Various Debt Relief Options


Although working out solutions to your debt problems with a debt settlement company is a viable option, there are other alternatives that you can choose from. According to, these include directly negotiating with your credit card provider, seeking the help of a credit counselor, and (as a last resort) considering bankruptcy.
Talking Directly with Your Creditors
Instead of having a debt settlement company doing it for a fee, you can always negotiate with your credit card providers on your own – for free. Even if you’ve been rejected before, don’t give up. Be polite but be persistent. Make sure that you maintain a good record of your debts so you can explain your side very well. Your goal is to have the creditor agree to modify your payments to a more manageable level.
Not paying your monthly obligations for 6 months will force your creditor to write off your debt as a loss, which will have a great impact on your credit score; not to mention that your debt will continue to exist. Even after writing off your debt, creditors will still be willing to talk to you for a settlement. This way, they will be able to recover at least a part of your debt.
Seeking the Help of a Credit Counselor
There are reputable organizations that provide credit counseling. They offer advice on how to properly manage your finances, help you create a budget, and give free workshops and educational materials. The certified counselors are trained in debt and money management, consumer credit, and budgeting. They will talk to you about your current financial rut, and work with you in finding a way to get out of your financial woes. The initial session typically lasts for an hour.
Most credit counselors belong to non-profit organizations and work in local offices. They can also be contacted by phone or online. If you need their services, find one that is government-approved and whom you can consult in person. You have to be aware however, that being “non-profit” does not mean that the services they provide are free, or at least affordable and legitimate. Beware of unscrupulous credit counselors that may charge you with high fees that they may hide or disguise as “voluntary” contributions that they will force you to make. This will only add up to your debt woes even more.
Declaring Bankruptcy
Opting to declare bankruptcy comes with some serious consequences. This includes a big hit on your credit rating. However, according to financial experts and credit counselors, there are instances when it is the most viable option. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows people who have a steady source of income to keep some properties like a mortgaged car or house. This is not possible if they opt to go via the Chapter 7 bankruptcy route.
Chapter 13 allows you to settle debts over a 3 to 5 year period while you keep your properties. Your debts are discharged upon completing all the required payments. The bankruptcy process requires that you get the services of a lawyer and getting counseling from an organization approved by the government within 6 months before filing for bankruptcy.


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