If you’re heavily indebted, struggling to keep up with bills, and searching for solutions, you should know that there are a lot of debt relief services available to you. The hard part is determining which one is the best for you.
The traditional debt relief options include bankruptcy, credit counseling, debt consolidation, and debt settlement. If you haven’t yet started researching the subject of debt relief services, than you probably have no clue which one of these types of relief might be best for your specific financial situation. An easy way to get a general idea of which ones might be the best for you is by assessing your debt and your ability to pay it off based on the projection of future income.
To get started, get a rough idea of how much debt you have. Next, you’re going to categorize this debt by type. For the purpose of this exercise, your debt will either be categorized as “secured debt” or “unsecured debt.” A secured debt is debt in which your creditors hold collateral. Examples of secured debts include mortgages and car payments. Unsecured debt, on the other hand, is debt in which your creditors do not hold collateral. This means if you don’t pay the debt, your creditors don’t have a legal right to repossess any of your belongings. Unsecured debts typically include credit card bills and medical bills.
Once you’ve determined how much debt you have and have categorized it into one of two categories, you can then move to the next step of the assessment. In this step, you need to examine the interest rates on your debt, the projected pay off, and your projected future income. When looking at these numbers, you need to ask yourself “is it possible to pay this debt off by making only minimum, monthly payments?” If the answer is yes, then you the debt relief service for you may be credit counseling or debt consolidation. Under these two programs, you can usually get that little help you need in the form of decreased interest rates or reduced monthly payments; but for those worse off, this little bit of help may not be enough. In that case, you’re going to have to consider the possibility of debt settlement or bankruptcy.
You’re now probably wondering why you had to categorize your debt as either secured or unsecured. Well, that becomes important now as it can mean the difference in negotiating your debt or discharging it via bankruptcy. If the majority of your debt is unsecured, you can most likely avoid the cruel fate of bankruptcy. This is because your creditors will be willing to negotiate a settlement for your debt since they possess no collateral on it. On the other hand, if most of your debt is secured, your creditors can simply take what is theirs; meaning, there is no need for negotiation. If this is the case, unfortunately, all debt relief services may be unavailable to you, except for one: bankruptcy.
Now you should have a pretty good idea of where you stand in terms of options for debt relief services. But don’t celebrate (or queue the funeral music) just yet — you can’t be certain which debt relief option is the best for you without further research. Make sure you consult with the proper authorities and it wouldn’t hurt to discuss your options with a bankruptcy lawyer. In the end, no matter which debt relief option turns out to be the best for you, you will still be on the path to building a brighter financial future.