Credit card problems are on the rise, and they are not limited to any single age, profession, or income bracket. People from all walks of life can find themselves in need of credit card debt relief when the interest on all those balances starts to add up. Fortunately, there are several ways to get credit card debt relief.
Negotiate Directly with Your Creditors
Though this is often the most uncomfortable option for many people, experts in consumer debt relief suggest that most people can successfully communicate with their creditors to get credit card debt relief. If you’ve had negative economic events occur in your life—such as severe illness, death of a family member, or unemployment—many creditors will work with you to develop a plan that allows you to satisfy your debt and still maintain the essentials: food, shelter, clothing, and adequate transportation.
If you decide to go this route, you should develop a simple, but accurate monthly budget and then make sure that any plan you pursue with your creditor is realistic within the confines of your budget.
Many companies advertise their ability to help consumers with debt relief by means of negotiated settlement of credit card debt. Relief that is obtained in this way usually involves getting the creditor to agree to a payoff that is less than the amount originally owed. If you decide to investigate this option, be careful: the debt settlement industry is largely unregulated, and many unscrupulous operators exist who are more interested in collecting a fee than in providing you with the long-term support you need to get credit card debt relief.
Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions and request lots of backup documentation from the debt settlement company before you sign up for any program. However, debt settlement can be a good option for consumer debt relief, especially in the all-too-common scenario where consumers have multiple creditors trying to collect debts at the same time.
The last resort for credit card debt relief is bankruptcy. You should note, however, that most credit card companies do not want you to file for bankruptcy protection, because they know that their unsecured debt will probably be last in line to receive anything from the court that decides who gets paid, and when. Also, bankruptcy—whether it is an individual filing Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, or a business filing Chapter 11—leaves a long-lasting smudge on your credit history, and can even affect your ability to advance in your career field.
Bankruptcy should not be considered if any other option exists; it is intended as a means of last resort to protect certain eligible assets such as your home or your car. If you are considering bankruptcy, you should consult with an attorney who is familiar with the codes for your state.