To me, speaking to a reputable bk attorney is the first logical step for someone that is overwhelmed by debt. Before entering any program that is going to cost someone even more money, shouldn’t they know exactly where they stand with bankruptcy? Do they qualify for a chapter 7? chapter 13? or do they not qualify at all? These questions need answers before an informed decision can be made, especially with the consequences of falling off either a DS or DMP plan.

The second type of debt consolidation you may hear about are debt management plans offered by debt settlement companies. With these programs, the debt settlement company may be able to secure lower monthly payments with your creditors by negotiating a reduced balance on your accounts. You then make one "consolidated" payment to the debt settlement company each month, and in turn the company makes payments to each of your creditors on your behalf.


Finally, it’s a mistake to close any credit cards especially those you’ve had for many years. In addition to not being able to use those cards anymore it will have a seriously negative effect on your credit score. There are two reasons for this. The first is that 30% of your credit score is based on your credit utilization or how much credit you’ve used versus the total amount you have available or your total limits. This is sometimes called the debt-to-credit ratio. Let’s suppose that you had total credit available of $10,000 and had used up $2000 of it. You would have a credit utilization of 20%, which would be very good. But if you were to close two of those credit cards so that your total credit limit dropped to $4000 you would now have a debt-to- credit ratio of 50% and this would have a very bad effect on your credit score.
The most common forms of debt are loans, including mortgages and auto loans, personal loans, and credit card debt. Under the terms of a loan, the borrower is required to repay the balance of the loan by a certain date, typically several years in the future. The terms of the loan also stipulate the amount of interest that the borrower is required to pay annually, expressed as a percentage of the loan amount. Interest is used as a way to ensure that the lender is compensated for taking on the risk of the loan while also encouraging the borrower to repay the loan quickly in order to limit his total interest expense.
For example, let's say you owe $10,000 in credit card debt with an average APR around 22%, and you're currently paying $400 every month to meet the minimum payments. It would take you a whopping 184 months to pay off this debt, and you'd end up paying $8,275.44 just in interest. Now suppose you got approved for a $10,000 consolidation loan with an interest rate of 11%. With a fixed monthly payment of about $217, you'd be able to pay off this loan in only 60 months and save over $5,200 in interest.

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 participate in an employer-sponsored retirement account such as a 401(k) or 403(b), it may be tempting to use some of those funds to pay off your debts. Retirement account loans  don’t require a credit check as long as your plan offers a loan option — some don’t — and interest rates are typically lower than what you’d pay at a bank or other lender. But if you’re unable to make your payments, the amount you withdrew could be taxed, and you might have to pay a penalty on top of that. Since the funds you borrow won’t earn interest, you’re missing out on an opportunity to grow your retirement income.

If you are considering using a debt relief or debt consolidation company, arm yourself with information. For a fee, they negotiate with your creditors on your behalf, resulting in lower balances or interest rates. Legitimate debt relief companies will obtain a written agreement from each one of your creditors, detailing the terms of the agreement, your obligations, and what will be reported to the credit bureaus. In some cases, if your balances are lowered the creditor might report bad debt or a charge-off, which will negatively impact your credit history and score. Also keep in mind that debt relief companies generally charge higher interest rates than your bank or mortgage lender, particularly if you have less than stellar credit. So you might not save much in the long run, especially once you factor in fees. It’s up to you to do the math.
For example, let’s say you owe $3,000 on three accounts. You open a balance transfer card that offers 0% APR for 12 months with a fee of $3 per transfer. You’d pay $9 to transfer the three balances, giving you a total balance of $3,009. To pay that balance off during the introductory period, you’d need to make payments of at least $250.75 per month.

Our highly trained credit counselors work with you to get a complete picture of your financial situation and lay out all the options available to you for credit card debt elimination. Counseling is available in person and over the phone. We also provide a wide variety of free educational resources on our website on topics such as budgeting, preparing for retirement, buying a home, bankruptcy and credit card debt.
Stop working with your creditors. Some settlement businesses dangerously advise you to stop speaking with your creditors or stop paying entirely on active accounts. But withholding payments you owe in an effort to save up for a settlement amount can backfire. Interest and penalties will accrue on your credit card account, and creditors can sue you for what you owe. Additionally, issuers will continue to send negative reports to credit bureaus.
The second type of debt consolidation you may hear about are debt management plans offered by debt settlement companies. With these programs, the debt settlement company may be able to secure lower monthly payments with your creditors by negotiating a reduced balance on your accounts. You then make one "consolidated" payment to the debt settlement company each month, and in turn the company makes payments to each of your creditors on your behalf.
Assume, for example, that XYZ Corporation buys 100% of the net assets of ABC Manufacturing for a price of $1 million, and that the fair market value of ABC's net assets is $700,000. When a CPA firm puts together the consolidated financial statements, ABC's net assets are listed with a value of $700,000, and the $300,000 amount paid above the fair market value is posted to a goodwill asset account.
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.
For example, let's assume Company XYZ has invented a new product that will revolutionize the widget market. The company is certain there will be demand from billions of people around the world, and therefore it needs to build a new factory. If Company XYZ's funds for constructing the factory were limited to its cash on hand, say $200,000, it certainly could not build the kind of factory it needs to capitalize on this tremendous opportunity and would thus be very limited in its output and profits (and would leave the market wide open for competitors to fill the void). With some debt, however, Company XYZ could build the factory and take advantage of the profit potential of its product. The debt essentially magnifies the profits.

To initiate the debt analysis process with Franklin a customer must simply complete a quick questionnaire and await a call. Another option is to gather statements and records of unsecured debt and call Franklin directly to speak to someone. If you agree with the debt settlement plan, which is outlined by Franklin, you will be asked to stop making payments to creditors and forward all moneys to them to be placed in a trust account. They in turn will accumulate the cash and wait for the creditors to become anxious to settle your debt. In the meantime, interest and penalties occur on any of your outstanding debt, and Franklin Debt Relief takes their cut from your monthly payment.
Common types of loans that many people need to repay include auto loans, mortgages, education loans, and credit card charges. Businesses also enter into debt agreements which can also include auto loans, mortgages, and lines of credit along with bond issuances and other types of structured corporate debt. Failure to keep up with any debt repayments can lead to a trail of credit issues including forced bankruptcy, increased charges from late payments, and negative changes to a credit rating.

The credit union is probably taking all your debt into consideration, not just the mortgage. And with a personal loan, new mortgage, credit cards, car loan and student loan, it sounds like you have quite a few bills you’re handling. It’s understandable you want to get your interest rates down, though, and it’s good you’re trying to be proactive about the process. Just because one lender turned you down doesn’t mean they all will. But you do want to be careful about applying for loans with multiple lenders as the inquiries can impact your scores. You might want to try one of the other options mentioned in the article before you give up. If you get turned down by multiple lenders, though, then you may want to at least talk with a credit counselor to see if they have suggestions.
How many credit card bills do you get each month? If you’re like many people, probably at least a few. Whether you pay them online or by mailing out a check, it can take a lot of time to manage multiple accounts. Credit card consolidation might be one way to simplify that financial landscape, but there are some important questions worth asking before you decide.

Paul J Paquin, the CEO at Golden Financial Services, stated in a recent interview that… “Our clients deserve top of the line treatment. Credit card debt needs to be dealt with through an aggressive and laser-focused approach. Our clients trust us, so we need to protect their financial well-being with everything we have and get them out of debt successfully.”
Bill “No Pay” Fay has lived a meager financial existence his entire life. He started writing/bragging about it seven years ago, helping birth Debt.org into existence as the site’s original “Frugal Man.” Prior to that, he spent more than 30 years covering college and professional sports, which are the fantasy worlds of finance. His work has been published by the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Sports Illustrated and Sporting News, among others. His interest in sports has waned some, but his interest in never reaching for his wallet is as passionate as ever. Bill can be reached at [email protected]
Personal loans. If you don't qualify for a balance transfer card, you could look to banks, credit unions or online lenders for a personal loan. Using a personal loan to pay off credit card debt frees up credit on those cards. This may lead to a credit score increase if you leave the cards open. But if you can't control your spending, you may want to close the cards to avoid temptation.
Susan has written about everything from home inspection horror stories, to millennials and money, to the ins and outs of health insurance exchanges for Bankrate.com. She has worked at newspapers in the Southeast, including eight years as an editor and bureau chief at the Tampa (Florida) Tribune. Susan left the Sunshine State and headed to Central Europe, working for an English-language newspaper in Hungary, covering real estate and development in the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall. She then moved to Austria, where she worked as an editor for The Associated Press and began freelancing, dealing with subjects such as the Bosnian war and the Kosovo crisis. She returned to the States in 2001 and now focuses on personal finance and workplace topics.  Her articles for International Educator magazine have been honored with the Apex Award for Publishing Excellence and the Association Media & Publishing Excel Award. Susan lives in a neighborhood of 1920s bungalows in Tampa.
Start by getting debt help from a credit counselor. The counselor might even help you negotiate your own agreements with creditors. If you develop and follow a get-out-of-debt plan with the help of a counselor (as opposed to consolidating your debt), your credit score will rise over time faster than it will if you declare bankruptcy or ignore your debts, as you make on-time payments and reduce your overall debt load. You’ll also avoid the hit to your score that comes with the new hard inquiry we talked about earlier.
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?
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.
Great program. I tried negotiating on my own, what a pain, the bullish attitude most Credit card companies have was hard to take. FDR was the answer. It takes time and patience on the consumers part for the program to work. I have been in the program over 3 years , several settlements later, one in July and September, I can see how the program is working for me. My credit has improved, I have learned to live without a credit card, within my means and best part NO creditor calls. I know it is my responsibility to keep track of my credit, make my payments every month and just set back and let the program work.
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Both types of bankruptcy may get rid of unsecured debts and stop foreclosures, repossessions, garnishments and utility shut-offs, and debt collection activities. Both also provide exemptions that allow you to keep certain assets, although exemption amounts vary by state. Personal bankruptcy usually does not erase child support, alimony, fines, taxes, and some student loan obligations. Also, unless you have an acceptable plan to catch up on your debt under Chapter 13, bankruptcy usually does not allow you to keep property when your creditor has an unpaid mortgage or security lien on it.
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.
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.
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!
The first step in the debt settlement process is for a consumer to reach out to a reputable company that can help. These debt arbitration firms are staffed by credit counselors, people who are accredited in analyzing personal finances. They also have a keen understanding of the current marketplace, including how and why creditors will negotiate a settlement.

Since God is a brilliant storyteller, he just couldn’t let the chance pass to make His point with a flourish. We were able to make that last payment and be debt free exactly one year to the date that we lost our old home in a short sale. We could do nothing but stand in wonder at how far He had brought us both spiritually and financially in just one year.

Using credit card balance transfers to consolidate your credit card debt is another way to save money on credit card interest and make progress toward paying down your debt. Here’s how it works. Take higher interest credit card debt and transfer the balance to a credit card that has a lower interest rate, preferably one offering zero-percent interest. For example, if you have $5,000 in credit card debt on a card with a 23.99% interest rate and you can transfer this debt to a 0% card (12-month introductory offer), you’ll save $1,200 over 12 months. Most credit cards charge a 3% balance transfer fee. In this case, that’s only $150: still worth filling out the application.
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