seven years that says you missed payments and settled for less than what was owed. Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on a credit report for 10 years and Chapter 13 bankruptcy is there for seven years. This will make it difficult to get a loan for a home or car at an affordable rate.
Be careful while getting debt solutions from a company as scams are rampant in the country. Check the accreditations and affiliations of a company before signing a written agreement. In case of bankruptcy, make sure youre working with an attorney who is well acquainted with all the laws. If youre opting for a self repayment plan, then go through the FDCPA laws minutely.
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a non profit credit counseling agency offering services such as debt advice, debt consolidation programs, and consumer bankruptcy counseling. We have provided thousands of families with financial counseling and helped them with consolidating bills and paying off credit cards. For consumers in need of bankruptcy counseling, ACCC is approved by the Department of Justice to provide both pre bankruptcy credit counseling and post-bankruptcy debtor education.
An unsecured debt, in contrast, involves no collateral but instead is based on a contractual agreement entered into by the borrower and lender at the beginning of the relationship. Common examples of unsecured debts are credit cards, student loans, or utility bills. The risk of default on an unsecured loan is that your debt could be turned over to a collection agency and a lawsuit may be filed against you for repayment. Lenders of unsecured debt will be more stringent about pursuing repayment because their money has not been guaranteed. Unsecured debts generally have higher interest rates because of the increased risk taken on by creditors. Take credit cards, for instance – the average interest rate on credit cards today is around 14.9 percent. Payments made on unsecured debts usually fluctuate based on the outstanding balance.
In 2019, the Texas Legislature forgave an estimated $2.5 billion in debt when it abolished[13] its "Driver Responsibility Surcharge"[14] in all but DWI cases. This surcharge was an extra, 3-year civil penalty added onto certain criminal traffic infractions like DWI or driving without a license or insurance. Surcharges were created in 2003 to pay for a roadway network that was never built, and instead half the money was diverted to hospitals, who became reliant on the money, with the rest going into the state treasury. However, the majority of drivers who had surcharges assessed could not pay them. Many people who couldn't afford either surcharges or insurance continued to drive and racked up huge sums in debt they could never expect to pay. A little-advertised Amnesty program and an indigence program that still required partial payment helped some, and were criticized by some who felt it was unfair that they paid and others didn't.[15] But local Sheriffs began to complain that the law was causing the jails to fill up with people driving on suspended license and the judiciary insisted the law was unfair and counterproductive to public safety.[16] Finally, in 2019, the Legislature found different sources to fund hospitals and eliminated the surcharge, along with around $2.5 billion in debt owed by around 1.4 million people. The same year, the Legislature eliminated red-light cameras statewide and effectively canceled those debts, and re-defined "undue hardship" in the Code of Criminal Procedure to allow judges to waive traffic-fine debt for more people.[17]
If you have more money on your credit cards that you want and don't know how to reduce credit card debt, American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) can help. We're a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people reduce credit card debt and provide help getting out of debt to individuals and families throughout the U.S. If you're asking "how do I get out of debt?" and are ready to reduce credit card debt, contact us today to speak with a certified professional and schedule a free, no-obligation evaluation of your financial situation.
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The first step in the debt settlement process is for a consumer to reach out to a reputable company that can help. These debt arbitration firms are staffed by credit counselors, people who are accredited in analyzing personal finances. They also have a keen understanding of the current marketplace, including how and why creditors will negotiate a settlement.
Yes it does! I tried this about 20 yrs. ago! I consolidated my debts into one amount! I also had my interest rates reduced by the loan company. I discovered that any money that was shaved off my debt in any way whether by lower interest rates or by taking settlements were considered charge-offs and demolished your credit rating. It took me over 30 yrs. to regain any credit worthiness at all!

Closing accounts may increase utilization. Your credit utilization ratio is the percentage of your total available credit on revolving accounts (such as credit cards) that you're currently using. A lower utilization ratio is better for your scores. Closing credit cards can decrease your available credit and lead to a higher utilization ratio if you keep other non-DMP credit card accounts open.

Debt got you down? You’re not alone. Consumer debt is at an all-time high. Whether your debt dilemma is the result of an illness, unemployment, or simply overspending, it can seem overwhelming. In your effort to get solvent, be on the alert for advertisements that offer seemingly quick fixes. While the ads pitch the promise of debt relief, they rarely say relief may be spelled b-a-n-k-r-u-p-t-c-y. And although bankruptcy is one option to deal with financial problems, it’s generally considered the option of last resort. The reason: its long-term negative impact on your creditworthiness. Bankruptcy information (both the date of your filing and the later date of discharge) stays on your credit report for 10 years, and can hinder your ability to get credit, a job, insurance, or even a place to live.
If you do business with a debt settlement company, you may have to put money in a dedicated bank account, which will be administered by an independent third party. The funds are yours and you are entitled to the interest that accrues. The account administrator may charge you a reasonable fee for account maintenance, and is responsible for transferring funds from your account to pay your creditors and the debt settlement company when settlements occur.
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Debt Consolidation is a debt relief process by which we convert your multiple credit card debts into a single debt with low interest rate so that you pay them off with ease, fast. This process will earn you a lower interest rate as compared to when you pay off the debts one by one. It will give you more convenience because you will only have to pay for one loan.

The most common forms of debt are loans, including mortgages and auto loans, personal loans, and credit card debt. Under the terms of a loan, the borrower is required to repay the balance of the loan by a certain date, typically several years in the future. The terms of the loan also stipulate the amount of interest that the borrower is required to pay annually, expressed as a percentage of the loan amount. Interest is used as a way to ensure that the lender is compensated for taking on the risk of the loan while also encouraging the borrower to repay the loan quickly in order to limit his total interest expense.

The effect of debt relief on your credit score depends on which option you use. Any solution that pays back everything you borrowed should have a neutral or positive impact on your credit. Reducing interest charges or eliminating fees does not result in credit damage. On the other hand, any solution that gets you out of debt for less than the full amount owed damages your credit score.
SoFi, short for "Social Finance", bills itself as a modern personal finance company, and its clean, crisp, easy-to-use website definitely matches that description. And, with more than $11 billion in loans funded to date and 165,000 borrowers (described as "members"), they're clearly making an impact in the lending industry. SoFi currently has a variety of products, including personal loans, mortgage loans and refinancing, student loan refinancing, and more. 

However, let’s say you have two credit cards that each have a $1,000 balance. If you put $500 to those, you could finish paying each off in three months (with interest charges).  This would clear out two bills, giving you extra motivation and extra cash. Now, instead of $500, you’d have $550 because you don’t have to pay two $25 minimum payment charges.
Other ways credit card consolidation can hurt your credit include applying for a new line of credit which will result in a hard inquiry on your credit report, adding a new credit account that can lower the average age of your credit history, and getting a new personal loan. All of these things will show that you have a high level of outstanding debt (your scores should improve as your remaining balance shrinks from where it started).
I thought the same thing! There really is no useful tips here, just her saying “I did it so you can to” but not HOW she did it. Also, if you paid off $22k in 9 months, then your “single low income” looks a LOT different than my single low income. Because $22k is about what we would MAKE in that amount of time. So obviously that would be impossible for us and for most people.
Think about it this way. If a small pond had 10 fish but a 50% growth rate each year, then the first year it would only grow by 5 fish. But after 10 years there would be 576 fish! Now what if there was a bigger pond with 50 fish, but it only grew at a rate of 25%? After the first year, it would add 12.5 fish, but after 10 years, there would be 466 total fish. The bigger pond produced more fish in the first year, but the small pond grew faster.
With this method, you contact a company first and make a settlement offer. You offer a certain percentage of what you owe and request for the remaining balance to be discharged. You can use this method with debt collectors, medical service providers for unpaid medical bills, or with a credit card company if your account is behind but still with the original creditor.
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Federal student loans generally allow for a lower payment amount, postponed payments and, in some cases, loan forgiveness. These types of loans provide repayment flexibility and access to various student loan refinancing options as the recipient's life changes. This flexibility can be especially helpful if a recipient faces a health or financial crisis.

There has been a lot of talk over the years about fully revamping the U.S. tax code. In 2011, a group of six Democratic and Republican senators who were dubbed "the gang of six" looked at options during a standoff over the U.S. debt ceiling. They came close to reaching an agreement on a deficit-reduction plan that would have saved $3.7 trillion over 10 years. This included slashing discretionary spending as well as reforming the tax code to eliminate loopholes. But negotiations broke down.


Our researchers found the median debt per American household to be $2,300, while the average debt stands at $5,700. Combined data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve allowed us to dive deeper into credit card debt in the United States, and look beyond the face value of those two figures. Below you'll find some of the most prominent trends that emerged from the available data.
Each state has its own set of rules regarding outstanding debts. Some states don't allow a debt collector to collect a certain type of debt after a certain period of time; others limit the amount of time when a creditor can sue you over an old debt. Either way, you should find out whether the statute of limitations has passed regarding an old debt you may owe. If it has passed, you can likely forgo repayment without worrying about financial, legal or credit consequences plaguing you.
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