Yep, it’s time.
That debt has been hanging over your head for way too long, and you’ve decided that you’re finally going to commit to getting on top of it, once and for all. Honestly, go you!
You might have gotten that debt for a lot of reasons, whether it be medical bills, credit card debt, or just plain overspending. The point is, it doesn’t really matter how the debt happened, and you’re far from being alone here — the average American has debts of $90,460.
We’re here to tell you there is good news — you don’t have to go it alone, and there is actually a lot of help out there. You might have even heard about things like debt relief, debt consolidation, and other buzzwords flying around, but what do they all actually mean, and are they any good for your situation?
Now it’s going to take you about five minutes to read this article, but we promise that by the end of it, you’ll have a super-clear picture of how you can finally kick that debt to the curb and live debt-free. We want to look out for you, so please know this is not financial advice — we simply want to give you a better idea of what is out there to help you clear your debt.
Okay, let’s have a look at four proven ways on how to get out of debt.
Say you’ve got a bunch of different debts, all with different interest rates — debt consolidation allows you to pile all of those different little debts into one large debt.
The idea is that the larger consolidated debt will have a lower interest rate, so you can pay less interest over time. It also lets you make just one payment, rather than trying to manage lots of different payments each month.
To do this, you could get a 0% balance transfer credit card. This is a credit card that lets you transfer all of your debt onto it, and gives you a window of time where you don’t have to pay interest on it.
While that sounds great, once that window of time (about 12-18 months) runs out, you’ll have to start paying interest, and that interest rate is likely to be pretty high. So if you don’t think you’ll be able to pay off your debt in that window of time, it’s not going to be a good option for you.
The other way to do it is to get a debt consolidation loan, where you’ll still have to pay interest, but the interest rate ideally should be lower than the added-up interest rates of your other smaller loans.
Debt consolidation tools might be a great tool for a lot of people, but there are some drawbacks. There are likely to be all sorts of costs involved, like loan fees, transfer fees, and annual fees. If you miss a payment on your larger consolidated loan, it will also affect your credit score in a big way. And finally, credit consolidation doesn’t really address the underlying issue of why you got into debt — some people might actually get into more debt, because they feel like they have done enough to climb out of the debt trap.
Debt settlement is where your creditor agrees that you can pay less than what you actually owe them. Sounds great right? While it might sound perfect, it’s quite often not what it seems.
Firstly, the creditor is under no obligation to just let you pay less than what you owe them — that takes a lot of hard negotiation. There are debt settlement companies that can act on your behalf, but they will typically charge you 10-25% of your total debt. It’s also a pretty well-known scam where some so-called debt settlement companies tell you to send your money to them so that they can pay off the debt on your behalf. Guess what — they pocket that money and you’re left high and dry.
Now, of course, there are legitimate debt settlement companies that do a good job, and we don’t want to knock them because it can work for some people. However with the added risks of harming your credit score even further, and the fact that any forgiven debt might be taxable, debt settlement should be one of your last resorts.
We mentioned that debt settlement should be one of your last resorts, but bankruptcy really should be your last-ditch effort to clear your debt. It definitely works, but you really need to think if it’s worth it.
You generally have two ways to declare bankruptcy. The first and most common is Chapter 7 bankruptcy, where your unsecured debt (like credit card debt and medical bills) is wiped out. Chapter 7 won’t tackle some forms of debt, like alimony or back taxes, and will have serious repercussions for your credit rating for 10 years. You might also have to give up some assets, like your car or jewelry.
The second form of bankruptcy is Chapter 13 bankruptcy, where you create a payment plan of up to five years to pay off your debt. Although it won’t affect your credit rating as harshly as Chapter 7, it will stay on your credit report for up to 10 years. You must also have a regular income, and you can’t use it for certain types of debt.
Bankruptcy absolutely does work, but once it’s done, it’s done — you can’t undo it. Only consider bankruptcy after some serious advice from trained financial professionals.
Okay, this one is a little different, but it’s different for a reason. All of the other usual debt services are just that — you pay someone else to take care of it for you. After that, you’re on your own and you run the risk of falling into the same traps over and over. Or worse, you file for bankruptcy and that stays with you for a very long time.
DebtClear is different in that it’s a step-by-step educational course that is tailored to your specific needs. With a one-time fee (which is tiny compared to the interest and fees of other services), DebtClear will walk you through a detailed process that empowers anyone with unsecured debt to clear their debts by 80% or more.
The whole idea of DebtClear is to build a roadmap where you can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel — many people in the DebtClear community swear their success comes from not only seeing their real progress, but knowing that they are in control of their own financial destinies.
Now DebtClear isn’t for everyone though— it takes real commitment, and a desire to get rid of your debt for good. If you’re up for it though, you can read more about it here.
Hopefully, you now have a much clearer idea of how you can be freed from your debt, but if you have any questions about any of these methods, please feel free to contact us, we’d love to help.