For individuals living with large amounts of credit debt, credit card companies are allowing people to negotiate settlements to significantly reduce that debt. But this can be very risky, very tricky business. In order to cut your debt to a fraction of what you owe, creditors will want you to pay your reduced balance in one lump sum. For example, someone who is $10,000 deep in credit card debt and hoping to reduce that balance by even 40 percent will need an extra $4,000 on hand. If you are already struggling to pay your monthly bills, coming up with an extra few thousand dollars will likely not be an easy task.
Costly Burden of Proof
And in order for creditors to even consider settling your debt, you will need to get their attention and prove to them that you are struggling to pay your bills. For most people, the only way to achieve this is to miss several monthly payments, therefore going into default and doing major damage to their credit scores. And because there is always the chance that credit card companies won’t agree to a settlement, you are taking a risk of severely damaging your credit for nothing.
If you are considering settling your debt, it is wise to seek the help of a non-profit debt help program. A professional non-profit agency will have the professionalism and negotiation skills to work on your behalf to increase your chances of a successful debt settlement agreement.
Settlement isn’t the Only Option
It is also important to note that when struggling to get out of high credit card debt, settlement does not have to be your only option. A credit counselor at a non-profit agency will evaluate your current financial situation and help you explore all options that may be available to you. Even if you do have a lump sum of cash on hand to pay your debt at a fraction of the cost, debt settlement can still hurt your credit score. Your credit counselor may be able to help you manage your debt through other avenues such as a debt management program or by even simply helping you with your budgeting skills. You might be surprised at what a difference sticking to a budget can make in your monthly finances. Making cuts and keeping your spending low can allow you to apply more funds to your outstanding debt and bring your balances – and interest rates – down.