If you have gotten behind on your payments and you have accumulated a lot of credit card debt or other consumer debt, then there is a good chance that debt settlement has been presented to you as an option for your debt management. Though it might seem like the reduced interest rates and lowered balances are a good way to go about debt management, this isnít always true. Debt settlement might save some cash, but itís not exactly an ideal solution.
Debt settlement is not quite a last resort for most folks, but it doesnít come around unless you have been quite behind on payments. Though it varies depending upon which company you owe money to, the standard length of time you have to be behind in order to qualify for settlement is usually between three and six months. This means that by the time the companies offer this solution, you have already taken quite a credit hit. In addition, thereís a good chance that you have had to dodge collection calls from numerous creditors.
There is another trend that is growing among people with a large amount of debt. They are hiring debt settlement companies to help guide them through this unique debt management process. It might seem like a good idea to get someone to guide you through the process and hold you hand, but in actuality, these companies can do much more harm than good. Debt settlement companies will take your credit card debt and lower it, but it will come at a premium. They charge often exorbitant fees and they often push debt management solutions onto you that arenít fit for your situation. Simply put, not everyone is right for debt settlement. Since these companies make their money off of commission fees, they have no incentive to tell you such details.
There are certain debt management alternatives to working with a debt settlement company. Though it is tough to know when a creditor will come to you with a debt settlement solution, you can bet that they will eventually extend such an offer. After all, credit card companies and other lenders are always looking to get their money back. They would rather settle with you at a highly reduced rate rather than have you declare for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is just as bad for creditors as it is for your credit. Waiting these companies out will hurt your credit, but it is sometimes the only option. That way, you can scrape together enough money to make a large settlement payment.
Effective debt management is about pursuing all of the different options that are presented in order to make the best decision possible. Debt settlement is certainly one of those options and can certainly look attractive for someone with a large amount of credit card debt. It is important to take a look beneath the surface of these different offers, however, in order to see what potentially lethal effects that they might have.