If you are struggling to make your monthly credit card payment, or can’t catch up with your past-due payments, we may have solutions for you. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can determine what help may be available. We will review the nature of your hardship and your financial information to determine what payment solutions you may qualify for.

A debt relief program has expert negotiators that know how to deal with creditors. At Freedom Debt Relief, we have been doing this since 2002 and have settled over $10 billion in debt. We use our size and experience to our consumers’ advantage by allowing us to bulk deals together to secure the best settlement percentages possible. This makes it more efficient for creditors, which saves both sides money and time. Our goal is to negotiate for you lower total balance, lower interest rates, and waive creditor’s fees.
5. Make a plan to avoid new debt. A debt consolidation loan can wipe the slate clean and allow you to start fresh with no credit card balances or other credit commitments. Although it may be tempting, avoid using your newly cleared accounts to shop or manage household expenses unless you can easily pay off the balances each month. You don’t want to create new debt to manage on top of your debt consolidation loan.
You could be sitting on an often–overlooked source of cash. Literally. Go through your belongings and sell unwanted items on online auction sites, community boards, or even social media marketplaces. Consign designer clothing and handbags to help recoup some of your past credit card spending; in some cases, these high–priced items hold their value well. Additionally, some stores will offer store credit on used items like textbooks, CDs, DVDs, video game consoles, or smartphones, which you can put toward the cost of new items.

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.
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) provides credit counseling, financial education and debt relief options for individuals and families with too much credit card debt or unsecured personal debt. Our certified credit counselors have helped thousands of consumers find credit card debt relief by learning how to reduce debt and how to get out of credit card debt. Our debt assistance services and debt management plans allow consumers to consolidate credit card bills into a single payment, and provide help with negotiating credit card debt in order to lower interest rates and finance charges, to ultimately eliminate debt through a credit card payoff plan.

I have found myself in a debt loop. I got a loan to payoff my credit card debt and then something happened with our house and I racked it back up. So now I’m in this constant loop of trying to get it all paid off but have to use my credit cards because I have used my whole paycheck to pay my bills. I tried doing another little loan but it didn’t help much and now I have that debt too. Where can I go to get a personal loan that will give me the amount I need without telling me I have too much credit card debt when thats the purpose of the loan!


If it's identified during the free credit counseling session that debt settlement is the best route for you, they require at least $10,000 in unsecured debt. The American Debt Enders debt settlement program is FTC compliant. You will enjoy full attorney representation should you get sued by any creditors prior to settlement - at no additional cost. A quick settlement process usually occurs because creditors want to reach an agreement for cash.
I struggled with this at first too, because the right answer feels so wrong! But believe it or not, you save more money by paying off the higher rate. Even though it’s growing less per day, it’s growing at a higher percentage in relation to its principal. This means that it’s making your overall repayment more expensive at a faster rate than any loan with a lower interest rate.
Our clients aren’t the only people who love our company—our employees love it, too. In fact, Freedom Debt Relief has won numerous Best Places to Work awards in the Phoenix Area and the San Francisco Bay Area, where our business is headquartered. Most recently, our company was named the Best Place to Work by the Phoenix Business Journal for both 2016 and 2017.
Debt feels like a lead weight that hangs around your neck, and with student loans, car payments, and medical bills, it all adds up into a pretty heavy one. Learning to confront your loans head-on and form a strategy for paying them down can help you start managing them. Get out from under your loans and get back in the world, then learn to stay debt free.
We’re saving up to buy a house. At the same time, we’re working on paying off credit card debt-we have 3 credit cards, with balances of $667, $1136, and $408. The card with the balance of $408 has an interest rate of 19.99, while the $667 one is interest deferred until September. Which should I work on paying off first? Once we go past September the interest rate for $667 goes up to 23.99.

At the state level not all states require licensing, but Freedom Debt Relief has supported efforts to create licensing requirements in Delaware,[15] Iowa, and Minnesota[16] and became the first company to be awarded licenses for settlement services in those states.[17] In addition to Delaware, Iowa and Minnesota, Freedom Debt Relief is also currently licensed to do business in the following states: Maine, Kentucky, Utah and Colorado.
Upstart's reputation is very solid - you'll quickly see links to articles on prominent sites like Fox, Bloomberg, and other news agencies, along with testimonials from satisfied clients. Their underwriting model uses machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques to underwrite borrowers based on many variables, including but not limited to credit score, income, education, and employment. Such details helped us gain more confidence in the success of this company's services.
Glad to hear you are making some progress on your debt! And great question. This is really just a mathematical fact, and one that took me a while to wrap my head around too. This has less to do with totals and more to do with percentages. In terms of efficiency, accounts with higher interest rates grow faster. So, by getting rid of those accounts first, you are limiting the growth potential of your total debt. So, this is less about monthly payments and more about wasting as little money as possible in the long-term. Does that make sense? I shared this simple story in another thread to help illustrate interest, and it might be helpful to you (though it’s not biologically feasible 🙂 The “big pond” is your higher balance account, and the small pond is your smaller balance with a higher interest rate:
While you’re at it, contact your credit card companies about lowering your interest rates, waiving fees, or both. Competition among lenders for reliable borrowers is fierce. As a result, says a year-old study by CreditCards.com, some 80% of customers who request a break get one — especially if they threaten to stop using their cards, and shift their balances to one of those zero-interest cards mentioned above.
Chapter 13 lets people with a steady income keep property, like a mortgaged house or a car, that they might otherwise lose through the bankruptcy process. In Chapter 13, the court approves a repayment plan that allows you to pay off your debts in three to five years, rather than give up any property. After you make all the payments under the plan, you receive a discharge of your debts.

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.


Great question. If you are interested in efficiency and saving the most money, then it makes sense to pay the accounts with the higher interest rates first. Your case is different than most who ask this question. Many times, the smaller accounts have the lower interest rate, so people really want to go ahead and knock out the smaller accounts. This isn’t as efficient but it can provide a credit boost. Since yours are small and have high interest, you get a double whammy of sorts by being able to be efficient and potentially get a lift in credit score once those are paid off and you begin to tackle the bigger loan. We took a really detailed look into how this applies to student loans in this post, which i recommend reading if you get a chance:
Debt Management Plans (DMP) Our DMP program can provide you a repayment plan that you can afford for your credit cards, medical debts, collection accounts and other unsecured debts. It is designed to eliminate or reduce high interest rates, consolidate your debt payments, eliminate over-limit charges and late fees, stop collection calls and payoff your accounts within 5 years or less. Payday Loan Assistance DMCC can get you an affordable repayment plan for your payday loans; PLUS, if you are a Florida resident, a 60 day deferment. Student Loan Assistance DMCC counselors will determine your available options and help you get a forbearance, consolidation or an affordable repayment plan for your federal student loans.
Depending on your financial condition, any savings you get from debt relief services can be considered income and taxable. Credit card companies and others may report settled debt to the IRS, which the IRS considers income, unless you are "insolvent." Insolvency is when your total debts are more than the fair market value of your total assets. Insolvency can be complex to determine. Talk to a tax professional if are not sure whether you qualify for this exception.
Credit card debt is highly influential in determining a borrower’s credit score since it will typically account for a significant portion of credit utilization on a borrower’s credit profile. Credit bureaus track each individual credit account by itemized trade lines on a credit report. The aggregation of outstanding credit card debt from these trade lines is the borrower’s total credit card debt, which is used by credit bureaus to calculate their credit utilization ratio, an essential component of a borrower’s credit score.
He had them in the greatest order--his tapes and his files, his receipts, and his letters with lawyers and correspondents; the documents relative to the wine project (which failed from a most unaccountable accident, after commencing with the most splendid prospects), the coal project (which only a want of capital prevented from becoming the most successful scheme ever put before the public), the patent saw-mills and sawdust consolidation project, &c., &c.
A: This depends on your goals. If you have an excellent credit score and don’t want to hurt it, then settlement is extremely bad. But if your score has already taken hits from late payments and collections and bad credit is not a concern, then settlement can be good. Settling your debt can give you a fast exit where you control the discharge. It helps you avoid bankruptcy, where the court controls the discharge agreement (Chapter 13) or liquidate your assets (Chapter 7) to settle your debts.
Fortunately, there are several methods to reduce credit card debt – and maybe even eliminate it – in a consistent and logical manner. This can be done on your own, if you have discipline, but it’s often beneficial to partner with financial professionals, who can negotiate lower rates with lenders, refinance homes or create budgets that keep you on the right course.
Because the minimum payment on your transferred balances is now lower than it was before (since there’s no interest added), you can take the extra money you were previously paying each month and add it to the minimum payment on one of your other credit cards instead. That will help you get those other balances paid off so you’re not paying so much interest.

Of course, knowing you need a repayment plan is just the first step -- you also need to figure out which plan is the right one for you. There are two primary options to consider that many borrowers have found success with: the debt snowball approach and the debt avalanche approach. Both have their pros and cons, so you'll need to decide which is right for you.

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.

More consumers may be charging groceries because they’re strapped with other types of debt, such as student loans, which have doubled to about $1.6 trillion in outstanding debt since 2010, he notes. Auto loans and mortgages are also at all-time highs. After repaying monthly home, auto and student loans, some consumers don’t have much wiggle room, Micheletti adds.
If you’re looking for the fastest, cheapest exit possible without the expense of bankruptcy, settlement may be the best choice. Keep in mind that bankruptcy isn’t free. The filing fee for Chapter 7 is $335, then you’ll also have fees for your attorney. This is why it’s important to have the right filing expectations before you take your case to the courts.
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.
It's not easy to get excited about debt repayment. Throwing large payments at your debt is even harder if you don’t see quick progress, and you could be prone to throw in the towel. “The math seems to lean more toward paying the highest interest debts first," says financial expert Dave Ramsey. "But what I have learned is that personal finance is 20% head knowledge and 80% behavior. You need some quick wins in order to stay pumped enough to get out of debt completely.”
Sometimes all it takes to get out of debt is making a budget and following it. To create a budget, start by calculating your monthly expenses and comparing them with your income. Once you determine how much extra money you have after paying necessities, set realistic debt payoff and savings goals and commit to the plan. Make sure to record your spending to track your progress.
If you're considering debt consolidation, it's best to carefully evaluate your financial situation and research your options to determine if it's the right solution for you. Before you begin, take a look at your free credit score to see where you stand and make sure to monitor it to track your progress and any changes as you work to pay off your debt.
Fractional reserve banking has resulted in a transfer of wealth from the holders of currency to investors. Under fractional reserve banking the money supply is allowed to be increased whenever new interest-bearing loans are issued and is often constrained by a reserve ratio, which mandates that banks hold a portion of the wealth they lend out at interest in the form of real reserves. Many nations are in the process of eliminating reserve ratios.
5 A 0.25% interest rate reduction off the standard rate of a consumer line of credit is available if the payment is automatically deducted from a SunTrust checking, savings or money market account using SurePay. For the SunTrust Equity Line, this interest rate reduction does not apply to promotional rate advances, Fixed Rate/Fixed Term advances, or during the Repayment Period. All line discount offers are subject to change. Offer for new and refinanced eligible consumer loans and lines of credit, as well as for credit line increases. A relationship discount is not available on existing consumer loans or lines of credit. Relationship pricing discounts may not be applicable for all products. Consult your banker for details.
When you say “released” I assume that is when the dentist gave up attempting to collect and then sold the debt to a third-party. In other words, it sounds like they didn’t “hire” a collection agency but instead “sold” your debt to them. I could be wrong, but either way it sounds like there is some sort of contractual arrangement between them and the collector that prevents them from dealing with you until this is paid. I’m not sure why they haven’t tried to contact you, and that does seem very odd. If you’re in a position to repay the debt, I would strongly encourage you to get this all in writing from your dentist first and document your correspondence with the collectors as well.

If this type of plan feels overwhelming, you can also consider debt consolidation. Debt consolidation requires taking out a loan that you may not qualify for if your credit isn’t good. These loans can also create an even bigger debt hole if you don’t practice the behavior changes required to keep from running up your credit cards again while you’re still paying your debt consolidation loan.

The debt resolution company attorney works with you one on one to establish a debt repayment program that fits you. He then negotiates with each creditor to accept a lower payment. The attorney may also be able to eliminate interest charges and other fees. Debt resolution can proceed while you're staying current with payments. This means the creditors don't have the motivation to sue. If any legal matters arise pertaining to the debt, the attorney will address them.
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.

Other companies, besides your lender, will also gladly take a fee for a debt payoff program. They sell software programs and systems to handle everything for you (or at least tell you what to do). You generally don’t need these services unless they’ll help solve a discipline problem. If you’re not getting it done any other way, do whatever works—but make sure you save more than you spend.
Do you use credit cards to “get by” when you don’t have enough cash?Narrator: People often use credit cards to make ends meet when they have a limited cash flow. But that can lead to problems with DEBT Narrator: High interest rates on credit cards can double the cost of items if you’re only paying the minimum amount due each month. Renee amassed over $19,000 in credit card debt Narrator: For Renee, getting by on credit cards during graduate school put her on a treadmill of debt. Her credit card interest rates were between 15-20% Narrator: She was shelling out over $1,200 a month to her creditors, but getting nowhere fast 'On-screen quote from Renee' “I talked to a few companies first. Consolidated Credit stood out because I was still in control of my finances.” Narrator: Luckily, Renee found Consolidated Credit and enrolled in a debt management program. Debt Management Program: Before $1,200 per month; After $500 per month! Narrator: The program reduced her total monthly payments by almost 60 percent. 'On-screen quote from Renee' “The experience of living without credit cards really changed my mindset. It changed how I budget and spend my money now. Narrator: The monthly savings meant she didn’t need credit cards to get by anymore, because her budget was balanced. After her interest rates were reduced to 1%, Renee was debt free in 4 years! Narrator: And she could use part of that monthly savings to save up for a new house. Renee had this to say in closing: 'On-screen quote from Renee' It was a great feeling that I was no longer using credit to get by. If you feel like you’re barely keeping your head above water, pay your credit cards off. And there’s nothing wrong with asking for help!
Your debt would be unaffordable, even after consolidation. When you’re struggling to keep up with payments and your debt has become a crisis, you might need a different solution. This is when you might want to consider a debt relief program that will help you get your debt under control. For some people, filing for bankruptcy might also be worth considering as a way to get relief.
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!
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.
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.

If you have been struggling with debts for as long as you can remember, you need a debt reduction plan. This plan is another term for a debt management or debt settlement plan wherein you will hire a debt professional to negotiate with your creditors. The goal is to convince them that you are unable to pay for the original balance any longer. If the negotiations go to your favor, you will only be asked to settle a certain percentage of the original amount and the rest will be forgiven. The best case scenario will include waiving off of late penalty fees and lowering of interest rates.
That’s what makes the Baby Steps a better plan. Debt reduction services only deal with the symptoms of a debt problem, not the cause. But the intentional, step-by-step process of the Baby Steps actually helps you change your behavior. Because if you don’t change your behavior, you’ll slip right back into debt once you’re done with the debt reduction service.
If debt is mounting and you continually find yourself struggling every month, it may be time to seek debt relief. An important part of selecting the best way to eliminate your debt is to realize when it's time to ask for help. Debt consolidation and debt settlement programs are both very popular ways to help consumers get out of debt in a short period of time, but are they right for you? Neither of these programs are available for people who are simply tired of paying their bills, but they are available to those who are already late with payments, have bills in collections or have had a sudden change in their income.
Life insurance is designed to give you peace of mind and help your family manage the financial loss for your spouse, children or another family member. If the death of the insured family member would be catastrophic to the family’s finances, you should restrain yourself from borrowing against a life insurance policy. Consider the other options available to you on this page before going down this road.
Write a business letter to the supervisor of the customer service department. Include your account number and the full name of the account holder. Open the letter with a direct request to reduce your credit card debt in the initial paragraph. Provide details about the reasons you are requesting this reduction and state the precise offer you are making. Finish the body of the letter in the final paragraph by asking the credit card company to contact you to discuss the matter within one business week. Sign the letter and place your telephone number and email address under your name. Enclose copies of your bank statement and income tax return to validate your request. Make a copy of the letter for your own files and send the letter to the credit card company via certified mail with return receipt requested.

Great site and informational, thanks! Question, I recently took a 0% transfer @ 3.99% for 18 months to payoff other existing debt. This was a no-brainer for me in either case of my pay-offs, as in both instances, the payment will be less and interest is wayyyyyyy less. Which scenario is better? 1: Payoff 5 other credit cards, as they aren’t super high, but all between 10-17.24% interest and the payments together would be the same as the transfer, actually more by a few dollars. 2: Payoff an existing 28.92%(apr, we know what that means) lending club loan @ 596$ a month ( although I pay $650 to try to get ahead), but I have to utilize one of my other cards and add $2200 to pay the loan off. The credit card I’d be using is already at 70% and I overpay all of my cards, loans, etc even if by $5. I’m just having a dilemma as to which way to go, I know I can in a month or two pay off the one or 2 small cards, as the transfer will only be approximately $410 per month to payback within the 18 months, which I will. The original loan I took, was for 5 years and its been almost 3 years. Every time I look at how much interest I’ve given them, I just cringe.
If you do business with a debt settlement company, you may have to put money in a dedicated bank account, which will be administered by an independent third party. The funds are yours and you are entitled to the interest that accrues. The account administrator may charge you a reasonable fee for account maintenance, and is responsible for transferring funds from your account to pay your creditors and the debt settlement company when settlements occur.
Americans owe over $4 trillion, including over $1 trillion in student loans and another $1 trillion in revolving debt, like credit cards. But as much debt as we have, most people don’t really know that much about it until they face issues. This can make it tough to make the right decisions quickly, but Debt.com is here to help. If you’re working to better understand debt and the options you have to get out of it, start here. This guide explains how to tell when you have too much debt, what it’s costing you, and what you can do about it.

But with the help of her credit counselor, she worked out a plan that got her out of debt in just 3 years. When she saw her credit card balances going down, she knew she made the right decision. With the money she’s saving, she plans to make a great down payment for a brand new car. And she looks forward to not stressing about how she’ll be able to afford the payments.


Chapter 7, known as straight bankruptcy, involves the sale of all assets that are not exempt. Exempt property may include cars, work-related tools, and basic household furnishings. Some of your property may be sold by a court-appointed official — a trustee — or turned over to your creditors. The new bankruptcy laws have changed the time period during which you can receive a discharge through Chapter 7. You now must wait eight years after receiving a discharge in Chapter 7 before you can file again under that chapter. The Chapter 13 waiting period is much shorter and can be as little as two years between filings.
I have found myself in a debt loop. I got a loan to payoff my credit card debt and then something happened with our house and I racked it back up. So now I’m in this constant loop of trying to get it all paid off but have to use my credit cards because I have used my whole paycheck to pay my bills. I tried doing another little loan but it didn’t help much and now I have that debt too. Where can I go to get a personal loan that will give me the amount I need without telling me I have too much credit card debt when thats the purpose of the loan!
Editorial Policy: The information contained in Ask Experian is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer or other company, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. All information, including rates and fees, are accurate as of the date of publication and are updated as provided by our partners.
What to watch out for: OneMain charges an origination fee, which varies by state, and rolls it into the monthly payments. Late fees also vary by state. OneMain Financial does not operate in Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont. Additionally, borrowers in Florida, Iowa, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas and West Virginia have unsecured loan limits of $7,000 to $14,000.
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