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Dealing with debt is always a big challenge, particularly if the amount you owe has already ballooned due to interest and late fees. However, becoming debt-free is not an impossible task. Several options, particularly and more advisable is debt settlement and as the very last resort even bankruptcy declaration, can help you end your debt problem. Depending on your situation, these 2 options can help you start with a clean slate. Before choosing, though, you need to consider a lot of details to determine which is the best possible debt relief option for your needs.

How Debt Settlement Works

Debt settlement is applicable for unsecured debts like credit card debt, and it is often done through the help of a debt settlement agency. The agency will get in touch with your creditors and negotiate with them in order to substantially reduce the total amount you owe. While this is taking place, you are setting aside money that will go into a final payout. Once the creditor and your agency reach an agreement, the money you saved will go into the lump sum payment, clearing you of your debts.

A Quick Look at Bankruptcy

Declaring bankruptcy is typically reserved for dire situations where the debtor absolutely cannot, in any way, pay off the debt. This option should only be used as a last resort as it causes the most damage to your credit-worthiness, which is reflected on your credit report for a whole decade. It is highly likely to have a long-term negative impact on your ability to get credit, a job, housing, or insurance.

But again, choosing which option you should go with depends on your financial situation. How do you know which is the better way to get out of debt? The following tips should help you decide:

1. Assess your debts.
First, you should assess your financial status. Gather your bank statements and make a list of your debts, taking special note of the total amount, penalties, and interest rate of each. Be thorough. The more you know about the debt problem, the easier it is to see the best solution. If you need help going over your accounts, you can seek the advice of an experienced debt professional. If you are considering bankruptcy first try debt settlement.

2. Check your capability to clear your debts.
List all your debts in one column and add your monthly payments beside each debt on another column. Then, get their total and compare it with your monthly income. If your total monthly income is higher than the total amount you are paying every month, debt settlement is a more viable option for you. From here, your best step is to find a reliable debt settlement company that can negotiate with your creditors to reduce the amount of money you owe. The sooner you do this the better it is for you.

But if your monthly income is lower than your debts, then you definitely should get debt advice from an expert. Before you consider bankruptcy, you should try debt settlement first. Bankruptcy really is a last resort, so decide very carefully as this option will cost you your credit rating and, possibly, a number of assets.

3. Understand the impact of each option.
Should you go with bankruptcy, you need to understand that this will severely reduce your chances of getting credit in the next decade. Debt settlement, on the other hand, will not hurt your credit score as much. Also, it’s possible that this option won’t deny you the chance to quickly rebuild your credit.

Before even considering filing for bankruptcy, make sure that you exhaust all your options for repaying your debt, including debt settlement. To make this process even smoother, get in touch with a reputable debt counselor who can give you valuable advice on how to manage your debt. This expert should be able to provide you more information regarding all available options, empowering you to make the right decisions.

To learn more about debt relief solutions and how to start living with financial freedom, contact CreditAssociates for a free consultation or use our Savings Calculator to see how much you could save.