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I’ve Looked Into Credit Counseling But I’m a Little Scared. – Wendy

“Dear Steve,

I lost my job in august for last year for two months. I then was only able to get a part time job. Before that I was able to make my credit card payments. on time with a credit score of 780. I called my creditors before I was even late for my first payment after I was layed off. They were not willing to work with me. So, I payed them what I could when I could.

My car payment and one credit card and cell phone bill is all up to par. Now, I have a full time job for less money than what I was making. My credit debt went from 9k to 20k. I’m currently paying each of the 3 creditors 100 a month and of course its not touching any of the balances.

I can only afford to pay 300 a month to them. I do not have any unnecessary expenses and nothing I can sell. I currently live with someone and not paying rent. But that situation can turn at any time as well. I am also not able to get another job because I have a medical problem that prevents me from that. I am really caught between a rock and a hard place.

Ive looked into clearpoint consumer credit counseling but a little scared to go that route because of all the scams. Ive thought about bankruptcy but do not want to be down 10 years with my credit. what are my best options and why?

Wendy”

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The Answer

Dear Wendy,

I think we need to look at the situation not from what is off limits but what is the most logical and best approach to remedy the situation.

Based on $20,000 worth of debt and only $300 a month to devote towards the debt it does not sound like any credit counseling debt management program is not appropriate.

This is the time to not get target focused on one aspect of the situation. There are bigger issues that I’d like for you to consider as well.

You’ve said that you have sold everything and just making it by each month. I also doubt you have the ability to save money each month to protect yourself from future financial trauma and your current income does not allow you to pay rent, etc.

You also made a statement which is not accurate when you said that bankruptcy would leave you “down” for ten years.

Based on te fact you are not able to safely care for yourself, unable to save and the inability to pay for a place to live if you had to, my opinion is that you need to address this situation head-on and strongly consider bankruptcy.

You can click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney and go talk to them about your specific situation.

By going bankrupt now you can discharge your debt in months and then learn from your mistakes and not repeat them. That begins with developing a good savings plan and building up an emergency fund to protect yourself from future financial misfortune.

It is actually relatively easy to rebuild your credit after bankruptcy and if you do decide to file bankruptcy and start over come back and let me know and I’ll show you how easy it actually is.

Without pursuing the bankruptcy option your choice is to labor under attempting to make some partial progress towards repaying your debt over the coming five to seven years. And if you are unable to make at least the minimum payments a creditors wants, it will leave you with bad credit anyway.

Please update me on your progress by posting updates here in the comments section of your question. I’m very interested in how this works out for you.

Big Hug!

Ive Looked Into Credit Counseling But Im a Little Scared.   Wendy
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I've Looked Into Credit Counseling But I'm a Little Scared. - Wendy by

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Thomas Nitzsche

    Wendy,

    If you have already gone through the counseling process at ClearPoint you may want to check to see if we are authorized in your state to issue the pre-file certificate of counseling that is required to file bankruptcy.  There is also a pre-discharge course and certificate that you will need as well.  You can check by calling ClearPoint at 877-877-1995.  You may also be able to get a referral from whatever lawyer you decide to use, but using ClearPoint could save you some time and effort if you have already given all your details previously. 

    Regarding your concern, ClearPoint is the only national non-profit counseling agency with system-wide A+ membership in the Better Business Bureau and a 30+ year history.  http://www.bbb.org

    Best wishes,

    Thomas Nitzsche
    Media Relations Coordinator
    ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions
    http://www.clearpointccs.org

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