American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling agency and debt consolidation company that provides debt advice to anyone who is asking, "How do I get out of debt?" Our debt solutions and services include credit counseling, financial counseling, financial education, debt consolidation and debt reduction services for consumers nationwide. Our certified credit advisors have helped thousands of individuals and families find debt relief through debt counseling and debt management plans that consolidate debts and debt payments to pay off credit cards and eliminate debt. We also provide bankruptcy counseling and bankruptcy debtor education services, including pre bankruptcy credit counseling for a bankruptcy certificate, in addition to advice on how to consolidate debt.
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.

When a debt is time-barred, a collector can no longer sue you and win to collect it. Under the law of some states, if you make a payment or provide written acknowledgement of your debt, the clock may start ticking again, so it’s important to check before you pay anything. Learn more about your rights and the rules collectors must follow at ftc.gov/debtcollection.

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. 

We have a budget and unfortunately have nothing of value to sell. I have to have a reliable vehicle to go to work and to take the kids to school. Can’t stand the mall, thank goodness!!! We make our own coffee. We save for months to have pizza or a family outing. We are very modest so we only have needs, wants went away when we had my kids. I am looking for a part time job but I want to have one day off a week to spend with my kids and thats apparently a problem for some employers. I’m not giving up and I will win this I just needed to see if anyone had an idea I haven’t already looked into. Thank you!
In my opinion, when you make any purchase with your credit card, think if you can actually afford the purchase. Many times credit cards are used on impulse without keeping in mind the budget or family finances. You can also try and talk to your credit card companies. Many can lower your interest rate to give you an opportunity to catch up. Thanks for sharing, Deacon.
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.

A consumer makes monthly payments to the debt settlement company, or to the bank (or bank agent) who holds the "trust" account. A portion of each payment is taken as fees for the debt settlement company, and the rest is put into the trust account. The consumer is told not to pay anything to the creditors. The debt settlement company's fees are usually specified in the enrollment contract, and may range from 10% to 75% of the total amount of debt to be settled.[12] FTC regulations effective October 27, 2010 restrict debt settlement companies from collecting any fees from a debtor client for services until settlement with the creditor has been reached and at least one payment made.
A revenue-based financing loan comes with a fixed repayment target that is reached over a period of several years. This type of loan generally comes with a repayment amount of 1.5 to 2.5 times the principle loan. Repayment periods are flexible; businesses can pay back the agreed-upon amount sooner, if possible, or later. In addition, business owners do not sell equity or relinquish control when using revenue-based financing. Lenders that provide revenue-based financing work more closely with businesses than bank lenders, but take a more hands-off approach than private equity investors.[14]
A syndicated loan is a loan that is granted to companies that wish to borrow more money than any single lender is prepared to risk in a single loan. A syndicated loan is provided by a group of lenders and is structured, arranged, and administered by one or several commercial banks or investment banks known as arrangers. Loan syndication is a risk management tool that allows the lead banks underwriting the debt to reduce their risk and free up lending capacity.
As a last option to eliminating credit card debt, you may want to talk with a bankruptcy attorney. A downside with bankruptcy is that; in your future, if you apply to purchase anything on your credit, you’ll have a difficult time getting approved, or you will get charged the maximum interest rate. One way or another, with bankruptcy on your credit, you could be paying the price for a very long time ahead. You’ll have a difficult time using your credit even for simple purchases. With bankruptcy on your credit, you may not be able to rent a home or buy a new car. Future employers will also see that you filed for bankruptcy when evaluating whether or not to hire you.

If you find yourself unable to pay your credit card debts due to matters such as a loss of income or unemployment, you have options. You may even qualify for debt settlement. In debt settlement, you work with your creditors to settle your debt for less, and your monthly payments are often much lower than they would be if you continued to just pay your minimums. Another option could be bankruptcy. However, bankruptcy can have serious financial repercussions that could last for many years to come. If you're interested in getting out of debt, you should consult with a financial advisor to determine the best option for you.
Barclays credit card holders experiencing financial difficulty can now request payment relief through their online accounts, which will enable them to skip payments without incurring late fees. You can also dispute transactions and report fraudulent transactions online instead of having to do this over the phone with a customer service representative.
Taking into the account the existing debt, foreign and domestic, upon any plan of extinguishment which a man moderately impressed with the importance of public justice and public credit could approve, in addition to the establishments which all parties will acknowledge to be necessary, we could not reasonably flatter ourselves, that this resource alone, upon the most improved scale, would even suffice for its present necessities.
Debt settlement may negatively affect your credit score, but not in all cases. In certain situations, there are ways to negotiate around the seven-year penalty you typically face for settling a debt. In normal circumstances, settling debt will create a negative item in your credit report that sticks around for seven years. When the clock starts depends on the status of the debt at the time of the settlement.
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]
When consumers take out loans, the expectation by the lender is that they will ultimately be able to repay them. Interest rates are charged based on a contracted rate and schedule for the time that passes between when a loan was given out and when the borrower returns the money in full. Interest is what is charged in exchange for borrowing money, usually expressed as an annual percentage rate (APR).
If you are disciplined about making payments, you may want to extend low-interest government student loans to lower your minimum payments and use the savings to pay down higher-interest-rate loans faster. (The government allows you to consolidate and extend most government student loans at your current interest rate.) However, you may end up paying more interest because the time period is much longer. Contact your loan servicer for information.
If you decide a quick fix isn't in the cards, don't despair. There are several debt relief options to check out. We've focused mainly on credit card debt, but here are a few options that help you deal with other types of debt as well. For example, you might have medical expenses you incurred from a sudden illness. Medical debt can be difficult to pay off without some type of assistance.
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.
In your first meeting with your credit counselor, you'll share your financial goals and review your entire financial picture with them. If you have enough money to put toward debt payment after meeting your essential expenses and setting aside a little for savings, your counselor may offer a DMP. It will include the monthly payment (including a nominal administration fee), the duration of the plan and approximate total interest costs.
I actually drive to Kohls’ or Michael’s and then give those coupons to people standing in the line. What a great feeling this gives me! When I give the coupon to the person, who is in shock that someone could be so thoughtful–from the look on their face, I just say, Please pay this forward! They are so happy- as if they won the lottery! Anyways, this is a way to “Give” that saves you money since you will not be using the coupon, and makes others believe that kindness still does exist in this world. :)
The above graph presents a single anomaly which occurred in 2005. During that time there was a severe drop in average credit card debt, despite total outstanding revolving debt continuing to rise. This outlier was likely due to the spike in bankruptcy filings in the United States around that time. A law went into effect at the end of 2005 which made it more difficult for individuals to declare bankruptcy. This resulted in a rush of filings before the law's deadline - over 2 million Americans had their debts forgiven that year due to these filings.
Keep in mind, debt relief options offered by your bank won’t save you as much as if you were to use a debt relief company. Why is that? The answer is simple, a debt relief company is hired to save you money. A bank issues you a credit card with the goal of collecting the maximum amount. Who do you think will be more motivated to help you save money on debt?

Golden Financial Services only works with the best companies in the nation, that are all “A+” rated by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). It’s not that “we’re the best,” but we can offer you the best possible debt relief plan because we have access to debt validation, debt settlement, and consumer credit counseling plans, with the top companies in the nation.


You can get your credit reports from each of the three major credit reporting agencies for free once a year at AnnualCreditReport.com. It’s a good idea to review them so you don’t end up in the situation Norma found herself in, getting denied due to a mistake or negative items you weren’t aware of on your credit reports. Your credit report should also list most, if not all, of your debts, which will help you with the second step.
Some borrowers who cannot repay loans may turn to bankruptcy protection. However, borrowers should explore every alternative before declaring bankruptcy as doing so can affect a borrower's ability to obtain financing in the future. Alternatives to bankruptcy are earning additional income, refinancing, obtaining support through assistance programs, and negotiating with creditors.
The household debt numbers are rising across the United States and Canada, and Canadians are leading in indebtedness with a debt-to-income ratio at a record 1.71% – so for every dollar of household income there is $1.71 in credit debt. This is a BIG number, and it includes consumer credit, mortgage, and non-mortgage loans. With interest rates on the rise, your debt repayments will be higher too.
National debt relief reviews just came out and here are the top 10 debt settlement and consolidation companies. It is important to check these BBB accredited and IAPDA certified debt consolidation companies before applying for any type of national debt relief program. We have considered national debt relief reviews with Yelp, BBB and Google, comparing the ratio of positive to negative reviews about each company. Other factors used when determining the best debt relief companies on this list include specific industry licensing, accreditation and certifications, online complaints, time in business, the success rate of programs, average savings and the overall cost of each program.

In US tax law, debt forgiven is treated as income, as it reduces a liability, increasing the taxpayer's net worth. In the context of the bursting of the United States housing bubble, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 provides that debt forgiven on a primary residence is not treated as income, for debts forgiven in the 3-year period 2007–2009. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 extended this by 3 years to the 6-year period 2007–2012.

When you stop paying your creditors, they often will start harassing you. A debt relief agency can work with you on ways to deal with collectors. There are laws surrounding how collection agencies and creditors can and cannot contact you. The goal of the Freedom Debt Relief program is to have them contact us for payments and negotiations rather than contacting you.
Debt resolution requires the services of an attorney. Debt settlement does not. Debt settlement companies prefer that the debtor has missed or will miss payments. Debt resolution does not require missed payments. The terms have become somewhat interchangeable. Debt resolution or settlement, is a serious step that will affect both you and your partner. While one of you may have a stellar score, the other person seeking debt settlement can be affected for the next seven years. If you're considering buying a home ointly, the credit scores of you and your mate or significant other will be considered.
Yes and no. If you begin with the biggest debt, you won’t see traction for a long time. You might think you’re not making fast enough progress and then lose steam and quit before you even get close to finishing. It’s important to pay your debts in a way that keeps you motivated until you’ve wiped them out. Getting quick wins in the beginning will light a fire under you to pay off your remaining debts! Listen—knock out that smallest debt first, and you will find the motivation to go the distance. 
Settlement offers usually only come when a debt has been sold to a third-party collection agency or debt buyer. These entities buy debt that credit card companies and service providers write off. They purchase bad accounts for pennies on the dollar of what’s owed. As a result, even recouping a small percentage of the original balance you owed is a financial gain for them. So, they make offers to settle your debt, either by phone or by mail.
You will begin by getting your free credit report from the AnnualCreditReport.com. You need to rank your debt by placing it on a spreadsheet. Indicate all your debts and place details like their balance, minimum payment, interest rate and the number of payments left in your original term. By listing them down, you can identify the fixed amount that you can pay every month. Remember that this amount should be higher than the combined minimum payments of all your debts. Also, it should leave you enough of your income to pay for basic necessity expenses like rent, food, etc.
“If you’re among the tens of millions of Americans who lost their jobs due to the pandemic and you don’t have much savings or much money coming in right now, it probably makes the most sense to carry credit card debt for a time,” advised Rossman. “Ask your card issuers for breaks like skipping payments (ideally without interest) and receiving lower interest rates.”
The drawback is that while you are not paying those bills, the interest is continuing to pile on, meanwhile, your credit score is tanking. The added interest plus the attorney’s fees could negate any cost savings from the settlement. This option could work if your debt is already in collections and you have savings or access to money that would cover a large chunk of your debt. If you can’t settle the debt right away, another option will probably work better for you.
Reframing the way you think about money can help, too. “If I’m shopping and see something that catches my eye, I work out how much it will cost me in work hours, which really helps me to decide how much I want and need it,” Chinnock explains. “Another tip I swear by is keeping a list of my debts and savings on my phone, which again prevents me from splurging on something that I can’t afford or justify.”
There are only two ways (three, if you combine the two): either earn more or spend less. If a person has a debt, then it must be paid. If payments are not made, interest is accrued and in the end, all the person's assets will be repossessed until the debt is satisfied. The first step is to obtain a source of income; beyond this, you can work with your creditor to make payments toward the debt - even if you can only afford $50 per month, it shows that you're making an effort to pay down the debt.
When it comes to paying off credit card debt, many consumers take the path of least resistance: the so-called "minimum payment plan." By law, credit card issuers are required to set a minimum monthly payment amount for each cardholder. These payments are calculated on the basis of the cardholder's total balance, interest rate and certain other factors.
Have any birthday gifts or old wedding presents collecting dust in your closet? Search your home for items you can sell on eBay or Craigslist. "Do some research to make sure you list these items at a fair and reasonable price," Karimi writes. "Take quality photos, and write an attention-grabbing headline and description to sell the item as quickly as possible." Any profits from sales should go toward your debt. 
If you are receiving calls from your creditor's collections department, speak with them openly and honestly regarding your situation. Once you have signed up with a debt management company specializing in either debt consolidation or debt settlement, inform your creditor(s) of the name and telephone number of the company. In most cases, this will stop the collection calls while the creditor verifies the information that you provided. By explaining the fact that you are working with a company who will be submitting a proposal on your behalf, most creditors will accept this information as your good faith desire to repay your debts. As the telephone begins to stop ringing, you will gain some much needed relief from the stress associated with being constantly reminded of your financial woes.
“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.” 

Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.
Some companies thrive by having repeat customers. As an example of this just think where Amazon.com would be today if it’s customers only bought one item wants. In contrast, we neither have nor want much in the way of repeat customers. Our goal is to help our customers become debt free in as short a time as possible so that they can then get back to living the lives they deserve. There has been the occasional time when one of our customers unfortunately fallen back into debt into debt and required more of our help but this is by far the exception to the rule. We never see more than 99.9% of our customers ever again and that’s the way we like it.

Penalty abatement usually goes hand-in-hand with other methods. IRS penalty rates can go as high as 25%, depending on which penalties you incur. That kind of high interest adds up quickly, making your debt grow just as fast. The key to getting out of tax debt is to reduce those penalties as much as possible. This requires the help of a certified tax expert or CPA.
It simplifies your finances. Debt consolidation loans combine multiple debts into one monthly payment. The loans have fixed rates and a set repayment term, so your monthly payments stay the same and you know when the debt will be paid off. Credit card rates are variable, so your monthly payments differ, depending on your balance, and it’s hard to know when your debts will be paid off.
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.
A: Usually debt consolidation affects your credit in a positive way as long as all the payments are made on time. When done correctly, consolidation should not have any negative effects on your credit. Successfully completing a debt consolidation plan should improve your credit score. You pay off your debt, always making payments on time, which improves your credit utilization ratio while building a positive payment history.
DMCC has implemented plans to protect our employees and ensure that services to our clients are not interrupted during the existing coronavirus pandemic. All critical DMCC systems and client data reside in the cloud allowing our employees to work remotely from their homes for as long as needed. Our office will remain open with a limited number of staff in order to process mail, but all client appointments and meetings have been suspended until further notice. Clients and consumers needing help can continue to contact us by telephone and account messaging. Debt management plan payments and disbursements will continue to be processed as scheduled.

Buried under debt? Have no idea how to get out? You’re not alone. If you’ve never tackled debt before (say, you’re in your early 20s), you might be struggling to come up with a roadmap for paying off your debt. But don’t worry–you’re not the first person to ever be in debt, and there are tons of strategies for getting rid of it. Regardless of whether you have credit card debt, student loans, auto loans, home loans, or any other kind of debt, these six steps will help you tackle your debt one dollar at a time.
If you use financing to pay off debts in collections or the balances on your credit cards, you may notice an immediate boost to your credit score. If you use a balance transfer credit card, opening a new card will increase your overall credit limit, reducing your credit utilization ratio — the total amount of credit available to you that you are using up on your credit cards.
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.
I applied at my bank and at a credit union and both declined me. My credit score was provided with a fair rating but then the reason was that the amount of debt between us was too high, roughly 10k. Therefore they wanted to see more effort put in first. We were told to reapply again in a few months time when we had that under control. My payments were always on time and so I dont know how I am suppose to show effort if that amount of debt is always going to be the same due to interest. Hope that made sense.
Debt validation forces the debt collection companies to prove they’re abiding by laws, maintaining accurate paperwork and accounting, maintaining legally required documentation and abiding by all of the debt collection rules. When it comes to debt collection accounts, often inaccurate information is found, records are missing, creditors are trying to collect on debt that’s expired past the statute of limitations, there have been unauthorized fees added in, and the list goes on and on of potential flaws and legal violations that can be attached to a debt. The point is, debt can easily get disputed and become “legally uncollectible.” A legally uncollectible debt is one that does not have to get paid. Also, a legally uncollectible debt is one that can’t legally get reported on your credit report.
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.
I had credit card debt and I used Credit Advocates to help with the solution. Now that I am at the end of paying off the debt I just wanted to cry when I saw how much I was charged in fees – it was a fee for everything including phone calls made for me. At least between a forth and half of the monies sent went to them. If I had it to do over again I would call the credit card companies and try to repay the lesser amount over time. It seems to me that the companies that say they can help are only there to take your monies at a very high rate of fees, etc.
Although each of these debt relief options deals with credit card debt specifically, they are also able to deal with other types of debt including personal loans, medical debt, accounts in collections and more (depending on the specific program type). Still, these programs have not been enough to help enough Americans get out of debt, resulting in a government call-to-action by economists for a massive debt bailout.[10]
"Your daily habits and routines are the reason you got into this mess," Hamm writes. "Spend some time thinking about how you spend money each day, each week and each month." Do you really need your daily latte? Can you bring your lunch to work instead of buying it four times a week? Ask yourself: What can I change without sacrificing my lifestyle too much? 
I was laid off for 2 years 5 years ago. We walked away from our house 3-1/2 years because we couldn’t afford to live in it. I’ve had steady employment for the past 3 years. But we’ve built up 45,000 in credit card debt. My credit score is currently 625. I have no problem paying pack the full amount I owe to the credit card companies but I would like to consolidate them. What can I do? My parents transferred a house they owned into my name and it’s paid off. Can I use that as collateral?
Ramsey says if you list all credit card debts in order of amount owed and start by paying off your smallest debt, then move up the ladder and eliminate them one-at-a-time, you will have more success at retiring all debts. He believes the wins on small debt build confidence and lead to wins against larger debt amounts. It’s counterpart, debt avalanche, takes a more mathematical approach and will actually save money.
We all want to get rid of debt. Debt is costly and can prevent us from reaching financial goals (or at least prevent us from reaching them when we’d like to). Some people consider credit card debt bad and mortgage or student loan debt good. The truth is that having any debt means you are financially beholden to a creditor and you can’t put your money in your own pocket until your obligation is met.
Technically, these are spreadsheet templates that can be used with Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice Calc, or Google Sheets. With a template, you get a ready-made spreadsheet with the right formulas to do all of the calculating for you. All you need to do is download the template and plugin a few numbers—the spreadsheet will do all the math. Some of the choices listed also present schemes for dealing with your loans, a multiple credit card payoff calculator, and recommendations for paying down other debt.

With charge-offs (debts written-off by banks) increasing, banks established debt settlement departments whose staff were authorized to negotiate with defaulted cardholders to reduce the outstanding balances in the hope of recover funds that would otherwise be lost if the cardholder filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Typical settlements ranged between 25% and 65% of the outstanding balance.[2]

For customers who aren't sure where to begin, Upstart has a "Get Started" icon which asks them what they want to do. Upstart offers help with loan consolidation, paying off credit cards, paying medical bills, buying a car or other big purchases. Such a wide range of services is comforting to those seeking financial advice. The site also provides education to help you prepare for future financial decisions.

You find a balance transfer card offering a 0% interest rate for the first 12-months. If you pay off the $10,000 within the 12-month 0% interest period, you'll pay $0 in interest, saving yourself $831. Even if you pay a balance transfer fee which is on average, 3% ($10,000 x 0.03 = $300), you'll still be saving $531. Still, you should always try to negotiate any balance transfer fees.


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.

If you're looking for help getting out of debt, consider the credit counseling and debt reduction services offered by American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC). We're a non-profit organization working to help consumers pay off their debts and live a debt-free future. Over the past 20 years, our debt reduction services have helped tens of thousands of people just like you free themselves from the weight of debt. Contact us today for a free consultation about our debt reduction services.


There is one more option that tries to split the difference between lower interest charges and lower payments. It’s called an extended repayment plan. This can be used to extend the term on a standard or graduated plan from 10 years to 25. It can lower your payments without the hassle of income certification. However, the payments will not be as low as what you can achieve with hardship programs.
These loans have lower interest rates, and some offer tax benefits. That's why it generally makes sense to make only the minimum monthly payments on them. For instance, mortgage interest is deductible for federal tax purposes. Homeowners can deduct the interest paid on mortgages up to $750,000 for homes purchased after December 15, 2017. For mortgages taken out before December 15, 2017, interest paid on mortgages up to $1 million may be deducted. Interest rates have been at historical lows, right now around 4% for a 30-year fixed loan. Car loans are about 4.75% for a 60-month new-car loan.
Entry on credit report It remains on the report till account is paid in full. Late payments stay for 7 years; account reported as "Paid", "Settled", "Paid as agreed". Negotiate for "Paid", "Paid as agreed" status. Report shows you're paying through credit counseling agency or Debt management company. Account reported as "Paid". Remains on credit report for 7-10 years.
Settlement offers usually only come when a debt has been sold to a third-party collection agency or debt buyer. These entities buy debt that credit card companies and service providers write off. They purchase bad accounts for pennies on the dollar of what’s owed. As a result, even recouping a small percentage of the original balance you owed is a financial gain for them. So, they make offers to settle your debt, either by phone or by mail.

HOW IT WORKS: The qualifying standard is at least $7,500 of debt. You open an escrow account and make monthly payments (set by National Debt Relief) to that account instead of to your creditors. When the balance has reached a sufficient level, NDR negotiates with your individual creditors in an attempt to get them to accept less than what is owed. If a settlement is reached, the debt is paid from the escrow account.
Government help with credit card debt. There's good news and bad news about this approach. The bad news is that "government debt relief programs" don't technically exist. But the good news is that the federal government does take steps to protect you from scams, offers online advice at Dealing with Debt and provides services that help you pay your bills.

While most debt reduction software focuses solely on helping you create a debt payoff plan, Quicken is a comprehensive personal finance software that can also help you extract more money from your monthly budget to pay off debt faster. Use the software to create a budget and track your spending so you can design a debt reduction plan based on your goals.
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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?
The company negotiates on behalf of indebted consumers who are experiencing a financial hardship with the goal of avoiding bankruptcy (Chapter 7 or Chapter 13) by settling their unsecured debt at a discount to what is actually owed. The company primarily serves consumers where debt consolidation or home refinancing is undesirable or an unavailable option. They also serve those who cannot afford either their credit card minimum payments or the payments required in credit counseling.[3]
Borrowers must have the income and creditworthiness necessary to qualify, especially if you're going to a brand new lender. Although the kind of documentation you'll need often depends on your credit history, the most common pieces of information include a letter of employment, two months' worth of statements for each credit card or loan you wish to pay off, and letters from creditors or repayment agencies.
There are three main ways repayment may be structured: the entire principal balance may be due at the maturity of the loan; the entire principal balance may be amortized over the term of the loan; or the loan may be partially amortized during its term, with the remaining principal due as a "balloon payment" at maturity. Amortization structures are common in mortgages and credit cards.
Mint provides a rainbow-colored pie chart with slices for gas, utilities, shopping, and other spending categories, allowing you to see exactly where are dollars going in a typical month. Once you have that information, you can identify areas where you can cut back. Every little of bit savings counts (read: if you’re splashing out $10 a month on a Spotify Premium membership, reverting to the service’s free subscription, with advertisements, will save you $120 a year).
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.

A debt consolidation program is a service designed to help borrowers pay off their outstanding debt. In these programs, consumers receive the tools to develop a loan repayment strategy with which to manage their existing debts. These programs allow the borrower to make one monthly payment, which goes toward all outstanding debts, usually on a timeline to get the borrower completely out of debt in 3-5 years. A credit-counseling agency or debt settlement company usually manages these debt consolidation programs, and the mission is to help consumers get out of debt and become financially independent.


Your welcome! I think the discouragement comes from people not realizing it takes only one step. Just one to make a difference. It seems so out of reach, but in reality it’s not. I really think it is a matter of a few small changes adding up over time. Excited this article got the traffic it has gotten. Congratulations on becoming debt free….and crashing your server ;)
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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.

Some argue against debt as an instrument and institution, on a personal, family, social, corporate and governmental level. Some Islamic banking forbids lending with interest even today. In hard times, the cost of servicing debt can grow beyond the debtor's ability to pay, due to either external events (income loss) or internal difficulties (poor management of resources).
National Debt Relief is a ten-year-old company headquartered in the financial district of New York City. Since our founding in 2009 we have helped more than 100,000 families and individuals become debt free by resolving more than $1 billion in unsecured debts. The company is Better Business Bureau accredited and has consistently maintained an A+ rating. National Debt Relief is a member of the US Chamber of Commerce and the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC). This organization is the watchdog of the debt settlement industry. It demands that its members operate with clarity, fairness, trust and legitimacy. There is no doubt about the fact that any company that belongs to the AFCC is one that can be trusted to treat you honestly and ethically.
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