If you have found yourself buried under the burden of credit card debt,you can rest assured that you are not alone. The average American household is carrying $8,000.00 balance on their credit cards. This fact and our current economy is driving more and more people into bankruptcy. You may be finding it harder and harder to make your credit card payments on time.
Credit card companies continue to aggressively market their lines of credit because they make a lot of their profit on the interest and other fees associated with keeping people in debt such as late fees and overdraft fees. Many people get drawn into the introductory offers of low interest rates and later realize that the rates have gone up considerably once the initial time period has gone by. So you are behind on your payments,or straggling make them on time,what do you do now?
Many people today who have found themselves in this position are now seeking some sort of debt relief. As you approach the many options available to you there are a number of pitfalls to avoid.
1) Avoid Bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can destroy your credit for as many as seven to ten years. This can make it almost impossible to get a mortgage or a car loan. This should always be considered a last resort after all other options have been exhausted.
2) Avoid paying up-front charges. As you are seeking either debt consolidation or any of the many alternative methods of debt reduction,be aware that many companies charge up-front for their services. You have options here. The company needs to demonstrate that they can reduce either your interest rate or your monthly payment before they can get paid.
3) Avoid accumulating more debt. This may sound obvious but what I am suggesting here is that you step back and take a serious look at how you got into the situation that you are in and make changes in your spending habits. Set up a budget and commit to following it.
If you have found that you are unable manage your own debts then you can hire the services of a credit counseling agency. The counselor can help you work out a payment plan with your creditors. The counselors with their experience and skill can help you build a budget that you can live with and that helps you make your monthly payment obligations on time. They review the financial situation with you,before offering a debt relief option. They are the experts and they negotiate with creditors on your behalf to lower the outstanding balance to pay off.