Credit Counseling Infographic
Take flight with the right debt solution for your financial situation.
Certified credit counseling services are designed to help consumers who’ve become overly indebted to find the right solution in their unique financial situation. It’s a good way to get an impartial, expert opinion on your best way out of debt. If you’re facing debt problems and need help, call Consolidated Credit today at or complete an online application.
Why so many ways to solve debt problems?
Part of the challenge in solving credit card debt problems is that there are so many different paths to take that can help you achieve freedom from debt. Which solution you use depends on personal factors that differ from one person to the next. Your credit score, how many debts you have, how much you have to pay back in total, how much cash flow you have free in your budget, what portion of your debts are behind – all of these factors play a role in which debt solution will work for you.
The five solutions you see above basically go in order of how much of a disruption that solution will cause in your financial life.
- Do it yourself. This solution is the easiest and requires the least effort to implement in your financial life. You pay off your debt using money you make available in your budget. So there’s no new loan or program that you go through. Your credit cards can still be used and assuming you pay off everything you borrowed on time, it shouldn’t damage your credit.
- Consolidation loans. Since this is still a do-it-yourself option, it’s also at the low end of the financial upheaval it will cause or the amount of work you have to do to get started. As long as you have a good credit score and a limited enough amount of debt that you can get a loan to pay off that full amount, you can use this option. Since you’re just taking on a new loan, it doesn’t delay your financial life and shouldn’t damage your credit when done correctly.
- Debt management program. This option will create some financial upheaval, but when done correctly it protects your credit from additional damage. You have to go through a credit counseling agency to enroll and once you do, your credit card accounts will be frozen so you usually won’t be able to charge until you complete the program. Once complete, you can begin using credit again. Even before that, you can still get loans like mortgages and car loans – just not any new credit cards.
- Debt resolution (AKA debt settlement). This will sidetrack your financial life at least a little, because you’re settling your debts for less than the full amount owed. As a result, you can expect a hit to your credit. It also may create additional financial stress as you put off paying your creditors to generate the settlement amount you need. This should only be done with caution after all other avenues have been explored.
- Bankruptcy. This is the final solution because it’s what you do when absolutely no relief option, including settlement will work for you. It’s a bit like the nuclear option because assets can be liquidated, your credit could be damaged for 7-10 years and you’ll have to work to recover completely. However, in some cases, the nuclear option is the right option if you really just need to close this financial chapter and start fresh.
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