Programs are available for credit card debt relief, and their effectiveness varies greatly by provider and type of program. We like to think that the government will bail us out just as they did the banks. However, there is only one government program that addresses credit card debt and it is not a grant.
It is called personal bankruptcy. It is unpleasant, expensive and can be detrimental to your credit rating. It can affect your insurance rates, employment, loans and even apartments. Depending on your circumstances, you may not even be eligible for the clean slate version of bankruptcy and instead have to repay much of your debt through a trustee. Given all of these consequences from bankruptcy, it would be wise to consider any alternatives to bankruptcy to see if you can dig yourself out of credit card debt.
Most important is to avoid becoming a sucker by disregarding those miracle advertisements of government grants. They simply do not exist. You may be tempted to believe them because we expect the government to hold advertisers accountable for their claims. In larger cases, the government does respond, but only after thousands of victims have lost money on one of these free government grant scams.
If you are truly insolvent, then bankruptcy might be the appropriate option. While bankruptcy can be filed without legal counsel, it is not recommended. Most legal and non-legal financial experts will recommend retaining an experienced bankruptcy attorney to evaluate your situation and provide legal advice regarding bankruptcy. Should you need to file, they can make sure that you have completed the process correctly.
Alternatives to Bankruptcy
Debt settlement companies claim to offer a great alternative to bankruptcy. It turns out that debt settlement companies are only an alternative to success. They strip away your remaining cash leaving you with little to settle your debts. Abuses were so widespread that the Federal Trade Commission changed the rules for debt settlement to prevent advance fees on ineffective services. Even so, reports continue to come in of rogue debt settlement companies that choose to break the rules at your expense.
Credit counseling is normally a much better option. Still, you need to make sure that you select a competent credit counseling organization that has a solid reputation and a good rating with the Better Business Bureau. A company that charges a big upfront fee is probably one of the more expensive options, so it is good to shop around for a reliable credit counseling organization that is there to help you succeed.
An experienced credit counselor can help you determine the appropriate action plan to reverse the damage to your credit and eliminate your credit card and personal loan debt. That action plan could include a debt management program if your counselor believes that you qualify for the reduced interest rates and lower consolidated payment that are commonly experienced by program participants.
There is no substitute for researching debt relief options to see where you would like to begin. You will find that the government does not provide grants, and their credit card debt relief program comes in the form of personal bankruptcy laws. Once you understand the reality of false claims of government grants, you can focus on getting out of debt using realistic and preferred options.
Long is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Industrial Relations. He subsequently received his Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. His Certificate in Financial Planning was issued by Florida State University.
Long has achieved the Accredited Credit Counselor and Accredited Financial Counselor certifications through the Association for Financial Counseling, Planning and Education. Long originally achieved the Certified Credit Counselor designation through the National Institute for Financial Education.
In addition to years of nonprofit leadership, Long has been an innovator in the field of volunteer tax return preparation programs. He assists volunteer associations and nonprofit organizations who seek to integrate credit counseling and asset-building programs with free personal income tax preparation. His approach to using free credit reports as both an incentive and a screening tool for placement into asset-building programs has been shared with members of the National Community Tax Coalition, the EITC-Carolinas Initiative of MDC, Inc. and nonprofit groups across the Carolinas.
Long assists members of our armed forces in the Carolinas, Iowa, Rhode Island, Georgia and Germany with financial readiness. Please support our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors!
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."