Best Way to Get Out of Debt?

How To Get Out Of Debt

In the current recession, how to get out of debt is a question that is affecting more and more people. It is very easy to get into debt when you go through a bad patch financially. You may have lost your job, had a long time off sick or lost a part of your income such as overtime payments. You let the credit cards mount up or take out a loan thinking that things will quickly be back to normal and you can pay everything off.

But often, it does not turn out to be so easy. Maybe you cannot find another job, or your company cuts back on your hours permanently. Even if the situation is resolved and your income goes up again, the debt is usually not so easy to pay off as you expected.

The best way to get out of debt is just to keep making those monthly payments on time. Do not worry that it is going to take you a long time. Just budget for it, do it and think of it as a necessary expense like the mortgage or the rent. That money is not available for spending.

However, if this is not working for you, there are several things you can do.

Debt Consolidation

This is a way of paying out a lot of small loans or credit card debts with one large loan. It can work out cheaper per month, especially if your debts are mainly on high interest store accounts or credit cards. It can also be very good for people who have problems managing money and keeping track of all their debts.

To be successful with debt consolidation, you need to include absolutely everything, and do not run up any more credit card balances after. In fact, it would be best to cut up those credit cards and store cards until the consolidation loan is paid right off.

The danger with debt consolidation is that you may take out the big loan, pay the others off, but then start accumulating more debts while you still have the big loan to pay. This can leave you in a very bad situation. Do not let this happen to you.

Renegotiate Your Loans

Most loans (including credit card debts) can be renegotiated to give you longer to pay. This will mean smaller monthly payments, or possibly a ‘payment holiday’ if you simply cannot make your payment this month.

Negotiating with your bank or credit card company is not as scary as it sounds. Work out a proposal of payments that you could make before you call, then explain your situation truthfully and tell them what you suggest.

Bankruptcy

This is a last resort process where, briefly, you have a court declare that you cannot pay your debts and will not be able to do so in the foreseeable future. You give up all you have and your creditors have to accept whatever they are awarded. Bankruptcy can be voluntary (where you initiate it) or forced (where you have court judgments against you that you simply cannot pay). Always talk to a good Bankruptcy attorney before taking this step.

In terms of how to get out of debt, it is not the best way, but something that some people have to resort to.

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What Are Your Debt Settlement Options?

Credit Card Debt Settlement: Your Options

Credit card debt settlement is an option you may be able to take if you have old outstanding credit card debts that you are not making the monthly payments.

What Is Discounted Debt Settlement?

If a company sees from its records that you have not paid anything for a while and they figure it is not likely that they will get the full amount of the debt plus interest from you, they will sent you a discounted debt settlement offer.

This means that they will write an offer where you can pay perhaps 50% of the debt and they will write off the rest. Usually they will want this all in one payment, but if it is a large amount they may accept it in two or three installments.

Often the letter will come from a debt collection agency. This can mean that your original lender has signed over the debt to the debt collectors, or it may simply mean that the agency is working for a percentage of whatever they can recover.

Why Do They Offer Debt Settlement?

The finance companies offer this when they can see that you are having so much trouble making payments, they might have to take you to court to get the whole amount, and maybe they wouldn’t even get it then, because you might declare bankruptcy.

So they have a choice between incurring the cost of court proceedings and perhaps still getting nothing from you, or offering you this deal where you pay 50% or whatever. They figure they will be better off accepting half of what you owe, than trying to get the full amount through the courts.

What Should You Do?

Whether you should accept the offer depends on many factors.

First, you should be aware that accepting this will affect your credit score in a negative way, because you will not have paid off your whole debt. If you can pay the full amount then it is better for your credit record if you do so. However, you probably would not have gotten to the point of receiving a settlement offer if you could pay in full. Accepting the settlement offer is usually better than having court actions against you.

Second, you will need to consider how you can make the payment that they want. Does it mean that other debts will go unpaid for a couple of months? What will be the consequences of that? Would you have to miss rent payments and perhaps lose your home? Think carefully about how you can raise the money.

Third, even if you decide to accept it may be worth trying to negotiate a lower settlement. This means calling them and saying that you cannot pay what they have asked for but you could pay 40% or whatever. This is often worth trying because it can save you some money without extra penalties.

When you call, write down the person’s name that you speak to. If they accept your offer, ask them to put it in writing and wait for the letter to come before you pay. Then write a letter to send with your check stating that this is full and final settlement of your debt, and ask them to write back acknowledging that the debt has been paid.

Be aware that if you decide not to accept the offer, then after a while they may take the matter to court. A court may judge that you must pay the whole amount plus the costs, so you would have a lot more to pay.

If you decide to accept, always read the small print on any offer. You need to be sure this is full settlement and they will write off any additional debt, so they have no right to come back to you in future demanding more.

When everything is complete, check out what has been posted to your credit record. If there is any mistake you should ask for it to be corrected right away and you will need to send copies of all of your correspondence. So keep all of the paperwork when you accept any credit card debt settlement.

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