I’m in a Debt Management Program and I Can’t Afford It. What Should I Do? – Anne

“Dear Steve,

I owe tons in credit cards and am in dept management. That payment takes half of my salery each month and now my student loans are out of forberance and i don’t qualify for financial hardship.

Is debt arbitration legitamite? They say they can cut my debt by 60% and my payments would be half of what I am paying in debt management which would free up money to pay student loans.



Dear Anne,

A debt management program stops being helpful when the payment is not affordable. Once the debt management company that you are working with has trimmed your payment as much as it can, then that’s it. There is no “negotiation” involved here with your creditors. In any debt management program or credit counseling program the creditors call the shots and demand certain minimum payments.

Owing student loans is a serious issue. Defaulting on your student loans can result in a 40% collection charge on top of what you already owe, wage garnishment, tax refund interception, and even more bad stuff. Since your loans have been in forbearance (on hold) the balance that you owed continued to grow. Putting loans on hold as a way to deal with them might be good for the short-term but not a real way to deal with them for the long-term.

I think you need to stop fooling yourself with looking for some magic solution here for your debts. You tried debt management and it has not worked for you. Neither will debt arbitration, debt settlement or debt invalidation. None of these approaches deal with the true underlying issue that you need to focus on driving down your student loans now that you have exhausted your postponement and financial hardship periods.

I always encourage people to look into their options so they can be better informed and make better decisions. So click here for debt settlement information and see what they actually have to say about being able to reduce the amount you owe. Just keep in mind, if you are going to be paying money into a debt settlement fund, month-after-month, that is going to get you deep into collections with your creditors and possibly sued. You’ve stayed out of this queue by being in debt management.

I think you need to take a good hard look at bankruptcy here. If you are going into a monthly payment debt settlement program it will trash your credit, so will bankruptcy. but the irony here is that instead of spending years making payments hoping for a settlement, you can start a fresh new financial life within months through bankruptcy. Click here for a free bankruptcy consultation with a local bankruptcy attorney. I urge you to check it out as part of your research.

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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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