One of our organization's primary missions is to assist consumers that have become enslaved by credit card debt. While there is no instant or painless way to eradicate debt, we sincerely hope that you will find the following resources beneficial.
First of all, we suggest that you peruse our consumer tips on how to avoid credit card debt, our debt reduction tips and our tips on how to deal with card debt following the holiday season. If you are a student burdened by debt, then please review our guide entitled Student Credit Card Debt: A Survival Guide for Students. After reviewing these articles, please review the following resources. Please only consider bankruptcy as an absolute last resort!
We are also very pleased to offer a free Teleseminar/Webinar containing some great consumer tips regarding credit card debt. The seminar is hosted by credit expert and author Gerri Detweiler. Please click the link below to listen online to the seminar!
Specialized Debt Management Services:
If you need to maintain your credit rating and the use of some credit cards, "traditional" debt management will usually not work for you. Accelerated Debt Consolidation, Inc. offers Specialized Debt Management services for consumers that must maintain their credit (featured offer). You can click on this link to visit their web site and submit their free quote form or just call 1-800-810-5250 for a free consultation.
Quote from Mike Killian, CardRatings.com Credit/Debt Management Reporter, regarding Accelerated:
"For my last 5 years of writing at About.com, my articles gratuitously referred countless (perhaps thousands) of readers with a need to maintain credit to Accelerated for "Specialized" debt management. I highly recommend their services!"
Can You Settle Your Debt for Pennies on the Dollar?
As an increasing number of people struggle to pay their bills, debt settlement companies are thriving. You can find their ads promising to settle your debts for pennies on the dollar anywhere.
If you're drowning in debt, those ads can be pretty attractive. But are they for real? And how will settlement affect your credit rating? Click here to read The Truth About Debt Settlement.
Non-Profit Credit Counseling Services:
If you have tried every debt reduction technique possible, then a non-profit debt counseling service is often the best alternative. Such services have been helping consumers avoid the perils of bankruptcy for years. However, you must be very careful when considering credit counseling services see related paragraph below) since many services are not reputable and are only motivated by profit.
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc., a nationally recognized non-profit organization, offers a free debt analysis that only takes a few minutes to complete (featured offer). You can either complete their simple debt analysis form online or you can call their 800 number to do so. Consolidated Credit Counseling has a great reputation among consumer advocates and has been helping consumers throughout the nation get out of debt for over 10 years. They can reduce your interest rates by 50% and can give help restore your financial peace of mind.
Please Note! Please use caution when choosing a credit counseling service. Our two-part article series entitled Nonprofit Credit Counseling Agencies- Think Twice Before You Leap is a must read. According to an article written by Linda Stern that appeared in The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, many firms, including those that aggressively advertise on TV, charge excessive fees and get bonuses from credit card companies for every client referral. Such firms may be legally structured as nonprofits by taking advantage of legal loopholes but their business practices are highly suspect. Large amounts of money collected from their services end up in the pockets of their executives. Executive compensation includes salaries, bonuses, and real-estate deals. A reputable credit counseling service should not depend on fees for more than 60% to 80% of its income and should also rely on grants and charitable donations. It should charge a maximum of $25 in monthly client fees.Finally, a reputable service will also provide free counseling and may have up to half of its clients enrolled in counseling alone (instead of being enrolled in a debt repayment plan).
Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) (link to North Little Rock, Arkansas office) also offers some great resources related to consumer debt issues. We are proud to partner with our local CCCS office in North Little Rock, Arkansas, which is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Similarly, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Oklahoma helps consumers with budgeting, credit issues, and debt repayment. They offer counseling by phone, Internet or in person in Oklahoma. CCCS has many other offices throughout the country (consult your local Yellow Pages).
Debt Tip! The only potential pitfall of a non profit debt counseling service is that using such a service may adversely affect your credit rating (please be sure to ask for a detailed explanation about how the service will affect your credit report). If your credit is already in bad shape, though, then this potential pitfall will likely have little affect on your overall credit rating. In fact, many consumers have relied on credit counseling services for years to "get their credit back on track".