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Consumer Debt in America
At the close of 2017, consumer credit card debt in America reached close to $1 trillion. Credit card balances continued to climb and most consumers laid the blame on their own unnecessary spending. The average household that carried credit card debt had an average balance of just under $16,000.Living costs have increased compared to income. A significant rise in medical costs and food prices compared to income have contributed to this negative cycle.
Pay Off Debt In Monthly Installments
If your debt is manageable, you can pay off your debts in monthly installments and manage the entire process on your own. You should keep in mind that if you can only afford to make the minimum monthly payment, you may be in for a long ride.A $2,000 credit card balance that carries an 18% annual rate can take just over 30 YEARS to pay off in you only make the 2% minimum monthly payment every month.
Work With a Debt Settlement Company
Debt settlement is an increasingly popular option. Debt Settlement companies negotiate with your creditors on your behalf. The goal is to reduce the total amount you owe, have the creditor take a loss on the remaining debt balance, and agree to a new deal with creditors to make monthly payments over a 2 to 5 year period. A debt settlement program will negatively affect your credit score but it will allow you avoid bankruptcy and your credit score will likely improve once you complete the program.
Qualify for a Debt Consolidation Loan
A debt consolidation loan is the process of combining many unsecured debts (credit cards, medical bills, etc.) with high interest rates into one loan with a lower monthly payment. If your goal is to become debt free, a good debt consolidation loan should bring you monthly savings and help you improve your credit score.
What is a Debt Management Program?
A debt management program is somewhat similar to debt settlement program. A fundamental difference is that you must hand over control to the agency and allow their representatives to negotiate and make the payments on your behalf.It will also negatively affect your credit score but will allow you to avoid bankruptcy.
Filing bankruptcy is generally the last resort. If you are unable to pay your debts and you don't see any other way out, you should contact a bankruptcy professional to get legal advice. You should keep in mind that in a bankruptcy, you are at risk of losing all your assets and possessions. A bankruptcy will negatively impact your credit score for the long term and it is up to the court to decide if you qualify for a Chapter 7 (entire debt wiped out) or a Chapter 13 (a percentage of the debt will be wiped out).