In A Financial Crisis? Have You Considered Debt Settlement?

By Christina Costa

Do you suddenly feel as though you are drowning in debt? There is relief available and that is debt settlement! This will have a slight impact on your credit rating, but in comparison to bankruptcy this is a much safer option.

The way debt settlement works, is that you are negotiating with your creditors to reduce the amount you owe them. Say you owe around $9,000 to one credit card company, they might be willing to take a payment of $6,500 in full.

On average, most creditors will be willing to settle between 25-75% of your total balance. They usually will take part of your payment, in hopes that you do not file bankruptcy, since that would leave them with nothing.

A reputable debt settlement company will work on your behalf and negotiate with your creditors. They are the middle man and will go back and forth between you and your creditors. You will have to pay them a fee, but in the end that payment is worth it when they get your overall debt negotiated down.


As soon as they have reached an agreement, the creditors will consider your debt as “paid in full.” They will then report to the credit bureaus that you have completed all of your payment obligations. If you had any delinquent debt already on your credit report, before you started the debt settlement process that will stay with you.

There is a difference between a debt settlement and debt consolidation company. If you want to consolidate then you will get a loan or low interest rate credit card to pay off all of your debts. Debt consolidation is when you combine all of your debts into one and make only one payment a month.

If a debt settlement company is the best choice for you, make sure that you go with one that is reputable. This is your financial future you are placing in someone else’s hands. There are many legitimate debt settlement companies, but there are also companies who are looking to just make money off of you.

Make sure you check with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) for any complaints against the company. It also is a good idea to get referrals from any friends of family.

Credit companies do not make it public knowledge that they are willing to settle debts. They are not going to make the process easy on you, because they do not want to lose any money. The do not see debt settlement as a means to an end of a bad credit situation. Because of this, most creditors do not directly want to work with consumers to settle their debt until they are past due.

When you are three to six months behind on paying your debts, this is usually the best time to try and settle your debts. The creditors know that you are having trouble making payments, and like I said earlier they might be fearful that bankruptcy is your next step. If you file for bankruptcy they get nothing.

So as a last ditch effort to get some form of a payment they usually will be willing to settle your debt for a lower amount than what you owe.

Admitting that you might actually be in some sort of financial trouble is the first step. No one really wants to believe that they are so far in debt that they might need to seek professional help. Yet, if you are struggling from month to month trying to meet your obligations, it is time to get focused and back on your feet.

Bankruptcy should be kept in the back of your mind as the absolute last possible way to dig your way out of the hole you have fallen into with debt. Take a chance with debt settlement and find a reputable company who can help you get your bad credit in order and finally live a life without any worry towards your finances!

About the Author: Christina Costa, a freelance writer, recommends for

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