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Looking for Debt Relief?

Most Americans are eager to get out of debt because they have some kind of debt -- a mortgage on the house, car payments, student loans and, of course, the kind that can quickly get out of hand -- credit card debt.

Let’s just consider credit card debt on its own. According to a report from Value Penguin, about 40 percent of U.S. households carry some kind of credit card debt. The average credit card debt totals $5,700 -- and $16,050 for those that carry a balance.

For some people to get out of debt, all that’s required is a little discipline. They are able to take charge, creating a budget and a plan to pay off their debt, all on their own. But, for many, it’s not so easy, especially if the debt, especially unsecured debt, has become unmanageable.

Maybe they can’t afford to make more than the minimum payment on their bills or, even worse, are skipping payments. Maybe their checks regularly bounce. Maybe they have trouble paying for even the most essential living expenses and are fielding calls from debt collectors.

If that’s you, it might be time to consider a debt relief service.

Ready to Get Out of Debt?

Through debt relief services, consumers, who are struggling with their bills, can get expert advice about getting back in the black. Debt relief providers like CESI, offer consumers several ways to recover their financial health.

Credit counseling, for instance, can be a low-stress way to get out of debt. Consumers can connect with a certified credit counselor, who analyzes their financial health, helps them create a budget and puts together an action plan to dig out of debt. A non-profit credit counseling session is free and can help you get your finances back on track.

Debt relief providers also can provide financial education tools so consumers can better understand the workings of banks and credit card companies, for instance, or how to build a budget and plan for retirement. Boosting your financial knowledge is an important step toward long-term financial health.

Debt Management

Some consumers, however, need more hands-on expertise to pull themselves up out of a mound of bills. For them, certified counselors can offer a debt management plan. The plan pulls together all of your unsecured debts into one single fixed monthly payment. Many times, consumers can get a lower interest rate for each creditor through their debt management plan. The plans take about two to five years to complete, depending on your debt load and doesn’t carry the impact to your credit score that comes with a solution like bankruptcy.

Credit counseling can also offer help for those in need of pre or post bankruptcy counseling or other financial services including housing counseling, reverse mortgage counseling or student loan counseling.

Before signing up for a debt relief service, the Federal Trade Commission recommends using caution. Choose a debt relief provider that has your best interest in mind. Here are a few guidelines to consider. Avoid any debt relief organization  that:

  • charges up front fees before helping your with your debt
  • pressures you to make “voluntary contributions,” which is really another name for fees
  • touts a “new government program” to bail out personal credit card debt
  • guarantees it can make your unsecured debt go away
  • tells you to stop communicating with your creditors, but doesn’t explain the serious consequences
  • tells you it can stop all debt collection calls and lawsuits
  • guarantees that your unsecured debts can be paid off for pennies on the dollar
  • won’t send you free information about the services it provides without requiring you to provide personal financial information, like your credit card account numbers, and balances
  • tries to enroll you in a debt relief program without reviewing your financial situation

Not sure where to start? CES can help you get started on how to determine your next steps. Our free financial assessment asks you for details about your debt, household income, and expenses to find the right solution for your situation.  If you find that debt keeps you from living the life you dream of, contact us for a free debt analysis today and get started on your journey to get out of debt!

 
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Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit service provider of comprehensive personal financial education and solutions for all life stages and for all of life’s milestones. Our goal is enhanced economic security for everyone we serve.


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