Other companies, besides your lender, will also gladly take a fee for a debt payoff program. They sell software programs and systems to handle everything for you (or at least tell you what to do). You generally don’t need these services unless they’ll help solve a discipline problem. If you’re not getting it done any other way, do whatever works—but make sure you save more than you spend.
If you are struggling to make your monthly credit card payment, or can’t catch up with your past-due payments, we may have solutions for you. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can determine what help may be available. We will review the nature of your hardship and your financial information to determine what payment solutions you may qualify for.
Interesting question. I’m not sure I follow 100%, but here’s my thinking on this. You can either pay them off in full or keep that lump sum for other financial goals and savings. The benefit of paying off all the debt may very well be worth it for your peace of mind. And there’s one very important factor here–the interest rates. If those are high (say above 6 percent), then I would absolutely pay them off. If they are low, then there is an argument that you will hear people make quite frequently, which is that your money can work for you and earn a higher rate in returns via saving for retirement, other stocks, etc. 

This solution is similar to deferment. The lender agrees to reduce or suspend monthly payments entirely. Forbearance periods are generally shorter than deferment periods. Forbearance is typically granted by a lender if you contact them when you first experience financial hardship. If you think you won’t be able to make your payments, request forbearance BEFORE you fall behind.
Did you answer yes to any of the three questions above? If so, it might be worth doing some initial research to see if you can prequalify for any attractive loan offers. “If you currently have multiple debt obligations that you are juggling, a consolidation loan can be a way to simplify your life and possibly save on interest costs,” says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate chief financial analyst. “A good candidate is a borrower who has steady income, decent credit, a discipline to refrain from running up more debt and a desire to pay off what is currently owed.”
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Freedom Debt Relief has played a prominent role in promoting consumer protection legislation and regulation. In 2009 Freedom Debt Relief contributed to and supported the passing of federal regulatory measures that brought additional consumer protections to the industry*. During the drafting of the new regulations, the Federal Trade Commission received testimony from Freedom Debt Relief clients from around the country including California,[8] Oregon,[9] Texas,[10] Wisconsin,[11] Michigan,[12] Ohio[13] and Colorado.[14]
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.
Download our debt reduction worksheet to put together a strategy that’s right for you. To use the worksheet, you’ll need copies of your bills and interest payment information. If you’re motivated by saving the most money while still paying off your debts, the highest interest rate method might be the right choice for you. However, if you’re motivated by seeing progress quickly, then you may want to consider the snowball method. Choose the strategy that’s best for your situation and put it into action. 

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).

The right way: You should expect some fees, but avoid excessive fees when you consolidate. You don’t want to make your journey out of debt any steeper than it has to be. It’s worth noting that a debt management program has fees, but they get set by state regulation. They also get rolled into your program payments, so you don’t actually incur an extra bill.
No guarantees. Lenders usually want to work with you, but they can choose not to. This is especially true with debt settlement. You may contribute to the fund used to make a settlement offer for 6-8 months and then find out the lender won’t accept the offer. If you choose this route, be sure to get a written agreement from the lender that they will work with you.

If the same individual consolidated those credit cards into a lower-interest loan at an 11% annual rate compounded monthly, they would need to pay $932.16 a month for 24 months to bring the balance to zero. This works out to $2,371.84 being paid in interest. This results in a monthly savings of $115.21, with $2,765.04 saved over the life of the loan.
If you have been struggling with debts for as long as you can remember, you need a debt reduction plan. This plan is another term for a debt management or debt settlement plan wherein you will hire a debt professional to negotiate with your creditors. The goal is to convince them that you are unable to pay for the original balance any longer. If the negotiations go to your favor, you will only be asked to settle a certain percentage of the original amount and the rest will be forgiven. The best case scenario will include waiving off of late penalty fees and lowering of interest rates.
Some debt settlement companies will take a percentage of the money they are able to save you. They argue that this is the fairest way to charge because the more they save you the more money they will earn. However, many debt settlement companies – including National Debt Relief – charge a flat fee that is a percentage of 15% to 25% depending on the amount of your debt. We think this is the fairer of the two options because you will know before we begin settling your debts exactly how much it will cost you. While a fee of 25% might seem steep it’s important to remember that we’re probably cutting your debt by 50%. If you were to owe $20,000 our fee would be $5000. However, if we were to reduce that $20,000 debt to $10,000 you would still come out ahead by $5000. Plus, you would be completely debt-free and how good would that feel?
If you enroll in a debt relief program such as one offered by National Debt Relief, it could affect your credit negatively. During the debt settlement process, clients stop making regular payments on their debts. This allows the client to accumulate funds for settlements, and it provides the debt settlement company an opportunity to negotiate with creditors. The missed payments that result from this process can lead to delinquent accounts that creditors report to the credit agencies. Thus, your credit rating can decrease during this process. However, most of our clients find that by the time they graduate, their score has returned to the same level if not higher than when they started.
The increasing size of the non-housing personal debt market and ease with which one can obtain personal credit has led to some consumers falling behind on payments. As of Q3 2017, student loans have the highest rates of serious delinquency (90 or more days delinquent) with approximately 9.6% of all student loan debt falling into this bucket. Credit card debt and auto loan debt have serious delinquency rates of 4.6% and 2.4% respectively.[10]

Cashing in your life insurance may be a viable debt payoff strategy because it will give you a chance to pay down larger amounts of debt quickly. If you feel like you are drowning in debt and don't have beneficiaries that need to benefit from your life insurance policy — for example a spouse or children — then it might make sense to use those funds to pay off debt.
Services provided by the following affiliates of Truist Financial Corporation: Banking products and services, including loans and deposit accounts, are provided by SunTrust Bank and Branch Banking and Trust Company, both now Truist Bank, Member FDIC. Trust and investment management services are provided by SunTrust Bank and Branch Banking and Trust Company, both now Truist Bank, and SunTrust Delaware Trust Company. Securities, brokerage accounts and /or insurance (including annuities) are offered by SunTrust Investment Services, Inc. and BB&T Securities, LLC, and P.J. Robb Variable Corp., which are SEC registered broker-dealers, members FINRALink opens a new window, SIPCLink opens a new window, and a licensed insurance agency where applicable. Investment advisory services are offered by SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc., GFO Advisory Services, LLC, BB&T Securities, LLC, Sterling Capital Management, LLC, Precept Advisory Group, LLC, and BB&T Institutional Investment Advisors, Inc., each SEC registered investment advisers. BB&T Sterling Advisors, BB&T Investments and BB&T Scott & Stringfellow, are divisions of BB&T Securities, LLC. Mutual fund products are advised by Sterling Capital Management, LLC. Mortgage products and services are offered through SunTrust Mortgage, a tradename for SunTrust Bank now Truist Bank.
Credits cards became most prominent during the 1900s. Larger companies began creating chains with other companies and used a credit card as a way to make payments to any of these companies. The companies charged the cardholder a certain annual fee and chose their billing methods while each participating company was charged a percentage of total billings. This led to the creating of credit cards on behalf of banks around the world. [4] Some other first bank-issued credit cards include Bank of America's Bank Americard in 1958 and American Express' American Express Card also in 1958. These worked similarly to the company-issued credit cards; however, they expanded purchasing power to almost any service and they allowed a consumer to accumulate revolving credit. Revolving credit was a means to pay off a balance at a later date while incurring a finance charge for the balance. [5]

Once you get your debt consolidation vehicle in place, you should consider who you'll pay off first. In a lot of cases, this may be decided by your lender, who may choose the order in which creditors are repaid. If not, pay off your highest-interest debt first. However, if you have a lower-interest loan that is causing you more emotional and mental stress than the higher-interest ones (such a personal loan that has strained family relations), you may want to start with that one instead.

GreenPath Financial Wellness is a national nonprofit that believes that financial health is a path to achieving dreams. It means having stability and freedom. Having options and being able to work toward your goals. Maybe that’s a bigger home. Or a different job. Or a better school for your kids. It’s different for each of us, but taking control of day-to-day financial choices is the foundation for creating more opportunities. Because our dreams are that much closer when we’re financially healthy.


Of course, if you managed to get all your existing debt onto your new balance transfer card, then the simple trick is to keep paying all the extra money to that card instead of only making the minimum payment. Ideally, you want to get rid of the transferred debt before your introductory rate runs out, but if that’s not possible, at least reduce the balance so you have less of a problem to deal with later.


Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. We are compensated in exchange for placement of sponsored products and, services, or by you clicking on certain links posted on our site. Therefore, this compensation may impact how, where and in what order products appear within listing categories. Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and whether a product is offered in your area or at your self-selected credit score range can also impact how and where products appear on this site. While we strive to provide a wide range offers, Bankrate does not include information about every financial or credit product or service.
Do you use credit cards to “get by” when you don’t have enough cash?Narrator: People often use credit cards to make ends meet when they have a limited cash flow. But that can lead to problems with DEBT Narrator: High interest rates on credit cards can double the cost of items if you’re only paying the minimum amount due each month. Renee amassed over $19,000 in credit card debt Narrator: For Renee, getting by on credit cards during graduate school put her on a treadmill of debt. Her credit card interest rates were between 15-20% Narrator: She was shelling out over $1,200 a month to her creditors, but getting nowhere fast 'On-screen quote from Renee' “I talked to a few companies first. Consolidated Credit stood out because I was still in control of my finances.” Narrator: Luckily, Renee found Consolidated Credit and enrolled in a debt management program. Debt Management Program: Before $1,200 per month; After $500 per month! Narrator: The program reduced her total monthly payments by almost 60 percent. 'On-screen quote from Renee' “The experience of living without credit cards really changed my mindset. It changed how I budget and spend my money now. Narrator: The monthly savings meant she didn’t need credit cards to get by anymore, because her budget was balanced. After her interest rates were reduced to 1%, Renee was debt free in 4 years! Narrator: And she could use part of that monthly savings to save up for a new house. Renee had this to say in closing: 'On-screen quote from Renee' It was a great feeling that I was no longer using credit to get by. If you feel like you’re barely keeping your head above water, pay your credit cards off. And there’s nothing wrong with asking for help!
Bankruptcy is not a good option for resolving your credit card debt, but it may be a viable option for someone who has a mixture of secured and unsecured debt that they are delinquent on, or if you have several lawsuits from creditors that sued you. One positive thing about bankruptcy is that it forces all of your creditors to cease collection efforts, putting a stop even to credit card lawsuits and all creditor harassment. Click here to learn more about bankruptcy. If you are ready to consolidate your credit cards, contact Golden Financial Services today! 
While you’re at it, contact your credit card companies about lowering your interest rates, waiving fees, or both. Competition among lenders for reliable borrowers is fierce. As a result, says a year-old study by CreditCards.com, some 80% of customers who request a break get one — especially if they threaten to stop using their cards, and shift their balances to one of those zero-interest cards mentioned above.
Second, credit card debt is considered variable interest debt, which means the interest rate can change. For example, if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, the interest rate on your credit card debt can increase. That means you may pay more money each month to repay your credit card debt. In contrast, a personal loan is a fixed interest loan, so you pay the same, fixed amount each month regardless of changes in interest rates, which is more predictable. 

Erica Sandberg is a prominent personal finance authority and author of "Expecting Money: The Essential Financial Plan for New and Growing Families." Her articles and insights are featured in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, Pregnancy, Babytalk, Redbook, Bank Investment Consultant, Prosper.com, MSN Money and Dow Jones MarketWatch. An active television and radio commentator, Sandberg is the credit and money management expert for San Francisco’s KRON-TV, a frequent guest on Forbes Video Network, Fox Business News, Bloomberg TV and all Bay Area networks. Prior to launching her own reporting and consulting business, she was affiliated with Consumer Credit Counseling Services of San Francisco where she counseled individuals, conducted educational workshops and led the media relations department. Sandberg is a member of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and on the advisory committee for Project Money.


There are good ways and bad ways to use the Internet to check debt relief companies. Bad is simply going to the company’s website and trusting what they tell you. Good is going to independent third-party review sites to get the real scoop. Most companies will cherry-pick their best customer testimonials for their website. They won’t show you anything bad.
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.
When it comes to debt relief, it’s hard to beat the professional services offered at National Debt Relief. We’re an A+ rated business with the BBB, and all our debt arbitrators are accredited through the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA). Moreover, we’re rated the number one debt consolidation company on multiple independent consumer review sites. You can also browse some of the over 20,000 reviews of the National Debt Relief program on TrustPilot to see the high-quality services we’ve provided to our clients. Our certified debt specialists will analyze your finances to make sure you can be successful in the program, and if you can’t, they’ll work with you to find other options.
Thank you for the informative article, I really enjoyed reading it. My husband and I both have very poor credit scores. No credit cards or credit card debt, but various past accounts that have gone to collections ranging from cable and phone bills to a storage facility. For the last year we have been living with my parents to save money so we can buy a house. With our recently received tax return, and the money we’ve saved so far, we’d like to pay off everything at once. A clean slate if you will. How do we go about doing this? Is this a good idea? Will our credit scores go up?
Credit cards are one of the most popular forms of revolving credit and offer numerous benefits for borrowers. Credit cards are issued with revolving credit limits that borrowers can utilize as needed. Payments are typically much lower than a standard non-revolving loan. Users also have the option to pay off balances to avoid high-interest costs. Additionally, most credit cards come with reward incentives such as cash back or points that can be used toward future purchases or even to pay down outstanding balances.
The mean credit card debt of U.S. households is approximately $5,700, according to most recent data from the Survey of Consumer Finances by the U.S. Federal Reserve. This information comes from data collected up through to the year 2013, and represents the most reliable measure of credit card indebtedness in the United States. The "mean amount of credit card debt" considers balances that Americans above the age of 18 have on average, throughout the year.
The increasing size of the non-housing personal debt market and ease with which one can obtain personal credit has led to some consumers falling behind on payments. As of Q3 2017, student loans have the highest rates of serious delinquency (90 or more days delinquent) with approximately 9.6% of all student loan debt falling into this bucket. Credit card debt and auto loan debt have serious delinquency rates of 4.6% and 2.4% respectively.[10]
*All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage and history. The APR ranges from 10.68% to 35.89%. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% of the original principal balance and is deducted from your loan proceeds. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at the time of application. The average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,025 if your APR is greater than 12%. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or be in the United States on a valid long-term visa and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security number are required. Equal Housing Lender. All loans are subject to credit approval. LendingClub’s physical address is: 595 Market St suite 200 San Francisco Ca 94105. **Based on approximately 60% of borrowers who received offers through LendingClub’s marketing partners between Jan. 1, 2018, and July 20, 2018. The time it will take to fund your loan may vary.

Debt feels like a lead weight that hangs around your neck, and with student loans, car payments, and medical bills, it all adds up into a pretty heavy one. Learning to confront your loans head-on and form a strategy for paying them down can help you start managing them. Get out from under your loans and get back in the world, then learn to stay debt free.

So is a DMP the best option for you after all? If your credit history is attractive (check your Experian credit report for free to find out), you need high credit scores now, and you can manage your accounts with a few expense or income adjustments, maybe not. Under the right circumstances it can be, though, and it's definitely worth exploring if you're feeling crushed by credit card debt. At the very least, a nonprofit credit counselor will provide professional financial guidance at no cost to you.


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.
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