Debt Management

Updated on December 29, 2009
J.E. asks from Atco, NJ
8 answers

Has anybody ever used a debt management program od done a debt settlement?

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answers from Johnstown on

Hi J.,
Please be careful. Since I'd lost my job a while back and had decided to become a SAHM due to the outrageous cost of child care (a decision I will NEVER regret :) ), we've been struggling something awful. I have several friends/family members in both banking and real estate. All--every single one of them--to us NOT to do that. All informed my hubby and I that it is better for YOU to talk to your creditors personally and work the issue out yourself than it is to go through a company who gets paid for you not to pay back your full debtload. All mentioned that it usually has more of a negative impact on credit reports than just outright filing for bankruptcy. My hubby and I decided to go ahead and do things on our own and believe it or not my friends were right. Most of the companies are willing to work with you when you explain the situation and are able to give them a reasonable payment each month. Best of luck to you and have a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year :)



answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi J.,
I am on board with others here.......Dave Ramsey is the way to go. The Total Money Makeover will change your life forever if you choose to follow it. It also comes on CD if you can't find the time to read and would rather listen. Also, he has a radio show. Just look him up on the internet, you can listen to his radio shows directly from his web page.
Debt consolidation companies will for the most part consolidate for you for "free". What they don't tell you is that they charge handling fees. This is a bad way to go!
Good luck to you! Dave Ramsey changed my life! I hope you find relief as well.



answers from Chicago on

If you are looking to finance anything in the future you may want to talk to your bank about how these are viewed. Some lenders view partcipation in these programs as a form of bankruptcy.



answers from Pittsburgh on

BE CAREFUL! Please stay away from debt consolidation! Even though companies bill themselves as "not for profit" that just means the CEO gets ALL of the profit and that = zero EXTRA profit. And it can do damage to your credit--although generally, the idea of "credit" is an American myth.

Seriously, just get (library) either O. of Dave Ramsay's books "Financial Peace" or "Total Money Makeover". They are quick reads and apply common sense to getting out of debt. There is no magic involved and it's not easy. You don't get into debt overnight and you won't get out overnight, but you will get OUT with a plan. You can do this on your own--negotiate payments, get better interest rates, etc. No need to pay anyone to do it for you.

It definitely works--my DH and I recently paid off our home and have NO credit card debt.



answers from York on

Read Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover" - it will change your life.. if you do what he outlines in the book. It won't happen overnight and you have to be disciplined, but it does work!



answers from Philadelphia on

I'm not sure if this will be helpful or not but my husband and I read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover and using his plan we implemented a strict budget for ourselves. In about a year we managed to pay off all our debts (over $60,000) and now we have just our mortgage left.
Good Luck!



answers from Philadelphia on

If you are interested in finding a good program check out this site:

You do have to be careful because a lot of these companies have similar sounding names and many of them do nothing to help you and could cause you more problems.

This site has a great forum and useful tools to help you if you want to try and tackle things on your own:

I think Dave Ramsey is good too but I think participating in a program can help some people out. If you are behind in your payments and struggling it can be a relief to have help especially since some of these companies that handle collections don't always follow the law and can be quite nasty to deal with and that only adds to the stress you are already under.

If you are behind and looking to settle I don't think participating a legitimate program is that big of a deal. Your credit is already hurt. I was in a program for a while and I didn't notice any difference in my credit and when I looked at my credit report it did not indicate that the cards were in consolidation.


answers from Allentown on

Hi, J.:

Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)in your area, they have folks that will help in credit counseling.

Good luck. D.

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