The hardest part about getting out of debt is getting started. Taking the first step to get out of debt is much more difficult than the several hundred steps you took to get into debt. For some, that doesn’t require much more than just buckling down, being honest about what you can afford, knowing how much money you have coming in and prioritizing your spending. If that’s your debt situation, consider yourself lucky. In fact, you probably could have avoided getting into debt in the first place! *Guilty blogger currently writing this post* In many situations similar to my own, you have the ability to get out of debt within a couple of years, if you have the desire to do so. I know I am motivated and have stayed the course for the past 15 months—sometimes I make $12 payments to my credit card just “for fun” and to watch the balances go down as quickly as possible. Once I took the first few steps to getting out of debt and started being honest with myself, the path out of permanent indebtedness became a lot easier to follow.
But sometimes desire, motivation and even a healthy dose of ambition are not enough to get you out of debt. What if you have six-figure debt? What if your debt dwarfs your monthly debt payments, to say nothing of rent, utility bills, food and gas expenses? When you feel like you have no ability to pay off debt and cover your monthly expenses at the same time, that’s probably the ideal moment to start considering options you weren’t aware of. A debt management program could work best for people who are not in a situation where they need to declare bankruptcy, but are overwhelmed by just the minimum payments on their debts and are beginning to fall behind on payments. Not to mention the ease of payment consolidation, and its favorable effect on interest rates.
At my highest amount of debt (a whopping $46,000 in 2010), a debt management plan was still just outside of my realm of options, based on my income. But if I had lost my job or incurred some unexpected expense, that would have pushed me just past my “barely skating by” status, and I would have to consider options a tad more complicated than putting my money in envelopes or paying the smallest debt first. A debt management plan would make one monthly payment towards all of your creditors. That single monthly payment can feel like a sigh of relief if you’ve spent years paying dozens of different accounts with negligible effects on the account balances. If taking the first step to get out of debt seems impossible, consider all of your options, and seek the advice of people who have already been through it.
Have you ever considered or done a debt management or settlement plan? Did you do plenty of research before choosing a plan that works best for you?
This is a sponsored post by The Providers of CareOne Debt Relief Services, an industry leading debt relief company, specializing in counseling individuals in managing their personal finances.