Debt Settlement (often referred to as debt resolution or debt negotiation) can be a great option for people with more serious financial hardships. Your program specialist will negotiate with your creditors to reduce the balance owed. This is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to resolve your unsecured debts while avoiding bankruptcy. The downside of this option is that it could have a negative effect on your credit score. However, if your top concern is to resolve your debts quickly for a lower total cost, debt settlement may be the right solution for you.
If you are having difficulty paying your bills each month and need moderate debt relief, credit counseling may be an effective option. A counselor can help you set up a realistic payment plan and negotiate lower rates with your creditors. However, if your situation is more severe, credit counseling may not be enough to help you reduce your debt.
Debt Consolidation Loan
People who qualify for debt consolidation loans usually have strong incomes and good credit. If you have many high interest rate debts and are juggling multiple accounts, debt consolidation can help you lower your monthly payments and get out of debt faster. The most common type of debt consolidation loan is a cash-out refinance. This shifts several of your unsecured debts into a single, new debt that is secured by your home. Make sure to keep up with your payments though, or else you could end up losing your house.
Bankruptcy is often considered something of a last resort, but in some cases, it may be the right option. Due to changes in bankruptcy law, it is now much more difficult to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in which the filer is completely cleared of any obligation to repay his/her debts. This pushes more people to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy instead. People who file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy still need to repay at least a portion of their debts over time. The decision to file for bankruptcy should not be taken lightly. The effects are serious and can taint your credit report for as long as 7-10 years.