In these days of financial insecurity, American consumers are doing their best to balance out their finances. They are trying to make sure that they have enough savings or credit to their name in case a serious emergency should come up. Unfortunately, with the economic crisis hardly slowing pace, massive layoffs, rising unemployment and debt interest rates soaring to record levels, that is proving to be very difficult. What makes it even more difficult is that many of these American consumers are also carrying heavy debts.
Getting rid of debt is, without a doubt the first step for anyone who wants to balance out their finances. The monthly interest and penalty fees by themselves can already ruin a budget. There are many ways to get out of debt. Consumers usually go with the “do-it-yourself” or DIY approach. However, there are many things to be said about seeking the help of professionals. While a DIY approach can work, a professional often has more experience and access to information and resources that a normal consumer does not have.
Here are three professional options that debt laden consumers can access to get a handle on their debts.
Credit counseling is where consumers should first seek out help for debt problems. When consumers go for credit counseling, the counselor takes a look not only at their debts but on their whole financial picture. Spending habits, payment habits, monthly expenses, monthly income and many other details are taken into consideration when a credit counselor creates a financial picture of a consumer. By doing this, the counselor can then help the consumer formulate a workable setup for debt payments. Counselors can also negotiate with lenders for consumers to give them better debt payment arrangements.
For consumers who have multiple debts, debt consolidation may be the best solution for them. In debt consolidation, consumers take out a large loan which can cover all their other debts. The end result is that the consumers reduce their multiple debts into one debt. Debt consolidation can also mean better interest rates and lower monthly payments for consumers, provided they shop around for options and choose wisely.
Debt settlement is a type of debt management service wherein the debt settlement negotiates for a better monthly payment setup for their consumers. According to debt settlement advocates, the service can settle debts much faster than other debt management services. They even claim that debt settlement companies can arrange for the consumer's debt to be lowered by an appreciable percentage.
Debt settlement is a hot topic in the financial world nowadays. There has been some controversy over shady debt settlement offers that ended up costing the consumer more. However, this does not mean that all debt settlement companies are questionable. Consumers looking for reliable debt settlement companies are advised to make sure that the debt settlement company that they choose is affiliated with the proper authorities.