I took all the debt from my previous marriage plus a mortgage. I have been able to pay at least the minimum for the last 3 years but have been unable to pay down anything. I have asked for rate reductions, etc. One card offered me a temporary rate reduction but the others have not. My credit was bad in the past and I have worked very hard to improve it. I don’t want to ruin it again. None of the banks have allowed me to discuss settlement options because my accounts are current. I am no longer adding to the debt but I don’t have anything extra to pay it down with.
Are there any options to settle or payoff without ruining my credit?
I understand your goal but it’s mixing objectives. It’s a bit like saying I want to go fast and cook great meals at the same time.
Credit can be rebuilt as needed but debt can only be tackled most effectively with the right solution. And depending on your situation the most appropriate tool for the time might immediately impact your credit score.
No solution, other that paying your debt off in accordance with the contractual terms or getting an unsecured debt consolidation loan to satisfy your debt, will not leave your credit without some mark.
It appears that some sort of intervention is going to be required in order to allow you to get your finances back on track and get you financially safe again.
The most logical approach would be a chapter 7 bankruptcy. With that approach you could be debt free in less than three months and get to work rebuilding your credit quickly using my free guide.
Let’s start with the basics.
I’d suggest you first read How to Get Out of Debt. The Honest and Unvarnished Truth and The Truth About The Success Rates, Failure Rates and Completion Rates of Credit Counseling, Debt Settlement, and Bankruptcy. They will give you a great overview of what we need to deal with to get you moving in the right direction.
Then use the free How to Get Out of Debt Calculator to review your options.
After that, come back here and comment about what seems to make the most sense and let’s discuss that.
If you are still unsure what to do then I’d suggest you take advantage of this free consultation.