I can’t pay my credit cards, what can I do? If you can’t afford to pay off your credit cards with high balances or are just looking for a faster way to become debt-free, you’ve landed in the right spot!
The following page will give you:
- A breakdown of all statewide and national debt relief programs available in 2018
- A side by side comparison of the Pros Vs. Cons of each debt relief option
- Instruction on how to get a quote and enroll in the plan of your choice
- If you have limited time, below you can see a quick summary of all credit card relief methods inside the infographic image (take LESS THAN 5-MINUTES to read). If you need to speak with a debt relief expert, IAPDA certified, Accredited and A+ BBB rated debt counselors are a phone-call-away at (866) 376-9846.
Table of Contents: (click on the chapter to read it)
- 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
If you only have a few minutes, here’s an infographic that will give you all you need to know about each credit card relief program. (And take under 5-minutes to review!)
Compare Credit Card Debt Relief Programs (INFOGRAPHIC)
If you have a question or want to enroll in a debt relief program simply:
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?
The following page compares the different debt relief programs to help you determine the best plan to achieve that goal and start living life without debt.
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
As of 2018, more and more consumers are either looking to legally stop paying on their credit cards or consolidate their debts.
The demand for debt relief is rapidly increasing, and here’s why:
- Credit card companies continue to increase interest rates and monthly payments (interest rates increased two times already in 2018) – subsequently, making it harder for consumers to remain current on monthly payments.
- Financial hardships in the United States are at an all-time high, due to rising medical expenses and interest rates, salary reduction at work, inflation rising while income stays the same and there’s an endless number of reasons.
- In some cases, consumers are just sick and tired of being ripped off by banks, getting charged excessive interest rates.
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? Well, one reason why you would not want to legally stop paying your credit cards is that your credit score will take a serious hit. However, if it comes down to good credit or food on your table, what will you pick?
We’re about to go over the options that are ideal for consumers who can’t afford to pay their credit card payments.
Legally, you can stop paying your credit card payments if you have a financial hardship, but you’ll need a plan to resolve your debt.
I can’t pay my credit cards, what can I do?
- 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
Even if you do get served a credit card summons (worst case scenario, that happens in about 2% of cases), you can still legally get the debt settled and paid off, for less than the full balance owed. Keep in mind, before debt validation and debt settlement become a possible solution, your accounts must be delinquent to the point where they get written off and sold to third-party debt collection companies. Credit card companies won’t offer you a very attractive settlement while the accounts are still with the original creditor, but once the accounts are sold to a debt collection company now you can get the killer discounts!
If you can’t afford to pay your credit card payments, talk to an IAPDA Certified Debt Counselor for Free Advice at (866) 376-9846.
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.
On the other side of the coin; if you’re current on your monthly payments before entering into a debt settlement program, your credit score will continue to drop until your accounts are sent to a debt collection agency. As your debts are then settled and paid off, one by one, you may see an improvement in your credit score.
If you want to increase your credit score while on a debt settlement program you need to have other credit accounts outside of the program that you are paying every month. (i.e., car payment or mortgage payment, and other credit cards)
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 type of 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 has no effect on your credit score. However, that’s just not the truth. Consumer credit counseling has the least effect on your credit score, compared to any other debt relief program, but to say it has “no effect on your credit” is misleading.
The truth is, your credit report will get a third-party notation on it after joining a consumer credit counseling program. What this third-party notation says is that you’re enrolled in 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 in order 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 be reduced to a fraction of the total owed.
To be eligible for debt negotiation you must:
- have over $7,500 in total unsecured debt
- have some type of 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.
- Only speak with a supervisor who has the authorization to lower your payment
- Explain your financial hardship and go over the actual numbers (i.e., your income and expenses, how much cash-flow you have at the end of the month, how long you will need a reduction in your payment for, etc…)
- If you are trying to settle a debt for a one-time payoff, offer them about 20%. Show the creditor that you have no money left at the end of the month, and you would be borrowing the money from a family member if they accept your offer today. Let the debt collector know that you have explored all avenues to get the funds and what you now have is all that you could come up with.
- 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.
- When negotiating with credit card companies, do not agree to settle your credit card debt unless they are willing to remove it from your credit report at the time it is settled and 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 it’s 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 be slightly 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. Unless it’s your last resort.
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 even 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.
If the credit card company feels that you may never be able to pay the debt due to your limited income, they are quick to offer you a settlement for whatever you have available to pay. 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. A professional credit counselor or an IAPDA certified debt relief counselor can go over the pros and cons of each debt relief option, helping you to find the best plan. Give Golden Financial Services a call and we can help you get credit card relief today!
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 clearly be able to see that you filed for bankruptcy and your credit score will take a serious 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 actually use this type of bankruptcy to save your property and stay in your home, but you will also be paying back at least half of your debt, plus will suffer from the same negative effect as what chapter 7 bankruptcy does to your credit.
Most consumers will apply for chapter 7 bankruptcy, but due to their income being higher than the legal requirement they get pushed into chapter 13 bankruptcy and end up having to pay back most of their debt plus attorney and court fees.
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 being transferred onto the card. If you transfer $50,000 in credit card debt, that equates to roughly a $2,500 up-front fee, but that’s still good if you can eliminate $20,000 worth of interest, right? 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 offers reward points and attractive cash-back, because lots of cards do! Cash-back is tax-free and extra income!
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.