Alongside the unprecedented spike in personal debt loads, there has been another rather significant (even if criminally[clarification needed] under-reported) change: the new legislation in 2005 that dramatically worsened the chances for average Americans to claim Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. As things stand, should anyone filing for bankruptcy fail to meet the Internal Revenue Service regulated ‘means test’, they would instead be shelved into the Chapter 13 debt restructuring plan. Essentially, Chapter 13 bankruptcies simply tell borrowers that they must pay back some or all of their debts to all unsecured lenders. Repayments under Chapter 13 can range from 1% to 100% of the amounts owed to unsecured creditors, based on the ability of the debtor to pay. Repayment periods are three years (for those who earn below the median income) or five years (for those above), under court mandated budgets that follow IRS guidelines, and the penalties for failure are more severe.
We’ll work with you to figure out what is the right debt strategy for you to pay off your debts as quickly as possible, for the lowest amount. Freedom Debt Relief has enrolled over 600,000 clients over 15 years, and we have negotiated significant savings for them. Request a free debt evaluation today or call us at 800-910-0065 to find out if our program could help you, too.
What can you use this loan or line of credit for? This is a multipurpose option. You can use it for home improvements, to pay down higher rate balances, educational expenses, or any major purchase. This loan option can be used for credit card and loan debt consolidation. Loan proceeds may not be used to refinance any existing loan with LightStream.
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.
Interest and other charges are presented in a variety of different ways, but under many legislative regimes lenders are required to quote all mandatory charges in the form of an annual percentage rate (APR).[8] The goal of the APR calculation is to promote "truth in lending", to give potential borrowers a clear measure of the true cost of borrowing and to allow a comparison to be made between competing products. The APR is derived from the pattern of advances and repayments made during the agreement. Optional charges are usually not included in the APR calculation.[9]
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.
Whether a debt management plan is a good idea depends on your situation. They don’t help everyone. A good credit counselor will spend time reviewing your specific financial situation and then offer customized advice to help you manage your money. If a credit counselor says a debt management plan is your only option without doing these things first, find a different counselor.
If you sign up with CuraDebt's online form, make sure you provide a valid phone number and email address. With your initial call, you'll be assigned a friendly, experienced financial counselor to help guide you through your financial options. This person develops a knowledge of your personal financial situation and works with you to create a comprehensive solution to meet your needs. They also stay in contact with you while you progress through your debt resolution plan, until you've reached your financial goals. This is a great benefit, since your goals may change and it's good to have a familiar, knowledgeable expert readily available to answer any questions you may have.
For that matter, using National Debt Relief to settle your debts can actually cost you less than if you were to pay off credit card debts yourself over a five-year period. Here’s the math. If you owed $10,000 at 15% and your goal was to become debt free and assuming your monthly payment was $225 you would not be debt-free until the year 2020 and you would have paid $4688 in interest. In comparison, if we were to handle that $10,000 debt with a 20% fee it would cost you just $2000 or $2688 less than if you were to pay off that credit card debt yourself.
As you make payments on your credit card or other lines of credit, the liquidity risk is lower because you can quickly withdraw the money again if necessary (assuming your credit isn't frozen). That would increase your debt, of course, but it lowers the risk of being unable to keep the electricity running. On the other hand, if your extra cash is used to pay off an auto loan, you can't just get another loan in a couple of hours.

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.
The credit card debt reduction process usually takes between 12 months to three years, so consumers can wait for creditors helps to make the sensible decision to agree and negotiate. Besides the obvious good thing about reducing your debts, an additional benefit will be the assistance with creditor harassment. Debt relief companies normally contact all your creditors and tell them that you will be using a debt relief company so you are now represented. This is extremely essential in that it helps minimize or eliminate creditor calls. The conventional practice would be to direct all communication for the debt reduction firm that you are working together with. However, you will need to remain cognizant that original creditors can still contact you legally, but most will comply with such requests.
I hope you’ll read this with all the grace and kindness I intend, because I really believe being debt free is crucial for any of us to have a positive financial future. Even more than I am saying that anyone can pay off debt, I’m saying that you almost have to find a way. If you don’t, what’s the future look like? More debt? Constant financial stress? I would love to have you sign up for my free Family Budget Challenge that’s going on right now. I’m going step by step exactly how to create financial goals, a budget, and achieve your goals. But for now, I would say if you feel your income is too small, then the next step would be finding a way to earn more, right? Dave Ramsey’s book is full of stories about people getting second jobs delivering pizza or whatever to earn more to pay off debt faster. Another great Dave quote one of my readers pointed out to me yesterday was to sell so much of your stuff to get cash quick to “make the kids think they’re next”!

If you have enough money to blow on pedicures and housekeepers, then of course you can get out of debt in three years. Unfortunately, not everyone has a disposable income for luxuries such as those mentioned…so, such sacrifices cannot be made. If I had enough money for a housekeeper, then I would have been tossing that money at the debt long before reading this article…because I think paying someone to clean your house is excessive spending.
A credit card consolidation loan enables you to pay down multiple credit cards and reduce credit card debt into a single loan with a fixed rate and term. It can also help you save money by reducing your interest rate, or making it easier to pay off your debt faster. A credit card consolidation loan may also lower your monthly payment. Depending on your credit profile, a credit card consolidation loan could help improve your credit by diversifying your credit mix, showing that you can make on-time monthly payments, and reducing your total debt (as long as you’re not adding any new debt).
Credit Score Issues: One thing is certain: your credit score will be damaged. The lender, collector or credit-card company will report the debt as “settled for less than agreed’’ or “settlement accepted’’ for seven years. Also, even though you are dealing with the debt-settlement company for payments, the lenders will report late-payment status updates to the credit bureaus. That could be the case until the account is actually settled.
"Due to the impact of COVID-19, for eligible Card accounts approved from December 1, 2019, through May 31, 2020, for which you are eligible for a welcome offer, the period to make eligible purchases to earn your welcome bonus will be extended for an additional 3 months. Eligible Cards are U.S. Consumer and Business Cards issued by American Express National Bank to a Basic Card Member."
Home equity loans let you borrow against your home’s equity and use the cash to pay for just about anything. This may seem like a good option because these loans often have lower rates than credit cards and personal loans. But if you default on payments, the lender typically has the right to start foreclosure proceedings, and you could lose your home.
For those looking for a debt relief loan, OneMain will lend money to those with lower credit ratings and no collateral. However, the cost seems to be a high interest rate and spotty customer service. This company appears strong and solvent, so it is a legitimate lending source. Our concerns cenetered around the cost associated with borrowing money from OneMain, and whether that would ultimately help or hinder customers efforts to improve their financial situation.
Using credit card balance transfers to consolidate your credit card debt is another way to save money on credit card interest and make progress toward paying down your debt. Here’s how it works. Take higher interest credit card debt and transfer the balance to a credit card that has a lower interest rate, preferably one offering zero-percent interest. For example, if you have $5,000 in credit card debt on a card with a 23.99% interest rate and you can transfer this debt to a 0% card (12-month introductory offer), you’ll save $1,200 over 12 months. Most credit cards charge a 3% balance transfer fee. In this case, that’s only $150: still worth filling out the application.
Debt settlement is when a creditor agrees to accept payment that is less than what is owed on your credit card debt. Sound too good to be true? It is! There are a lot of negatives that make this a risky alternative. Your credit score will plummet, and you will find it very difficult to get a loan in the future because you didn’t pay back this one. This is something that only should be considered if all other avenues are closed. You may be responsible for paying taxes on the amount forgiven.
Find a credit card with a lower APR or a rewards program that matches your hobbies and cut up (but don't close!) your paid-off, high-APR cards. With the higher credit scores that come with debt repayment, you'll begin to earn approval for rewards cards that offer either cash back, travel discounts, or gifts. The true sign of great credit is when you spend less than what you earn.
It may not make sense but that is the way it’s factored into your credit score, which is the end result here. Cutting up the card to avoid using it may help if it’s a temptation. The scores are comprised of debt to income ratio, but also credit worthiness and longevity, among many other things. If you have $100k in open to buy credit, and only $5k in debt, that helps your score. Also, it shows that lenders have extended this amount of credit to you. i.e. Creditworthiness. Additionally, your score factors in length of credit. They want to see how long you’ve kept that credit, expecting a good relationship with the lender and you’ve shown responsibility. Old schoolers used to close the accts and be done with it. This is the new way of the credit score. It is an education in itself.
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.
I am excited for you, but I didn’t really see any “how we did it” tips really. Just that you started paying off the debt and then nine months later you were done. I tried to click on the “9 crazy things…” link but got an error message. I would like to know more like what you actually did to have the extra money to pay when you said you could barely afford the extra $39 a month in the beginning. I see people say they can do this…but typically it’s only if you have something large you can sell, like your car or a house. Not for normal people.

The goal is to negotiate a payment with your creditors that is lower than your full outstanding balance. Paying less than you originally owed may seem like a great deal—until you consider the consequences to your credit, which could be substantial. Additionally, the forgiven debt may be reported as income to the IRS, which means you may have to pay taxes on it.
Cons: The benefit of only paying a percentage of what you owe comes at a price: credit damage. Each debt you settle creates a negative remark on your credit report. This penalty sticks around for seven years. It hurts your credit score and makes it harder to get loans and credit cards immediately after you settle. You can still get financing, but rates will be higher and terms won’t be as flexible. Once you settle, take steps to rebuild your credit.

If you’re looking for a quick way to get out of debt, you need a highly effective plan. ZilchWorks debt reduction software creates an individualized plan to help you reach your goal in 18 months to 24 months. Start by entering the creditor, interest rate, current balance, and monthly payment for each of your debts. The software then creates a step-by-step plan to help you pay them off in the shortest time possible.
You can possibly add the costs of acquiring a new mortgage to the total amount of refinance so that you do not have to pay anything out of pocket at the time of closing. But you should know that a cash-out refinance to consolidate your debt could result in a higher rate or a longer loan term. This could mean an overall higher interest payment in the long run.
Mortgages are the most common types of loan modification. If your home is worth less than the remaining mortgage balance, modification matches the principal to the property value. Modifications were common during the mortgage crisis in 2008. However, as of January 1, 2017, the federally subsidized modification program (HAMP) ended. That means modifications are less common now.

Though debt settlement and bankruptcy are some of the more appealing options to those looking to get out of debt quickly, they aren’t for everyone — especially anyone who wishes to maintain or improve their current credit score. If you’re trying to repay your credit card debt and rebuild your credit, a manageable payment plan may be the best way to go.
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.
Credit Score Issues: One thing is certain: your credit score will be damaged. The lender, collector or credit-card company will report the debt as “settled for less than agreed’’ or “settlement accepted’’ for seven years. Also, even though you are dealing with the debt-settlement company for payments, the lenders will report late-payment status updates to the credit bureaus. That could be the case until the account is actually settled.
Debt resolution doesn’t require a debt resolution company. You can call your creditors and explain your financial situation to them. Include any pertinent information, such as medical expenses or loss of employment. It’s possible the creditors will set up a payment plan for you or reduce or remove any interest and penalties you’ve incurred. Naturally, it’s best to contact your creditors as soon as you know there are problems in meeting your financial obligations.
The No. 1 benefit is a lower monthly payment, and the potential of reduced interest rates. There is the convenience of making only one payment for all your debts. You also receive valuable education materials, including financial tips and reminders for payments due. InCharge clients can track their progress online, see their balances and what percent of their debt has been paid off.
Once an account is included in this type of program, the creditor will close the account. Closing your credit cards will cause your credit utilization rate to increase, which can hurt credit scores. The creditor may also add a statement to the account that indicates the payments are being managed by a debt consolidation company. This statement may be viewed negatively by lenders who manually review your report.
Coming up with a plan for paying off debt may sound difficult, especially if you don’t have a financial background. But spreadsheets simplify the task, making it easy for anyone who can use a spreadsheet to make a plan to pay off debt. The snowball method is a popular strategy, and downloading one of these debt snowball spreadsheets can help you reduce your debt.
The average length of a DMP is 3-5 years, but is shorter for clients who decide to aggressively deal with their debt. Many clients pay down debt faster by using income tax returns, inheritance money or some other unexpected source of income. There is no penalty for paying the debt off early. You can make additional payments while on the plan and pay off your debt faster.
Debt consolidation: In a debt consolidation program, you can merge your multiple bills into a single monthly payment. If the interest rate on the new loan is lower than the combined interest of the existing debts then it will be a suitable debt elimination plan for you. The financial experts will negotiate with the creditors to lower the interest rate on the principal to make it affordable to pay off. In this program, you can eventually rebuild your credit score once you pay off the debt.

“Credit Counseling will develop an action plan that is tailored to your exact needs,” Rebecca Steele, Chief Executive Officer for the National Federation of Credit Counseling, said. “When you’re in debt, you need to understand your budget, what it’s going to take to resolve your debts and how you can put fair, affordable payments in place to achieve that goal. That is what credit counselors should do for you.”
The tourism industry runs largely on low-paying jobs, as does the service industry that supports all those visitors. Florida’s per capita income of $26,582 ranks 32nd among U.S. states. Florida’s unemployment rate is a respectable 4.8%, but its labor force participation rate is 60.3%, meaning almost four out of 10 Floridians have dropped out of the work force.
And keep in mind, this type of settlement is pretty much equivalent to what a court will order if you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. During that type of filing, the court arranges partial repayment in exchange for full discharge. What’s more, Chapter 13 bankruptcy also creates a 7-year credit penalty. So, there’s little difference in the credit damage.
Surprise taxes. The IRS may get involved when you settle credit card debt. If the debt forgiven hits $600 or more, you'll usually need to pay taxes on that sum. Nesbitt says, however, that you may be able to reduce your tax liability. If your liabilities might exceed your assets, he recommends that you review IRS Form 982 with your tax preparer to determine whether you qualify as insolvent.
A debt management plan is a formal plan to restructure and pay off your debt. A company will manage the plan and negotiate some cost reductions with your creditors, such as waived fees or a lower interest rate. You’ll make a single payment to the plan manager, who will distribute the funds to your creditors. While you’re in the program, you won’t be able to use your credit cards or open new ones. The plan is designed to get you out of debt in three to five years, after which all of your accounts should be reported as paid-as-agreed.
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]
And if you want to go even further, check out the 14-day free trial of Financial Peace University. Did you know that the average family who completes Financial Peace University pays off $5,300 in debt and saves $2,700 within the first 90 days? Nearly 6 million people have used Financial Peace University to budget, save money, and get out of debt once and for all. Now it’s your turn.
One of our concerns with Franklin is their customer service team. In our first call we spoke with someone outside of the USA that seemed to not only have trouble speaking and understanding English but had trouble with the company policies. It was a little unsettling that Franklin Debt Relief outsources their customer service team to individuals that may or may not be on the up and up with our highly sensitive financial information.
×