Some consumers still have questions over how they may be able to pay off their debt or find more affordable payment options on current debt obligations which may be causing problems, and issues that are still stemming from the month of April, which was deemed by many financial advisers and credit counseling companies to be financial literacy month, are causing the need for more clarification and options that some consumers may have. One of the more extreme cases of debt relief that consumers may seek comes in the form of debt settlement, and this particular aspect of consumer assistance needs to be explored more thoroughly and alternatives considered before consumers can make informed decisions.
As we get closer to summer, there are more consumers who are reviewing their financial situation due to the fact that some may have potentially had plans which are now unaffordable due to their debt position, while others have simply used this time of year as a way to get a hold of what may be out of control debts and a seemingly insurmountable mountain of obligations. One problem that consumers face though, usually comes from advertisements to settle debts for half the cost or pennies on the dollar, as these are common stock phrases that many settlement companies will use to attract the attention of men and women facing a great deal of debt.
Yet, debt settlement is something that should not be entered into lightly, or primarily in the debt relief steps that a consumer takes, but there are also ways that a settlement may be reached outside of using one of these companies. Before consumers turn to debt settlement though, it must be understood that negotiating an agreement where a consumer can pay off their debts for less than they originally owed will have negative impacts on their credit score and, once again, should be avoided if at all possible. Consumers may benefit from simple credit counseling or a debt management plan, where monthly payments may be lowered to a more suitable level for consumers facing hardships.
If debt settlement is necessary though, consumers need to understand that a settlement company, no matter how reputable they may be, usually requires that payments be made by the consumer so that a large sum of money can be saved and presented to creditors as part of the settlement agreement. This can take a great deal of time in some cases, but can also be costly and is money that could be used to pay off these creditors rather than being set aside in the hopes of offering less than a consumer had originally been required to pay.
There are cases where consumers are in a position where they must find some form of relief or else default entirely, and in these situations consumers may simply be in a position where they can contact their creditor to inquire about interest rate reductions, more affordable payments, or if settling debt is necessary, a consumer might be able to work one on one with a creditor and formulate some form of debt settlement agreement without the use of a settlement company. If a consumer has had a good payment history and can show proof of financial hardships, some creditors may simply reduce the amount they owe and allow a consumer to be free and clear of their debts without any intercession from an intermediary.
It needs to be kept in mind though, debt settlement should be the last case scenario for consumers, no matter if they use a settlement company or work on their own, as no matter what settlement options are presented, they can be a setback in the financial lives of consumers who choose debt settlement over other repayment options.