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Legitimate Help With Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt is a fact of life for most working Americans. In fact, the average American household today has a credit card debt of around $8,000, and the number of individual and corporate bankruptcies caused in part by mounting credit debts has been on the rise since the beginning of the current economic recession that started in 2008. A big part of the problem has been the result of a long-time, nationwide habit of consumer reliance on shaky credit lines.

Many people fall victim to credit card companies’ marketing schemes that lure customers in with ultra low interest rates, also called “teaser rates,” that last for a brief period of time before skyrocketing and often crippling the credit card holder. One of the easiest (and not one of the smartest) ways to pay for the resulting increase in debt is to take out more credit cards (a.k.a. to accrue more debt). The cycle can be fast and easy to fall into, but it’s not impossible to get out of it. With the right professional credit card debt help, climbing your way back to financial stability and getting rid of crippling debt is something that anyone can accomplish, provided they’re willing to do the work and the research.

No matter how you paint it, becoming debt free requires a lot of will and financial discipline. For this reason, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of a professional debt relief company who can provide you quality advice and a solid plan of attack. This site, DebtReliefCompanies.net, is the perfect place to start if you’re looking for the best help for credit card debt (although I may be a bit biased…). But seriously, you’ll find useful information on reliable financial debt advisors and a wealth of useful articles concerning credit card debt consolidation help and resources. Learn how to avoid adding to your credit card debt and how to find honest companies who can help you. Being well informed is one of the most important parts of finding the path towards financial security.

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Additional Credit Card Debt Articles

Ways to Reduce Credit Card Debt – Avoid Serious Debt Problems

: April 5, 2007 9:03 am : Credit Card Debt Help

When trying to get out of debt, the decision to cut up your credit cards needs to be looked at on a case by case basis. There are many ways to reduce credit card debt and there are many different circumstances that cause most debt problems in the first place. One of the most important factors to consider is what type of person are you? Generally there are three types of personalities of people with debt problems:

    1. The person who is in debt because they cannot control their spending

    -Yes, you must destroy your credit cards.

    2. The person who is generally OK with their spending but a series of small events (temporary loss of job, unexpected but mandatory expenses, etc) have caused them to have to go beyond their debt comfort level and they are slipping into the danger zone

    -You probably are OK keeping your cards, provided you have the discipline to immediately stop all non-essential spending.

    3. The person who finds themselves in debt because of a large one time event such as a medical illness or other uncontrolable life changing event.

    -You most likely are OK leaving your cards open and you probably will need them. Use them very sparingly only for essential expenses while you get out of financial trouble.

However, you must remember above all that if you use the services of a debt relief company, you must do as they say. If they believe you should immediately cut up your credit cards to avoid further debt problems, listen to them. They are the professionals and they have helped many people before you become debt free and they know the ways to reduce your credit card debt.

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How Are Credit Scores Determined?

: March 22, 2007 4:17 pm : Credit Card Debt Help

Yes, the dreaded and mysterious credit score which is a far more important number in our lives than anyone would like to admit. However, few of us understand how are credit scores determined. Truthfully, it matters because it dictates how much we pay for any type of loan we need whether it is short term loans in the form of a credit card purchase or a lease on a new car. Your credit score determines your interest rates which will determine how much you will have to pay to borrow the money you need. You want to improve your credit score as much as possible.

For something that is so important in our lives, it is odd that very few people know their score and how it is determined. The five factors that determine your credit score (in the order of importance) are:

    1. Are your bills paid on time?
    2. How close you are to using up all the credit extended to you (approved credit lines)
    3. How often you request credit (the more you do it the worse your score is)
    4. The types of debt you have (secured like a mortgage or unsecured like credit card debt)
    5. How long you have had credit from each company you borrow from

What does all this mean? To summarize, you more you have established credit relationships that you have been paying off on time without constantly applying for new credit cards, the better off your score will be.

Treat your credit cards like a any relationship you want in your life, namely:

  • Long lasting and consistent
  • Steady and reliable
  • Loyal
  • Your credit score will affect your entire financial life including your debt accumulation so take steps to improve it. After all there is no use in paying higher rates than the next guy if you don’t have to.

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    Need Credit Card Relief? Will the High Fees Ever Go Away?

    : March 14, 2007 10:33 am : Credit Card Debt Help

    Now more than ever, people are in dire need of credit card relief. Apparently, the mainstream media and subsequently, our Federal government, is starting to turn up the heat on the credit card companies. The new movie called Maxed Out has brought the high rates and fees that the industry charges to the political forefront and may force the credit card companies to change their practices and policies.

    It seems as though the Universal Default Clause I discuss here was one step too far for Congress to accept in raking consumers over the coals especially in this economy when people need credit card relief. Apparently a few credit card companies have already dropped the Universal Default policy from their terms but I suspect they will be forced to make even more changes as a result of the current problem with the lending practices in the low end mortgage market (called the sub-prime market).

    But the reality is that the credit card companies entire business model is based on giving people access to credit who cannot really afford it. They have figured out the psychology of Americans and their spending habits. They not only figured it out but they exploited it all the way to the bank. Someday, I believe it will catch up to them because bottom line is that people cannot pay back what they don’t have which means these companies will be forced to alter thier business and provide consumers with some type of credit card relief.

    Stay tuned…

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    Tricky Credit Card Debt Secrets – The Universal Default Clause

    : March 11, 2007 7:51 am : Credit Card Debt Help

    Do you know what that is? Neither did I until recently. The universal default clause is another secret of the credit card companies that the quietly enacted by including it in the fine print of your credit card agreement that allows credit card companies to increase your interest rates on your card if you make your payments on time BUT are late paying OTHER bills.

    “Really?” Yes, if you are late paying your utility bill, for example and it shows up on your credit report, the universal default clause give your credit card company the right to increase your credit cards rates. They justify it with the assumption that since you were late on your utility bill, you are a higher risk to them and so they need to raise your interest rates.

    Not all credit cards have this clause in their agreements but many do. By burying the clause in the fine print (which they know nobody reads) it is seemingly another way for them to collect more money. This is exactly the type of practice that takes advantage of consumers and is increasingly forcing them into some type of debt relief program. This is just one of many of their tricky credit card debt secrets.

    Unfortunately, the only way to protect yourself is to get out your magnifying glass and read the fine print prior to signing up for a new credit card. You probably should avoid cards with this clause – after all, we all are late paying bills sometimes – why should one bill affect the others?

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    What is a Credit Score?

    : March 2, 2007 9:00 am : Credit Card Debt Help

    Your credit score is a grade just like you got back in high school. It is a way for people who do not know you, your debt amount, your ability to repay a loan, or any other details about your financial health to gauge your creditworthiness. It tells them through one simple number, how likely you are to repay them on time. Bad credit scores definately affect your debt problem, they can make it worse and also harder to get out of debt without drastic measures like debt settlement or bankruptcy.

    Sound unfair?

    True, it’s hard to judge a person solely on a single number spit out by a computer but it has become the standard. Typically the numbers do not lie since they are determined by your past track record. If you pay your bills on time, your score will be fine, if not, your score suffers and so does your ability to rent an apartment, get a car loan, etc.

    Even more importantly is that your interest rates will be higher, the lower your credit score is. Why? Because the people who are loaning you the money will view a low credit score as a big risk and if they are going to take that risk, they want to get paid more for it in terms of higher interest rates that they will charge you.

    The downside in using a single number to judge a persons liklihood to repay a loan, is special unfortunate circumstances that causes some people to fall way behind on their bills and their credit score suffers despite their prior good record. A medical illness, for example, can result in huge bills very quickly. The bills can be way above someone’s ability to pay them back so the debt piles up and the late (or non-existant) payments begin.

    A bad situation gets worse. In these circumstances, drastic times often require drastic measures and the debt relief solutions people often turn to are debt settlement or, in a really bad situation, bankruptcy.

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    How To Get Rid of Credit Card Debt? Reduce Payments?

    : February 14, 2007 7:56 am : Credit Card Debt Help

    Unless you have a rich uncle willing to give you the money, there really are only 2 ways to get rid of your credit card debt by reducing your debt payments make your payment more manageable. The first is through a debt management service (also often called credit counseling). These services will consolidate your credit card bills into a single monthly payment and they work directly with the credit card companies to reduce your rates and fees. Basically they put you on a disciplined spending plan that will get you out of debt over a period of time (depending on your income situation) as long as you stick with their program.

    The second way to get rid of credit card debt and reduce your payments is a more drastic solution yet it will get you out of debt faster. It is by using a debt settlement service. The debt settlement process will actually reduce the amount you owe by up to 60% (not just savings on the rates and fees like with debt management program). Your payments instantly drop based on what you can afford and you make a single monthly payment into a trust. Only when that trust account builds up enough money to pay off your debts one at a time, do the credit card companies get paid. I expain the debt settlement process in more detail here.

    Those are the only 2 tactics to actually reduce what you pay month to month unless you have a home with equity you can use to consolidate your debts (or a rich uncle:).

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    How to Settle Debt Using a Professional Debt Settlement Company?

    : January 15, 2007 9:35 am : Credit Card Debt Help

    If you are deep in debt and need an alternative to bankruptcy, you may decide to settle your debt to benefit from the lower payments and the debt reduction process the service provides. What steps are involved?

    1. Learn everything you can about debt settlement
    2. Find professional debt settlement companies and research them.
    3. Get free consultations. They all offer this so you can get your questions answered and discover which company you feel the most comfortable with.
    4. Each company will offer you a customized payment plan to get you debt free typically in 18-36 months
    5. Pick one you feel best about to settle your debt
    6. Get started! Paperwork, etc…
    7. The company you’ve selected will set up a trust account in your name with a reliable 3rd party company. It’s similar to having another a bank account
    8. You will make monthly payments into that trust account
    9. Once you have paid enough money into that account, the settlement company will start the negotiations with your creditors
    10. One by one, your creditors should agree to accept a negotiated percentage of your outstanding balance and forgive the remaining money you owe
    11. Your debt settlement company will pull the money from your trust account (with your approval) as each negotiation is finalized until you are debt free and the last creditor has been paid!

    That is how you settle debt! It is a perfectly legal process that hundereds of thosands of people (possibly millions?) go through every year.

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    Why Are Personal Credit Card Debt Rates and Fees So High?

    : January 15, 2007 8:47 am : Credit Card Debt Help

    Credit card companies charge you so much on personal credit card debt because it is unsecured as explained here. The fact that they only have your word and a “fine print” agreement that nobody reads that states you will pay back what you owe allows them to charge very high interest rates and often exorbitant fees. It’s how they make so much profit!

    They take on the risk of lending you money even though they know almost nothing about you and your future ability to repay what they loan you. In return for that risk they sock you with lots of added costs when you are late to pay them back.

    So How Can You Reduce Personal Credit Card Debt Interest Rates and Fees?
    The solution for that is called debt management which is typically offered through credit counseling agencies. They will help you set up a budget, consolidate your payments, and lower your rates/fees in order to make the monthly payment more manageable. You may read more about debt management plans here and find reputable debt management companies here.

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    What Is Unsecured Credit Card Debt?

    : January 15, 2007 8:38 am : Credit Card Debt Help

    Credit card debt is unsecured debt because nothing you own is used as collateral against that debt. In other words, your creditors do not have the ability to take anything from you if you are unable to repay that debt.

    By contrast, if you take out a car loan from the bank, the bank will make you sign papers that give them the ability to take your car from you if you cannot make the monthly car payments. That is a secured debt – it is secured by the car. The bank will sell your car and use the cash to pay themselves back.

    Credit card companies cannot take anything from you because there is nothing securing the debt. It will severely damage your credit score and they can sue you if you do not repay it but they cannot take anything away from you without a court order (in which case they may get a judgement against you which might allow them to garnish your wages for repayment).

    However, going to court is a long and expensive process for them which is why there are debt relief companies that serve as middlemen and help facilitate a deal between the person in debt and their creditors for unsecured debts.

    Generally there are 2 types of debt relief companies for unsecured credit card debts, debt settlement companies and debt management companies.

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