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Credit Card Debt Solutions

Most people have credit card debt for one simple reason: they spend more than they earn. However, there are other reasons why you might have credit card debt, such as a medical emergency, a one-time emergency expense, rising costs, or impulse control. No matter how you got into debt, there’s a solution. Review the situations below to find the right credit card debt solutions for you.


If you spend more than you earn, the first step is discovering why. It could be because your mortgage has recently shot up, leaving you with little money for other expenses. It could also be because you make a lot of impulse purchases on your credit card. If you have high fixed costs, you should consider scaling back on luxuries like cable television, movie rentals, and eating out.

If you spend too much because you like to buy stuff, then you need to learn to ask yourself if it’s something you really need. Wait two weeks before making any purchase. Chances are you won’t really want it anymore. Once you control your spending, you’ll have an easier time paying off credit card debt.

Large One-Time Expenses

If you have credit card debt because of a large one-time emergency like car repairs, your first goal is to pay off that bill as quickly as you can by reducing spending in other areas. Once that’s done, use the extra money to build an emergency fund. Tap the fund for true emergencies, like car repairs or emergency room visits, so you don’t have to go into debt again.

Extended Medical Emergency or Illness

If your family is experiencing a major medical emergency or long-term illness, sometimes credit card debt is the only way to get by, especially if the primary earner is the one who is sick. In this case, your best bet is to negotiate with the doctor or hospital to reduce the medical bills. If the bills are more than you can ever reasonably pay, you may have to consider bankruptcy. Medical bills are the reason for 50% of all bankruptcy filings.

Extended Job Loss or Other Financial Hardship

Many people find themselves relying on credit cards to pay basic expenses after they lose their jobs. If you’re one of them, your first step should be to reduce every possible expense. Cancel cable, cut back on clothing and food purchases, don’t take vacations, do whatever it takes to cut your spending. If you have student loans, apply for forbearance. If you have a mortgage, find out if your lender can also extend a temporary forbearance. If you still can’t pay off your credit cards, consider contacting a credit counseling service for help. They’ll review your finances and may recommend a debt management plan, debt negotiation, or bankruptcy.

Once you get back on your feet, dedicate as much money as you can to debt repayment. You should also establish an emergency fund and continue to spend wisely so that you never find yourself deep in debt again.

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Justin has 5 years of experience as financial adviser; his key areas are consolidation, debt relief, mortgages etc. For more free articles and advice visit
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Good Debt Management Will Help You With Debt

Just when you are about to buy a car, or request a mortgage for your house, is not the time to find out that you have bad credit. If you have been behind in paying many of your bills, or if you have never checked your credit report and there are some negative things on it, this may be the case. Usually bad credit results from failure to pay off your credit card bills on time. Everyone has to realize that once you have high debts on your credit card, and you can only afford to pay the minimum, you have to stop using them and start paying them down. Otherwise, watch your credit rating sink. There is one way to improve your credit, and that is through a debt consolidation loan.
A debt consolidation loan company will do two important things for you. First they will negotiate with your creditors to lower interest rates so you can better afford to pay the monthly bill. Then they will put all of the bills onto one larger bill so that you only have to face one total, lower payment.
There is a big benefit to having only one bill. It is very stressful to have to face all of those bills piling up on your desk each month. With a debt consolidation loan, you pay the one big bill on time, and, since you will be able to pay that bill on time, you will cancel all of the negative marks on your credit report over time. Once you are viewed as a good credit risk, you will no longer have the same problems getting a loan of any type and at a good interest rate.
Doesn’t make sense to you? Are you asking “How do I take out a loan for a loan?” A debt consolidation company does, indeed give you a loan, totaling more than your total credit card debt. From the proceeds of that loan, you pay off all of the credit cards, There are many types of debt consolidation loans. As a homeowner, you may want to consider an equity loan on your home in order to consolidate all of your other debt.
As with any financial decision, you should make sure you check all the facts completely on a debt consolidation loan. Make sure you understand the interest rate, the repayment terms and make sure that they are actually better than the situation you are in now.
One of the fastest and easiest ways to consolidate your debt is to do it online. There are those who are not familiar with the concept of debt consolidation loans, and may spend a lot of time and money searching all over for a good loan. Meanwhile, with the use of the internet, they could be searching hundreds, if not thousands of places that offer debt consolidation loans. And they never have to leave their desks.
If you have decided to consolidate your debt, there are plenty of sites to help you, and they are just a click away. No matter how or why you have decided to consolidate your debt, be it using your home as equity, be it to assist in the educational goals of you or your children, you can find a debt consolidation counselor. A debt consolidation counselor will assess all of your needs, your income and expenses, your assets and liabilities and then find the best program and rates based on your personal circumstances.
These specialists will also help you form a budget so that you can stay within your goals and continue to pay your debt on time. There are many different types of debt consolidator specialists, ranging from credit report analysts, financial education specialists, housing advisers, debt management services and personal credit card counselors.

What is the Exact Definition of Debt Relief?

Debt relief can be any financial product or process that provides liberation from debt or aid in the process of eliminating it. Let’s see which alternatives in the financial industry provide debt relief:

As explained, there is no unique financial product or process that provides debt relief. There are many alternative solutions to debt problems that are more or less efficient according to the nature of the debts involved. Some of the solutions available are: Credit Counseling, Consolidation Loans, Debt Settlement, Money Management and last but not means least: Bankruptcy. Credit Counseling

Credit Counseling is probably the first option that you should consider when seeking debt relief. Credit counseling is advice provided by professionals with expertise in the financial field given to inform consumers about how to responsibly use credit and financial products so as to keep debt at bay and get out of serious debt problems when your repayment capacity is reduced. There are non-profit organizations that will provide this advice for free, but there are others that will charge a small fee. Consolidation Loans Consolidation loans are a form of debt relief because the money obtained from a consolidation loan is used to repay outstanding debt. What consolidation loans help you obtain is a reduction of your debt exposure by postponing the repayment of your debt and by reducing the amount of money you spend on interests and principal every month. With a consolidation loan you replace expensive debt with a single loan that features lower and affordable monthly payments. Debt Settlement

Debt settlement is a process with which the debtor obtains aid from an agent or professional negotiator that agrees with his creditors new repayment programs, cuts on the particular debts and better terms so as to make debt more affordable and easier to pay off. The process puts the debtor’s financial life in order but restricts the ability to obtain finance even with credit cards or personal loan products for a short period of time. Once debt is settled the debtor’s credit score will start recovering slowly but uninterruptedly. Money Management

Money management are a series of techniques that are thought to the debtor so as to aid him in effectively manage his income and expenses. These techniques tend to reduce the client’s debt exposure and income to debt ratio so as to make payments more affordable but also help him to budget all spending and manage money more efficiently so as to avoid late or missed payments. Bankruptcy

Last (and we should say “least”), bankruptcy is also an option to bring debt relief to your finances. There are two separate processes but the main idea is to resort to a legal debt elimination system where the debtor’s assets are sold and the creditors collect their money up to the available limit and almost all debts are then cancelled. If at all possible, a repayment alternative with debt reductions is agreed so creditors can collect a higher amount by offering a longer and affordable repayment plan. Otherwise, they have to agree to receive whatever is available and lose the rest of their credit balance.

Joycelyn Crawford is the author of the article you’ve just read. If you want to keep on reading more tips written by her you can visit this website
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Options to Become Debt Free

Regardless of how you got into debt, there are options to get debt free. Which option is best for you will depend on your situation.

The first option is simply to work to pay off your debts on your own. It’s not enough simply to pay the minimum amounts due on each card. Create a budget to determine how much you can afford to put towards paying off your debt. By increasing the amounts you pay each month, you are greatly decreasing the amount of time that it will take you to pay off your debt. It is a good idea to start with the debt with the highest interest and concentrating on getting that paid off, then moving on to the credit card with the next highest interest, etc. This is a good option for those with only a low to moderate amount of debt or who have the willpower to stick to a strict budget.

Another option that people choose for getting debt free is a loan. This could be a debt consolidation or home equity loan. Debt consolidation loans are specifically designed to pay off debt, and generally carry a larger interest rate than normal car or home loans. They also are not available to everyone. A homeowner can generally get a good rate with a home equity loan, but it is not usually a good idea to use it to pay off debt. With a home equity loan you are securing the debt with your home and could be at risk of losing it if you do not pay off your debt.

A third major option is a debt management plan. This type of plan is beneficial for a wider range of people as it can be made to fit your needs. With this plan, you will pay one monthly payment to the debt management company who will then distribute that money to your various creditors. They can usually work with your creditors to lower your interest rates and cancel many fees on your accounts. This will allow you to put more money to actually paying off your debts. In many cases, you can become debt free in three to five years with a debt management plan.

Another option that carries little benefits is debt settlement. Debt settlement companies often promise more than they deliver, so be careful. They will attempt to work with your creditors to allow you to pay only a portion of your debt. After you add on the extensive debt settlement fees and the taxes you have to pay on forgiven debt, you often don’t pay any less than you could have if you had just paid your debts in the first place. Also, there is no promise that they will be able to work out a beneficial deal with your creditors anyway.

A final option is bankruptcy. This is an extreme solution and should only be used when others have failed. While bankruptcy can allow for people to have a fresh start, it also ruins your credit for years to come. Make sure that it is absolutely necessary before you take this step.

Whichever option you take to get free of your debt, make sure that it is the best option for you. A great way to determine which might be best is to talk to an accredited credit counselor who can analyze your situation and give you a proper assessment.

Ronnica Rothe is a graduate with honors from the University of Oklahoma and a current student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She works with to help individuals get out of debt and reach their financial goals.
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When Debt Settlement is Right for you

Debt settlement is a form of debt relief that can be helpful for people who are in specific situations. However, there may be other alternatives that will be more beneficial. If you do choose to go through with debt settlement, there are a few things that you need to know.Debt settlement is for those who have debt that has been charged off and given to a collection agency. Once the debt is with a collection agency, different tactics are used to receive payment from you. Collection agencies are usually more aggressive, using phone calls, letters, and other methods to encourage you to pay them what you owe or to settle with them. Because they bought the debt from the original creditor at a lower price, they are willing to settle for a smaller amount as they can still make money off of it. That is what debt settlement is all about.

You can directly negotiate a settlement with each collection agency and come up with an amount that you both can agree to that can cancel out your debt. Unfortunately, you must pay the amount agreed to in full. No payment plan will be accepted. However, this amount can be significantly less than the original amount owed, so it can give you significant savings.

Once you have settled with a company, you will no longer receive pestering phone calls and letters from them. You will have to repeat the process with each collection agency you have debt with in order to get the matter resolved in full. Your credit report will reflect that you have reached a settlement on that debt, so your credit score will not entirely bounce back. Another benefit of debt settlement is that by settling with the collection agency, you eliminate the possibility of receiving legal action because of the debt in the form of a judgment.

One problem to look out for when settling debt is that forgiven debt larger than $600 is reported to the IRS, and thus subject to taxes. This is a cost that should be considered when determining if debt settlement is right for you. Also, beware of companies who offer to negotiate debt settlement on your behalf. They are not able to obtain any greater benefits than you can do on your own, but they will charge you a large fee to do it. They may also require you to pay them up front while they try to work out a deal with the collection agencies.

If some of your debt is not yet been charged off and is still with the original creditors, you will most likely benefit from a debt management plan instead. This type of plan has you pay off your debt in full over a reasonable amount of time. This can work out because creditors like to see that you are working to pay off your debt and will offer you better interest rates. If this is something that might interest you, talk to a credit counselor today.

Debt settlement is not right for everyone. Before agreeing to any settlement or to work with a debt settlement company, do your homework. Find out if this is the best deal for you. If you are unsure, talk to an accredited credit counselor who is more familiar with the options available and the tricks that debt settlement companies might try to use on you.

Ronnica Rothe is a graduate with honors from the University of Oklahoma and a current student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She works with Personal Financial Network to help individuals get out of debt and reach their financial goals.
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Not All Debt is Bad

So you are in debt-who isn’t these days? We live in a society that encourages people to go into debt. Credit card commercials tell us that a trip to Jamaica is just what we need, regardless of whether we can afford it. (That’s what your gold card is for, right?)

Loan brokers want us to borrow up to 125 percent against our home equity. Even the federal government just had its first balanced budget in a generation and now faces the enormous task of paying off over trillions of dollars in debt.

Yet not everyone is in debt. Many people know how to deal with money. Their debts are manageable, and they have money in the bank. That sounds nice, doesn’t it money in the bank? That is what you deserve. In order to get there, however, you are going to have to change some of your thinking about money and learn a few new methods of dealing with it.

Why Are You in Debt?People who are not in debt think about and treat money differently than the rest of us. They know a few things about money and debt that escape the rest of us. Let’s call them the “financially literate.” If you can begin to relate to money as they do, you will be well on your way to a life that is not only debt-free, but also prosperous. What we hope to do in this book is to show you some of their secrets so you can adapt a few of these ideas and tools to help you get out of debt.

Do not feel too badly if you are not good with a dollar, a lot of people aren’t. Money literacy is not taught in schools, and too often parents are too busy trying to dig themselves out of their own financial hole to help much either. Yet, unfortunately for many of us, we learn more about money from our parents than anywhere else. The good news is that learning how to get out of debt and become more financially literate is not all that complicated.

The first step in the process is to figure out how you created so much debt, because if you don’t figure out how and why you got yourself into this pickle, you might get out of debt, but you certainly won’t stay out. So the first question to ask yourself is: Why did you go into debt in the first place?

Sometimes going into debt is unavoidable, but often it is not. When money is tight, you have several options; going into debt is just the easiest. Instead of choosing more debt, you might have decided to work overtime and make more money, or possibly you could have tightened your belt and spent less money. Debt was not your only choice.

There are many reasons people go into debt: some are good reasons, and some are bad. It doesn’t matter. Did you buy luxuries you could otherwise not afford? Did an illness or a divorce set you back financially? Was debt your way of dealing with some other sudden, unexpected expense? When you look at the reason why you went into debt, the important thing is to notice whether your spending habits follow a pattern. If you can see a pattern, you need to address that pattern as much as the underlying debt.

Consider Mark and Diane. They both make a good living: he’s a psychiatrist, and she’s a psychologist. They have two kids to whom they are devoted. They send both to private school, which costs a total of $15,000 a year, and both kids go to summer camp. This expense adds up.

Mark and Diane don’t buy luxuries, they don’t travel much, and, except for the kids’ expenses, they are very frugal. Yet the only way they can pay for everything is by going into debt. They use their home equity line of credit and credit cards to stay afloat. Although they would like to move to a less expensive neighborhood, they can’t because they have no equity in their home, so they are stuck.

What are they to do? If they are going to get out of debt, something in their lives is going to have to change. The private school is going to have to go, camp may be out, or they are going to have to start making more money. The same is true for you. If you want to get out of debt, you are going to have to identify why you went into debt and change that behavior or pattern.

Good and Bad DebtDebt in and of itself is not a bad thing. Both of us (the authors) were able to start our own businesses because of debt; Steve began his own law practice, and Azriela began her own entrepreneurial consulting business. So we understand what debt is and why some debt is great debt.

Debt allows you to do things you otherwise normally could not do, such as start a business, go to college, or pay for a home. Debt constructs buildings and funds investments and entire corporations-even the government is funded by debt. The trick is to foster debts that help the cause and banish the ones that don’t. Not all debts are bad debts.

Good DebtDebt that helps you, enriches your life, is manageable, and is not a burden can be called good debt. For example, student loans are good debt if they enabled you to get through school and further your life goals. They are bad debt if you dropped out of medical school after one year to become a writer. A good debt helps; a bad debt hinders. We want to help you get rid of that bad debt.

Other examples of debt that may be considered good include:1. Home loans. A mortgage can be a great debt. Not only does it permit you to own your own home, but it also allows you to build home equity. People who are financially savvy earn interest and equity. People who are not financially savvy pay interest and create money for others. For example, charging groceries means that you will pay about 17 percent interest on items that will be consumed within a week. A financially literate person would never do that.

2. Car loans. A car loan can be a fine debt because you get something long-lasting out of the debt. If you need a nice car for your job (if you are a real estate agent, for example), a car loan may be considered good debt because it helps you in your career. However, a car loan that you cannot afford is a bad debt because it detracts from your life.

3. Business loans. If you can service the loan, and it helps you make more money, the loan is good debt, but if the loan is nothing but a source of problems for you, the debt is bad.

4. Credit cards. Credit cards are fantastic. They are convenient and easy. They can help finance a business or even medical emergencies. The problem with them, as you probably know only too well, is that it is too easy to fall under their siren spell and get in over your head before you know it. That’s when they begin to hurt your life more than help it.

Bad Debt BluesHow do you know if your debt is good debt or bad debt? Easy. Bad debts cause stress. You sleep poorly because of them. They cause fights and foster guilt. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell was once asked to define obscenity. Hard-pressed to come up with a definition, Powell uttered the famous line, “I know it when I see it.” The same could be said for bad debt: You know it when you see it, and it certainly can be obscene.

Bad debt seems impossible to pay back. You create bad debt when you charge things you don’t need or when you borrow for things that you consume quickly, such as clothes, meals, or vacations. The things quickly disappear, but the debt has a nasty habit of sticking around, seemingly forever. Bad debts can become very bad debts because of interest and penalties. For example, if you buy a CD player for $200 and don’t pay it off by the end of the year, and your credit card company charges a usurious 20 percent APR (20 percent per year), you owe $220 by the end of the year. If you do this with five items, you owe $1100, and that’s a lot of money.

Money TalksTight for money? Here are some simple ways to save a little extra: Don’t use ATMs at other banks and avoid $2 user fees; cancel your movie channels on cable and save about $20 per month; put all of your change at the end of the day in a jar and save about $50 a month; hold a garage sale and make about $200; cancel your cell phone and save $50 a month.

You can create bad debt when you agree to pay these crazy interest rates that some creditors charge, because the debt seems to grow exponentially. Credit cards are the prime culprit, but they are by no means the only one. High interest can also come with personal loans, business loans, or unpaid taxes.

You know what the bad debt dance looks like, anyone reading this book does: New bills are coming in before you’ve cleared out those from last month. You’re surprised to find that the phone bill is still unpaid. Somehow the dentist was never sent his check. You know what past-due notices look like. Your Visa and MasterCard bills include late payment penalties. The hardware store sends a letter telling you you’re past due and requests that you send a check at once. There is more month left at the end of your money, and payday seems far away. Worst of all, these things don’t surprise you anymore.

Avoidance is a common coping mechanism to deal with a budget that doesn’t balance. The problem is, it can create even more problems than you already have:

Your property could be repossessed. The finance company can come take your car. The electronics store can come take its TV back. You could get sued. If that happens, your wages could be garnished, or your bank account could be levied upon. Imagine your surprise when you go to get that $1,000 out of your checking account to pay your mortgage and you find that it has been seized by one of your creditors.

A lien can be placed on your real estate. Failure to pay a bill now means that a creditor can get a judgment against you and force you to pay it later when you sell your house, only then you will pay it with 10 percent interest per year.

Loss of services. You could lose your insurance or your utility services if you avoid paying those bills.

Yet, as much as you have been avoiding the problem, the truth is that your debts are neither crushing nor hopeless. They are simply a problem-one for which there is a solution. But no one ever eliminated a problem until he or she recognized and admitted that there was a problem. You began to do that the moment you read this articles. As you read it, you will need to begin to formulate a debt-reduction plan that will work for you. As you do, you need to determine which debts are necessary and which are not.

Debts You Want to KeepSteve, one of the authors of this book, is a bankruptcy attorney. One day, an old acquaintance named Bill came into his office and said that he needed some help getting out of debt, but he also wanted to avoid bankruptcy if at all possible. They talked, came up with a plan of action, and Bill went on his way. About four years later, Steve ran into Bill again and asked how things were; Bill relayed the following story.

Bill had $30,000 in credit card debt and was behind two months on his mortgage when he left Steve’s office. That day, Bill finally decided that something had to change. He wanted to pay everyone back, put some money in savings, and keep his house. His mortgage was his largest, and favorite, debt because he loved his house.

Bill’s first order of business was to prioritize his debts. Wanting to save his house, Bill called his lender and found out that it had a program that would enable him to roll his mortgage arrears onto the end of his loan. He was therefore able to keep his most important debt and focus his energies on getting rid of the debts he didn’t want anymore.

Bill put together a credit card repayment plan. He started living a bit more frugally, making some extra money by moonlighting, and paying more on his credit cards than the minimum. He was diligent, but not always perfect. Although it took him several years, he finally did get out of debt. He also kept his house and even created a little nest egg. Bill did it, and you can too.

Debts to Get Rid OfIf you want to prosper financially, there are plenty of debts that you will want to wipe out. The most obvious are those where you are paying high interest and penalties, things such as credit cards, lines of credit, taxes, or any other debt that is much higher than inflation. In this articles, you will see how to formulate a plan that will enable you to get out from under these burdensome debts. But as you contemplate this plan, you also need to prioritize certain debts and pay them on time:1. Rent or mortgage. Make paying your rent or mortgage a top priority. Payments on a home equity line of credit or second mortgage are also essential because you can lose your house if you don’t pay.2. Car payments. Make the payments. If you don’t, the car will be repossessed.3. Utility bills. These services are important, and the bills usually have heavy late payment penalties.4. Child support or alimony. Not paying these debts can land you in jail.5. Taxes. Taxes may be put off for awhile if necessary, and we show you how to do so later on in the book, but if the IRS is about to take your paycheck, bank account, house, or other property, you should set up a repayment plan immediately.

The First Rule of Holes: Stop Digging!The goal of this articles is to help you get out of debt within the context of making your life work. You will not be asked to make radical, unreasonable changes in your life because doing so rarely works. Instead, important, sometimes gradual, small but significant changes can make a big difference.

If you are going to start getting out of debt, you have to stop going into debt. One way to start is to begin to wean yourself from the credit card teat if you think that is part of your problem. You don’t have to cut up all your credit cards; that would be impractical and unreasonable. Start slowly, but build up to it and get strong. You can do it. The only way to stop going into debt is to stop going into debt. You might as well start now because the sooner you start, the sooner you will get out of debt. The longer you wait, the longer it will take.

We will show you how to easily trim your budget (well, almost easily) so that you need not incur more debt to stay afloat. But begin now. You are going to have to stop sooner or later. Down the road you will see that this is one of the most important steps you can take in getting out of debt. You will thank yourself for this gift. Remember the first rule of holes: Stop digging!

Long-Term GoalsNow is the time to begin to think about your long range financial vision. What is it you hope to accomplish by getting out of debt? Changing some habits?

Paying off your MasterCard? Probably what you really want is a less stressful life, one that’s free from money worries. But you can have even more. Getting out of debt is one thing, but prosperity is another thing altogether.

You have read this once already, and you will read it again in this book: If you don’t begin to do some things differently, to change the way you think and treat money, you might get out of debt, but you won’t stay out of debt. If you do make some simple changes to your thinking and your behavior, not only will you get out of debt, but you also will get ahead. You will get what you deserve: a life of abundance.

The Least You Need to Know1. Going into debt for essentials makes financial sense; doing so for nonessentials does not.2. Not all debt is bad debt.3. You may want to keep debts that enhance your life and get rid of the rest.4. Stop adding to your debt right now.5. Cultivate a long-term plan of action. offers comprehensive guide to credit reporting, including information on repairing or rebuilding your credit history.


 offers comprehensive guide to credit reporting, including information on repairing or rebuilding your credit history.
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Avoid Bankruptcy with Credit Card Debt Settlement

Debt settlement is just one of numerous ways to climb out of debt. Debt consolidation and credit counseling are both preferable to debt settlement, but debt settlement may help you avoid bankruptcy or foreclosure if your situation is very serious.

Unfortunately, sometimes it’s not possible to repay your debts in full. If you’ve suffered an extended job loss, an expensive medical emergency or illness, or a death in the family, you may not be able to recover from the debt created by the situation. Rather than file for bankruptcy, which will ruin your credit for 7 to 10 years, you could try debt settlement first.

You have the option of settling your debt yourself, but you’re more likely to be successful if you hire a professional debt settlement service to handle your paperwork and negotiations. A debt settlement company will review your debts and determine which are most likely to be settled. Credit card debt settlement is the most common form. Medical debts are often negotiable. Student loans are not negotiable and mortgages are almost never negotiable.

When you apply for debt settlement, the service will review your accounts and then contact your creditors to negotiate a settlement. Settlements are typically for 30-50% of the balance, but can be as high as 75-80%. In rare cases, your settlement can be as low as 20%. A reputable debt settlement service won’t guarantee a specific rate and won’t offer “credit repair” services in addition to the settlement.

The settlement process can take anywhere from a few months to a few years, depending on the level of your debt. Some services ask you to make debt payments to their escrow service or ask you to set aside the money yourself. Some services require lump sums to pay off negotiated debts while others let you pay over time.

Debt settlement will affect your credit rating. Your creditors will report your accounts as “account settled” or “account settled for less than the full balance.” Although these statements aren’t positive, they’re better than a bankruptcy or multiple current delinquencies. If you’re considering credit card debt settlement, it’s likely that you’re already behind on payments, facing collection, or considering bankruptcy, so debt settlement may actually help you start to restore your credit.

Like debt management plans, debt settlement can also help you learn to change your spending habits and approach to credit card debt. Most settlement services require that you stop using credit cards or taking out loans while you’re in the program. Once you learn to stop relying on credit, you’ll be less likely to fall into debt again.

In addition to the ding on your credit rating, debt settlement has another negative side effect: higher taxes. The IRS requires that all settlements over $600 be reported as income, which means you could be taxed on the amount of the debt you didn’t pay. When combined with settlement fees, you may find that the settlement won’t save you much money over paying the debt in full.

You should also know that creditors are not required to settle your debts. You may have to pay some or all of your debts in full if the settlement service isn’t able to negotiate with your creditors. Creditors will generally make their decision based on your income, payment history, financial situation, and the number and amount of the debts being settled. They’re unlikely to negotiate a greatly reduced settlement if  you’re able to pay most of your other debts or own a home with equity. They’re more likely to negotiate if you’re in collection, about to file for bankruptcy, or have several debts in delinquency because they’d rather receive something than face debt cancellation in bankruptcy court.

Credit card debt settlement should be reserved for dire situations. If you’re on the verge of bankruptcy, then debt settlement is appropriate for you. If you have the means to repay your debts, seek debt consolidation or credit counseling instead.

For more articles on Credit Card Debt Settlement, visit:

Justin has 5 years of experience as financial adviser; his key areas are consolidation, insurance, debt relief, mortgages etc. For more free articles and advice visit
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