How To Get Out Of Debt

How Can I Consolidate My Credit Card Payments Without Using Settling My Debt?

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Written by Steve Rhode

Question:

Dear Steve,

I am trying to pay off my credit card debt without resorting to a debt consolidation company due to all the ones I talk to does not offer just a loan but want to put me on some type of payment plan where I pay so much into my account while they negotiate with my creditor, once they get my rates to something manageable then they will use that way to start paying my credit card.

Very unsure about this. So what are my options? How easy is it to call my credit card company and ask them to lower my interest rates so I can pay off some credit cards earlier?

Karen

Answer:

Dear Karen,

It sounds like you’ve been talking to debt settlement companies. But another option that can lower your interest rates and give you the benefits of a consolidation loan would be to work with a credit counseling group like Consolidated Credit Counseling.

They would be able to give you one payment each month that would be divided into payments forwarded to your creditors.

Credit Counseling groups already have defined arrangements in place with creditors so nothing is really negotiated.

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You can always call your credit card companies and ask for lower rates. However, unless you get your accounts delinquent or in default, you are not going to reach the right departments to get those rates.

The credit counseling route is the easiest way. But keep in mind that accounts included in a credit counseling program are going to be closed and you will not have access to them. There will also be little or no payment reduction from what you are paying now.

Credit counseling programs are a very orderly process and I have little concern your payment is not going to be dealt with in a responsible way.

“We know that most situations vary. As a result, we make certain that individuals who call us for a consultation understand how our program works as well as the advantages and disadvantages,” says Gary Herman president of Consolidated Credit.

“If a person is not making progress paying down credit card debts on their own, and they care about the future of their credit rating, I would recommend that they get more information about how a debt management program from a nonprofit credit counseling works.”

The real question that needs to be answered is if you are struggling to pay off your debt or you are looking for a way to structurally make it easier to pay off with just one payment.


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About the author

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.

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