A Debt Settlement Plan is an excellent financial option if you find yourself struggling to pay your bills, but are still solvent. In other words, you have more assets than liabilities and are able to pay your debts on time.
If you choose to proceed with a debt settlement plan, the best choice is to hire an experienced debt settlement firm to represent you. The firm will approach your creditors and negotiate on your behalf to reduce your debt.
These companies usually require that you have a minimum of $10,000 in unsecured debt (unsecured debt includes debt from sources such as credit cards, lines of credit, or personal loans that are not secured by a physical asset), as well as a steady source of income and the ability to repay at least 50-60% of your debt.
The debt settlement plan can be negotiated to involve specific creditors. Once you have set up a plan, you stop paying your monthly bills to the creditors involved and instead make a specified monthly payment to your debt settlement plan. These payments are then used to pay a portion of your debt to each creditor.
Most people who enrol in debt settlement plans are able to reduce their debt by about 50% and reach a settlement with their creditors to pay off the plan within three years.
The main disadvantage is that it will have a negative impact on your credit rating. However, if you’re serious about reducing your debts and not trying to borrow more money, a poor credit rating shouldn’t have a major impact on your life. Over time, you can gradually restore your credit rating by making smart financial choices. You can even get a secured credit card to give you access to the convenience of a credit card, without acquiring more debt or incurring interest charges.
The major advantage of a debt settlement plan is that it can immediately improve your cash flow, allowing you some breathing space in your monthly finances. When your creditors agree to the settlement and it is paid, there is no chance that you will receive collection calls or be the target of legal action.
You can target your debt settlement plan to include specific creditors, reducing your debts enough to allow you to get back on your feet financially. If you’re struggling to make ends meet every month, this can be a real stress reliever.
Your fees to the company representing you are paid out of your debt settlement fund, so you don’t have an extra payment to make. This also ensures that the fees are within your budget and affordable.
It’s important to choose a reputable debt settlement company that has been in business for a long time and has a solid track record. Unfortunately, there are unreliable companies out there so you have to be careful to choose a firm that you trust and that feels right to you. If unsure, you can always check with your local BBB.
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