The Road to Credit Card Debt Elimination
The road to credit card debt elimination requires consistency and the patience to see it through. However, the rewards are well worth the few years of frugal living that such a venture demands. It is possible to use a variety of methods in plan to achieve debt elimination. (I’ve personally used a combination of a debt management company and the debt snowball method.)
The following are some of the methods that can be used in credit card debt elimination:
A debt consolidation loan is one that combines all credit card balances into one so there is only one payment. This can be a personal loan or secured loan such as a home equity or refinance loan.
This method is a bit dangerous because it's very easy to continue to pile on more debt in addition to this loan. Also, if it is tied to your home it adds to the sale price which is risky in today's housing market.
This is by far the best method to use. Debts are arranged in order either by highest to lowest interest, or lowest to highest balance - whichever has more incentive for you.
This method transfers the payment amount from balance to balance as the debts are paid off. Mathematically, this works like a charm and debts are normally paid off within a few years.
Debt Management Plan
The current economy has spawned a slew of debt service companies. One of the services they offer is a debt management plan that works with your creditors to lower interest rates and payment amounts. Creditors are generally open to negotiating with these companies as it shows you are serious about paying your bills.
A better name for this would be…freedom debt management plan as it is freeing you from debt. An excellent resource (I’ve used them myself) is CESI Debt Solutions (Consumer Education Services Inc).
They will set everything up, take a dedicated amount from your checking account every month and pay your bills for you. This plan is only for unsecured credit card debt elimination and not for secured debt such as federal student loans or mortgages. Be careful when signing up with one of these companies as there are plenty of scams out there that will take your money and run.
The same companies (including CESI) that offer debt management plans will also offer debt settlement services. The method is for those in the direst of financial straits who cannot make even the minimum payments. Debt settlement is 'settling' with your creditors to cut your balances up to 40% or more.
This may sound like a good deal, but it can be a very long process and your FICO score will plummet. However, it still thought to be a better option than bankruptcy as you are at least paying as much as you can manage.
No matter what method or combination of methods is used, credit card debt elimination is the first step in gaining financial peace of mind.