In this situation, a certified credit counselor helps you find one consolidated payment that will fit your budget. Then they call each of your creditors to negotiate. It’s basically the exact same thing you do yourself. The difference is that these agencies have established relationships with creditors and proven records of helping other people get out of debt. So, even when a creditor won’t work with you, they often sign off on your enrollment in a DMP.
You’re ready to begin your debt snowball once you’ve saved your $1,000 starter emergency fund. That’s what we call Baby Step 1. An emergency fund covers those life events you can't plan for. Think busted hot water heater, dental emergency or flat tire. You get the drift. An emergency fund protects you from having to go further into debt to pay for an unexpected expense.
One of the biggest pitfalls of debt consolidation is the risk of running up new debt before the consolidated debt is paid off. When you finish paying off credit cards with a consolidation loan, don’t be tempted to use the credit cards with their newly free credit limits. If you think you might, close the accounts. You may have heard that doing so could hurt your credit score, and it might. But you can recover from credit score damage much more easily and quickly than you can recover from crushing debt.
The great thing about Clearpoint is that their debt management program allowed me to consolidate the payments of 9 different credit cards into one single payment… They were the ones that contacted all the credit card companies and got the lowest APR possible. And they were very supportive too—there was never any judgment about what had happened or anything like that. They were just there to help, completely on board with me as a part of my team.

The structuring of some repayment schedules may depend on the type of loan taken out and the lending institution. The small print on most loan applications will specify what the borrower should do if they are unable to make a scheduled payment. It is best to be proactive and reach out to the lender to explain any existing circumstances. Let the lender know of any setbacks such as health events or employment problems which may affect the ability to pay. In these cases, some lenders may offer special terms for hardships.


Freedom Debt Relief (FDR) specializes in debt resolution, debt negotiation, and debt settlement services for those grappling with overwhelming debt. In business since 2002, FDR touts a record of saving its customers a combined $9 billion through debt settlements and is a Platinum member of the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators as well as part of the American Fair Credit Council.
If you’re considering a debt consolidation program, talk to a trusted financial advisor first. Your advisor may be able to point you in the direction of a reputable debt consolidation program nearby that you’ll be able to work with locally. Working locally with a credit counselor and debt consolidation team can be helpful in solving your challenges with outstanding credit card debts. Another option is to consolidate with a debt settlement company such as National Debt Relief. Instead of simply figuring out how to manage your debts and which to pay off first, a debt settlement company will actively negotiate with your creditors to lower your debts. Make sure to review your finances when deciding which program is right for you.
Credit card interest rates are likely to drop following the Fed's action. Close to half of American cardholders who ever pay interest on a credit card (44%) say they would put any money they saved on credit card interest toward reducing their actual credit card debt. This is a wise use of that money because even small additions to your credit card payment can add up to big savings.
Each state has its own set of rules regarding outstanding debts. Some states don't allow a debt collector to collect a certain type of debt after a certain period of time; others limit the amount of time when a creditor can sue you over an old debt. Either way, you should find out whether the statute of limitations has passed regarding an old debt you may owe. If it has passed, you can likely forgo repayment without worrying about financial, legal or credit consequences plaguing you.
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.
From there, you'll get a list of offers from Credible's partner lenders. At the time of this review, there were more than a dozen companies offering credit card consolidation loans through this site - including many of the lenders you'll find in our other reviews. You can get an idea of each lender's terms and rates without entering any of your personal information; just scroll down on the Credit Card Consolidation page on the Credible site. Of course, those are only approximations of what could be available; you'll have to click the "Check Rate" button (which will take you right back to the application process we described already).
Credit card companies are amazingly skilled at wooing cardholders to continue spending whether or not they have the ability off the debt that they are acquiring. This comes in the form of low-interest promotional periods and 0% interest balance transfer cards where interest rates can skyrocket once promotional periods end. The credit card issuers also have tempting offers designed to get people to spend even more by offering cash back, points and airline miles. The problem is that most people fail to do the necessary math to see how much these perks are weighed in favor of the credit card companies. As an example of this it might be tempting to sign up for a card that offers 2% cash back but do the math.
Debt consolidation can make a lot of sense for people with a high level of debt or paying a lot of bills. In these tough economic times many Americans are faced with significant credit card debt and are looking for help reducing their monthly payments. Debt consolidation is a method often used in this situation and helps consumers simplify their budget.
The increasing size of the non-housing personal debt market and ease with which one can obtain personal credit has led to some consumers falling behind on payments. As of Q3 2017, student loans have the highest rates of serious delinquency (90 or more days delinquent) with approximately 9.6% of all student loan debt falling into this bucket. Credit card debt and auto loan debt have serious delinquency rates of 4.6% and 2.4% respectively.[10]
In general, it is a good idea to pay down student debt above 8% interest as a rough rule of thumb. What you really want to do is compare your expected after-tax investment return (if you invested the money) with the student loan interest rate. If your student loan is at 9%, paying off your loan is like getting a risk-free return of 9% on your investments. All this can get pretty complicated so you may want to consult with a professional financial planner. This is especially true when this debt is not tax-deductible.
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!
Credit card consolidation refers to any solution that takes multiple credit card balances and combines them into a single monthly payment. The main goal is to reduce or eliminate the interest rate applied to the balance. This makes it faster and easier to pay off credit card debt. Instead of wasting money on interest charges, you can focus your money on paying off principal – that’s the balance your actually owe. In many cases, you can get out of debt faster, even though you pay less each month. Credit card consolidation essentially gives you a more efficient way to eliminate debt.

Talk with a credit counselor. A certified counselor can work with you to assess your financial circumstances, create a viable budget and discuss your options. "We review individual situations to offer personalized options for managing credit card debt," says Bossler. She adds that debt settlement is often one of the options discussed, but it's not always the best one.
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.

Perhaps one of the most obvious examples of industry consolidation can be seen in the evolution of public accounting over the twenty years. In 1986, nine large accounting firms dominated the industry. But in 1987, Klynveld Main Goerdeler (KMG) merged with Peat Marwick Mitchell to create KPMG Peat Marwick, reducing the number of top-tier players to the "Big Eight." Then in 1989, Ernst & Whinney merged with Arthur Young, and Deloitte Haskins & Sells merged with Touche Ross, further consolidating the industry to the "Big Six." In 1998, the merger of Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand created the "Big Five," and the dissolution of Arthur Andersen in 2002 left the "Big Four."
KC Credit Services was created by Ms. Donna Perkins in 1991, the biggest female influencer in the credit repair industry. This company started in 1991, making it one of the oldest credit repair companies in the nation. However, credit repair is not all that this Kansas company offers. KC Credit Services provides debt settlement, debt validation and can even resolve credit card lawsuits. Many debt settlement companies across the nation use KC Credit Services to help clients who get served a credit card summons. Additionally, mortgage companies all across the nation rely on KC Credit Services to help consumers that have bad credit and may not qualify for a mortgage at the time.
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.
FDR will walk clients through the debt settlement process: first, customers will voluntarily choose to stop making monthly payments to lenders. Instead, clients will elect to make a monthly deposit into a separate special purpose account to save money to pay for the settlements once negotiated. Freedom Debt Relief will then work to negotiate a settlement on behalf of its clients.
As a connection service rather than a direct debt relief lender, the loan products that LendingTree offers and their terms and conditions naturally vary with each individual lender. One advantage of using LendingTree is the ability to survey multiple lenders' debt relief offers without having to disclose one's personal information to those lenders. You only have to make yourself known when you've made the decision to apply for the loan that best fits your debt relief needs. Borrowers can also use offers obtained on LendingTree to negotiate directly with lenders; LendingTree provides customers with lenders' direct contact information for that very purpose.
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.
There is no magic ratio that is “good” but generally if your balances on any of your cards start creeping above 20 – 25% of your available credit, you may see an impact on your scores. Have you checked your credit scores to see how this factor is impacting your credit? Here’s how to check and monitor your credit score for free. As for the new account, it may have an impact on your score but usually for most people that levels out once the bills are paid on time for a few months. If it will save you a good chunk of money it may be worth it!
Whether it’s consumer debt on credit cards, student loans[1], or a mortgage, most people find themselves weighed down by debt at some point in their lives. This can keep us working jobs we hate just to pay the bills and keep our heads above water. By learning how to pay off debt fast, you can release this burden and remove some of the stress from your life.
"SunTrust Advisors" may be officers and/or associated persons of the following affiliates of Truist Financial Corporation: SunTrust Bank now Truist Bank, our commercial bank, which provides banking, trust and asset management services; SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., a registered broker-dealer, which is a member of FINRALink opens a new window and SIPCLink opens a new window, and a licensed insurance agency, and which provides securities, annuities and life insurance products; SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc., a SEC registered investment adviser which provides Investment Advisory services.
If you cash in your IRA early, you will not only pay taxes on it (unless it is a ROTH), you also pay a 10% early withdrawal penalty. That means that money is not going to go very far. Before you use your retirement money to pay off consumer debt, I would suggest you at least talk with a reputable credit counseling agency to see if there’s a way to get out of debt without using this money that you will no doubt need when you do retire.

If you are struggling to keep up with your monthly payments, consolidating your debt in this way can certainly help alleviate financial stress. It can also make it less likely that you will fall behind on your payments and risk harming your credit. For these reasons, taking out a personal loan to consolidate higher interest debt can often be very beneficial.

Sometimes the late fees, high annual percentage rates (APRs), and universal default overcome consumers who frequently do not pay off their debt, and the customer declares bankruptcy. If a customer files for bankruptcy, the credit card companies are required to forgive all or much of the debt, unless such discharge of debt is successfully challenged by one or more creditors, or blocked by a bankruptcy judge on legal grounds irrespective of creditors' challenges.
Debt relief is the reorganization of debt in any shape or form so as to provide the indebted party with a measure of respite, either fully or partially. Debt relief can take a number of forms: reducing the outstanding principal amount (again, either partially or fully), lowering the interest rate on loans due, or extending the term of the loan, among others.
Debt settlement companies, also sometimes called "debt relief" or "debt adjusting" companies, often claim they can negotiate with your creditors to reduce the amount you owe. Consider all of your options, including working with a nonprofit credit counselor, and negotiating directly with the creditor or debt collector yourself. Before agreeing to work with a debt settlement company, there are risks that you should consider:
Since our founding, Freedom Debt Relief has grown to be the largest debt settlement company in the nation, with over 600,000 enrolled clients. We have resolved more than $9 billion in unsecured consumer debt—more than any other company in the debt settlement industry. Our company continues to grow to meet the needs of consumers, employing over 2,000 employees who are dedicated to the cause of helping our clients reach their financial goals.
You can get rid of credit card debt in several different ways. Debt consolidation loans are one way. You can also take out a home equity loan (or a cash-out refinance) from your mortgage lender, or you can open a new credit card and transfer the balances over. The latter might come with a zero percent introductory interest rate, giving you several months or more to pay down your balance interest-free.
In general, we really like SoFi's approach to reducing debt and their supportive approach to helping clients with low-interest personal loans. The only drawback with respect to credit card consolidation is that it's more a of a do-it-yourself method, as SoFi focuses on paying off your credit cards with a personal loan. So, if you'd be tempted to take that personal loan to buy "toys" instead of paying off your credit card balances, you might need to consider one of the other services in our review that do more traditional credit card consolidation.
Here at Ramsey, we like cash—but this is one instance when we don’t recommend it. You have to spend thousands on a credit card to get a measly $100 cash back. And by the way, it’s probably just a credit applied to your account, not actual cash in your pocket. Plus, that cash back is a fraction of what you’ve paid in interest on the credit card debt.
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.
For many consumers, we recommend a debt management program instead of debt consolidation services. With debt management, you won’t take out any risky new loans or pay high fees for debt consolidation services. Instead, you’ll consolidate your payments to your creditors by writing one check to ACCC each month. Our team will take care of paying your bills on time, while working with your creditors to potentially reduce interest rates, fees and charges, and the amount of your monthly payment. Our fees for debt management services are among the lowest in the industry, and can be waived in cases of financial hardship.
It is important to remember that this part is usually for free. However, after the initial consultation, you will be given a quotation so the company can work on your debts. Be wise in selecting the debt reduction service that you will avail. No upfront fees should be charged and there should be evidence of guaranteed results before you pay for any service. In fact, there are government agencies that offer free counseling services.
Debt settlement may be a solution if your accounts are past due or you owe more money than you could repay over a few years. When you settle your debts, you ask the creditor to accept a one-time, lump-sum payment to satisfy the debt. Creditors who agree to a settlement offer also agree to cancel the rest of the debt, but they typically only accept these offers on accounts that are in default or at risk of defaulting.
If you are considering asking a friend or family member for help with money, you should be willing to sit down with them, share your budget, debts, monthly payments and interest rates with them. Show them that you can afford to pay them back and how you plan to do that, including highlighting budget areas that you have already cut back or are willing to cut back.
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