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Sort your credit card interest rates from highest to lowest, then tackle the card with the highest rate first. "By paying off the balance with the highest interest first, you increase your payment on the credit card with the highest annual percentage rate while continuing to make the minimum payment on the rest of your credit cards," writes former My Money contributor Hitha Herzog.


“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.”


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.
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.
Assume, for example, that XYZ Corporation buys 100% of the net assets of ABC Manufacturing for a price of $1 million, and that the fair market value of ABC's net assets is $700,000. When a CPA firm puts together the consolidated financial statements, ABC's net assets are listed with a value of $700,000, and the $300,000 amount paid above the fair market value is posted to a goodwill asset account.
"SunTrust Advisors" may be officers and/or associated persons of the following affiliates of Truist Financial Corporation: SunTrust Bank now Truist Bank, our commercial bank, which provides banking, trust and asset management services; SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., a registered broker-dealer, which is a member of FINRALink opens a new window and SIPCLink opens a new window, and a licensed insurance agency, and which provides securities, annuities and life insurance products; SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc., a SEC registered investment adviser which provides Investment Advisory services.
One of the things we liked about National Debt Relief is that they've earned an "A+" rating as an accredited business with the BBB. Part of this rating is due to their 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy with their service, you can cancel at any time without penalties or fees. This is another strong feature that separates National Debt Relief from most other debt relief companies.
The problem with credit cards is that it’s easy to abuse them. That is what makes them a very popular sinkhole. Many Americans continue to use their cards without thinking about how they will pay their balances. The appeal of instant gratification, of getting stuff they want immediately and without having to pay at the time, can be a tempting scenario for many shoppers.
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Debt relief programs at ACCC are designed to help you take control of your finances and make a plan to pay off your debts. In your first conversation with our expert credit counselors, we'll evaluate your financial situation to get a clear picture of what you owe and how best to pay it off. Then we'll work with you to create a workable budget – something you can live with, but one that will help you make significant progress toward your goal of being debt-free.
Two: Pay off your lowest balance: Need a mental win? Work on the card with the lowest balance to give you the psychological boost of accomplishing debt repayment. You’ll feel good seeing results quickly and be motivated to tackle the next credit card. If you have two debts with similar balances, then pay off the debt with the higher interest rate first.
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.
InCharge does not report your participation in a debt management program or plan to the credit bureaus, however your creditors might. Your credit score may decrease when your credit cards are closed and then increase as you make consistent on-time payments over the course of the program. Every person’s credit situation is different. In order to better understand how a debt management program may affect your credit score, learn more about how credit scores are calculated.
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.

On November 4, 2009 Andrew Housser and Robert Linderman, general counsel, participated as panelists at the Federal Trade Commission's public forum on "Debt Relief Amendments to the Telemarketing Sales Rule." The forum discussed proposed fee regulation and rules to eliminate deceptive and abusive telemarketing of debt relief services. In a letter to the FTC Linderman stated in the first nine months of 2009 alone Freedom Debt Relief successfully settled approximately 40,000 accounts aggregating more than $206 million of unsecured debt with savings to consumers in excess of $120 million.[5] On November 11, 2009, the company announced it had settled more than $500 million in consumer debt since its founding.
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.
Professional in look, the site however does not hope to impress in graphics or photos of people enjoying newfound financial freedom. Instead, the site uses facts and figures to communicate a serious, all-business tone. The only downside to this setup is that if a customer is not familiar with loans or borrowing lingo, they might be lost until they scroll to the bottom of the Home page to click on "Contact Us".
A good list, very sensible, but asking your hairstylist for a discount is rude. Regardless of the relationship you have with that person, you are telling them that the training and experience they have is not worth the cost they have already determined. You are asking someone whose financial situation you don’t know to take a pay cut to benefit you and your debt repayment. That’s not classy or thrifty, but selfish. You are taking advantage of their goodwill and generosity, and you should be ashamed. You wouldn’t ask a restaurant or mechanic or plumber for a discount just because you don’t want to pay their prices, they’d laugh you out of the room, as your hairdresser should have. And I’m guessing you probably won’t make up the cut they took in tips going forward, either.
Tip: Before you do business with any debt settlement company, contact your state Attorney General and local consumer protection agency . They can tell you if any consumer complaints are on file about the firm you're considering doing business with. Some states require debt settlement companies to be licensed. You can check with your state regulator or ask your state Attorney General if the company is required to be licensed to work in your state and, if so, whether it is. You can also view the Federal Trade Commission's page on "Coping with Debt " for more information.
You’re so excited to take advantage of your 15% off exclusive cardmember “benefit,” and you rush to the store or website. You get there, and . . . they’re having a sale! At this point, they’re practically paying you to shop! (Listen, I’m a spender at heart, so I know how to spin this.) So you wind up going on a $150 shopping spree—which is $50 over your budget.
National Debt Relief is proud to be reviewed and ranked as a top provider by these independent review websites. National Debt Relief does not compensate these reviewers to apply their objective criteria to our company and rank us compared to our peers. We do, however, advertise on their websites because we are proud of our independent rankings. We have confirmed that each independent review is subject to its own criteria and not influenced by our advertising.

The financial expert Dave Ramsey invented the snowball method. The way it works is that you order your credit card debts from the one with the lowest balance down to the one with the highest. You then focus all of your efforts on paying off that card with the lowest balance, which will go fairly quickly. Of course, you will want to continue making at least the minimum payments on the other cards. When you get that first card paid off you’ll now have extra money available to begin paying off the card with the second lowest balance and so on. Dave calls this the snowball method because as you pay off each debt you gain energy and momentum to pay off the next – just like a snowball rolling downhill picks up momentum. Here is an example of how this method works. Let’s suppose you have the following debts
Bringing accounts current can help you build positive payment history. If your creditors agree to re-age your past-due accounts and change their status to current, your monthly DMP payment will result in on-time payments on all accounts included in your DMP. These can help you build positive payment history, which is the most important credit scoring factor.

If you are considering asking a friend or family member for help with money, you should be willing to sit down with them, share your budget, debts, monthly payments and interest rates with them. Show them that you can afford to pay them back and how you plan to do that, including highlighting budget areas that you have already cut back or are willing to cut back.
When considering using a balance transfer card to consolidate debt, make sure the combined amount of debt you're transferring is lower than your credit limit. And don't forget to account for transfer fees and read the card's fine print. You may find that the APR for new purchases is different from the balance transfer rate, which could end up costing you if you make new purchases on the card. Typically it's best to use a balance transfer card only to pay your existing debt without incurring new debt.
Starting your own business has never been easier! Do you have a knack for making things? Sell your products online. Are you an animal lover? Take up dog walking or pet sitting. Do you have a good eye and a nice camera? Start taking on clients for photo sessions. Christy Wright’s Business Boutique is a great resource to show you how you can turn that hobby into a serious money-making machine!
Since our founding, Freedom Debt Relief has grown to be the largest debt settlement company in the nation, with over 600,000 enrolled clients. We have resolved more than $9 billion in unsecured consumer debt—more than any other company in the debt settlement industry. Our company continues to grow to meet the needs of consumers, employing over 2,000 employees who are dedicated to the cause of helping our clients reach their financial goals.
Most of us typically tear up all those credit card balance transfers that arrive in our mailboxes. But if you want to go on a tear with your debt reduction efforts, a balance transfer can help. By transferring high rate debt to a zero percent deal — one that lasts for 12 months or so — you eliminate all credit-card interest. That frees up cash flow, giving you additional money to knock out those credit card bills. Just read the fine print before signing up to make sure you are really getting that low rate.
“Recently, I happen to receive very good news from National Debt Relief on settling a past business debt. I was quite relieved on how they were so quick and efficient in getting one of my matters resolved. I have worked with them in the past and it happened to be one of the reasons why I had made the personal decision to reapply back to their organization to eliminate my debt in order to rebuild my life again. Thanks for all you do.”
Try to calculate the amount you owe to the creditors in order to eliminate your debts. Make sure you take help from a professional debt arbitrator to overcome your debt problems smoothly. Your financial situation will be evaluated by the financial advisor before recommending a debt elimination plan. He will suggest a suitable debt relief program in accordance with your financial situation.

Debt settlement sounds like a sexy option to consolidate debt. Who wouldn’t want to pay half (or less!) of what you owe on credit card debt? But this is considered a desperation measure for a reason. The ads boasting that settlement companies like National Debt Relief can get at least 50% of your debt forgiven, don’t tell the whole story. That figure doesn’t include the fees you will pay for the service; the late penalties you incur while settlement negotiations take place; and whether a creditor will even accept the offers made. The results from this form of debt consolidation definitely are mixed. Do all the math before you choose this option. It should be noted that attorneys also offer debt settlement in addition to companies like National Debt Relief.
Possible late payments: The Federal Trade Commission recommends you keep paying your creditors until you receive written confirmation from them noting they have accepted your DMP. Then check with your credit counselor to make sure payments will be made by each account's due date every month, and follow up with creditors to confirm the agency is paying bills on time.
If you are considering using a debt relief or debt consolidation company, arm yourself with information. For a fee, they negotiate with your creditors on your behalf, resulting in lower balances or interest rates. Legitimate debt relief companies will obtain a written agreement from each one of your creditors, detailing the terms of the agreement, your obligations, and what will be reported to the credit bureaus. In some cases, if your balances are lowered the creditor might report bad debt or a charge-off, which will negatively impact your credit history and score. Also keep in mind that debt relief companies generally charge higher interest rates than your bank or mortgage lender, particularly if you have less than stellar credit. So you might not save much in the long run, especially once you factor in fees. It’s up to you to do the math.
As long as you have outstanding debt, you don’t get to make the decisions about your money; your lenders do. They decide how much you pay them and when you pay them. In some cases, they can increase your interest rate and minimum payment and give you less than two months to adjust your budget to fit them. Paying off your debt and becoming debt-free puts you in complete control of your money.
Once you finish paying off that debt, take all of the money you were spending and apply it to the next largest debt. And here’s where we get into why it’s called the snowball method. Let’s say, for example, you’re spending $200 per month paying down a credit card, while also paying $50 minimum payment on another card. Once that first credit card is paid off, you can take that entire $200 and add it to the $50 minimum payment on the other card, for a total of $250 on that second card.

Fidelity does not provide legal or tax advice. The information herein is general and educational in nature and should not be considered legal or tax advice. Tax laws and regulations are complex and subject to change, which can materially impact investment results. Fidelity cannot guarantee that the information herein is accurate, complete, or timely. Fidelity makes no warranties with regard to such information or results obtained by its use, and disclaims any liability arising out of your use of, or any tax position taken in reliance on, such information. Consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific situation.

If you’re financially drowning, of course you can declare bankruptcy. The problem is that bankruptcy is a serious derogatory mark on your credit. It won’t prevent you from getting credit in the future, but for a time some credit products will be unavailable to you and others will come at very steep prices. Also, not all debts can be discharged in a bankruptcy.


Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information, however all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on an offer you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your offer.
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.
Maintaining interest rates at low levels is another way that governments seek to stimulate the economy, generate tax revenue, and, ultimately, reduce the national debt. Lower interest rates make it easier for individuals and businesses to borrow money. In turn, those borrowers spend that money on goods and services, which creates jobs and tax revenues.
The second type of debt consolidation you may hear about are debt management plans offered by debt settlement companies. With these programs, the debt settlement company may be able to secure lower monthly payments with your creditors by negotiating a reduced balance on your accounts. You then make one "consolidated" payment to the debt settlement company each month, and in turn the company makes payments to each of your creditors on your behalf.

3. Current credit score. Some banks will make a hard inquiry check when you apply for a loan, which can temporarily lower your credit score a few points. Your credit score can also determine how favorable the rate will be on your loan. If your credit score is already damaged, it may not be worth it to take out a new loan if the rates are no better than what you currently have.

Let’s be honest – most people would prefer to solve challenges with debt on their own. You don’t have to share your finances with anyone, worry about judgement or put your fate in someone else’s hands. That’s why DIY strategies to reduce credit card debt like the ones we describe below are so useful. With some basic instruction, you can handle the issues on your own and move forward confidence.
Everyone’s situation is different. You should do your research and decide based on your unique situation.  You may want to consider other debt relief options, including credit counseling. A credit counselor is trained to understand your financial situation and help you figure out how best to manage your debt. You may also want to learn about other debt relief options.
For many people, consolidation reveals a light at the end of the tunnel. If you take a loan with a three-year term, you know it will be paid off in three years — assuming you make your payments on time and manage your spending. Conversely, making minimum payments on credit cards could mean months or years before they’re paid off, all while accruing more interest than the initial principal.
Being in debt has a lot in common with being on the top of a ladder—you know that tall, intimidating and unstable piece of metal you use to do dangerous things like clean gutters and cut trees. See the connection? We want to come down from that ladder and re-establish some firm financial footing. Not only that, but we want to pay off our debt fast, in the quickest and most efficient way possible, so that we don’t waste any money on extra unnecessary interest. That’s exactly what we’re going to cover in this post. One quick disclaimer, though: this method won’t work for people who are struggling to make monthly payments. If your debt is overwhelming, try our free credit counseling service instead.
However, debt consolidation in the form of a loan isn’t for everyone. If your outstanding debts are so high that you can barely keep up with the minimum payments, then you may not qualify to pay off your debts this way. Other debt consolidation options include debt settlement, which has no credit qualifications. Like a loan, this method of debt consolidation allows consumers to have one low monthly payment and get out of debt much faster than if they merely continued to make minimum monthly payments.
“I'm 21, I'm a business owner, and I have no debt. People around me, closer to my age, think I'm so crazy to be living my life this way. We are taking a bit of a different journey than others, but I am DETERMINED to never have a mortgage. We bought land last year for our future home. This year we bought a fifth wheel so we can continue living with lower expenses and save money. We're taking it each step at a time until we can finally build!” — Sara P.
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“Recently, I happen to receive very good news from National Debt Relief on settling a past business debt. I was quite relieved on how they were so quick and efficient in getting one of my matters resolved. I have worked with them in the past and it happened to be one of the reasons why I had made the personal decision to reapply back to their organization to eliminate my debt in order to rebuild my life again. Thanks for all you do.”

But for too many of us, what he said as, probably, a gentle poke in the ribs is how we live our financial lives. A credit card opens a universe of opportunities. We use them to get stuff, buy gifts, go out on the town, have adventures, and when the bill comes, we don’t look at the balance — heck, we avoid looking at the balance — but instead focus on the minimum payment. How much do we need to send the lender to let the good times keep rolling?

Some debt resolution companies claim to get your debts resolved or removed, in exchange for an upfront fee. Be wary of these companies, as there are some with a poor track record. Before doing business with any debt resolution company, consult the Better Business Bureau to find out if their customers are satisfied. You can also locate a business at the National Foundation for Credit Counseling website (see Resources).


One Main Financial (OMF) offers personal consolidation loans to help credit card holders who are only making minimum monthly payments without seeing a decrease in their balances. The company began as Commercial Credit in 1912, but over the years, they have changed their name to Citi Financial and currently, to OMF. With over 100 years of company history, you will find multiple positive reviews and testimonials. They currently have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Yes, we have to include some legalese down here. Read it larger on our legal page. Policygenius Inc. (“Policygenius”) is a licensed independent insurance broker. Policygenius does not underwrite any insurance policy described on this website. The information provided on this site has been developed by Policygenius for general informational and educational purposes. We do our best efforts to ensure that this information is up-to-date and accurate. Any insurance policy premium quotes or ranges displayed are non-binding. The final insurance policy premium for any policy is determined by the underwriting insurance company following application. Savings are estimated by comparing the highest and lowest price for a shopper in a given health class. For example: for a 30-year old non-smoker male in South Carolina with excellent health and a preferred plus health class, comparing quotes for a $500,000, 20-year term life policy, the price difference between the lowest and highest quotes is 60%. For that same shopper in New York, the price difference is 40%. Rates are subject to change and are valid as of 2/17/17.

If you're concerned about privacy, rest assured that a PIN protects the app so you’re the only one who can access your debt information. You can also use the app and its features without creating an account or adding your actual bank information. The Pro version of the app syncs your debt with Dropbox so you have the option to access your information from the cloud.
Stop working with your creditors. Some settlement businesses dangerously advise you to stop speaking with your creditors or stop paying entirely on active accounts. But withholding payments you owe in an effort to save up for a settlement amount can backfire. Interest and penalties will accrue on your credit card account, and creditors can sue you for what you owe. Additionally, issuers will continue to send negative reports to credit bureaus.
The “Compromise of Arrears Program” or COAP (pronounced “cope”) is a program for eligible parents with past-due child support payments  to reduce the amount they owe to the government. This debt, called “arrears”, is owed to the government if your dependent children received public assistance (welfare) or were in foster care while you were not paying court-ordered child support. Those programs are paid for by the state using taxpayer dollars, and federal and state law require that you reimburse the state for supporting your children during that time.
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