Credit is so easy to gain nowadays – it’s not wonder why so many people are in unmanageable debt. If you are slow in making payments or often miss payments, you are not alone. Before you file for bankruptcy, you should consider the following options.
Debt Consolidation Loan
One solution is to get a debt consolidation loan. Simply put, you will find a lender who will loan you the entire amount of your debts. You pay off your creditors and make one monthly payment on your consolidation loan. The purpose of doing this is to avoid having to pay many different creditors.
If you find a consolidation loan with a lower interest rate than the current rates that you are paying, you will save money in the long run.
Some individuals get consolidation loans in the form of home equity line of credit or a personal loan from the bank. Again, as long as the interest rate is lower, you will save from having to pay for finance charges. If you are having a hard time getting an unsecured loan, you might want to opt for a secured loan. A secured loan is backed up by collateral, usually your home or other personal possessions.
Another solution to debt problems is to contact a credit counseling agency. A qualified agent will review your current financial state and take the steps necessary to help you get your debt under control. They will most likely contact your current creditors to negotiate repayment terms in the form of a lower interest rate or reduced monthly payment. To find a good credit counseling agency, conduct a search online or browse your local phone book. Remember to check the agency for legitimacy by asking questions about fees and accreditation.
A credit counselor will also sit with you to discuss your financial future. They will teach you basic personal finance management skills and will help you create a budget you can live with. Sometimes, they may ask you to cut up your credit cards so you can avoid future debts.
Debt Management Programs
You can usually enlist in a debt management program through a credit counseling agency, or find one for yourself. In such a program, an agent will review your financial situation and ask you a few questions to make sure you qualify. They will likely negotiate repayment terms with your creditors to lighten your obligations. They will then add up the total amount of debt and figure out a monthly payment for all your bills combined. You simply send the agency a payment and they will make sure that your creditors are paid the right amount.
Again, you should do your research to find a good debt management program. Find a not-for-profit agency that has been accredited or recommended by trusted associations. Enlisting the help of a less-than-legitimate firm can get you in further financial trouble because some agencies will hold your payment longer than necessary so your money can gain interest for their own profit.