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Being in debt is a problem that is being experienced by more people now than ever before. It is often caused by circumstances beyond our control, such as loss of job, illness or marital break up, or it can be something that builds up gradually due to a general shortfall between what we spend and what we earn. The current economic downturn has certainly made the situation far worse for thousands of people.
A surprising number of people ignore the problem for far too long, which usually results in the situation becoming even worse than it needs to be and that much more difficult to deal with. One of the most important things you can do when you start getting into debt is to seek help to change your situation rather than just hope it will go away (it never does). By finding this website you have taken that important first step towards being able to pay off debt and start again with a clean slate.
Unlike most websites you will come across when searching for help with debt problems, this one is not trying to sell you anything. My intention is to provide free help and advice on all the possible ways there are to pay debt off and get your life back in balance. I do not provide any debt service direct, so the information you find will be unbiased and honest.
Do bear in mind that most websites on debt represent a single company that has a financial interest in persuading you to sign up for one of their products. On this site, however, you will find that my advice is to shop around before deciding who you want to help you. It is very easy these days to apply for debt help online without any commitment whatsoever, so you can quickly and easily approach a few companies and compare their advice and proposals.
One of the most important things you can get from this website is an understanding of the different options available to help you pay debt off. By having a good grasp of what solutions will work best for what situations, you are in a much better position to make a judgement about where to go for help or how to tackle your problem. The following are some of the main routes you can take to pay debt off.
Debt consolidation loans are one of the most commonly used options for dealing with debts, but this is often just because they are easily available and fairly easy to understand. They are not always the best solution, and will frequently lead to you spending more money in the long run. As a general rule, it is not a good idea to attempt to deal with debt by taking on even more debt.
The main issue with paying off debts with a new loan is that you need to work out the overall cost of the loan, not just look at the monthly payment. The loans are sold on the basis that they leave you with only one debt, and your monthly payment will be less than you were paying out before. This may be true, but if you are having to keep on making that monthly payment off two years longer than the date by which your old debts would have been paid back, it can have cost you much more in the long run.
These are also known as debt consolidation, but no new borrowing is involved, which is a good start. The focus on these payment plans is to immediately reduce the charges on your debt and begin to reduce the amount of debt you have straight away. This focus on getting your debts down and reducing your ongoing costs is a sensible approach.
What happens is that the debt management company will work out new deals with all your creditors to reduce what you pay in interest and other charges. You are left having to make only one, smaller payment to the debt company, instead of lots to all your creditors.
For US residents with very serious amounts of debt, there is the option of debt settlement. This has had a bit of a bad name due to less than scrupulous practices by a few unethical companies, but recent changes in US law have helped with this. The practice of charging large up front fees without necessarily delivering results is now not allowed.
Debt settlement is designed for people who are unable to pay back everything they owe. The principle is that you negotiate with creditors to write off a substantial part of the debt in return for a lump sum payment of the balance. Creditors are only likely to agree to this if your situation is so serious that you may conceivably consider bankruptcy as an alternative. The thought of perhaps getting none of their debt back is the incentive for the creditors to settle for less.
The final alternative is to negotiate debt settlements with creditors directly yourself. By not using debt settlement companies you avoid having to pay them a share of whatever you manage to get written off.
The option you choose to pay off your debts will depend very much on the circumstances you find yourself in. For further information on the details and specific requirements for each option, please see the relevant pages of this site.
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