Hello - I recently purcashed a company and the business struggled with cash flow. I am now working for someone else but accumulated $75K worth of credit card debt. I have $750 a month to pay off the credit cards, but the amount I owe each month totals around $2300. My credit is shot due to being delinquent. I am not trying to avoid the debts, I just can not afford the large monthly payment. What are my options. Thanks
ANSWER: Thank you for your question. First, I want to assure you that you are not alone in this predicament; many small business owners find themselves buried in debt before they even know what happened. Thankfully, I can think of several possible solutions to your problem, but which option is the best for you will depend on how old the debts are, if you own property, and how much money you can afford to allocate to your debts on a monthly basis. Since they are small business debts, it will also depend on if you personally guaranteed the debts or if there is any recourse (collections, legal, or credit impact) to you personally if you do not pay the debts.
If you follow the links below, I can put you in contact with a company that may be able to assist you in resolving these debts.
Very quickly, if you want a free debt consultation with one of Bill's approved debt help partners, click here: http://www.bills.com/debthelp/debt/
Now, on to your options...
If you own a home, a secured debt consolidation loan may be right for you. This type of loan is essentially a home equity loan which is used to pay off your other creditors. Secured consolidation loans help many consumers by consolidating all of their debts into a single monthly payment with a lower interest rate and payment amount. However, since your husband is unaware of your debt problems, a consolidation loan secured by your home may not be a practical solution, as keeping this type of loan from your husband could be difficult. Also, be careful before you borrow money against your home to pay off credit cards and other unsecured loans; you will be converting what was previously unsecured debt into secured debt. This could cause you problems down the road if for some reason you are unable to make your payments, or if life circumstances force you to file bankruptcy, as you may not be able to discharge the secured debt as you would unsecured debt. However, secured debt consolidation loans work for many people, so this is an option to consider carefully–the Bills.com Savings Center is a great resource to help you find a lender for this type of loan.
Bills.com makes it easy to compare mortgage offers and different loan types. Please visit the loan page and find a loan that meets your needs at: http://www.bills.com/mortage/refinance/
Another option to consider is a Consumer Credit Counseling Service, or CCCS. CCCS companies offer numerous services, such as financial counseling and budget planning, as well as Debt Management Plans (DMPs). In a DMP, the CCCS would arrange a new payment amount with each of your creditors, usually based on a reduced interest rate. You would then make a single monthly payment to the CCCS which would distribute the funds to your creditors, based on the new payment amounts. There are several drawbacks to CCCS, though. First, depending on your creditors, it may not be able to reduce your monthly payments enough to improve your financial situation. Second, it may have a negative impact on your ability to obtain a loan, so you may not wish to enter into a DMP if you anticipate any large purchases, such as home or an auto, in the near future. Third, the average DMP takes around five years to pay off your debts, so you must be willing and able to commit to a long-term repayment plan.
You may also want to consider the services offered by debt settlement firms. Rather than making monthly payments to your creditors, these programs negotiate lump sum settlements with your creditors, frequently reducing your debts by 50% to 60% of your principal balances. These programs usually take only 2-3 years to complete, so this is a good option for many people to rid themselves of debt in a relatively speedy manner. In many cases they can also reduce your monthly payment toward your debt. There is one major drawback to debt settlement programs, though–they will significantly damage your credit while in the program and for at least a year or two afterwards. However, if you are currently unable to afford to pay your creditors, the hit to your credit may be worth the benefit of ridding yourself of credit card debt. Because of your financial difficulties, you may want to stop focusing on the importance of your credit score. Although you may have a good credit score, because of your low income and large debt amount, most lenders will likely see you as a high risk borrower, and may not be willing to extend you credit, so your actual credit rating may not good as you believe. A debt settlement program is probably the fastest way to resolve you debts, and once you repay your debts, you should be able to rebuild your credit score through careful management of your credit accounts.
It sounds like, given your monthly payment constraint and impaired credit rating, that debt settlement is a viable option. One very good company offering these services is Freedom Debt Relief ( www.freedomdebtrelief.com )
Hopefully, one of the several options I have described above may be able to help you. I encourage you to explore the Bills.com website, http://www.bills.com/debthelp/ to read more about these and other options available to you.
I hope this information helps you Find. Learn. Save.