Credit Card Debt Consolidation Explained

Credit card debt consolidation is generally a process where an individual will try to consolidate debt into just one or two cards. This process is often recommended by debt consolidation counselors as a way of managing debt issues. Unfortunately for many people, debt problems are usually ignored until it is close to being too late. This process of consolidation can be simplified and can usually be done in as little as an afternoon if given the right information. It does take a bit of work, but once it is completed it is very much worth the effort, given that it does help you figure out your debt and how to narrow it down.

It all starts with looking at the debt that you have collected on your credit cards. Credit card debt consolidation works because you are going to choose which cards have the oldest credit lines and have lower interest rates. Having both is important, and people might debate which is the better way to go if you had to choose between the two. It really depends on how much financial trouble you are in. If you can afford the higher interest payments on the two older credit cards, go with those. If you need to go with less interest, and most people choose this, then it is okay to go with the lowest card.

You can also usually negotiate with your credit card companies to get a lower interest rate. Some people might feel funny about this, and sometimes they don’t know what to expect or how to ask. It is easier than it sounds. If you have another card with lower interest, but you want to keep a different card, call the card company you want to keep the card and tell them you have another, better offer. They might lower your interest rate for you. It never hurts to try to negotiate and it can save you so much money when you try.

Once you have all these things in place, you can start moving debt from your old credit cards, and then consolidate them into the chosen card. In this way, you can pay down your old debt in one or two payments on the two cards, instead of having a mix of cards. You can also get the interest lowered, and make payments as needed. It might take several tries and several phone calls, but it can be done when you work at it.

There are many other ways to handle credit card debt consolidation. This way of selecting one or two cards and narrowing down your options can help a lot though. It is usually easy enough for someone to do on their own without assistance, as long as you can read your statements. It might take some time to get comfortable with learning how to read your financial statements, and if you do need help, it is certainly recommended that you talk to a credit card or debt counselor about your available options.

I would get it in writing

I would get it in writing..i’ve never settled an account so i’ve never gone thru it before but it seems that if you don’t get it in writing they can change the terms…. good luck!!!

Before we got married my husband had to go to the hospital- he had a ruptured appendix. He only had medical insurance thru the VA. He was taken to another hospital then transferred to the VA hospital where they could perform the surgery needed. He received a bill from the 1st hospital,-( the VA would not pay for it) we then asked if the bill could be wiped out.
He then submitted an income and expense report to have the bill eliminated because he could not afford to pay it. It took a while for them to wipe the bills out but the hospital and doctors did. You may want to try that.

If that does not work, then what you will need to do it. 1st pull all of your credit reports- check and see what is on each one. Then prioritize the bills. I really would not worry so much about the medical bills as long as you make something whether it be $5.00 or $100.00 per month they are getting something and chances are they are not charging you interest. Focus on the credit cards first. You will need to sit down with pen and paper and write your income and expenses and go from there.

As for the credit card companies, put it in writing that you will make 3 consecutive payments ( in the amount of $$$ )to them in exchange for a lower interest rate and late fees and over the limit fees to be eliminated. Send it to them certified mail and make sure you a return reciept. I used to work for debt management company and I used what I learned to get my self out of debt. It will take time. Remember if the customer service representative will not help. Ask to speak with a supervisor or manager- keep asking until someone will help you.

Get it in writing before you send them any money. if you don’t they will change the terms on you. I was helping a friend settle a debt with Capital one they sent a letter to her stating one amount ,but when she went to make the payment they told her another amount. She had it in writing and she told them that they had came to an agreement on a certain amount and that is what she was paying. They then backed down and realized that they were not going to get one over on her. Also remember to get the first and last name of the person you spoke to date and time.

Capitol One called again last night

Capitol One called again last night and we were able to agree on a settlement but he refuses to put it in writing and mail it to me. He says once I pay the amount, the account will close and I’ll get a letter in 5-8 days saying the account has closed.

I don’t believe him.

DAve Ramsey says to get everything in writing before paying anything.

I found it while I was trying to find a group to help with decisions my hubby and I have to make in order to get out of the dark hole of debt we are in.

We found ourselves in a rut when my hubby broke his leg and ankle and was out of work for over a month after two surgeries to fix them. We were already on our way in the hole before the accident and it only made things worse. We were unable to make the minimum payments and the amounts sky rocketed. Then he was unable to go back to his previous line of employment and took about a 1/3 off of his income. So once we got behind we were not able to catch up on the income that he is on now. Going back to the previous line of work is not an option.

We are debating on bankruptcy (the one where we make payments) or trying to get a company to consolidate the credit card and medical bills into one payment. We are trying to find the pros and cons of the two. We now have bad credit and are unsure whether we can even get someone to consolidate. Our minimum payments on our credit cards are unrealistic because of charges that were added. Some of the credit cards were only $500 limits and are now over $1000 because of fees. They will not work with us to get them lowered, we have tried.

Can anyone give any suggestions or opinions on how we can get this figured out?

Right now I am trying to focus on our medical bills, about 18 different bills. We do not have insurance, because we cannot afford it and do not qualify for any assistance because we make $100 too much a month. We have had 4 broken bones in about a year and a half and are trying to get them all paid down. It is such a slow process.

This sounds like a sob story and I don’t mean for it to be. I am just trying to get it all figured out so we can get everyone paid. We really want to pay everyone, we just cannot seem to find a way past all of the built up fees.

Digest Number 334

I am able to pay the monthly amount on my credit card statement now, but cannot catch up because of overdue and overlimit charges. I am not sure what to do here.

I was where you were at. I did talk to the CC company and got a 0% interest rate for 5 yrs…The payment I make is what it will be to pay it off in 5 yrs. Very hard…but well worth it to me.

I have spent the last 3 months dealing with this. I honestly think it just depends on who you talk to. Some had nothing to offer…one lied to me, and didn’t end up helping at all….

I told them the truth…I feel like any payment I make is just a waste of my $$…since it will only pay late fee’s or over the limit charges. I might as well keep those $$ and eat for that month! I also told them that I needed an offer that looked better than Bankruptcy…

Now..I don’ot know if it was the right thing I did…but I am very happy. I am paying my debt…but cutting my payment WAY down. It is something I can achieve…it will be very hard…lots of rice and beans for dinner…but I feel it’s worth it for me.

Is this good? CC settlement

I’ve been lurking here for months reading every little thing…trying to figure out how in the world I am going to get back on track…

Today I got a payment plan set up with my Chase acct. It SOUNDS good…I hope I’m not missing something here. I’m pretty paranoid about dealing with CC companies!

My balance is 15,600. I am a month behind now and they want around $2000 payment. There is no way.

I got a payment plan of $262 a month with 0% interest for 5 yrs. All late fees and over the limit fees will stop too. If I get 2 months behind I will loose the program, so I will have to be diligent about my payments. Even that amount will be tough now, but I felt like it was my *light at the end of the tunnel* We will be eating lots of mac and cheese for awhile ;o)

Is there anything I’m missing? I hope not. They are sending it to me in writing.

One question…is there any way that they can take my tax refund? I wouldn’t think so, but I hope not as we owe family members and I promised to pay them back out of that. But next years refund will go ALL to this CC to get it GONE!

I’m feeling so much relief right now…that is until I have to start making the payment ;o)

They can’t take your tax refund so don’t worry about it! Make sure you get this in writing and read the document so you will know what is expected….

Thanks so much! They are *supposed* to be sending me a written agreement. I have 10 days to make the first payment, and that is my acceptance. I will wait to see what I get in writing first. I was told many things on the phone, but you know how that goes….I’m trying to think of what to do, and keep remembering they are not here to really help me…just get their money.

I’m hoping for the best though.

I can’t imagine what a difficult time you have been through

There is hope though. Remember to pay what you need to survive before feeding the wolves that are at the door. All the credit card company will do is call and harrass you, at least for a little while. And honestly, medical bills are less likely to sue or get nasty with you than credit card companies.

If I were in your shoes, I would try to settle the credit cards on my own and negotiate with the hospital for a low monthly payment. A garage or ebay sell of all the stuff that you don’t truly need to survive is a good place to start in digging out of the hole. We sold our boat, almost all of my nick-nacks, clothes we didn’t wear & books we had already read. We only made 600 bucks or so but getting rid of all the stuff, helped us focus more on what we were doing. A weekend or part time job for six months or so would really help as well.

I will be praying for you and your family. Let us know if you have any other questions. Posting your budget/income might help people better help you see what options you have.

From my own personal experience Capital One will put the settlement in writing IF you fax them an offer.

Just write down the terms you agreed to and fax for confirmation…. something like:

As per our conversation on (date) I am prepared to offer the following:

(offer here)

Please fax acceptance of this offer back ASAP so I can continue with this offer.

Please understand that this offer is not admitting to anything. This offer is only a “good faith” on my part to settle this long disputed debt.

Your Name
Your FAX Number

As for Capital One sending a closed letter…. when “toothpicks” freeze over! I settled in December and they adjusted my balance to reflect a reduced balance even though I have a signed acceptance and a cancelled check. Without these 2 items I would not have a leg to stand on.

If you learn nothing else PLEASE learn to

GET IT IN WRITING!!!!

I am having a capitol One party with my husband this very moment!! Thank God thank God. After back and forth phone calls and faxes I just mailed a check- virtually our entire tax refund for 4900. The debt- 7100. PAID IN FULL! Maybe next year or the following that tax refund will go straight to my roth I will be starting. I cant even express how wonderful this feels. All over the envelope I wrote “goodbye capitol one’ ” goodbye Dana and Pariser law office” and “Freedom!” Next stop mbna- 2 accts- then the ‘hell’loan as Dave Ramsey says.

We have literally come back from the pit and have a very long way to go. I have made some overtures to mbna and will start faxing a hardship request- dh is still very much disabled and out of work following the 2 strokes and open heart surgery. But babysteps, babysteps.

Again, you guys rock!