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Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Choice, Debt Settlement or Debt Elimination

A very common problem for many American consumers is overwhelming credit card debt. Too many people pay their monthly minimums, month after month, without any knowledge that their debt burden may never go away.
When a person comes to the realization that they are caught in a never ending payment schedule, they may then realize that help is needed. The unknown for most people is what kind of help is available, and how to find it.
Selecting the best plan of action can also add the stress caused by the debt in the first place as understanding all of the options to relieve themselves of debt can be very confusing.
One of the most popular options is Debt Settlement. This is not necessarily the best option, but it is certainly the most heavily advertised. Many Debt Settlement companies are just extensions of the credit card companies themselves.
A reputable Debt Settlement company will attempt to contact your creditors and negotiate a payoff or settlement, for less than is owed. This can get somebody out of debt very quickly, assuming the settled amount can actually be paid quickly.
There are a few things to be aware of with Debt Settlement. A Debt Settlement company may claim that you have the right to settle your debts for pennies on the dollar. This is true, you do have the right to do this, but it does not mean that your creditor has the obligation to actually agree to a settlement. If a settlement amount is agreed upon, the total settlement amount might need to be paid immediately to be accepted. If a payment plan can be agreed upon, the settlement amount will probably be higher, and you must stick to the payment schedule.
For this reason, the settlement company might instruct you to stop making your payments to the credit card company, and start to build up a cash reserve account. You might need to accumulate several thousand dollars before they will actually begin to contact your creditors. Meanwhile, negative entries will be reported to the credit bureaus, and the harassing collection phone calls will begin.
In addition, the Debt Settlement Company will also want their fee, which can be 5 to 20% of the negotiated debt. So how much is really being saved?
An alternative may be a debt elimination program. This will allow a person to legally walk away from 100% of their non-secured credit card debt, without bankruptcy, consolidation, or refinancing. A person can enter into this program just once. It's kind of a financial "do-over".
With a debt elimination program, a person can select which cards to eliminate. Some cards can actually be kept. The eliminated cards can no longer be used. The ultimate goal however, is to learn how to live without credit cards altogether. It will amaze you to learn how much money you can save if you are not paying interest to the credit card companies.
A good program will have you debt-free in 6 - 12 months. An elimination program does not perform its function overnight. The program should also include an education on the credit card system, so that it is understood just how and why an elimination program can work.
Student loans, medical bills, and any secured loans such as mortgages and auto loans do not apply to a debt elimination program. Only major credit cards, signature loans, and unsecured lines-of-credit are applicable. For these types of debts, a true elimination program may be the financial re-start people are looking for.

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