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Debt settlement isn’t usually the best option

Looking at debt settlement to help rid yourself of credit card debt?

Credit cards are a huge problem in the U.S. A May 21st New York Times article reported that the Standard & Poor’s/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices shows that the default rate on credit card loans recently climbed to its highest point, 9.14 percent, since the index first began in 2004.

So more people are no longer paying their credit card bills. What are those people who’ve stopped paying on their credit cards doing about their credit card debt?

Hopefully, they’re not paying a debt settlement company to try and “get out of debt.” There are a few cases where using a debt settlement company may be appropriate, but not many. Many debt settlement companies take large fees and tell you to stop paying on your credit card bills. They take monthly payments from you for a long time. Then they make offers to your credit card companies to settle your debts.

Sound like something you can do by yourself without paying the high fees? Yeah, there’s a reason for that – it is.

But many people who are taking the debt settlement route should consider bankruptcy instead. If you’re thinking about pursuing the debt settlement route, ask yourself, “why did I decide that bankruptcy wasn’t for me?” Was it fear? A belief that bankruptcy is too difficult?

You owe it to yourself – and your financial health – to first take the time to do some research. Look around online. The bankruptcy courts have their own websites with plenty of information for potential filers. It can’t hurt you to take the time to educate yourself. You need to know what the potential benefits of bankruptcy are before you commit to the high fees charged by a debt settlement company.

Photo by Alan Cleaver.

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