What is credit card debt relief?
This guide is the Bible for credit card relief related questions, created by debt relief industry expert – Paul Paquin, also Golden Financial’s CEO. You don’t have to take a chance getting signed up for the WRONG plan and ending up in worse financial shape, just review the following guide and you’ll know exactly what you need to know in order to make a smart financial decision on how to get out of debt.
By definition, credit card relief refers to debt relief or credit card debt cancelation, that offers partial or total forgiveness of high credit card balances and interest rates, or the slowing or stopping of credit card debt growth.
Example: if you have $10,000 in credit card debt
Debt relief could help a person resolve $10,000 in credit card debt, for $7,000 including all interest and fees. What happened to the other $3,000 and interest? The remaining balance would get canceled or forgiven. Have no income? Debt relief can also offer a consumer with no income, the ability to dispute or challenge a debt and possibly not have to pay it.
Credit Card Relief Guide – CLICK TO READ CHAPTER
- Compare the positives Vs. negatives of each debt relief program (INFO-GRAPHIC)
- Do debt relief programs work?
- I can’t pay my credit cards, what can I do?
- How to get out of debt with a debt relief program?
- How to reduce credit card balances
- What debt relief program improves credit?
- How to lower credit card interest rates
- How to legally stop paying a debt
- How does debt settlement affect your credit score
- The cheapest way to get rid of a debt
- Learn how to get credit card forgiveness
- What is debt negotiation?
- How can I settle my credit card debt?
- Bankruptcy for Credit Card Debt
- Balance Transfer Cards
Compare Credit Card Debt Relief Programs (INFOGRAPHIC)
If you have a question or want to enroll in a debt relief program only:
You can also try this debt calculator tool to get a quick quote on each debt relief program (compare your potential savings, side by side).
How do credit card debt relief programs work? These programs work by combining multiple credit cards into one smaller monthly payment that gets a person out of debt in a shorter timeframe.
Debt relief programs give you the power to:
- Stop paying excessive interest rates.
- Choose an affordable payment.
- Decide how fast you want to get out of debt.
- Take control of your debt.
However, there are different types of credit card relief programs. Depending on your current financial situation and goals, will determine what program is right for you.
About 20% of consumers who contact Golden Financial Services only need a reduction in their interest rates so they can get out of debt faster.
The other 85% of consumers cannot even afford to pay minimum payments and need a reduction in their high balances.
Can you afford to pay more than minimum monthly payments?
What is your goal?
Think about these questions before you read on.
Do credit card relief programs work?
Debt relief programs are proven to work, but they only work if you enroll in the right plan.
- what type of debt and creditors you have
- if you have a financial hardship (i.e., divorce, medical, reduction in income, job loss)
- what you can afford
- your short-term and long-term goals
- the status of your payment (i.e., if you are current or behind on payments)
- where you live
These are the factors that will determine what program is right for your situation.
Here’s how simple getting out of debt can be when using Golden Financial Services:
- Get your free credit report and analysis
- Learn your debt relief options (you will have multiple options to pick from)
- Get a professional debt relief recommendation
- You then get to choose a comfortable monthly payment
- Financial freedom begins!
Start with a free consultation from one of our IAPDA certified counselors. You will learn the simplest way to become debt-free during your consultation. There is no pressure or obligation involved.
How does a debt relief program affect your credit?
Debt relief programs can positively and negatively affect a person’s credit score, depending on each person’s circumstances.
I Can’t Pay My Credit Cards
Debt can be stressful, so if you could legally stop paying credit card payments and escape your debt for less than the full balance, why not do it right?
One reason why you would not want to stop paying your credit cards is that your credit score will take a serious hit.
Another reason why you would not want to just stop paying on your cards is that creditors can take legal action against you. This is rare, but it could happen! You don’t want to find yourself having to go to court over credit card debt.
We’re about to go over the options that are ideal for consumers who can’t afford to pay their credit card payments.
I can’t pay my credit cards, what can I do?
First, it’s important to understand the process that banks go through to collect on delinquent credit card debt.
If you permanently stop paying on your credit cards, eventually the bank will end up getting paid back double what you owed. That’s right, double! And in some cases even more. Some critics feel that a bank is even more profitable when borrowers default on payments, compared to when they pay their bills on time every month.
Once you stop paying on your credit card payments, within six months most creditors will end up “writing-off the debt”. By writing off the debt a bank can show a loss and get a tax credit through the IRS.
OK, so now the bank has been reimbursed 100% of what you owed, is it over now and that’s the end of it? Clean slate? No, not even close to over! The bank will make sure to destroy your credit and continue to profit off your financial hardship.
Next, the credit card company sells your account to a third-party debt collection agency. Harassment starts and will continue for many years ahead.
And that’s not it. Banks have insurance. Just like how you have car insurance and when an accident occurs you only pay the deductible while insurance covers the rest. If you had a $100,000 credit card debt that you were forced to stop paying on, the credit card company will file a claim with their banking insurance for that amount and get reimbursed.
OK, enough about how the banks’ profit. Let’s talk about how you can win!
Once your credit card account lands in the hands of the collection agency, now you have an entirely new set of debt relief options.
- you can settle the debt for less than the full balance owed, where a portion of the balance can be forgiven
- you can also use debt validation to dispute its validity and possibly not have to pay the debt
How does debt settlement affect your credit score?
If you’re behind on your credit card monthly payments, your credit score has already been negatively affected.
As your debts are settled and paid off one by one on a debt settlement program, you may start to see an improvement in your credit score.
Talk to an IAPDA Certified Counselor to see if debt settlement is right for you!
How debt validation affects your credit score
Debts are not disputed on a debt validation program until they’re sold to a third-party debt collection company. Like with any debt relief program, if your creditors are not getting paid on a monthly basis, your credit score will go down.
Once a debt is proven to be “legally uncollectible,” the creditors can no longer report the debt to the credit reporting agencies (legally anyway). When a third-party debt collection account gets removed from a person’s credit report, this action can have a positive effect on credit scores.
Here is an example of how debt validation can get a debt off your credit report entirely and invalidated so that you don’t have to pay it.
Debt validation can be the least expensive way of dealing with a debt collection account. With validation services, you may not have to pay a debt and could get it removed from your credit report.
If the debt collection company can prove the debt is valid, you could settle the debt for less than the full amount owed. Debt settlement would be the next alternative to turn to.
Before using debt settlement, first, use debt validation to confirm the debt is legitimate and has not been involved in any fraudulent activity.
Debt consolidation can improve your credit score
Since debt consolidation loans are used to pay off other existing debts – debt consolidation can improve your credit score.
Initially, you could take a small negative hit on your credit score with debt consolidation due to;
- A credit inquiry appearing on your credit report after applying for the loan.
- A “new debt” showing up on your credit after getting approved for the loan.
However, within a few months, your credit will illustrate an improvement in credit scores due to the “past debts” getting “paid in full.” Debt consolidation is only beneficial if you can get approved for a low-interest loan. To get approved for a low-interest loan you’ll need a high credit score, of 710 or higher. If you have bad credit, you can use a financial hardship plan that can reduce your balances. Just give us a call, and we will find the right plan for you!
How consumer credit counseling affects your credit score
A credit counselor at a consumer credit counseling company may tell you that consumer credit counseling does not affect your credit score. However, that’s not the truth.
The truth is, your credit report will get a third-party notation on it after joining a consumer credit counseling program. Some lenders look down upon this third-party notation because it appears to them that you can’t manage your credit card payments without assistance.
Consumer credit counseling programs require a person to close-out all of their credit cards to include them in the plan. Closing a credit card is the action that lowers your credit score the most when it comes to consumer credit counseling.
Debt negotiation is where your balances can get reduced to a fraction of the total owed.
To be eligible for debt negotiation you must:
- owe above $7,500 in total unsecured debt
- be experiencing a financial hardship where you can no longer afford to make the minimum monthly payments
- have high-interest rates where your debt may never get paid off by making only minimum payments
Let the professionals at Golden Financial Services negotiate your debt for you.
We can set you up on a debt negotiation plan where professional debt negotiators;
- reduce your balances by around 25%-35%, including fees
- you only make one small monthly payment for all of your debt
- you get out of debt within 24-42 months
How to Negotiate With Credit Card Companies?
How can I settle my credit card debt?
If you are a brave soul and looking to negotiate with your creditors, strap on your bulletproof vest and get ready for combat. These bloodsuckers are relentless and trained to collect on debt. They go for the kill and use your emotions to get the best of you.
Don’t let them see that you are scared or frustrated in any way whatsoever.
- Go into negotiations with a stern face and don’t be emotional. Pretend you are negotiating to settle someone else’s credit card debt.
- Have a budget and detailed notes nearby. Click here to use this free budget tool to create your budget analysis
- Only speak with a supervisor who has the authorization to lower your payment.
- Explain your financial hardship and go over your income and expenses
- If you are trying to settle a debt for a one-time payoff, offer them about 20% as a starting point.
- Let the creditor know that if they don’t accept your offer, you will be using the funds to pay off another debt.
- If the credit card company accepts your offer, get everything in writing before moving forward.
- Do not agree to settle a credit card debt unless the creditor is willing to remove it from your credit report at the time it is resolved.
- If unsuccessful, hang up the phone and call back a few months later. Debt settlement is like fine wine, the longer a debt sits untouched, the better it gets. Debt gets cheaper as it ages. Eventually, a debt will pass the statute of limitations and expire, where the debt collection company can’t come after you, and the debt comes off your credit entirely.
Before attempting to settle a credit card debt, give us a call. At the very least, you will learn all of your debt relief options.
Debt validation can offer you a less expensive resolution than debt settlement and get the debt off your credit report.
Consumer Credit Counseling
Consumer credit counseling programs are used to reduce the interest rates on credit card debt, making it easier to pay your credit cards off.
A person is then responsible for making one monthly payment to the credit counseling company, and the company deals with paying their client’s creditors.
The time it takes a person to become debt-free can be shortened with a consumer credit counseling program, and payments may get lowered.
Also, if a person recently fell behind on their credit card payments, their accounts can be re-aged to show they are current.
How to Legally Stop Paying a Debt
Don’t just stop paying your credit card bills. You could get served a credit card lawsuit, and your credit will be ruined.
On the other hand, if you have a legitimate financial hardship and can’t afford your credit card payments, you may have no other option but to stop paying on your accounts.
So what are your options, file for bankruptcy? Not a good idea.
Comparing physical health to financial health; bankruptcy puts you in a wheelchair for the next seven years. With bankruptcy on your credit, you cannot buy or rent a home or even a car. Bankruptcy could get you denied for a job and also the most basic necessity that requires a credit check.
Consumer credit counseling? This type of program will only reduce your interest rates and not the monthly payment. Your payment stays around the same as what it would be when paying only minimum payments.
What about joining a debt settlement program?
This could be a viable option, but before you settle a debt and are left with scars on your credit report from late and collection marks, make sure the debt is legitimate and has not been part of any type of fraud over the years.
It’s shocking, but the truth is, about 90% of debt collection accounts are either missing legally required documentation or are flawed with inaccurate details.
Debt validation exposes this fact. Debt validation forces your creditors to prove they have accurate and complete records. Often, they can’t prove it, and the debt is invalidated.
After a debt is invalidated, you don’t have to pay it.
The debt becomes legally uncollectible. It can no longer legally be reported on your credit report.
Debt validation could allow you to legally stop paying a debt and get the negative marks removed from your credit report entirely.
This is a lifesaving program that has improved the lives of millions’ of Americans.
What is credit card debt forgiveness?
A debt settlement program leads to a portion of your debt getting forgiven. This type of plan is a hardship debt management program and should only be considered as a last resort.
When settling a debt for less than the full balance owed, the portion of your debt that gets reduced – ends up getting forgiven.
There is a downside to getting your credit card debt forgiven. Potentially, you could owe taxes on the amount saved. Your credit score will go down. Harassment and potential credit card lawsuits can occur. And not every creditor will agree to reduce your balance.
Bankruptcy for Credit Cards
Chapter 7 bankruptcy could wipe away all of your credit card balances, in exchange for your assets getting sold. You will have to give up any of your most precious assets, like that new car you just bought. Worse than that, you filing for bankruptcy is not a private matter. Future employers and even a landlord would be able to see that you filed for bankruptcy and your credit score will take a severe fall. Bankruptcy stays on your credit report for up to 10-years, longer than almost any other type of derogatory mark.
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is another story. You can use Chapter 13 bankruptcy to save your property and stay in your home. The downside is that you must pay back at least half of what you owe and your credit will take just as big a hit as when filing Chapter 7.
Most consumers will apply for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but due to their income being too high, they get pushed into Chapter 13.
Balance Transfer Cards to Pay Off High-Interest Credit Card Balances
Balance transfer cards carry up-front fees that range from 3%-5% of the total debt getting transferred onto the card. If you transfer $50,000 in credit card debt, that equates to around $2,500 in up-front fees. Depending on who the credit card issuer is, and your credit score will ultimately determine the total cost that you must pay when obtaining a balance transfer card.
A balance transfer card can save you money. If you can eliminate $20,000 worth of interest, it’s worth the $2,500 in up-front fees.
The key is the make sure that you get a balance transfer card that offers you enough time to pay off the balance while the interest rate is at 0%.
Most balance transfer cards give you between 6-18 months, but the longer they give you the higher the interest rate usually is after that intro period ends. Also, only get a balance transfer card that pays you a generous amount in cashback and reward points.
At Golden Financial Services we can set you up on a settlement program where more than 25% of your credit card balance is completely forgiven and wiped away clean.
A few states just came out with an improved version of their credit card relief program. New York, Florida, Virginia, and Pennsylvania all offer credit card relief with credit repair now! For your state’s debt relief programs – simply click here and select your state.
All of the best debt relief programs are available through Golden Financial Services. We work with the top-rated debt relief companies across the nation. Our state of the art technology makes it easy to get a quote and enroll in the repayment plan of your choice.