When that happens, consolidation may be a good option for getting your debt back under control. And, helpfully, there are a number of solid options for consolidating credit card debt. In the article below, we’ll take a look at some of our choices for the best credit cards for consolidation, including 0% APR offers, no fee balance transfers, cards for fair credit, business credit cards, and personal loan options.

A debt obligation is considered secured if creditors have recourse to specific collateral. Collateral may include claims on tax receipts (in the case of a government), specific assets (in the case of a company) or a home (in the case of a consumer). Unsecured debt comprises financial obligations for which creditors do not have recourse to the assets of the borrower to satisfy their claims.

Your credit card debt is building up and you’re wondering if it’s time to start looking for the best credit card consolidation programs.  Credit cards are great to have on hand in the event of an emergency. But if you get stuck in a pile of credit card debt, it’s extremely difficult to get out. High-interest and late fees add up quickly and falling behind with payments will affect your credit score negatively. 

LendingPoint offers loans to those with credit scores in the "fair" range that can be anywhere from $2,000 to $25,000. LendingPoint allows you to check your rate before you apply and doesn't ding your credit score for doing so. In addition to your credit score, LendingPoint also considers factors such as your job history and income when deciding your loan terms.
Loan approval is not guaranteed. Actual loan offers and loan amounts, terms and annual percentage rates (“APR”) may vary based upon LendingPoint's proprietary scoring and underwriting system's review of your credit, financial condition, other factors, and supporting documents or information you provide. Origination or other fees from 0% to 6% may apply depending upon your state of residence. Upon LendingPoint's final underwriting approval to fund a loan, said funds are often sent via ACH the next non-holiday business day. LendingPoint makes loan offers from $2,000 to $25,000, at rates ranging from a low of 15.49% APR to a high of 34.99% APR, with terms from 24 to 48 months.
We are constantly learning to make big sacrifices if we want to reap big rewards! Reading your story and surrounding ourselves with people that also think this way can be the fuel for the fire. We are moving in with my dad to get out of debt this coming year. Praying for strength and a gracious heart as we make this transition. We’re excited to pay off the rest of our student loans! God has blessed us and I hope we can bless Him in return for His love and generosity! Thank you for sharing and congratulations!
It’s not the most desirable way to consolidate debt, by far, but if have to choose between life insurance loan or bankruptcy, borrowing from your insurance may be best. You can typically borrow up to the cash value of your loan and use the proceeds to consolidate debt. Your insurance company won’t require you to make payments as long as the loan is less than the cash value of the policy, but it’s a good idea to make payments anyway. If you don’t repay the loan, then the death benefit will be used to cover what you borrowed and your survivors may not get anything at all.
"The first step to solving your debt problem is to establish a budget," writes former U.S. News contributor David Bakke. You can use personal finance tools like Mint.com, or make your own Excel spreadsheet that includes your monthly income and expenses. Then scrutinize those budget categories to see where you can cut costs. "If you don't scale back your spending, you'll dig yourself into a deeper hole," Bakke warns. 
Make a list of the balances you owe on each of the cards or loans you want to consolidate, the interest rates and the monthly payments. This will help you identify the debts that are most important for you to consolidate. For example, in Norma’s case, while both of her interest rates are high, she should try to consolidate the balance at 29.99% first, since it is so high.
Freedom Debt Relief is a debt settlement company that could help you get out of debt with no loan required. Our proven debt relief program is designed to resolve your debt faster and for less than you currently owe. If you’re dealing with $10,000 or more in unsecured debt, like credit cards or personal loans, our program could help you resolve your debt for a price you can actually afford. As the largest debt settlement company in the United States, Freedom Debt Relief has resolved over $10 billion in debt for over 650,000 clients — and we could help you, too! Find out how much you could save with our program by requesting your free debt evaluation today.
Fast Track Debt Relief says they work to settle unsecured debt within 36 months. Our first concern was the length of time that may mean creditors would be harassing us while payment were not being made. Most of the program details are provided through a debt expert that will call to discuss your personal situation. To get started you must provide your name, phone numbers, email, amount of debt, location and whether you own a home or not. After waiting up to 24 hours you will receive a phone call - which may or may not be at a time that is convenient for you to discuss your situation and their program.
Minimum payment due, reads the box on your credit card statement. What an enticing idea: Pay a small amount and you’re off the hook for the whole bill—for a while, anyway. Alas, as the more than 45 percent of Americans who carry a balance every month know, that rotating charge usually comes back to bite you, and figuring out how to get out of credit card debt is no small thing. For example, a cardholder who owes $15,956—the average amount of debt per household, according to Ben Woolsey, the director of marketing and consumer research for CreditCards.com, a credit card comparison site—will end up shelling out an additional $11,000 in total interest if she pays only the minimum each month.
The term “debt repayment plan” can refer to a few different things. In the simplest terms, it can refer to a personal pay off plan that you set up to eliminate debt. More formally, you can enroll in debt repayment plans to pay off specific types of debt in the most efficient way possible. The goal is usually to find the fastest way to get out of debt with the lowest interest charges. This helps you avoid things like bankruptcy and save your credit score from damage.
More than 1 in 10 Americans who have credit cards (11%) make only the minimum required payment. Minimum payments are enough to cover the interest on your account, so they can keep you from falling behind, but they don't get you much closer to eliminating your debt. One simple way to make a huge impact is to pay double the minimum. Say you owe $2,000 on a credit card with a 20% APR and a $40 monthly minimum payment. If you could find an extra $40 in your budget and you paid $80 each month, you would save $1,727 in interest and get out of debt more than six years faster.
Paying off debt is no easy task, but it will help bring financial freedom. There are two distinct methods to pay off debt: the debt avalanche method and the debt snowball method. While both are useful strategies to get debt out of your life, one method might be easier for you to stick with and make a bigger impact on your debt repayment. Here’s how to find out which debt repayment method is best for you.

This offer is conditioned upon final approval from an Upstart Powered bank or licensed lender which is based on consideration and verification of financial and non-financial information. Rate and loan amount are subject to change based upon information provided in your full application. This offer may be accepted only by the person identified in this offer, who is old enough to legally enter into a contract for the extension of credit and who currently resides in the United States. Duplicate offers received are void. Closing your loan is contingent upon meeting certain eligibility requirements and your agreement to the terms and conditions of Upstart and a bank or a licensed lender partnered with Upstart. Loans are originated by Upstart Powered banks and licensed lenders on the Upstart platform. Loans in Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Nebraska are made by Cross River Bank, an FDIC-insured New Jersey state chartered commercial bank. Loan amounts from $1k-$50k* Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5,100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100. APRs from X-Y, loan term (3 or 5 year loan terms), amount of monthly payment** **The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of X% and 36 monthly payments of $Y per $1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Average APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.
Lenders report credit card debt level balances to credit bureaus each month along with a borrower’s relevant credit activity. Thus, credit cards can be an excellent way for borrowers to build out a favorable credit profile over time. However, negative activity such as delinquent payments, high balances, and a high number of hard inquiries in a short period of time can also lead to problems for credit card borrowers.
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.

So I tend to take a conservative approach to these types of questions and I’m always on guard against the worst case scenario. The interest rates on your CC debt are pretty high, much higher than a mortgage would be, and I think it’s likely in your best interest to pay those off (leave a little set aside as an emergency fund if you can)…and then start saving up for your house. You might pay the high interest accounts first and then, if you can, pay off the defrred account before September. That will likely be more efficient, so you aren’t draining money to interest each month. Best of luck.
2. Associated fees. Depending on the type of loan or the bank you apply at, there may be hidden fees such as an origination fee, processing fee, or an early repayment fee. Banks expect to make money off you from the interest you pay over a period of time. Paying off your loan early will deny them that interest, so they may hit you with an extra charge. You should be aware and ask about any associated fees when applying for your loan.
Here’s another: Consumers’ non-housing debts accounted for nearly 30% of their overall debt load. Listen, it can happen to the best of us. One of the knocks on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is he ran up tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt buying Washington Nationals baseball tickets for himself and friends over the past decade.
If you have a lot of credit card debt and want to consolidate it under one loan, you could take out a personal loan. This might seem counter-productive. After all, what’s the point of paying off your credit cards if you just get another loan to replace it? One benefit of a personal loan is that you can establish a monthly payment that works for your budget. Another benefit is that the interest rates are usually lower. You’ll have to weigh your options and see if a personal loan makes sense with your financial situation, but with companies like Upstart and Earnest providing personal loans at competitive rates, it’s definitely something to consider.
Debt is a liability, meaning that the lender has a claim on a company’s assets. Debt due within one year is generally classified as short-term debt on a company’s balance sheet. Debt due in more than one year is considered long-term debt. It is important to note here that debt commonly comes to mind when one considers liabilities, but not all liabilities are debt. Companies may incur several other types of liabilities, including (but not limited to) upcoming payroll, bonuses, legal settlements, payments to vendors, certain derivatives, contracts, certain types of leases, and required stock redemptions. Common balance sheet categories for liabilities include accounts payable, accrued expenses and debt.
With government debt consolidation programs, you’ll consolidate multiple loans into a single new loan, with a new interest rate and payment terms. With just one check to write each month, you’ll find it easier to keep track of your loan payments. Additionally, a government debt consolidation plan can lower your monthly student loan payments by increasing the amount of time you have to pay back the loan and giving you access to other repayment options. If your original student loans have variable interest rates, government debt consolidation programs can convert your debt to a fixed interest rate, providing more predictability and possibly a lower monthly payment.
Your first step—before you commit to a credit card consolidation solution—is to understand your current credit. Once you know exactly where your credit card debt stands, you can find and then select a solution that meets your specific needs. As you move towards a zero balance, you can take steps to ensure that you maintain a healthy credit habit to keep balances low and credit scores high as your credit history matures.

The most important part of credit card reduction would be to complete the process with your creditors and or collection agencies. In order to do this, it is necessary to get a debt reduction company to have you sign a legal contract and a document that legally authorizes these to negotiate along with your creditors on your behalf; this is what’s called a “Limited Power of Attorney.”
It will hurt your credit: For a long time. Once you enroll in the program, the company tells you to stop making any payments on your debts, usually recommending to do so for six months or more. This is so the creditors will worry you won't pay at all, would rather take something over nothing and are willing to negotiate with the debt relief company. As you're ignoring the lenders, they are continuing to to report late payment updates to the credit bureau. And will continue to do so until your account is settled.  Plus, the fact that you actually didn’t pay the full amount stays on your credit report history for seven years. The programs state that it's only temporary, and you can improve your score after you are debt free. They also say that it's better on your credit than bankruptcy. First, yes but barely. Second, I should hope so, since bankruptcy is the bottom of the barrel in terms of credit. 

For people suffering under a large amount of debt, National Debt Relief is a fantastic option. Their knowledgeable, friendly approach has a proven track record of success, while their strong BBB rating and satisfaction guarantee confirms their focus on the customer. If you want to get out from under the debt load you're facing, National Debt Relief (1-888-919-1355) is a great place to start. They earn our highest rating.
Debt relief programs have been around for many years in one form or another. However, they’ve gained in popularity in recent years as more and more Americans have fallen into serious problems with their debts. One recent study reported that the average American household now has more than $16,000 just in credit card debt – not including personal loans, medical debts, mortgages and so forth. Also, the way that our economy has transformed from manufacturing to more of a service economy has caused a disruption that, in turn, has left many people unemployed or underemployed. And the harsh truth is that many people are knee-deep in debt because they badly mishandled their credit.

This won’t be an option for everyone but if you’re paid hourly, speak to your boss and see if you can pick up a few extra hours. Or if you’re job has shifted, check if the less desirable shifts pay a bit more per hour. Working nights isn’t fun, but it could make you some extra money without doing any more work. Maybe less if there’s no one watching!
Cons: You need to meet the lender’s eligibility requirements to qualify for a personal loan. If you’ve had financial difficulties in the past, you may not be eligible, or you may only qualify for an interest rate that’s comparable to the current rate on your credit cards. In addition, some lenders charge an origination fee, which could add hundreds of dollars to the cost of your loan, which could eat into your loan funds before you even receive them.
It's a good idea for potential clients to do some research on the process, consumers' rights, and industry standards for settlement companies before setting up a free consultation with a debt settlement service. It's also recommended to read recent customer reviews to get a better sense of Freedom Debt Relief's commitment to clients and how good its settlement services are.

If you use your debt consolidation loan to pay down your outstanding credit cards and become debt-free, then it should help to raise your credit score over the long term. However, it’s possible that applying for and obtaining a debt consolidation loan could temporarily lower your credit score at the outset. Submitting a new credit application often drops your credit score by a few points, as does opening a new credit account. However, as long as you use the debt consolidation loan to pay down your debts, you should see a positive impact on your credit score over time.
Pros: If you have good credit, you may qualify for a lower interest rate on a personal loan than the rates your credit card issuers are charging. Personal loans offer flexible repayment terms, so you can select the one that’s right for your budget. Plus, some lenders will send payment directly to your creditors, so you won’t be tempted to use the loan funds for something else. And many lenders offer the option of applying for prequalification, so you can shop around to see what your potential options are without impacting your credit scores.
U.K. debt settlement is not to be confused with full and final settlement, where debt management companies have been known to hold on to client funds; in which case the creditors get nothing until they decide to settle. Furthermore, the debt management company usually instructs the consumer not to make any payments to creditors. The intended effect is to scare creditors into settling the debt for less than the full amount. Typically, however, creditors simply begin collection procedures, which can include filing suit against the consumer in court.[5] As long as consumers continue to make minimum monthly payments, creditors will not negotiate a reduced balance. However, when payments stop, balances continue to grow because of late fees and ongoing interest.[6] This practice of holding client funds is regarded as unethical in the U.S. and U.K.
Bankruptcy: Although this should be a very last choice, there may be no other options for some severely indebted people. A Chapter 7 will wipe out all allowable unsecured debts so you can start fresh, but you have to qualify and can lose property. A Chapter 13 lets you pay a wide variety of debts through the court over three to five years. Interest is dischargeable and you get to keep your property, but your spending may have to be pared down. Both bankruptcy types have dramatically bad effects on your credit scores.
Transferring high-interest credit card debt to lower-interest cards is a good idea when your credit score is good enough to qualify for low to no interest introductory offer cards. This method is also advantageous if you know that you can make major headway toward paying off your debt during the introductory, low-interest period. If you’re going to use the new card to run up more credit card debt, then don’t bother with this.
it does sound like we’re giving you the run around because there are all kinds of debt relief options and every case requires a personalized decision. Sometimes bankruptcy is the best option but I would never suggest starting with a bankruptcy attorney because they are certainly biased towards bankruptcy and debt settlement companies are biased towards debt settlement. That doesn’t mean any of them are scammers (although some certainly are).
First of all, don’t just do nothing. That is the worst thing you could do. It’s critical that you not ignore those credit card bills because if you do the interest will keep compounding and you will sink deeper and deeper into debt. As an example of this if you owed $10,000 on your credit cards at an average interest rate of 15% with a minimum payment of $225 a month it would take you 335 months to pay off the $10,000 and it would cost you $11,979.29 just in interest or more than the amount you had borrowed.
As part of our debt management program, our financial counseling specialists will assist you with how to consolidate debt. Debt consolidation is an important step in lowering monthly payments to creditors and collection agencies. Unlike a debt consolidation loan, you do not borrow money. Credit card debt consolidation under a debt management plan provides you with one easy payment.

Professional in appearance, the website is easy enough to navigate, but for those beginning their search for the right company to work with, it might be overwhelming. The site isn't very scannable, so you'll need to allow yourself time to read the block paragraphs of information. There are several contact options such as live chat and email, which might save time.
The content on this page provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance. The CFPB updates this information periodically. This information may include links or references to third-party resources or content. We do not endorse the third-party or guarantee the accuracy of this third-party information. There may be other resources that also serve your needs.

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

Standard payments are the best option. Standard means regular payments—at the same monthly amount—until the loan plus interest is paid off. With regular payments, satisfying the debt happens in the least amount of time. Also, as an added benefit, this method accrues the least amount of interest. For most federal student loans, this means a 10-year period of repayment.


The impact of workout arrangements and credit card debt management programs is usually neutral or positive. These solutions help you avoid missed payments and build a positive credit history.  Most credit users don’t see any damage to their credit using these solutions. However, these methods will close the accounts. This can have a slight negative effect on your credit, but the damage is usually nominal.
$26,486,624,732,953$80,280$213,102$6,154,733,101,727$2,836,580,650,600$1,290,565,429,885$1,083,094,041,671$692,929,173,180$79,939,374,693,571329,879,702137,402,48421,481,526124,189,848157,994,04333,276,058107,339,909102,370,060116,711,5597,910,98680,661,01620,864,211$19,988,034,889,439132.51%$9,512,907,861,91547.59%$3,318,152,451,127$10,060$1,620,040,810,949$1,221,013,603,851$215,006,799,816$18,273,514,850,168$686,548,287,440,187$6,826,461,593,059$827,877,696,087$96,416,917,762$1,999,443,132,792$1,186,063,226,145$1,308,102,040,547$2,100,587,918,524$20,400,169,068,916$893,696,898,777$1,681,260,248,79715,458,209$323,405$34,178 23,906,991 $165,098 $30,705 11,598,636 843,948 17,191,795 364,731 54,937,021 9,904,752 35,982,848 60,158,575 35,882,242 28,278,063 79,183,078 $132,060,723,706,696 $400,525 $153,062,038,102,763 $385,757,503,824 $3,813,052,232,708 $22,946 $61,847 $4,806,247,652,904 $91,190,496,680,725 $309,581,470,077 $103,881,252,024,873 $20,583,828,764,428 $31,840,924,425,300 173.05 87.14 $101.66 $2.08 $3,711 $2.64 $30,775 $28.96 $6,707,866,330,923 $3,389,713,880,669 52.70% 34.61% 57.29% $66,484,193,470 $3,596 $6,368 $728,233,778,687 $178,687,565,153 $14,935 $37,965 $6,151 65.58 9,801 18,137,127 $3,543,881,954 $787,132,510 148.96% $463,953
They may also take a monthly fee from customer bank accounts for their service, possibly reducing the incentive to settle with creditors quickly. One expert advises consumers to look for companies that charge only after a settlement is made, and charge about 25 percent of the outstanding balance at the time it's reduced.[6] Other experts say debt settlement is a flawed model altogether and should be avoided.[11]
How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.
“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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Each week when you make a payment, subtract the amount, so you have a new balance. The point of this is to see those numbers getting smaller each week. It’s motivating. We also didn’t list dates for the second debt on the list because as we get to the end of each debt, we might reach just a little further so we can pay it off a week or two earlier.
Choose your ideal lender. Then, fill out the application and provide the requested documentation. With many personal loan lenders, an application will result in a “soft inquiry” on your credit report, which does not hurt your credit score. If the lender preapproves you and you agree to a loan offer, the next step will be a “hard inquiry” on your credit report. A hard inquiry does have the potential to affect your credit score slightly.
For example, a walk in the park is equally as enjoyable as throwing bowling balls at the alley. A backyard barbecue with friends is much more pleasurable, enjoyable, and affordable than an expensive meal out. Going through your already overflowing wardrobe may spark an idea that you can use to set up a fashion trend of your own. An update of your existing gadget may not be necessary after all.

Thank you, Jill, for sharing your Freedom story! We are pleased to be able to assist you to a brighter financial future. Please reach out to our Client Services department at (800) 655-6303 or [email protected] if you have any questions or comments regarding your account. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief to assist you on your journey to financial freedom!


Debt consolidation programs typically start with a screening from a debt counselor to determine whether the program will be able to help. If you qualify for the program and decide to enroll, the debt consolidation program will take over the repayment of all your outstanding debts. Although all your credit card and debt accounts will still exist, you’ll provide the company a single payment each month, which it’ll apply toward your debts. Many debt consolidation companies charge you some sort of fee for their services, so it’s important to understand how that can affect your repayment strategy as well.
Keep in mind, too, that contrary to popular belief, closing credit accounts won't immediately impact the length of your credit history and the mix of account types in your credit history. Closed accounts can stay on your credit reports for up to 10 years, and they can continue to impact your credit history's length and credit mix during this time. As a result, closing accounts as part of a DMP (or for any other reason), won't have an impact on these scoring factors for a long time.

Programs are designed to help clients understand their debt, pay off their debt, and create budgets to stay out of debt. You can use the debt calculator to determine monthly payments prior to applying, and find answers to most of your questions by clicking on the "View all Debt Consolidation Questions" link. There are even programs to lower your payments should the need arise.
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This offer is conditioned upon final approval from an Upstart Powered bank or licensed lender which is based on consideration and verification of financial and non-financial information. Rate and loan amount are subject to change based upon information provided in your full application. This offer may be accepted only by the person identified in this offer, who is old enough to legally enter into a contract for the extension of credit and who currently resides in the United States. Duplicate offers received are void. Closing your loan is contingent upon meeting certain eligibility requirements and your agreement to the terms and conditions of Upstart and a bank or a licensed lender partnered with Upstart. Loans are originated by Upstart Powered banks and licensed lenders on the Upstart platform. Loans in Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Nebraska are made by Cross River Bank, an FDIC-insured New Jersey state chartered commercial bank. Loan amounts from $1k-$50k* Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5,100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100. APRs from X-Y, loan term (3 or 5 year loan terms), amount of monthly payment** **The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of X% and 36 monthly payments of $Y per $1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Average APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.
It’s so awesome to find another Dave Ramsey enthusiast! My husband and I started our marriage off with a $12,000 car loan (My old car broke down 2 months before our wedding and almost all of our money was tied up in that!) We made the payments for 4 months until Christmas and then we decided that the car would be paid off in another 6, that we would own it exactly a year after we bought it! Not only did we succeed we also saved our entire 6 month emergency fund in another 6 months! :) This whole year has been used for starting a house down payment fund, and finally upgrading a few smaller household things! Debt free is so worth it! :)

Defaulting on national debt, which can include going bankrupt and or restructuring payments to creditors is a common and often successful strategy for debt reduction. North Korea, Russia, and Argentina have all employed this strategy. The drawback is that it becomes harder and more expensive for countries to borrow in the future after a default.
You've seen the ads. "Hounded by creditors? More than $10,000 in debt? Call us to reduce your debt, lower your monthly payments and be debt free in 24 months." Gosh that sounds great, where do I sign up? Obviously, per the article title, debt relief programs are not as benign as they'd like for you to think. It works like so: You sign up with a debt settlement company. They negotiate with your creditors to allow you to pay a lump sum that is less than the full amount that you owe. You then pay the program a specific amount each month.
Debt management: In this program, the financial experts will formulate a budget plan and design a monthly repayment plan according to your financial situation. A certified credit counselor associated with debt management company will negotiate with the creditors. He can help to reduce the minimum monthly payment by lowering the interest rate to make it affordable. Debt management program has negligible effect on your credit score. Therefore, you can re-establish your credit report once you eliminate your debts.

Debt settlement companies charge either a percentage of the debt that is forgiven or a percentage of the monthly payment each month. That could mean you're paying thousands of dollars to the settlement company that could have gone to pay down your debt faster. For example, if you owe $40,000 you may have to pay the settlement company from $5,200 to $8,000 in the first 12 to 15 months. Or if the debt is settled for a total of payment of $25,000 the debt settlement company will charge up to 35 percent of the settled amount or more than $8,000. The settlement company gets paid first before any monies go to the creditors.
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