The infographic below highlights the benefits and downsides of each credit card relief program.

Read the potential downsides CAREFULLY: Prepare yourself to safely get out of debt.

Credit card debt relief programs give you control of your debt and the power to make a choice based on what suits you best.

  • You can stop paying excessive interest rates.
  • You can choose an affordable payment.
  • You can decide how fast you want to get out of debt.
  • You can take control of your debt.

 
What is your goal?

The following page compares the different debt relief programs to help you determine the best plan to achieve that goal.

Table of Contents: (click on the chapter to read it)

Compare PRO’S vs. CON’S of Credit Card Debt Relief Programs (INFO-GRAPHIC)

How Credit Card Debt Relief Programs Work & Affect Credit Scores?

Get a Free Debt Relief Online Quote

If you have a question or want to enroll in a debt relief program simply:

 

Do credit card debt relief programs work?

Debt relief programs are proven to work, but they only work if you enroll in the right plan.

Depending on;

  • 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.

Make sure to use a reputable company that has a proven track-record. Over the last 15 years at Golden Financial Services we’ve maintained zero customer complaints at the Better Business Bureau and an A+ rating.

Our professionals are friendly, highly trained and IAPDA Certified.

Getting out of debt with a debt relief program is quick and easy:

  1. Get your free credit report and analysis
  2. Learn your debt relief options (you will have multiple options to pick from)
  3. Get a professional debt relief recommendation
  4. You then get to choose a comfortable monthly payment
  5. 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 have a positive and negative effect on credit scores, depending on each individual’s circumstances.

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 accounts outside of the program that you are paying for each 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.

After the debt is transferred to a debt collection company, an entirely new set of laws kick in, such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). These laws are often violated by the debt collection companies.

The FDCPA is only one out of many laws used in a debt validation program. (See additional debt validation laws here)

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, this 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 program - how it affects credit

Debt validation can be the least expensive way of dealing with a debt collection account. You may not have to pay the debt and could get it off your credit report entirely.

 

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

Credit Card Debt Consolidation

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;

  • the negative inquiry showing up on your credit report after applying for the loan.
  • due to 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”.

 

How consumer credit counseling affects your credit score

Consumer credit counseling has a neutral effect on credit scores.

Your credit score usually isn’t affected by consumer credit counseling, since you’re staying current on monthly payments, but it will show on your credit report that you joined a consumer credit counseling program. Some lenders look down on this third-party notation.

 

Debt Negotiation

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
  • or 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 30%-35%, including fees
  • you only make one small monthly payment for all of your debt
  • you get out of debt within 24-36 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.

  1. Go into negotiations with a stern face and don’t be emotional. Pretend you are negotiating to settle someone else’s credit card debt.
  2. Have a budget and detailed notes nearby.
  3. Only speak with a supervisor who has the authorization to lower your payment
  4. 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…)
  5. 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.
  6. Let the creditor know that if they don’t accept your offer you will be using the funds to pay off another debt.
  7. If the credit card company accepts your offer, get everything in writing before moving forward.
  8. 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.
  9. 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, in your case you have no other option but to stop paying these debts.

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 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 your 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 inaccurate flawed or missing documentation.

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?

Credit card debt forgiveness is when a portion of your credit card debt is forgiven and wiped clean. A credit card company will agree to reduce your balance and allow a portion of the debt to be forgiven if you have a financial hardship.

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.

At Golden Financial Services we see more than 50% of credit card balances getting forgiven on a daily basis.

See if you qualify for credit card debt forgiveness.

Beware that there is a downside to getting your credit card debt forgiven. Potential tax consequences can occur. Your credit score will go down. Harassment and potential credit card lawsuits can occur. And not every creditor will agree to reduce your balance. DMCA.com Protection Status