Basic Debt Settlement Information for Beginners

debt settlement for beginnersConfused about Debt Settlement?  Here are some easy to understand, basic information about debt settlement that will help.

If you are like thousands of others of consumers that have way to much debt, take heart!

There are several options for you to become DEBT FREE once again, including what is referred to as DEBT SETTLEMENT.

We are all living through some very financially difficult times.  Yes, there are those who say that our economy is starting to rebound, but if you are like so many people, just trying to survive has lead to a mountain of debt that may be out of control.

Most people that seek our help have not run up thousands of dollars of unsecured debt such as:

  • Credit Cards
  • Store Cards
  • Personal loans or lines of credit
  • Private student loans
  • Cash advance loans


No, most people are probably like you and are in this debt mess due to one or more of the following:

  • Major accident or illness
  • Limited fixed income of Social Security or meager Retirement Benefits
  • Disablitly
  • Divorce
  • Death of spouse of partner

So, here you are with several credit cards that have balances that demand more of a monthly payment than you can afford!

If you qualify, a DEBT MANAGEMENT PROGRAM might help.  Debt Management is the modern name for what we use to refer as CREDIT COUNSELING.

In a Debt Management Program, each of your creditors usually (not always) agree to a reduced interest rate and possibly a waiver or reduction in over-the-limit fees or late fees.

You would have one monthly payment that is made to a Debt Management Company and they in turn distribute the required amount to each creditor.

Most Debt Management Programs take about 48 months (some less and some more).

The problem with most Debt Management Programs is that the required monthly payment is just too high for all of the debt your are carrying!

For example...

If you have a total of $25,000 charged on several credit cards, the payment needed for most Debt Management Programs would be about 2.5% (or a little more) or about $625 per month!

In my office here in Portland, Oregon, I've had many people tell me, "Are you kidding?  If I had that much, I wouldn't be behind!"

So, that leaves us with Debt Settlement.

In a Debt Settlement Program, a debt counselor will go over your financial/household budget to determine where you stand.

This can be very revealing, as most people take the "head-in-the-sane" approach with so much debt.

You may find out that after being honest with yourself, you really only have about $350 per month remaining after all the essential bills are paid!

DON'T PANIC!

With a Debt Settlement Program, your creditors are not going to be receiving monthly payments.

Instead, you are going to be making a deposit into a FDIC bank account each month.

Yes, your accounts are going to become "late and/or delinquent", but really, there is nothing you can do about it due to your financial hardship.

Once your account is late approximately 120-180 days, the account will be most likely referred to a debt collector.

Now, the original creditor will be willing (not always, but in most cases) to accept a settlement for less that is due on the balance.

Most settlements average around 50% of the balance.  Some lower and some higher, depending on circumstances.

Once the account is SETTLED, you will receive a letter stating that this account has been "paid-as-agreed" or "settled-as-agreed".

The credit reporting agencies will be notified that this account has been settled as well.

Over time, your credit score will show improvement!

If you would like to receive a FREE BOOKLET that will explain more about DEBT SETTLEMENT, click below:

 

FREE EBook Debt Settlement  Basics

 

 

 



Tags: credit card debt, debt relief options, debt settlement, debt settlement in oregon, debt management, five credit score myths

Five Credit Score Myths

five credit score mythsThere are many false assumptions when it comes to credit scores. Here are five credit score myths that you should understand:

Myth #1: A low credit score means I will not get credit.

This is not true in all situations.  Whether or not a lender will extend credit to you depends on a number of factors:

Your score is important, but they also look at:

  • Income
  • Total Amount of Debt
  • Type of Debts
  • Payment history

Based on the lenders underwriting policy, they may or may not extend credit or they may offer you credit at an extremely high interest rate (Pay Day Loans, Finance Companies, etc.)

Many times, a person has a reasonably high credit score, but may not be extended credit because of the factors above.

Myth #2: A poor score will stay with me for a long time.

Not if your take the proper steps to improve your credit score.

A credit score is really just a picture of your risk at a point in time.  If you have had a financial problem in the past, had late or missed payments, then you score will have declined.

However, as you "get back on track" and or pay off or settle debt, your credit score will improve.

Myth #3: Credit Bureaus are unfair to minorities.

This myth is not true at all! Your race, religion, sex and many other things are not part of the credit score process.

Myth #4: My credit score will go down if I apply for new credit.

This has always been a myth about credit scores to most people.

Don't apply for several credit cards in a short time frame.  Making many requests for new credit will show as "inquiries" on your report.

So the next time your checking out and the clerk asks if you'd like to save an extra 15% today by applying for their store card...think again.

However, if you are shopping for a new car and visit several dealerships, they each may request a credit report on you but this is interpreted by the bureaus as basically a single inquiry and will not hurt your score.

Myth #5: Closing or canceling a credit card or account will improve your credit score.

Although not having access to "easy credit" may help you not abuse your available credit, as far as the credit reporting agencies are concerned, you may hurt your credit score by closing accounts.

Why? 

The credit bureau has a term called "credit utilization ratio".  Basically, this is the amount of debt you have in relation to the amount of credit you could have.

For Example:

Let's say you have 5 credit cards.

  • One has a balance of $1,000 on a $2,500 limit.
  • The second has a balance of $1,500 with a limit of $1,500 (maxed out).
  • You have $0 balances on cards 3,4 and 5, but the total available credit limit on those is $7,500 ($2,500 each).

To the credit bureaus, you have:

  • Total outstanding balances = $2,500
  • Total available credit limit   = $11,500
  • Your credit utilization ratio is $2,500/$11,500 or 22% (not bad!)

If you decide to cancel the 3 cards that have $0 balances, your credit utilization ratio will look like this:

  • Total outstanding balances   = $2,500
  • Total available credit limit     = $4,000
  • Your credit utilization ratio is not $2,500/$4,000 or 62.5%

Your credit utilization ration went from 22% to 62.5% and this will probably lower your credit score!

As you can see, there are a lot of things that are used to determine your credit score.  Some thing you have control over and some you will have to work on over time.  If you would like to know how you can elimnated your debt for abut HALF of what you owe with reduced monthly payments, click on the link below or give us a call at 1-877-492-4109.

photo by: rosmary



 

Tags: credit card debt repair, Debt Settlement Services, five credit score myths