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Debt Settlement Programs: Four Steps Every Applicant Must Consider

It might seem that a debt settlement program is the solution that can save your financial future. Technically this is true, but it is essential to choose the right program if any real benefits are to be enjoyed. The problem is that pressures from creditors can rush us into choosing the wrong program from unscrupulous lenders.

The setup of the financial services sector is anything but clear-cut, and the largest firms and institutions actually own many of the smaller services. This means the debt to a single bank (like Citibank, for example) can be much greater than thought.

And while choosing debt relief is the wise decision, it is important to keep in mind the difficulties in securing good terms when the debt to a creditor is very high. Still, there are many debt settlement options available online.

The Debt Network

It is important to realize just how interconnected so many of your branded credit and debit cards, and utilities are. Many are simply branches of the same bank or financial institution. This means that debt owed to a bank may be vastly larger than first thought, making it difficult to get good terms on your debt settlement program.

Not everyone knows that three of the biggest banks in the US are also involved in many of the largest utilities companies. For example, Citibank owns AT&T Universal, Sears and most of the gas cards on offer (Chevron, Exxon etc). Discovery, meanwhile, owns Lowes & Sams cards, and the FIA cards are owned by Bank of America.

What this all means is that when it comes to choosing debt relief options, it is important to realize that more than a single credit card debt is part of the packet. The card provider will add on everything, making it possible for the debt settlement deal to be rejected by the lender.

Avoiding the Online Trap

Financial services provided over the Internet need to be carefully considered before committing to anything. There are, unfortunately, many unscrupulous lenders and financial service providers who are willing to take advantage of consumers, and excellent debt settlement programs can turn out to be traps.

But there are steps that can be taken to ensure such traps are avoided. They are:.

1. Only Trust Lenders Who Ask For Statements

There is a tendency for unscrupulous lenders to talk up their fantastic offers in an effort to get what they need as quickly as possible. Often, they do not even look for bank statements or confirmation of financial status. But the right debt settlement plan depends on your specific situation. So, avoid those that do not seek relevant documentation.

2. Experience Is Essential

It is generally not a good idea to choose a debt settlement program from a lending firm that has been in businesses of less than 5 years. Experience is essential in this sector, so the last firm needed to manage your finances is a start-up company. Settle for a firm that is at least 5 years old.

3. Always Check Lenders Out

It is completely foolish to trust any online lender on face value. Always take the time to check on their credentials, and feel completely comfortable before choosing a debt relief program. So, check out their BBB Reliability Report and know whether consumers have been complaining about a prospective lender.

4. Seek Out A Licensed Attorney Based Firm

Attornies are governed by the BAR Association, not the FTC. The advantage is the consistency of the BAR Association, whereas the FTC regulation changes can play havoc with schedules and plans. Also, the BAR Association insists on extremely high standards so debt settlement companies can be relied upon.

Student Loan Consolidation Rates: Options Available To Students

There is a trick to turning a difficult financial situation into an easy one. Consolidating the different loans and debts that exist is the key, clearing the headache and replacing it with more manageable terms. For students facing huge debts after graduation, consolidation is invaluable, but getting competitive student loan consolidation rates is a core aspect to the deal.

It is only obvious that the lower the interest rate the better, so a consolidation plan that has lower monthly repayments is important if the plan is to be as effective as it can be. After 4 or 5 years borrowing money, either to pay fees or simply survive, clearing college debts becomes a huge undertaking, but selecting the best program with good rates is essential.

Finding the right student loan consolidation program, and sifting through the individual terms and conditions, will take a bit of time and effort. But it will be worth it, if the pressure is eased and life becomes less stressful.

Consolidation Deals Explained

The core point to a consolidation plan is to ease the existing debt pressure, and securing the best terms means the debt is eased to the greatest degree. Each of the loan balances are combined and then repaid using the consolidation loan. This means 4 or 5 loans with different interest rates are replaced with one loan and one interest rate that is more affordable.

When it comes to consolidating student loans, consolidation rates can vary quite a lot from lender to lender. So knowing your own financial situation well, and what your existing costs are, is important. The total monthly repayments can be quite high, but when total balances are bought out, the repayments can be lowest by as much as 50%.

However, the most significant aspect to clearing college debts in this way is the fact that the loan term is lengthened. This means that the monthly repayments are kept to a minimum, thereby helping to make the student loan consolidation program so much more affordable.

Choose Your Rate

When dealing with student loan consolidation rates, it is important to remember that affordability is the number one concern. A part to establishing this is the choice of interest rate, and there are two types to choose from: fixed interest rates and variable interest rates.

Both have pros and cons. Fixed rates, for example, never change throughout the lifetime of the loan, making them easy to budget for. Even in times of financial crisis, the repayments will stay the same, so it is an ideal option when clearing college debts. The negative aspect is that the interest is higher.

In comparison, variable rates are lower but because they can fluctuate with the markets, they do not always stay that way. For example, if the starting rate is just 9%, then after 12 months, market events might have forced the rate up to 10%; after 24 months it might be 11%. Of course, they could also drop, making student loan consolidation repayments lower.

Mixing The Rates

Of course, it is also possible to mix the two rate types, if the term of the consolidation plan is very long. It means that students are given the chance to get on their feet initially, with student loan consolidation rates fixed for the first 2 or 3 years before switching to a variable rate.

Alternatively, a certain percentage of the debt (say 25%) is fixed, with the remaining sum charged at a variable rate. Even if the variable rate on the student loan consolidation plan increases, the student should be in a better position to afford it. It may seem to be a very complicated way of clearing college debts, but the result should be the same – keeping repayments low.

Debt Consolidation Loans For Bad Credit Borrowers: The Route To Financial Recovery

It does not take long for debts to grow into something too great to handle. While some people will move quickly to file for bankruptcy to deal with such situations, it is not as wise a move as some believe. There are serious consequences, after all. The availability of debt consolidation loans for bad credit borrowers offers a more constructive solution.

Of course, in some cases, consolidation is not the answer, but before the problem of debt grows too great, consolidation can certainly help to achieve financial recovery. While clearing existing loans is the key point to the exercise, the method needs to be as effective and constructive as possible if the maximum benefits are to be enjoyed.

There are clear advantages in opting to get a debt consolidation loan to solve the problem. But as with all financial products, it is important to secure terms that ensure the new loan is affordable.

What Does Consolidation Mean?

Simply put, consolidation is where a number of elements are brought together in order to create a stronger situation. In financial terms, this means combining all the existing loan balances, and replacing them with a single loan debt. The idea is that, by getting debt consolidation loans for bad credit management, the pressure is lifted.

The biggest challenge when repaying debts is how to overcome the cash flow problem that debt inevitably creates. When there are 6 loans to repay, there are usually 6 different repayment schedules leaving little time for the debtor to catch breath. By clearing existing loans fully and in one go, just one repayment date remains.

And while the debt consolidation loan is in fact a debt, replacing 6 different interest rates with one means the cost of the debt is also lower. However, there are other important terms to agree too.

Why Bother With Consolidation?

The simple answer to that question is that it can turn things around quite dramatically. While it is true that getting debt consolidation loans for bad credit management purposes does not remove the debt (just replaces it), the terms of the new debt are much more manageable.

As a result, there is extra cash freed up to use for other purposes, if the monthly repayments are less than the combined repayments of the original loans. What is more, because the initial debts have been paid off in full, the credit score is vastly improved too, allowing for better terms to be secured on any future loans.

But, perhaps the best reason to opt for clearing existing loans through consolidation, and not through bankruptcy, is that there is no negative impact on your credit record. Bankruptcy usually means all or the majority of the debt is written off unpaid. However, through a debt consolidation loan the debts are repaid in full, so there is no black mark on your record.

Key Terms To Seek

So, what are the terms that should be secured to make consolidation the most effective possible? Well, with debt consolidation loans for bad credit borrowers, affordability is the key. And in that respect, interest rates and the loan term itself are hugely important.

Generally, online lenders offer the best loan deals, but some offer interest rates that are better than others. This is partly due to the fact the borrower has poor credit scores. However, it is the term of the loan that is the essential factor when clearing existing debts effectively.

Basically, the longer the term is, the more monthly repayments there will be. This means the principal sum is divided into more shares, which are smaller. So, a $75,000 debt consolidation loan repaid over 20 years is affordable, but over a 10-year period might not be.