You are drowning in debt and you are considering credit card relief programs. You may have heard negative stories about credit card relief. While there are some misconceptions about credit card relief, thousands of people have received help. The first step is sometimes the hardest. You may feel like it is the end of the world but you will discover that is not true when you seek out credit card relief programs. Benefits vary from program to program but may include:
- Lower balances
- Lower interest rates
- No more collection activity
- The debt collectors must validate what they say you owe.
- In some cases, you will become debt free faster.
The first step may be the hardest
You are seeking help and you might feel overwhelmed by all the questions. This is a difficult but an important step. The credit card relief specialist needs to know everything about you and your credit history. Common questions include:
- Are you employed?
- How long have you been at your job?
- Do you own a house, automobile or other big-ticket item?
- How many credit cards do you have?
- What are the balances on those credit cards?
- Do you have other debts?
- What are your financial obligations?
- Where do you live?
Your address is important because credit card relief programs vary from state to state.
You will have options
Credit card relief is not a one-size fits all solution. You will be offered a program that is best for you.
- Debt consolidation. This program will take all of your credit cards and possibly other debts and put them on one loan by paying them. You could see some improvements on your credit score since you are paying off debt. Another benefit—you have just one monthly payment. This option may not work for you if your financial situation is precarious or you don’t want a loan payment that could stretch out for five years or more.
- Debt settlement. With this plan, your bills are negotiated for a lower monthly payment. You are likely to get out of debt faster. However, items marked “settled” could lower your credit score.
- Debt validation. Some creditors are not very good at keeping records, particularly those that they turn over to collection agencies, especially if the debt is old. This means that some collectors cannot “validate” or prove that you owe the money. While this may stop those annoying phone calls from collectors, you still could be sued by the creditor.
- Credit counseling. You will stave off the debt collectors and possibly get lower payments through credit counseling. But it may take more time to pay off your debt.
Will these annoying phone calls and letters stop when I start a credit card relief program?
Yes, if you are with a reputable company. The company will provide legal protection against the creditors. You will also learn more about your rights under the Fair Debt Collection and Practices Act. You won’t have to worry about who is on the phone.
How long will this take?
The wolves are knocking at your door and you want to avoid bankruptcy so understandably you want credit card relief fast. But you probably didn’t get into debt quickly and will take an average of 12 to 24 months to fix your problem. This all depends on each individual’s circumstances.
How do I find a reputable credit card relief program?
Do your homework. Does the company have any type of certifications or affiliations? What is their record with the Better Business Bureau. Are there any reviews of the company online? Don’t be afraid to ask questions when calling companies. Reputable credit card relief programs are out there.
The following infographic highlights the benefits and downsides of each credit card relief program so that you can start on a path to safely get out of credit card debt for 2018.
Source: Credit Card Debt Relief Programs Summary
Paul J Paquin is the CEO at Golden Financial Services and the author of the book called; “A Complete Debt Consolidation Guide to Become Debt-free”. Paul spent the last 15-years engulfed in debt consolidation, as the CEO at Golden Financial Services, learning about the most effective debt relief options by researching and testing different methods.