Credit Relief: Do it Yourself and Professional Services
Credit card debt is no stranger to millions of Americans. According to the Federal Reserve, credit card debt is over $812 billion. Average interest rates are close to 13%, with many credit cards carrying interest rates over 24%. If you are only making minimum payments, you will stretch out your credit card debt for a very long time.
The cost of food, gasoline, education and other basic items is rising. It is hard to make ends meet. A sudden drop in income or an unexpected expense, such as an emergency medical bill or auto repair, can cause financial distress. However, there are solutions that can help you get out of debt. Some you can do yourself and some require professional assistance.
I recommend that your credit relief plan include the following steps:
- Use the Bills.com free budget guide
- Use the Bills.com Debt Coach tool.
- Get a free consultation from a debt professional
- Choose the right credit relief solution: DIY or professional
Use Bills.com Free Budget Guide
Finding the best credit relief solution begins by analyzing your financial situation and identifying your main problems. You may be able to find ways to save money, increase your income, or find credit cards with better terms. Your budget need not be exact, to begin with. However, after just a few months, you will have a very accurate picture. Make sure that your budget includes a list of your debts, your income and all your expenses (monthly and expenses that you incur occasionally).
Bills.com budget guide helps you set up and maintain your budget. It also contains tips to help you analyze your financial situation, including these rules of thumb:
- Non-mortgage debt (credit cards) should not be more than 15% of your allocated income.
- Total monthly debt payments compared to gross income (includes mortgage, credit cards, auto loan, student loan) should not exceed 44%.
- Monthly mortgage payment compared to gross income should not exceed 31%
Use Bills.com Debt Coach
A budget is a tool that helps you control your debt and stay out of debt. It is also necessary to have a game plan, no matter what credit relief solution you choose. In addition to the budget guide, Bills.com offers you the Debt Coach.
Debt Coach helps you find the right solution by looking at your actual debts and taking into account your individual credit relief goals. Debt Coach suggests the best solution for you including:
- Optimizing credit card payments
- Credit counseling and Debt Management Programs
- Debt settlement
Debt Coach, along with other Bills.com articles provides additional information about each of the credit relief solutions. Your next step is to decide how to implement the solution.
Many companies that offer credit relief solutions offer you a free consultation. Your consultation should include an in-depth examination of your financial health, the exact nature of your debt problems, and the preferred solution.
Do not confuse the free credit relief consultation with free debt relief solutions. These companies, even if they are non-profit companies, offer professional services that you pay for. Before you sign up for any service, check out the debt company. Make sure that the company representative presents you with a detailed plan that includes all the offered services and fees.
Implementing a Credit Relief Solution
Your next step is figuring out how to implement the best credit relief solution. For most people with credit problems, the only free credit relief solution is to do it by yourself. Getting the cheapest deal is not always the best deal. Real solutions require negotiation, financial, and legal skills. The bottom line- finding a credit solution is up to you!
Learn how to create a good budget and establish healthy financial practices, including saving money. If you have problems, read articles about the different debt relief options. Many times, solving credit problems require specialized knowledge.
Getting to the finish line, becoming debt free, often takes professional assistance. Take advantage of a free consultation before signing onto any program. Professional help, in the end, can save you money, time and stress. Once you finish a credit relief program, remember to keep up your healthy financial practices.