Revolving (credit card) debt can have a great impact on credit scores as it will increase your balance-to-limit ratio and lower the amount of available credit that you have. The higher your revolving balances inch up to the limits, the more it hurts the credit scores. Depending on the situation and your credit scores, a bankruptcy, debt consolidation plan, or a setup of a budget and timeframe for getting out of debt could be options. Once you’re ankle-deep in revolving debt, it can be tricky to dig yourself out so getting professional advice is important.
We are a nation that pays far too much attention to education for the young, but not financial education, just all the subjects one needs to have a well-rounded understanding of the world and our place in it. Why not give our children the financial tools for them to succeed while their minds are most formative, so they can be prepared to be entrepreneurs at an earlier age? This may be the one thing we are missing which could change our entire future as a nation.
Why don’t you qualify for IBR or PAYE? Is it because your income is too high to reduce your payments? If that’s the case, and you’ve exhausted all your options, then I am at a loss in terms of what to suggest other than to encourage you to continue to pay as much as you can and check back into those programs from time to time to see if requirements have changed. Student loan debt is an enormous problem and for many there is no simple solution.
Budgeting apps, software and services can help you find financial enlightenment and empowers you to maintain your progress. You don’t need a fortune in the bank to create a budget that works and constantly improve it. Start by entering your income and recurring expenses. Overestimate important costs such as utilities, transportation and food to allow yourself a little buffer. Use your budgeting tool to help you spot areas where you can cut back. Whatever money is left over after paying your monthly expenses should go directly toward outstanding debts.
Contact your bank and stop payments to the agency servicing your debt management program as soon as you become aware the agency has shut down. You should immediately contact the creditors involved and ask if you could continue paying them directly or would they work out another payment plan. Also, ask for a credit report and verify that previous payments you made to the DMP agency were sent to your creditors. If payments were missed, there could be some negative consequences to your credit score. Finally, you could contact a nonprofit credit counseling agency and ask them to intervene on your behalf with your creditors.
After a thorough review of your financial situation, the credit counselor should give you options and recommend a plan that they feel will work best for your situation. You do not have to accept the plan, so be sure to think it over. Read through the contract to make sure you understand everything. Make sure everything that was promised verbally is in writing in the contract—or else it likely won't be enforceable.
If you’re not eligible for a 0% balance transfer or decide it doesn’t make sense for you, call your credit card company to see if you can negotiate the APR down. If your main debt is a mortgage, look into refinancing. And if it’s student loan debt, refinancing might make sense for you. If you have federal loans, be aware that they offer a lot of flexibility -- you don’t want to later regret losing that. If you refinance a federal loan, you should be confident you have the financial capacity to pay it off. Also, if your desire to refinance your student loan debt comes from not being able to make your payments at all, refinancing won’t help you — your focus should be on not defaulting. (Work out a plan with your student loan provider.) If you decide refinancing might make sense for you, check out some of the new online lenders, such as CommonBond, Earnest, SoFi and Upstart, that have cropped up to help burdened graduates. Plus, also see if any credit unions available to you have appealing refi rates.
Even for non-social activities like personal hobbies, look for ways to cut costs: If you dropped the gym, can you run outside, play tennis with a friend or join the city pools? In lieu of your yoga center membership, try one of the yoga websites that allow you to stream yoga classes online for a small fee each month. Instead of buying all the latest books, dust off your library card. If you're paying a hefty fee for tons of cable channels you don't watch, see if you can use cheaper online providers such as Hulu, Netflix and iTunes or buy an AppleTV to slake your thirst for TV.
3. Because debt settlement programs often ask — or encourage — you to stop sending payments directly to your creditors, they may have a negative impact on your credit report and other consequences. For example, your debts may continue to accrue late fees and penalties that can put you further in the hole. You also may get calls from your creditors or debt collectors requesting repayment. You could even be sued for repayment. In some instances, when creditors win a lawsuit, they have the right to garnish your wages or put a lien on your home.
Reputable credit counseling organizations have staff counselors who are certified and trained. These counselors can discuss client financial situations to help them develop a personalized plan for their economic issues. An initial counseling session typically lasts an hour, with an offer of follow-up sessions. A reputable credit counseling agency should offer free information about itself and the services it provides without requiring potential clients to release any details about their situation.
There are several complaints left by dissatisfied clients of National Debt Relief on our site. Common complaints often revolve around customer service issues and how unprofessional the debt consultants are and that customers get passed around between National Debt Relief employees. Other complaints made by customers is that they are treated great by customer service through the first step of the debt management plan and that the quality drops significantly after enrollment. The company does provide an online dashboard to help clients keep track of their debt management program, but customers have still said they feel disconnected from the debt settlement process. On average, our reviewers give National Debt Relief a score of 3.8/10.
Once a plan is formed, you'll be responsible for one monthly payment to your credit counseling agency. The agency will then distribute the money to each creditor according to the plan. The amount of time you'll be in the debt management plan may differ with each plan, but most require you to make monthly payments for three to five years. It is extremely important that you make every debt management plan payment on time. Making late payments could allow creditors to opt of out of the debt management plan, which could mean you'll revert to the much higher interest rates and fees that you were trying to escape in the first place.
Fully certified. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) is the largest, longest serving and most well-respected credit counseling network in the country. All Clearpoint counselors must be NFCC-certified, which means they have studied counseling principles, understand consumer rights and responsibilities, and have passed examinations showing their proficiency in these and other areas.
This company works with unsecured debt – typically credit cards – as well as medical debt, private student loans and personal loans. Its debt settlement plans require you to stop paying your creditors and instead make payments into an escrow account set up by National Debt Relief. You control the money in this account. After several months of making installments into this account the settlement firm will begin negotiating with your creditors.
If you do business with a debt settlement company, you may have to put money in a dedicated bank account, which will be administered by an independent third party. The funds are yours and you are entitled to the interest that accrues. The account administrator may charge you a reasonable fee for account maintenance, and is responsible for transferring funds from your account to pay your creditors and the debt settlement company when settlements occur.
Ask your creditors for lower interest rate. A high interest rate makes it harder to pay off your debt because more of your monthly payment goes toward interest charges. Lowering your interest rate reduces the monthly interest you pay and allows you to pay off your debt faster. A good credit score and positive payment history gives you more leverage in getting a lower interest rate. If your credit card issuer won’t budge, consider transferring your balance to a credit card with a lower interest rate. Taking advantage of a 0% balance transfer offer is even better.
To qualify for National Debt Relief, you must have at least $7,500 in debt and a demonstrable financial hardship that you cannot recover from. Financial hardship includes a divorce, unemployment, loss of income, the death of a spouse and unpaid taxes. National Debt Relief uses this proof of your financial hardship as leverage to negotiate with your creditors.
BBB – National Debt Relief is a BBB Accredited Business with the Better Business Bureau of New York, NY. Not all debt relief companies are accredited by the BBB. We feel this is one of the most important accreditations to have in this industry. The Better Business Bureau is a leader in providing trust to consumers in dealing with any company. Make sure any company you are evaluating to help you with your debt has an accreditation by the BBB.
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