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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Options with Debt and Educating Yourself with It

By Paul J. Easton

With mounting debts and unforeseen hardships, every one must consider debt relief more seriously now. Many options are easily available today and educating yourself with these options is the key to helping you get out of debt. Here are some of the tips you will find valuable for your debt relief strategies.

Don't use the credit cards starting now. Whether you file for bankruptcy or sign on with a credit counseling service or debt settlement. Prioritize that plan to get out of debt, and work toward debt relief as though you were with a credit counseling service.

Never stop the communication. While it may be a natural response to stop answering the phone, this does not resolve the issue at hand. Contact your creditors. Try explaining your financial situation to them. In many cases, they will even work with you to reduce your total balance by providing a better interest rate. Or you can negotiate to eliminate the late and other charges.

Some credit card companies will tell you to seek the help of a professional negotiator. They will back you up with credit card companies and negotiate at the best terms possible. If you are unsure, though, about taking the above steps yourself, you can check into the option recommended to you by your credit counselor.

Consumer credit counseling services will usually compare options to you and promise to reduce your debt by a significant amount. This can range from 40-60% and would make you debt free within 1-5 years.

Some credit counseling companies will take an upfront fee of up to thousands of dollars. This amount is exclusive of the amount applied to your creditors. Others may even claim to be non-profit companies only to ask later for a donation which would seem like a fee to pay.

Further, there are companies which will guarantee to protect your credit rating from negative scores but this is not most likely the case. Dealing with a debt relief service always has a negative bearing to your credit report.

Do plenty of research before dealing with your financial options and the education will be worth it.

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