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Credit Card Consolidations
Matthew Said:What is a really good credit card consolidation company?
We Answered:I do not believe that using debt consoliation is a good plan. Personally I would not spend even $25 (it's usually 100s) of dollars for this kind of service that could be going towards the actual debt instead. Instead, I would work 3 jobs to pay these off.
The majority of people who do consolidations do not change their behavior, which is the main problem. You could be right back in the same boat.
See the source below for the hows of getting out of debt., This is not easy, and it is not a gimmick. I can testify that it works. Type in the "Baby Steps" in the search field to get started
Danielle Said:i was thinking of paying credit cards off because collections. Should i use a credit card consolidation compan
We Answered:Many people think that using a consolidation company is one step away from declaring bankruptcy. This is not necessarily true. Not every credit card company or lender of credit thinks this way; it's subjective. A consolidation company, for some people, is the best way to get out of debt.
Dan Said:Is credit card consolidation bad for your credit?
We Answered:The short answer is yes it will drop your credit score.
The better bet is to arrange to move all of your credit card debt to one low interest card. Then CUT up everything else, including the new card. Make no new charges and pay down as much of the credit card debt each month that you can afford. Going forward pay with everything with cash until you are out of debt, and stick to a budget. Then you can use your credit card, only when you can pay the balance off at the end of each month if you want to use a rewards program, or in the event of an emergency. Beyond that you need to only owe on your mortgage, and maybe a car payment if necessary.
Sherry Said:how does the whole credit card consolidation process work?
We Answered:I would suggest you try to find a local place where you can see someone face-to-face (as opposed to over the phone). A good, reputable non-profit is CCCS or Consumer Credit Counseling Services. They will set up an appointment with you and ask you to bring in a bunch of information: your last few pay stubs, all your bills and statements, a copy of your credit report (if you have one handy, if not, they can pull one), etc.
They will go over everything with you and let you know what they can do to help. They are not able to consolidate all bad debts, so be aware of that up front. They are nationally recognized, so they are able to negotiate pay offs for you as well as lower your interest rates on credit cards and the like. They can even change the terms (like the monthly payment). After they contact all your creditors, they take into account your monthly income and come up with a figure that will not stretch your budget beyond what you can afford. They will ask you to make a monthly payment to them and then they will divy up the money to the proper people.
After a month or two, it will show up on your credit report that certain accounts are "in consolidation". That is not a bad thing per se. Creditors can at least see that you are taking responsibility.
CCCS might also ask that you make a small donation since they are a non-profit. They've been known to waive the fee if you absolutely cannot afford it. One important thing to remember is that you cannot default on your agreement. It looks really bad credit-wise if you do...so just make sure you're ready to embark on the repayment. The length of time really depends on the severity of the debt (which looks fairly bad) and how much your monthly payments are.
I hope that helps and I wish you the best!
Alma Said:What is the difference between credit card consolidation and loan consolidation?
We Answered:A loan consolidation and a debt consolidation are the same. A bank loans you enough money to pay off credit cards or loans (like a car loan). They group it all into one single loan through them (hence the word "consolidation"). So they take all your outstanding "debt" and put it in one single loan with a fixed monthly payment.
A credit card consolidation can be one of two things:
First - You take a credit card and "transfer" the balances of all your other credit cards onto it. Then you have only one single credit card bill.
Second - A debt consolidation loan where you get a loan through a bank to pay off credit card debt. Sometimes the bank will want you to cancel the cards too. Not always.
Hope this helps!
Arlene Said:What is a legitimate credit card consolidation company?
We Answered:STAY AWAY from any "debt consolidation" company that promises to cut your debt in half through debt settlement....This is a risky tactic of deliberately ceasing all payments to creditors and forcing your accounts into default to attempt settlements. You pay a monthly fee to a debt consolidator....this entire fee goes towards building a settlement account and to the consolidator's fees to “settle” your accounts in the future. Your credit card companies will deliberately not be paid so that all the accounts will default/charge-off so that they can attempt settlements at around 50%. If you are current on your accounts, this process will ruin your credit rating for sure. Debt settlement is like a roll off the dice with your finances...You can never predict how your creditors will respond to the deliberate defaulting of your accounts...they might settle at 50%...or they might serve you a summons, take you to court...and if they win, you could be looking at wage garnishment.
None of these “debt consolidation” firms have the power to force your creditors to accept settlements. Your creditors have the right to refuse these terms and take you to court.
If you have already defaulted on your cards or they're past due, then you can negotiate directly with your creditors. See Suze Orman's advise:
Plan B is entering a Debt Management Plan (DMP) with a non-profit credit counselor like CCCS (Consumer Credit Counseling Services). Contact your local Red Cross for a referral. They can negotiate lower payments and interest rates. They do not negotiate settlements.
They will require you to stop using all credit and to cut up your cards. Your credit report will be updated to "enrolled in debt management." This does not damage your credit, but it may make it impossible to obtain new credit while you are enrolled in their program....so don't use this service if you anticipate applying for a new apartment, car loan or mortgage anytime soon, as you would probably be denied while you're enrolled in the CCCS debt management program.... Otherwise, it can be a very good way to deal with your debt.
Plan C is filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Keep all options open and do what is best for you.
Kevin Said:Thinking about getting a credit card consolidation?
We Answered:Be very wary of the companies that promise credit card debt consolidation loans. Read all of the fine print on anything that you sign. As a long time member of the Better Business Bureau, I frequently saw warnings about this consolidation company or that one and their business practices. If you are serious about this kind of loan, stick with the federally regulated banks. Bank of America is a good bank.