Having credit cards is a pleasure because your spending power seems to be quite unlimited, up to your credit limit, that is. Because of this seemingly unlimited spending power, people lose track of the money they spend. Since cash is not taken out every time a credit card purchase is made, most people think that they can afford the things or services they have just purchased, but in reality they cannot.
This is when problems arise and people are burdened with so much credit card debts that they often think that they have no way out.
However, there are actually two ways to get out of credit card debts – one is to get credit card counseling and the other one is to file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy should be the last option because it can be very damaging to one’s credit standing. Bankruptcy means that the individual has given up trying to settle his debts, and it proves to be quite costly in the future because things like rent and further credit cannot be granted for the next seven years.
Credit card counseling should be the way to go before you consider filing for bankruptcy. Counseling will help an individual find ways to remedy his situation. A hard fact regarding getting credit card counseling is that it will affect one’s credit score. A negative comment and a drop in your score will be noticeable for the entire period that you are undergoing credit card counseling.
However, you should not worry about this, because it is only temporary and it will be removed as soon as you finish your credit card counseling sessions. During the duration of the counseling session, you cannot apply for credit with other lenders and credit card companies.
Whether you see it as a disadvantage or an advantage, credit card counseling services can help reduce your interest rates as well as your minimum payments. They may even be able to delay your monthly installments and have your credit limit increased.
Increasing credit limit can be seen as a disadvantage because of the huge temptation it brings to the borrower. An increase in credit limit means an increase in the spending power of the borrower, which may lead him to get into more debts like before.
Credit card counseling may not be applicable in every situation, because some companies may require you to have some funds to cover for your credit card consolidation plan. If you do not have the necessary funds, credit counselors may charge certain fees for their services, and in the end, they may suggest that you file for bankruptcy.
You have to prove yourself to these counselors that you can actually pay your creditors in the long run, because if not, then the services they offer will be futile.