Monday, September 1, 2008

Debt Settlement Vs. Debt Consolidation

Debt settlement and debt consolidation both offer ways of reducing your debt. Debt settlement eliminates part of your loans, while debt consolidation reduces interest rates. Even though debt consolidation has the least impact on your credit score, there are cases when debt settlement is a better option.

Lower Debt

The goal of both debt settlement and debt consolidation is to lower your debt. Debt settlement companies negotiate with your creditors to sometimes reduce the amount of your loans. You will be charged a fee, and the debt reduction will remain on your credit score for seven years.

Debt settlement can reduce your debt 10% to 50%. To get the most out of the program, pay off the rest of your debt as soon as possible. Also, close accounts that you don’t plan on using to raise your credit score.

Debt consolidation pays off your high interest debts with a low interest loan. Home equity loans provide the lowest rates, but personal loans can also be used. With rates lower on your debt, you can pay off the principal sooner by making the same monthly payments.

Credit Score Implication

Reducing your loans through debt settlement is a serious mark to creditors. You credit score will drop, making you ineligible for conventional loans. But you can apply for subprime credit after a year. After a couple of years of good credit habits, you can then apply for lower rate conventional loans.

Taking out a loan to consolidate your debt will have a slight impact on your credit. Since your debt isn’t actually increasing, you will only be hit for opening another account. By closing your paid off accounts, you can partially offset the penalty. In a short period though, you will be in good credit standing if you follow best practices with your credit.

Financial Choices

No one financial choice fits everyone’s needs. While debt consolidation has the least affect on your credit report, additional loans may be too expensive. In extreme cases, debt settlement can help to avoid bankruptcy. Before deciding on an option, look at what companies are offering in terms of rates and fees. And if you need additional advice, talk to a credit counselor who can take a look at your finances and offer suggestions.

by: Carrie Reeder

1 comment:

  1. You can always negotiate your terms with debt consolidation companies but its best to consider all your options before taking the plunge. Thanks for the info!


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