The two most feasible options for people struggling to pay off debts are debt counseling and debt consolidation. But most people feel overwhelmed when they need to choose between these two options. It is worth mentioning that each method has its advantages and disadvantages. So before you select a suitable debt relief program, it is advisable to analyze your financial situation as well as check the two options properly. Therefore, let us discuss these two options in detail to know which one will be favorable for your financial situation.
Credit counseling/debt counseling
What is credit counseling?
Credit counseling is a process where a credit counselor educates the debtor about various debt relief options, money management techniques, and budgeting. This process also provides guidance to debtors to eliminate debt.
The credit counseling agency assists the indebted people to get out of debt. The firm guides the debtor to manage the financial situation effectively.
What is the function of credit counseling?
A certified credit counselor guides the debt-stricken consumers to get out of debt.
When you opt for credit counseling, the credit counselor will formulate a budget plan after reviewing your financial situation so that you can manage your finances. He will design a repayment plan to make the owed amount affordable to pay off.
Effect of credit counseling on credit score
Your credit counseling session will not bring down your credit score as the effect of this program will be negligible on your credit score. The credit counselors prevent consumers from applying for new credit cards and incur fresh debt. They also prevent consumers from using a credit card in the wrong way, which can hurt the FICO score in the future.
What is debt consolidation?
Debt consolidation is a process of merging your multiple debts with a consolidation loan at a favorable interest rate. You can prolong your repayment plan, which will help to lower your monthly payment.
How can you consolidate your debts?
You can take out an unsecured consolidation loan from a bank to combine your debts. If your credit score is low, then you might not be able to get the loan on the affordable interest rate.
Try to opt for a secured debt consolidation loan if you are looking for low-interest loans. You can take out a loan against a security deposit on favorable terms. But, keep in mind that, if you default on your payment, then you might lose possession over your assets.
You can even hire services of a debt consolidation company if you are unable to manage your debts. This company can help you to get a consolidation loan at an affordable interest rate. You need to find a reputable debt consolidation company with Better Business Bureau accreditation.
There is yet another way to consolidate your debts, and that is by enrolling in a debt consolidation program. Here the debt counselor associated with the company will negotiate with the creditors to lower the interest rate on the principal balance. He might instruct you to skip payments so that the creditors agree to lower the repayment plan. When you skip payments, your credit score might drop initially. But once you start making payments, it will eventually increase.
What is debt settlement and what is its effect?
If you can’t manage your multiple debts due to lack of income and the debt collectors are giving you harassing calls throughout the day, you can enroll yourself in a debt settlement plan and repay the reduced balance with ease. While there are professional companies that you can resort to, you can also take certain steps on your own. By settling your debts yourself, you can save your dollars on the unnecessary fees charged by the debt settlement attorney.
3 Steps to settle your debts
- Know your lenders: You can settle your payday loan debts through settlement. If you have a dozen payday loans or a couple of them, calculate the total amount before considering further steps. Calculate the principal amount and the interest rates on each account. This will help you to understand how much you need to repay your creditors.
- Know the licensing laws in the state: You should check the licensing laws so that you can understand whether you owe them both the interest rate and the outstanding balance or just the principal amount. If the lenders are legal in your state, then repay the entire amount. If the lenders are not legal, then you just need to pay back the principal amount and not the fees.
- Negotiate with your lenders: To settle your debts, you need to negotiate with your creditors to reduce the total debt amount. However, negotiation can be difficult for you since you have to convince your creditors about your financial difficulties. Thus, you can enroll in a debt settlement program, when the negotiator negotiates on your behalf and successfully reduce the total debt amount.
Therefore, analyze your financial situation before selecting a debt relief plan as it will help you attain financial liberation. Make sure you exercise financial discipline when you take out a debt consolidation loan otherwise you might get further into debt. If you are looking for a fast debt relief solution, then credit counseling will not be a good option for you.