There are several debt relief programs available today, from debt consolidation to debt settlement to debt negotiation. If you or someone you know has been in financial hot water, look into these options: debt relief by debt settlement, debt management, or debt consolidation with credit counseling. Consider what each does to help you. Consider your situation and your needs. Look at the alternatives, and weigh which may be best for you.
Debt relief through debt settlement is one of the most popular programs often discussed. For many people, debt settlement is the debt relief option that they have heard about, read about, or seen their name associated with. Debt settlement programs often offer lump sum payments for all or part of a debt. The debt settlement company then pays the original debt, leaving the consumer with one payment, usually less than the total of the debt. Some debt settlement companies also negotiate debts with creditors on behalf of their clients.
Debt management programs can be a solid debt settlement or consolidation choice for many people. In debt consolidation, the consumer makes one monthly payment to the debt consolidation company, which then pays off debt settlement companies, and possibly other creditors. Most debt consolidation programs require that the client maintain a good credit score. In some cases, debt consolidation may also require a home equity loan, though this is becoming more rare.
Credit counseling and debt consolidation require some skill on the part of the consumer or borrower. With credit counseling, a financial consultant goes over your financial situation, including your income, expenses, credit cards or other lines of credit, and debt relief options. They will also likely refer you to a debt relief agency or settlement program for further assistance. When working with a debt consolidation or debt relief agency, remember to disclose any current or past debt that you may have. This information can affect your debt relief plan.
One of the debt relief scams that is common is debt management plans. These are often promoted online, and you may have received offers in the mail for free debt management counseling or debt consolidation. Keep in mind that free debt management plans often require that you close out your accounts or agree to a high level of credit card debt. When looking into debt relief options, it is important to investigate all of your debt relief options before making a final decision on which a debt relief company to use.
The debt relief services that you choose should be able to reduce your debt, reduce your interest rates, erase your debt history, and provide other debt relief services. Look for debt relief agencies that are members of the Association of Settlement Companies (TASC). These debt relief organizations are governed by the Association of Settlement Companies. They meet to ensure that their members are properly performing their debt relief services and that they are offering the best possible debt relief services to their clients. You may also want to consider the Better Business Bureau (BBB) when looking for debt relief services.