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Advice on Help with Credit Card Debt

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Mark Cappel
UpdatedJun 17, 2024

I need help with a strategy to payoff my credit cards? Can you provide me with some ideas?

Hello Bill, I have to decide my best option for credit debt. I have 13,000 in 24.99% interst. After paying 500 a month for the past year it's gone down very little. I make 350 on a good week but have no other bills. My three choices are as follows. a) Split it into three seperate 0% for 6 to 9 months accounts. I already got one awaiting balance transfer and others that should be approved as well if i call. My concern then is payments on 3x 4000 differnt cards would be 900 at a guess. But may get me almost paid off near the end of the 0% intro apr. b) Private credit counseling company, they say i can pay 295 for 3 years to only 8K or 9K and be done with it. Sounds great, I don\'t much care about my credit score or have any hope for the future at this point so... What\'s the catch? How can I only pay 8K on 13K and get away with it? c)a non profit counseling service who I still need to consult, the for profit counselor says the non profit will need 1.5x the total balance over 7 years with lower payments. What can I do, as paying 500 a month and going nowhere isn't very fun?

Thank you for your question, Tom. First, I want to assure you that you are not alone in this predicament; many consumers find themselves buried in debt before they even know what happened. Thankfully, I can think of several possible solutions to your problem, several of which you described in your question. The fact that you have already begun researching possible solutions is a good sign that you are committed to resolving this financial predicament. 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: Debt Relief Savings Quote

To be honest, I think that transferring the balances of these debts to new credit cards will only effectively solve your debt problem if you can payoff the balances during the 0% interest introductory period. If all three of the new cards require 4% minimum payments, your initial minimum payments should total about $520 on your $13,000 in debt. However, when the interest kicks in, the payments will likely increase significantly and you will again be stuck in financial turmoil. The amount that the minimum payments increase when the interest charges begin will depend on the rate being charged by the credit card companies you choose. Before you decide to transfer your debt to new credit cards, you should contact the new credit card banks to find out what the interest rates and minimum payments will be when introductory 0% rate period ends. For more information about credit cards and other credit resources, I encourage you to visit the Credit Card page.

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 automobile, 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, 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.

Hopefully, one of the several options I have described above may be able to help you. I cannot tell you which option is best for you, since I do not know enough about the details of your financial situation to make an informed recommendation. However, I encourage you to explore the debt help section on, to read more about these and other options available to you.

I hope that the information I have provided helps you resolve your debts and helps you Find. Learn. Save.



Did you know?

Mortgages, credit cards, student loans, personal loans, and auto loans are common types of debts. According to the NY Federal Reserve total household debt as of Q1 2024 was $17.69 trillion. Housing debt totaled $12.82 trillion and non-housing debt was $4.88 trillion.

A significant percentage of people in the US are struggling with monthly payments and about 26% of households in the United States have debt in collections. According to data gathered by from a sample of credit reports, the median debt in collections is $1,739. Credit card debt is prevalent and 3% have delinquent or derogatory card debt. The median debt in collections is $422.

Collection and delinquency rates vary by state. For example, in Georgia, 18% have student loan debt. Of those holding student loan debt, 9% are in default. Auto/retail loan delinquency rate is 6%.

To maintain an excellent credit score it is vital to make timely payments. However, there are many circumstances that lead to late payments or debt in collections. The good news is that there are a lot of ways to deal with debt including debt consolidation and debt relief solutions.



mmattyflex, Oct, 2010
My name is Matthew Medeiros. I am a certified credit counselor with an accredited non-profit credit counseling organization. We are currently assisting over 100,000 clients with their unsecured debts. Give me a call or e-mail me. I'll have one of my counselors give you a no cost/no obligation debt assessment to see if we can help you. Go to apply for the program on our site and within minutes you can be on your way to settling your debts. If it's something that will work well for you, we'll go forward with sending you our enrollment package. We are BBB, USOBS and TASC certified…
tthomas s, Mar, 2010
LOAN APPLICATION DATA...I am a lender who gives out loans to those business and private people with low rates of 3%. I give Secure and Un-Secured loans with a range amount of $5,000 USD to $5,000,000 USD. If you want a loan and you have a bad credit, no problem
BBill, Jun, 2009
Bankruptcy is a serious matter and you should consult with an attorney to see what your options are. If you are still earning, then you might not even qualify for a chapter 7, which would basically forgive your debts and help you get a fresh start. What you might end up with is a Chapter 13 form of a bankruptcy which is basically a court ordered restructuring of your debts. In my opinion it will be better if you settle the debts yourself rather than file for chapter 13 bankruptcy.
CChristine, Jun, 2009
I am torn whether to file for BK because I feel like my debt will take me forever to pay off. My credit score is already low and so at this point I wonder would BK be more beneficial in the long run to improve my credit score so that i can be out of debt and work on getting my credit up? or should I continue working with settling my accounts one at at time which will take me about 5 years to pay off.