Debt Elimination 3 Ways To Eliminate And Reduce Credit Card Debt Debt Management Plans A Way To Survive The Debt And Come On Top Debt Elimination Scams A Growing Problem For Consumers
When you are in over your head with credit card debt, relief can seem miles away. Sometimes it seems like you are working as hard as you can to make the minimum payments or even to just barely cover the interest on your balances.If you want to get out of the cycle of credit card debt follow these 3 easy steps and you will be on your way to financial freedom.
1. Switch to a lower rate card.
If you can switch your balance from a higher rate card to a lower rate card, you can save quite a bit of money. Even a card with a 5% lower interest rate will make a difference on the amount you owe on your monthly credit card statement. Take the money you save and apply it to the balance to reduce your debt even faster.
2. Pay on the principle.
It is very easy to fall into the trap of just paying the minimum payment on your credit card statement, but if you make a practice of this, you will never get out of debt. The only way to eliminate credit card debt is to plunge in and pay it off. The more you pay on the principle the less you will be paying in interest, and you will start to see a difference in the amount of money you are being billed each month.
3. Don’t add to your debt.
Make it a rule that the credit cards are only used for special or emergency purchases. Stop buying things like groceries or clothes using your credit card. Chances are if you are going to put an item on the card, you will often end up buying things you hadn’t planned to buy. These impulse buys may be convenient, but they add up, and you will be paying for them long after their usefulness is gone.
Debt Management Plans
Debt Management Plans (DMP) is placed one step beyond credit counseling and a stone’s throw short of bankruptcy. If you are too deep into debt and unable to pay them, a credit counseling agency may recommend Debt Management Plans. This is a serious step that should be considered carefully along with better money management skills and budgeting disciplines.
Similar to prescription medication that you would only take after consulting a licensed physician, Debt Management Plans should start only after you have talked it over with a certified credit counselor. Your certified credit counselor spends the time to review your financial situation, consider alternatives, and help you learn to handle money better. You want to stay out of debt after you get out of it.
What is Debt Management Plans?
In simple terms, your credit counseling organization begins to manage your debts on your behalf through direct interaction with your creditors. They come between you and most of your unsecured creditors, negotiate lower interest rates, eliminate certain fees, arrange payment amounts and prioritize which creditors gets paid first. In short, almost everything that could be done to get you out of debt fast. These plans cover most unsecured debts, like credit card bills, student loans, and medical bills. But secured debts such as real estate loans fall outside of these plans.
Before signing up with a credit counseling organization for a DMP, verify any concessions your particular creditors offer to that organization. All these concessions from your creditors amount to one thing: Lower your monthly payment and still get out of debt faster. In some cases, you will be able to pay you debts, years earlier. Ask your credit counselor how much earlier you will get out of debt if you stayed on course.
When DMP starts, you agree to send one monthly payment to the credit counseling organization and they in turn make all the payments to your creditors for you. In the meantime, you may have to agree not to use or apply for credit while you are participating in the plan.
Is a Debt Management Plan Right For You?
Cover the following with your credit counselor before you decide to participate in a Debt Management Plan.
Find out if there are other options besides the DMP available to you. Is your DMP handled by the same organization that also provides you assistance with money and budget management during and after DMP? If a Debt Management Plan is handled by one organization and another handles your ongoing credit counseling, how will you coordinate the two? Remember you want to stay out debt later.
Find out how enrolling in a Debt Management Plan impacts your credit and your credit score. Negative and accurate information on your credit record is not easy to remove despite any promises made.
Confirm what your monthly payment amount is and if you can afford it. Do not commit to something you cannot follow through.
Credit counseling organization promises concessions they can get from your creditors, such as lowering or eliminating interest charges and late fees. Confirm these with your creditors and see if there is a waiting period before these concessions kick in or do they start as soon as you enroll in a DMP.
Verify that your creditors are paid within the correct billing cycles and before their required payment due date.
Clarify the steps involved in getting status reports on your account from your credit counseling organization. How often? How detailed? Is it accessible by phone? Any hesitancy on behalf of the credit counseling organization to let you verify your account status is a big red flag that means you need to find another organization to help you.
Find out if your creditors are willing to reset the clock on your past-due accounts, wiping out the record of missed and late payments if you sign up with a Debt Management Plan. This process is called re-aging your account. How many payments should you make before your creditors are willing to do this?
What to do after Debt Management Plan starts?
Once you sign up with a Debt Management Plan continue to be active with the process, even though emotionally, you may want to wash your hands away and stay away. DMP does not relieve you of your responsibilities; it only helps you manage it better.
Keep in touch with your creditors and pay your bills until the DMP goes into effect. If you haven’t had any negative entries in your credit report by now, any late payments, late and penalties can still be entered into your credit report.
Contact your creditors and confirm that they have accepted the proposed Debt Management Plan before you send any payments to the credit counseling organization for your DMP.
Call each of your creditors on the first of every month to make sure the agency has paid them on time and verify this by checking your monthly statements. Your monthly statement should also reflect any changes in your interest rates, waiving of the late fees and any other concessions you were expecting.
May you be granted freedom from debts both physical and Spiritually.
Consumers seeking debt assistance are faced with a bewildering assortment of debt companies, services, programs, books, ebooks, and websites. How to tell the scams from the legitimate options? The purpose of this article is to help consumers easily spot and steer clear of one particular scam that is growing through network or multi-level marketing schemes. It goes under different names, such as debt elimination, debt termination, or debt reduction. Such names can certainly apply to legitimate programs as well, and the scammers purposely name their bogus programs with the intention of deceiving consumers and stealing them away from legitimate companies. For the purpose of this article, I’ll refer to it as the debt elimination scam, but be aware that it may be called something different.
So how can you tell this scam from legitimate debt elimination techniques? It’s pretty easy, actually. The scam is based on the bogus “no money lent” argument, where the claim is made that credit card banks cannot loan money legally. Through strange leaps of logic, the scammers claim that credit card banks are actually operating illegally, and so you never really borrowed any money when you used your credit cards! Therefore, you don’t really need to pay anything back. You just have to follow their system and the debts will go away because the banks don’t want this knowledge disclosed to the public!
I realize this may sound ridiculous at first glance, but the con artists are very convincing, and there are dozens of websites promoting this dangerous scam. They refer to publications by the Federal Reserve Board, the Uniform Commercial Code, the Truth in Lending Act, and other public laws to bolster their claims and give an aura of legitimacy to their “program.” I’ve talked with numerous consumers who have been conned out of $2,500, $5,000, even up to $15,000 because they believed the hype that these snake-oil salesmen were peddling. If you’re $30,000, $50,000, or $100,000 deep in credit card debt, it can be very tempting to believe in a magic pill. What if you could pay someone 15% of the debt and make the rest of the debt disappear?
As tempting as the promoters make it sound, the debt elimination techniques they are using simply do not work. About the only thing they accomplish is getting you sued by your creditors. As you might expect, creditors hate this scam, and they come down hard on people trying to use this bogus “no money lent” system. You don’t need to take my word for this. Check out the complaints on ripoffreport.com about Liberty Resources, a debt elimination scam that was shut down in Ohio. Or do some research on New Leaf Associates out of Florida, a scam that was shut down by the Florida Attorney General after consumers were ripped off for millions of dollars. I’ve personally talked to people who were caught up in both of these scams, as well as others who were involved in scams that have not yet been shut down.
I also sometimes receive calls or emails from people promoting this system. Because I am easy to reach and I’m a well-known debt expert, they seem compelled to convince me of the worth and merit of their system. Often, the people contacting me are ignorant of the nature of the scam. That’s because this program is frequently sold through MLM or network marketing systems, and a lot of the people involved simply don’t know any better. I respond by making a simple request, and any “true believers” in this system who happen to read this article can take this as a challenge. All I ask is for a single verifiable court case where a judge agreed with the “no money lent” argument and ruled in favor of the debtor. It’s really that simple. After asking this question for several years, I’m still waiting. No such case exists, despite false claims to the contrary. The response is usually that the company must protect the clients’ privacy, but they have “hundreds of success stories” and have dismissed “millions of dollars” of debt.
Nonsense! The only way this system could possibly work is if a judge ruled on it in court. And since court cases are public record by definition, privacy cannot be an issue here. The “client” gave up any right to privacy when he or she tried to convince a judge that the 50 grand they owed on their credit cards was really just “funny money.” And yet the con artists cannot provide a single solitary case in support of their outrageous claims. (Note to scammers: Don’t waste my time emailing me with your threats or your legal mumbo-jumbo. I’ve heard it all before. Just send me the civil docket number for a single case where your “client” won in court using this system, and identify the court venue so I can look up the case myself online. Simple enough, right? I won’t hold my breath though.) In fact, the “no money lent” argument has been shot down in court on multiple occasions. When confronted with this embarrassing fact, the scammers simply reply that the courts are part of a “conspiracy” to keep this information from the public!
The absence of any verifiable documentation is the red flag that tells you this scheme simply doesn’t work. But let me take this a step farther. Let’s set aside for a moment the whole question of the legal basis for the “no money lent” argument. Let’s take a huge silly leap for a moment and say that the system is valid from a legal perspective. Well, it’s STILL not going to work for the average consumer! Why? Two reasons. First, it requires a fight in court, and the average consumer wants to go to court over debt-related matters about as much as they want to have multiple root-canals without anesthetic.
Second, nothing gets resolved this way. I’ve worked with thousands of people struggling with serious debt problems. I talk to people in this situation every day. I can’t think of a single instance where the person’s priority was anything other than to GET THE MATTER RESOLVED PERMANENTLY. The techniques used by the debt elimination scammers do not achieve any resolution at all. Even if the debtor successfully gets a creditor to back off from its collection effort, all that will happen is the creditor will sell the account to a debt purchasing company, who will then try to collect all over again. So the whole process will have to be repeated, over and over again as the debt gets sold multiple times down the line. There is no resolution here. Just a bag of useless tricks. Boil it all down and here is what the debt elimination scammers are telling you: Walk away from your debts, don’t pay, and duck and cover. That’s it. It’s a lot of hot air and bogus nonsense, and it only exists because debt-weary consumers are desperate for solutions.
If you have become the victim of a debt elimination scam, I urge you to take action. Demand a refund in writing. Complain to the Better Business Bureau where the company is located (assuming you can even find them), complain to your state Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission. And then get on the phone with your creditors and explain that you were misled and that you would like to work things out in good faith. It may be necessary for you to formally retract any documentation that the scammers sent to your creditors. Consumers may also feel free to email the author for further advice or information on this subject..
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