Will Debt Settlement or Debt Negotiation Help?
For many individuals and families in Minnesota that have high-balance, high interest credit cards, and want to avoid bankruptcy and settle debts for less than the full amount owed, a debt settlement or debt negotiation program may be a viable option. The objective of debt settlement is for consumers, through a debt negotiator, to get individual creditors to agree to "settle" debts for much less than the full amount owed.
How Debt Settlement Works
With debt settlement, consumers in distress stop paying high interest credit card minimums and instead begin to "set aside" those monies to be used for the purpose of extending a debt settlement offer, through a debt negotiator, to a credit card company. It stands to reason that a credit card company, facing the prospects of possibly "selling off" bad debt for as little as 10 cents on the dollar might be willing to accept a negotiated settlement offer from a consumer truly experiencing a financial hardship. It's important to remember that while debt settlement can save a substantial amount of money and it can be a positive alternative to bankruptcy, it is an aggressive debt relief option whose drawbacks should be recognized from the outset:
Consumers should understand that when they stop paying cards according to the terms of their agreements, creditors can threaten or take legal action. In addition, money that is saved by settling for substantially less is subject to taxation. Finally, debt settlement will normally have a negative impact on personal credit, but not as serious or long lasting an impact as personal bankruptcy.
If you are struggling with credit cards and other unsecured debts and in need of debt relief assistance, learn more about your debt relief options andget a free debt relief analysis and savings estimate - at no obligation.
State Assistance for Low-Income Families
Debt relief programs may offer significant help to many individuals who are truly unable to pay off their debts or falling behind on their payments. However, in these tough economic times, there may be many individuals and families who might need access to life's basic essentials such as food, housing, childcare, or even utilities. To help these people, the state of Minnesota offers several programs and resources that address these specific needs and more. To learn more, go to the state's homepage and find the Social Services section.
Debt Consolidation Through Debt Management Plans
Debt relief is also available to Minnesota residents in the form of a debt management plan customized for individuals with the help of a credit or debt counselor. The objective of a debt consolidation or debt management program (DMP) is to combine or consolidate multiple high-interest debts into a single, more manageable, payment each month. Through the benefits of debt relief such as lower interest rates, the waiving of late fees and penalties, and generally more favorable repayment terms, a debt management plan coordinated by a credit counselor or debt counselor can provide vital assistance for consumers who need a proven, predictable, and accelerated path out of debt.
In order to create a customized plan for each individual or family, a credit counselor or debt relief specialist typically will interview the consumer to get a sense of their financial and debt situation. Then they will analyze that consumer's budget and income to find out how much money can be realistically allocated each month to pay down those debts. Finally, based on this information, they will customize a game plan (a debt management plan or DMP) and send proposals to each of the consumer's creditors requesting the benefits of debt relief for the individual or family experiencing financial hardship. These benefits typically include lower interest rates, a waiving of late fees and penalties, and more favorable repayment terms that are affordable for the consumer experiencing financial hardship. Those creditors who agree to the proposals are then added to the debt management plan. For those that do not accept the proposals, consumers are still obligated according to the terms of their original cardholder agreements.
If consumers stop accumulating credit card debt and begin the process of paying down the principal amount of debt on time, month after month, at a lower interest rate, debt consolidation or debt management plans can be very effective and save a substantial amount of money. It really is simple 1-2-3 logic: 1) Stop using credit cards, 2) Payoff existing principal debt at a lower interest rate, on time, month after month, 3) Fulfill the program as scheduled and you've earned the right to celebrate your debt-free day!
To find out if a debt consolidation or debt management plan could help you resolve debts faster, and to see how much you could save, request Your Free Debt Relief Evaluation and Savings Estimate.