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How to Choose Between Debt Management and Debt Elimination

Jun 13, 2008
Overwhelming credit card debt is a very common problem for many American consumers. Too many people just continue to pay their monthly minimum payments without any knowledge that their debt burden may never go away.

When a person comes to the realization that they are caught in an endless cycle of debt, they may then admit that help is needed. What people may not know is what kind of help is available, and how to find it.

Understanding all of the options to relieve themselves of debt can be very confusing. Choosing the best plan of action can also add the stress caused by the debt in the first place.

One option is to enroll in a debt management program. A debt management company will attempt to work with your creditors to lower the interest rates and waive any fees, such as over-the-limit fees and late fees. Please notice the words "attempt to". There is no guarantee that the creditor will agree to lower the interest rate or waive any fees. Interest rates may actually increase when a credit card company is informed of a financial hardship.

With a debt management program, your budget will be analyzed to determine how much money per month you can part with to pay down these debts, and initiate a plan to make regular payments to your creditor for a specific dollar amount. Once your creditor sees a pattern of regular payments reducing the principal balance, they may agree to lower the interest rates even further.

For a debt management program to be effective, the debt should be paid off within five years. You must be able to continue to make the regularly scheduled payments. Keep in mind that interest will continue to accrue, so your payments are not all being applied to the principal balance. Part of the payments will continue to be applied to interest, as well as any monthly fee charged by the management company.

The debt management company should provide you with an amortization schedule, showing the amount of principal and interest you will be paying each month, month after month. With this schedule, you will be able to see exactly the amount of time it will take to be debt free under the payment plan. Even this schedule can change due to adjusting interest rates, missed payments, or extra payments. If the management company cannot provide an amortization schedule, perhaps you should look for a different debt management company.

If you cannot work out a plan to have the debt paid off within five years, a debt management program may not be right for you. One option to consider is a debt elimination program.

A debt elimination program will allow a person to legally walk away from 100% of their non-secured credit card debt, without bankruptcy, consolidation, or refinancing. A person can take advantage of this program just once. It's kind of a financial "do-over".

With a debt elimination program, a person can select which cards to eliminate, and which ones to keep. The eliminated cards can no longer be used. The ultimate goal is to learn how to live without credit cards altogether.

An elimination program does not perform its function overnight. A good program will have you debt-free in 6 - 12 months. It will also include an education on the credit card system, so that it is understood just how and why an elimination program can work.

Student loans, medical bills, and any secured loans do not apply to a debt elimination program. Only major credit cards, signature loans, and unsecured lines-of-credit are applicable. For these types of debts, a true elimination program may be the financial re-start people are looking for.
About the Author
Billed as The True Debt Advisor, Jim Vrana's mission is to educate and empower people to overcome their financial challenges. The time-tested legal procedures used to eliminate credit card debt have been used by thousands of people with tremendous success.

Jim Vrana
True Debt Advisor
(800) 637-1785
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