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Which Credit Counseling Company Will Negotiate for Me? – Lynn

“Dear Steve,

I’m about 50k in unsecured credit card debt.

No home ownership. Own 1 car.

Husband and I still have 1 teen in high school. (needs braces)

Moved into elderly parents (89/90 yrs) home to help care for them (2 years and counting)

No missed payments 30 mos + but hanging on by skin of my teeth.

My Credit Card Rates are too high and I cannot make any progress in paying down at 15%-28%. interest rates I can afford the minimums, but not much else.

I called two reputable credit counseling agencies and both said the they would help through a Debt Management Program but would close my credit cards, and hurt my credit.

I learned my lesson with debt a while ago and very responsible – almost never use credit because I want to pay down DEBT.

I just want a way to get my interest rates lowered with the credit card companies. I think I would have a shot at getting rid of this anchor of debt. Learning from Dave Ramsey videos.

PS About two years ago when the credit laws changed, the Credit Card companies sent me letters, significantly lowering my limits, which hurt my debt ratio, which raised and/or affected my ability to get a lower interest rate. Basically, they locked me into a terrible situation.

Is there any credit counseling company who will negotiate and lower my interest rates without making me “close” my accounts? I live in Northern California.

Thanks, and glad I found you.

Lynn”

Dear Lynn,

I think we need to first clear up a common misperception, credit counseling groups do not negotiate, they pass on the terms the creditors dictate.

This was made clear in this lawsuit recently filed.

You can review all of your most common debt relief strategies using The Amazing How to Get Out of Debt Calculator.

For me, the heart of this matter is the concern about you financially moving forward safely. For whatever reason you have apparently fallen back to credit card debt to make ends meet or cover expenses you otherwise could not afford.

The forward moving issue is that a solution that leaves you just getting by may not be the most appropriate to protect you if you are unable to save money each month.

Once your credit cards become unusable, then any unexpected expenses will have to be paid from cash you are able to save in an emergency fund. Unless you drastically reduce your monthly obligations on your credit card debt you may not be able to save.

In your investigations on how to deal with this situation you should click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney. Bankruptcy is a reasonable path to follow. You most likely will qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy which will allow you to discharge your debt in months rather than years in an extended debt settlement or credit counseling program. This will give you a chance to start saving to protect you and your family. It’s easy to rebuild credit after bankruptcy.

And remember this, just because you go bankrupt it does not mean you can’t repay your debt if you want to. If you do decide to repay you can do it at 0% interest and on your own terms.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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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.

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