Credit Card Debt Settlement

 

What is Debt Settlement?


Can A Debt Settlement Program Work For Me?

       Over the past three years since late 2005 millions of Americans are finding that dealing with the seemingly never ending minimum payments which we refer to as the, “Credit Treadmill”, is becoming more and more impossible to maintain. The current national average credit card debt per person exceeds $9,000. This debt amount is high and makes you wonder how someone can get so deep into debt, you might ask “don’t they pay attention to their statements”?

     The answer is yes they do but first we must understand what is the credit card company’s main focus. That is to get you to pay this month’s minimum payment not the entire balance of what you owe this is how they make their profit.
     Let’s face it by the time you receive the statement it can feel like it was ages ago when you made those charges. Americans have become so dependent on using their plastic it becomes a major mental exercise just to attempt to recall all the charges from the previous month.

     As Murphy’s Law would have it some other financial problem develops that requires immediate attention like replacing a broken washing machine or the need to get a repair done on a vehicle. So, you pay the minimum payment and make a promise to yourself to pay off the balance next month.
     But before you know it, almost like magic you look over your shoulder and wham you are shocked by the huge mountain of debt behind you and are left wondering how did I get here?

     When the economy is good many people manage to get by although paying back on their monthly credit card debt. This is when their credit card monthly minimums total about 10% of your gross household monthly income. But not until their monthly credit card debt expenses starts to exceed 15% is when the stress and tension begins to creep in.

     Push that total debt to income number to 20 or 30% of your monthly income it’s only a matter of time before the other shoe comes down. The problem is most Americans don’t comprehend that each time they charge on a credit card and carry the balance they are spending their future income. When the economy changes, (the next recession) many people also suffer a reduction in income, now that monthly debt expense quickly turns into 50% of their monthly income to pay the same monthly minimums!

     Now this is when it really starts to get tricky making all those credit card monthly payments. Many start to rob Peter to pay Paul, borrow from one card to pay another, in desperate hopes that their luck will change soon. But once the credit line is maxed the next shoe starts to come down and they start to rack up late charges.
     This is when it really starts to look ugly, the minimums sometimes double and the majority of your payment goes to interest, not your principle. At this point most people feel that they are at the end of the line and start looking for help.

     One type of help is contacting a credit card sponsored debt management company (CCCS), what they quickly find out is that the minimum payments required is usually equal to or higher than what they are paying now! Next they think bankruptcy, but since the passing of new law in 2005 it has made it almost impossible to file if you have a job and any assets.

    So what can you do? Well let’s start with the basics, first there is the lender who extended the money or credit, next there is the debtor, this is the person who accepted the loan or credit. Lenders also known as creditors are in business to make money, but like all businesses the higher the return that they are trying to get the greater the risk of loss. Banks are very aware of this, so understand that every business model involving lending of money expects that in a normal line of business each year there will be write offs. In other words people who for whatever reason will not be able to pay back their debts.

    Now if you are in the previous mentioned scenario then debt settlement might be the last chance. First understand that calling the original creditor to negotiate to pay back less than the balance when you’re current with your monthly minimums will usually bring unsatisfying results. They will tell you to pay in full and the will be no room for negotiations, no matter how bleak you tell them your situation is or any bankruptcy threats you give them.

    The only way they will be willing to listen is when you have stopped paying them. Debt Settlement is strictly business in the eyes of creditors but the average debtor takes it to a personal level which leaves most people in an uncompromising position. The average debt settlement has too many facets for the average emotionally driven debtor to truly understand what it takes to strike the best deal.

   The average collector is driven by business motives and is trained to feed off the emotions of the unsuspecting debtor. You must keep in mind that debt settlement is not a new process it has been going on for many years; once you get past the emotional level of being in default you will come to understand that it is just part of doing business for the creditor.

    The term debt settlement means "to compromise for satisfaction"! Put another way, it's an agreement to accept less, for an existing debt. Compromise is an agreement to perform some action, while satisfaction is the actual performance. The bottom line is collectors are always willing to accept less if you know how to approach them correctly, if you don’t you can make your situation much worse. Like with repairing  what looks to be a simple home light switch can be very dangerous and you can get burnt badly, why take the chance when you can have a trained electrician fix it and get it done right the first time.

    The reason is that most people attempt to do it themselves is because they are only thinking about saving money first. Now saving money is great when you’re shopping at the grocery store. But trying to save money on something you know little or nothing about can many times cost you more money in the end. The same goes for debt settlement if you don’t know what works and what doesn’t for every individual creditor you should leave it to an expert.

    If you’re considering debt settlement first get the information you need to make an educated choice for your financial future.

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