If you’re in big trouble with debt,it can feel as if you were trying to climb Mt. Everest while carrying a 75-lb. backpack and with no end in sight. You try your best but your credit card statements just keep piling up and those debt collectors just keep calling and harassing you.
If you’re typical
If you’re typical,you want to do the right thing. You want to pay off those debts but you just can’t see how this would be possible. You may even be experiencing some physical symptoms as the result of the stress you’re feeling. So how could you achieve debt relief?
One way to get your debt under control is through debt consolidation. The two most common ways to do this are through a loan or a debt management plan.
A debt consolidation loan
Depending on your circumstances,you might be able to get a loan large enough to pay off all of your debts. Of course,the more you owe,the harder it may be for you to get a loan. If you have an asset such as a house that you could pledge as collateral,you may be able to get a second mortgage or home owner’s equity line of credit big enough to pay off all your debts. You would have a lower monthly payment than the total of the monthly payments you’re making now but it would probably take you five years or longer to pay off that loan.
What’s a debt management plan?
A debt management plan is where you sit down,evaluate all of your assets and debts,and then put together a plan for repaying what you owe. Of course,once you determine how you’ll repay your debts,you will need to contact all of your creditors and talk them into accepting your plan. As an alternative to doing this yourself,you could go to a local credit-counseling agency for help. A credit counselor would then review your finances,help you develop a payment plan and negotiate with your creditors to have them accept it. You would then send the counseling agency a check each month and it would then pay your creditors. While this can provide some immediate debt relief,you will have to surrender all of your credit cards and make sure you make those monthly payments regularly and on time.
A third way to get debt relief is through a strategy called debt settlement. You contact your creditors and offer to settle your debts on the spot – for much less than you actually owe. You will need to stop making payments for probably six months before you contact your creditors and you must be prepared to negotiate hard. You will also need to have the money in hand to make the actual settlement. In other words,if you were to settle a debt for $2,500,you would need to have that $2,500 ready to either wire to your creditor or to send to it in the form of a cashiers check.
File for bankruptcy
The ultimate way to get debt relief – in just three to six months – is to file for a chapter 7 bankruptcy. This would clear most of your unsecured debts,such as your credit card debts,but would leave a mark on your credit report that could haunt you for up to 10 years.
Only you can decide
Which of these options would be best for you to achieve debt relief? That’s a decision only you can make. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each of these alternatives to ensure that whichever you select will help you get debt relief the quickest and easiest.