Overwhelmed by debt? MMI can help get you out. Overwhelmed by debt? MMI can help get you out.

Get Out of Credit Card Debt

Overwhelmed by debt? These debt relief programs can help you get your finances under control.

What’s the best way to resolve your credit card debt?

Whether you’ve got a little credit card debt, or a whole lot of it, you’d probably prefer to have none at all. And if you’ve been struggling with debt for years, you know full well how high the emotional and financial costs of credit card debt can be.

So what’s the best way out? It really depends on your situation. Your credit card debt is really just one piece of the puzzle. You’ve got bills, other financial obligations, and your income to consider. Unsurprisingly, the less you earn, the harder it is to recover from debt and other setbacks.

To find the credit card repayment solution that makes the most sense for you, we need to figure out what we’re working with.

What best describes your situation?

Everyone’s situation is unique. When it comes to debt relief programs, there’s no one method that works for absolutely everyone. Check out these common debt scenarios and find the one that best matches your current situation:

You’re not behind on anything, you’d just like to be out of debt faster
The bills are paid on time. You can make your monthly minimums, no problem. You’re just looking to get out of debt ASAP. If you’ve got strong credit, you may be able to save time and money with a debt consolidation loan. If your credit’s a little dinged, you can get the same benefits with a debt management plan.
Your high credit card interest rates are the real problem
If high interest rates and monthly charges are making it impossible to create a little progress on your credit card debt, you may be able to get better rates with a debt consolidation loan (if you qualify) or a debt management plan.
You’re having trouble making your monthly credit card payments
If you’re struggling to make payments each month, things certainly don’t get any easier when creditors start adding fees or increasing your interest rate for missing payments. A certified, nonprofit credit counselor can help you with your budget, but ultimately a debt management plan may be the best fit.
You’re receiving collection calls and deep in debt
A big medical bill, a temporary loss of income - it’s really easy to get into a hole and often really hard to get out. If you’re way behind on your bills and getting regular collection calls, you may want to pursue a debt settlement or start a debt management plan.
You’re worried about losing your house, car, business, etc.
If your debts and other financial liabilities greatly outweigh your assets and things just seem to be getting worse, you may want to talk to a qualified legal professional about filing for bankruptcy.
You have no income to pay off your credit card debt
If there’s no money coming in and no way to support any kind of repayment plan, your best bet may be to speak with a qualified legal professional about filing for bankruptcy. In the meantime, talk to a certified, nonprofit credit counselor to get connected to resources and programs to keep you safe.

What are the top debt relief programs and tools?

Sometimes we all need a little push, and the right tool or program can be just the thing you need to start making real progress on your credit card debt. These are the four most popular methods of repaying credit card debt (beyond just handling it on your own). While there are other ways to approach debt management, these are the preferred debt relief programs to turn to when you’re overwhelmed by debt and need help.

Debt Consolidation

DMP vs consolidation loanDebt consolidation is a blanket statement that covers a variety of methods (including debt management plans). The basic premise is always the same, though: you take multiple debts (usually unsecured credit card debts) and bring them all together, either as a loan, a credit card balance transfer, a mortgage refinance, or something else.

The big benefit of debt consolidation is that all of those accounts — with their different payment amounts, different due dates, and different interest rates — become one payment (ideally with a lower interest rate). As with any credit product, though, the better your credit score, the better the terms you’ll be able to score. If your credit’s a bit subpar, you may have a hard time qualifying for something that actually helps you save money.

Want to learn more? Go deeper on debt consolidation.


Debt Management Plan

Learn more about debt management plans from MMIA debt management plan (or DMP) is a form of debt consolidation usually offered through a nonprofit credit counseling agency like Money Management International. The credit counseling agency works with your creditors to reduce your interest rates and set a monthly payment that fits your budget. You make deposits to the credit counseling agency, which then makes monthly payments on your behalf.

You don’t need a high credit score to qualify for a DMP and plans are typically designed to be completed within five years, which makes it an appealing option for anyone who’s missed a few payments or simply wants to accelerate their debt repayment.

Intrigued? Take a deeper look at debt management plans.


Debt Settlement

DMP vs debt settlementThe major advantage of debt settlement is that you’re only paying off a portion of your credit card debt. Working with a settlement company or handling your own negotiations, you work out an agreement with the creditor to pay back a certain percentage of the debt, usually in one lump sum or a small number of payments. The unpaid debt is considered forgiven, and while it may have tax implications, you won’t have to pay that portion off.

Debt settlement usually causes major damage to your credit score, so it’s typically only recommended if you’re already extremely delinquent or if paying in full isn’t feasible.

Interested in this option? Learn more about debt settlement.


Bankruptcy

DMP vs BankruptcyBankruptcy is an important tool for when the situation has gotten so out of hand, none of the other options are remotely viable. Filing for bankruptcy is a difficult (and potentially costly) process, but it’s a perfectly valid option, especially when unsecured debt begins to threaten your home and livelihood.

There are two kinds of bankruptcy: Chapter 7, where the included debts are wiped out, and Chapter 13, where you end up repaying a portion of the included debts through a repayment plan. If the court determines that you have the “means” to repay at least some of your debts, you’ll likely end up having to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. No matter which option you’re interested in, if you’re considering bankruptcy you should speak with a qualified attorney.

Have questions? Get more information on bankruptcy.

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