Americans, including many living here in Virginia, are living, "paycheck to paycheck", barely managing to survive week to week. Add to that, escalating debt from credit cards and other types of unsecured obligations, and the monthly struggle only gets worse. Life in America is difficult and for many the situation is only getting worse.
There is some good news for those people who are struggling to meet their credit card debt and bills, and are seeking proven debt relief options -- ways to reduce credit card debt, with the ultimate objective of getting out of high interest debt completely, in a way that helps to not only reduce stress, but save a substantial amount of money as well.
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Consumers all over the nation are searching in earnest for debt relief solutions that do just that: "provide relief." From "debt consolidation" to debt management plans (DMP) - a type of debt relief managed by credit counseling agencies - to the increasingly popular "debt settlement" which may allow consumers to settle their debt for substantially less than the total owed - whatever solution is chosen, the bottom line is that Americans are in need of debt relief.
Find out how debt relief can help in your current situation. Simply answer a few brief online questions and request your free debt relief analysis and savings quote
Consumer Debt Relief Programs
By whatever name you call it, recent federal government programs, government bailouts or government stimulus programs - by any name - have left consumers wondering where THEIR bailout or government relief is. To be clear, it's not coming, now or anytime soon. There is no such thing as government credit card relief from the consumers. The government did enact a Credit Card Act of 2009 that was signed into law by President Obama and it has been an important step in helping consumers avoid the pitfalls of high interest debt -- but it certainly does not provide a debt relief program or grant to assist consumers who have fallen into the debt trap.
While there is no government debt relief program for consumers, there is some good news:
Consumers in Virginia suffering from the wide variety of unsecured debt problems - most notably, credit card debt - are finding viable debt relief solutions. If you're suffering from overwhelming credit card debt and you've been discouraged, take heart. For many consumers, help is here and it's coming - at least partially - from an unlikely source - the credit card companies themselves. These companies, the very same ones who have charged very high interest rates to consumers, realize that in tough economic times, it makes sense to offer consumers a measure of debt relief through either lower interest rates, the easing of late fees and penalties, or even the settling of debt for much less than what is owed. The bottom line is that many credit card companies and unsecured debt holders are willing to allow work with consumers in distress, in hopes of recouping what they can, when they can, from consumers who are at the brink financially Get your free debt relief analysis and savings quote.
To be sure, the credit card companies understand the downside of a straight bankruptcy because when that occurs, they often walk away with nothing from the consumer. For consumers who do go the route of bankruptcy, unsecured debts are discharged, but the long-term impact on personal credit can be painful. On top of that, new laws which went into effect in mid-2005, established new requirements for bankruptcy. Consumers filing for straight bankruptcy must now qualify by passing a so called "means test." Basically the law requires Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filers to earn less than median, or average, income for a family of comparable size. Income benchmarks are determined on a county-by-county basis, here in Virginia, and nationwide. So statistically persons living in Fairfax County where incomes average among the highest, compared to Lee County where incomes average among the lowest, will have significantly different qualification benchmarks.
With negative effects and tougher bankruptcy laws among other things, the good news for those in a debt crisis or approaching one, is that bankruptcy is not the only choice for those in need of debt relief.
Learn more about your debt relief options. Get your free debt relief analysis and savings quote today.
Credit Counseling - Debt Management
One proven debt relief option is Credit Counseling or debt management. It offers consumers the opportunity to consolidate their high interest credit card debt along with other unsecured debt, by combining debts into a single, more affordable, monthly payment. Credit counseling allows many consumers the opportunity to pay down or reduce their debt at an accelerated rate according to a predictable timetable. For the consumer who's fallen behind, suffering from monthly credit card bills that include high interest charges, late fees and penalties, the situation can quickly get out of hand. However, credit counseling, for the consumer who is willing to stop using credit and get on a proven repayment plan, can not only help to lower levels of stress, but possibly save a substantial amount of money as well.
One of the first things a credit counseling agency debt relief professional will do, is to review a complete list of all unsecured debt and financial obligations that the consumer has. Once completed, the next step will be to map-out a monthly expense and income stream statement to determine with accuracy what the consumer can afford each month to allocate toward the debt management plan.
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Then, once a repayment game plan is developed, the credit counseling agency will then make proposals, on behalf of the debtor, to each unsecured creditor. The objective is to propose to creditors that they reduce interest rates, waive fees and penalties, and possibly allow more manageable or lenient repayment terms.
After the credit card companies review the proposed payment amounts and terms, they may or may not agree to "join" the program. For those that do agree to place their debt into the program, they become part of the DMP or Debt Management Plan.
When these debt relief agreements in place, the consumer may then experience the benefits of debt relief, including the simplicity and ease of a single, more affordable payment made directly to the credit card counseling company, who in terms disburses payments to each creditor who has agreed to be part of the program,
In many cases, this money management program is a welcome relief to the consumer who prior to the plan, was not only typically paying more in interest each month, but often lacked a cohesive personal plan to pay-down the debt in a fast, efficient, and disciplined way. The strategy behind a Debt Management Plan calls for the consumer to discontinue use of all credit cards and by so doing facilitates a reasonable expectation that he or she can be debt free in as little as 3 to 5 years.
Depending on the original amount owed and the specifics of the plan as constructed by the credit counseling agency, a consumer can save a substantial amount of money by consolidating their high interest debt. Referred to by consumers as debt consolidation or credit card debt consolidation, the bottom line is that consumers on a debt management plan have a proven and predictable way to reduce or eliminate debt according on a set timetable -- and potentially save a lot of money in the process.
Get your free debt relief analysis and savings quote by answering a few brief online questions.
Credit Card Debt Settlement
Another popular form of debt relief is Credit Card Debt Settlement, whereby the consumer's goal is to "settle" with the credit card company for less than the full amount owed.
The process of credit card debt settlement normally begins with the consumer stopping his or her regular monthly payments to the credit card companies. These monies are then allocated - essentially put aside so they can grow to an amount large enough to pay off or settle credit cards. Credit card companies are increasingly open to such offers with the policy that, when it comes to collecting from consumers in distress, it may be better to get something, while you can, rather than nothing at all, especially if the consumer declares bankruptcy. These companies realize it's often in their best interest to settle with the consumer rather than to sell that same debt to debt collection companies, often for as little as ten cents on the dollar. Will debt relief help you? Get your free debt relief analysis and savings quote today.
Whichever direction you decide to go when it comes to debt relief - credit counseling or debt settlement, it makes sense to do the proper due diligence before proceeding. Make sure you understand how much debt relief is likely to save you, if any -- how long it will likely take you to experience the benefits of debt relief, and what the potential risks are to your personal credit. In addition, clients entering debt settlement programs who default on the terms of their credit card accounts risk the threat of legal action. Despite the fact that settlement can lead to legal action and hurt personal credit, it is becoming a more and more popular form of debt relief for those who want an honorable way out of debt without walking away completely via a straight bankruptcy,