Are you in over your head in credit card debt? It happens all the time to many, many people. This is why there are some debt management / relief / counseling programs available to help people get a better handle on their situation. The creditors themselves are often more willing to negotiate and be more lenient towards those who join a credit card debt relief program.
You could always try bankruptcy but that will leave your credit reports pretty much unsalvageable for 5 or more years. It might not be too late to work out a deal to make it easier for you to just pay the current debts off.
Unfortunately, not all debt management / relief programs are helpful. Some are outright scams. One thing to always look for is a free savings estimate. Any potential fees should come later on. It’s also good if the company doesn’t charge fees for counseling sessions. Should you qualify for some type of “Performance Based Debt Settlement Program”, fees that you might be responsible for should only be charged as your debts are settled. In other words, look for a credit card debt relief company that only charges performance-fees AFTER your free consultation.
The ideal company will also be upfront and honest about what they can help you with and what they cannot. If it’s only credit card debt you need relief for, there shouldn’t be a problem. However, there are some debts that you will always be responsible for, such as lawsuits, government / auto /student loans, utility bills, mortgage loans, and other secured debts. In some states, there might be tax debt relief solutions and in others there might not be, depending on the laws.
Memberships of Credit Card Debt Relief Companies
Pay close attention to the memberships and certifications of a particular debt relief companies. It’s a good sign if a company is certified by the IAPDA (International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators) and is a US Chamber of Commerce Member.
As with any business in any industry, take the time to check for Online Business Bureau ratings. You’ll obviously want to work with an organization in “Good Standing”. Read reviews from others who have used online credit card debt relief programs as well. The number of years a debt relief company has been in business is an important criterion as well. The better ones have been around for at least 20 years.