Most of us recognize just how damaging credit cards can be when they are not managed properly, worsening financial situations and negating what convenience they might otherwise offer. Clearing the debt can be a daunting task, but adopting a credit card debt settlement plan can ease the strain.
Every year, tens of thousands of Americans find themselves facing huge debts created solely by credit cards. When 4 or 5 different cards are involved, the debt can be $50,000 or more. Along with common personal loans and the cost of keeping a home, clearing existing debts can look impossible.
But a structured card settlement scheme provides a practical framework to work within, helping to make the task to clearing credit card debt that little bit easier.
Debt Settlement Plans Explained
Settling debt is all about negotiating the best possible deal on the actual amount of debt that is owed. A car issuer will agree to a fraction of the actual sum due to them, but is at least guaranteed to get some of their money back. The advantage of a credit card debt settlement for the cardholder is that the debt becomes easier to clear.
Clearing existing debts through a consolidation loan means 100% of the debt repaid, and while this is fine, the fact a larger sum must be borrowed means the loan is more expensive. Also, the cards usually represent only part of what is being cleared, so the savings are not as great as those the settlement plan offers.
Negotiations with the card companies can result in just 50% of the credit card debt being sought. Of course, securing these kinds of reductions is a tricky business, and some careful choices need to be made before negotiations begin.
Getting the Best Deal
The first choice to make is how much a credit card debt settlement scheme is desired. A pretty thick skin is needed when it comes to dealing with card companies, and to start the process, it is necessary to refuse to make any payments. This is to show an inability to pay, thus strengthening your claim for debt reduction.
This move is likely to be followed by threats of impending court action, but understand this is generally an effort to scare people into paying what is owed. Convincing the issuer there is no chance of getting anything is invaluable. Remember, when it comes to clearing existing debts, what is saved can be used elsewhere.
Of course, a key to getting the best reduction in credit card debt is to hire an experienced debt settlement negotiator, and one that is hard-nosed enough to take on the card companies. If the right person is got, then huge reductions can be expected.
Other Terms to Consider
Still, securing the very best credit card debt settlement deal comes down to more than just a good negotiator. The plan needs to start at least 6 months before that step is taken, as that is the minimum period after which a claim of inability to pay can be deemed accepted.
And even if the planning is done perfectly, the whole deal rests on the ability to offer a cash sum in settlement. So, it is essential that a large lump sum is available to clear the debt immediately after the deal is done. This form of clearing existing debts is often referred to as a Now-Or-Never deal.
Finally, remember the deal will also be added to your credit report. It does not have quite the negative influence a bankruptcy ruling has, but clearing credit card debt through a settlement plan means only a fraction of the debt is actually paid. Because officially the debt is never fully repaid, the credit score does not improve.