Many times when you fall behind in your personal finances and have a number of credit cards that are long overdue a wise decision is to consider debt settlement. Debt settlement is exactly what is sounds like; a settlement of your debt between you and your credit card companies. For example, if you owe a credit card $20,000 and you are over 90 days past due on your payment, the credit card company may offer to take $12,000 as payment and consider the debt paid in full. Why would they take less?
Think of it this way; the credit card companies would rather get something than nothing and chances are that if a person falls behind by 90 days, their situation is not likely to improve any time soon. The only other option for the credit card companies is to turn your account over to a collection agency, but this costs money and if you aren’t paying them why would you pay a collection agency?
Many times you can simply wait for an offer from the credit card company that will come in the way of a letter or a phone call but you can also opt to hire a debt settlement company to do the work for you on some or all of your credit cards. Yes, these companies will charge you a fee, but they may be able to save you thousands of dollars in the long run and it may be worth it to hire them to negotiate your debt for you.
When you hire a debt settlement company you will usually have to pay their fee upfront and make monthly payment to them that they will hold until a settlement has been reached with your creditors. Unfortunately, until settlement is reached, the harassing phone calls that you may be receiving will not stop. If you opt for the hiring of a debt settlement company here is what to look for:
• Accredited: Do not overlook this. Make sure that any company you consider is accredited by the Association of Settlement Companies or ASC for short. There are a lot of scam companies that keep popping up and taking advantage of those who do not know better so don’t fall for their tricks.
• Guarantee: If the debt settlement company you are looking into will not guarantee their performance then walk away because there are plenty of others out there that will.
• Licensed: Some states will require special licensing from the debt settlement companies and you need to check with your state to see if this applies.
One warning here; if you do settle your debt it will hurt your credit score. But if you are more than 90 days behind on your credit card payments then chances are that your credit score is not the best anyway. While it may be a last resort, settling your debt with your credit card companies is an option that you may need to consider. Just be sure that you consider wisely and do your homework before giving any debt settlement company your hard earned money.