Various types of assistance and debt relief programs are available to help take control of your finances again. Accepting financial advice is important even when times are good. It is especially important to seek out guidance and help when experiencing financial hardship.
Help with credit card debt, tax debt relief and credit counseling services are all available. Read ahead to learn valuable information about the top 6 ways to get legitimate debt help today.
Top 6 Legitimate Methods for Debt Relief Today
Obtaining relief from debt is possible using multiple effective methods. Some methods are personalized and customizable to suit your budget and needs. Others are more official and, while still effective, offer less flexibility. The top 6 ways to get legitimate debt help are:
- Credit counseling services.
- Enrolling in a debt management program.
- Government debt relief programs.
- Debt advisor.
- Debt attorney.
- Help with medical bills.
Credit counseling services offer a wide assortment of approaches to debt relief in modern times. This legitimate method of obtaining debt help might be the most flexible of all because of its potential to personalize a program suitable to your budget and needs.
A mental health counselor imparts healthy influences and flexible guidance based on quality training and experience. Blame is avoided, while taking responsibility for one’s actions is prioritized. A legitimate credit counselor applies similar methods to helping you get relief from debt.
Credit counseling services also help you repair your credit and maintain its positive status going forward.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) jointly provide a list of government-approved credit counseling services available to help you today.
Some government debt programs require participants to attend credit counseling as a qualifying condition for receiving any kind of government-sponsored tax debt relief, mortgage forgiveness or financial leniencies. One of the best features of a legitimate credit counseling service is its ability to help you make positive, intelligent financial plans going forward.
This applies to yourself and your entire household and family. Many credit counseling services are non-profit organizations, which do not charge a fee to help you research and choose the best debt management program available for your advanced financial management needs.
Many consumers think debt management programs are a type of lending institution. A debt management program does not offer consumer or commercial loans, however.
What does a debt management service do for you?
Debt management programs negotiate with your creditors to lower the interest and minimum monthly payments on your applicable accounts.
Fees, penalties, and surcharges are also waived when possible as part of any agreements reached on your behalf between your creditors and your debt management company.
Debt management is a step beyond credit counseling because it assumes a more active role in managing your debt. Payment plans last between three and five years on average.
Plans also follow a regimented payment schedule to lower your expenses, but still pay off your debts fast. The primary risk of enrolling in this service is your potential inability to follow through with payments as expected.
Failing to follow through puts you at risk of getting deeper into debt than you were when you started. A legitimate debt management program builds a realistic plan around your budget, goals, and household debt-to-income ratio, however.
Plans are also available to consolidate your credit card debts, pay off medical bills, reduce student loans and more.
Government debt relief programs are available in various forms and for various purposes. Government debt help is available to help your pay back taxes via the IRS-facilitated Offer in Compromise program.
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program helps low-income families with children via monthly cash assistance payments.
TANF also provides programs designed to help families achieve financial self-sufficiency. Food stamps (SNAP), the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and many other government-sponsored debt relief programs are all in action today with one collective goal in mind – to help improve the quality of life for American families by reducing debt and financial hardship nationwide.
The primary difference between a financial counselor and a debt advisor involves the income brackets of clients served.
Credit counselors tend to work with individuals and families in lower income brackets with the dual goal of elevating their financial status and helping them take back control over their lives.
Debt advisors are more trained to help people save money for retirement and manage debts in advance of them becoming issues.
For example, a debt advisor helps you create debt solutions for upcoming college tuition expenses, mortgage payments and end of life expenses.
A debt attorney deals with a wide variety of financial and legal issues. A qualified debt attorney can function the same way a debt management service representative does by negotiating lower monthly payments, APRs, and settlement terms on outstanding debts.
Debt attorneys charge fees, however, which quickly becomes counterproductive to the goal of reducing your debt. For this reason, debt attorneys are more commonly hired for bankruptcy hearings and defaults on investments.
A debt lawyer has the education, training and knowledge of the legal system (consumer law) to help defend victims of unfair credit and trade practices as well as those whose finances are damaged by identity theft. A debt attorney protects his or her clients from unethical or illegal tactics used by debt collectors to collect on debts.
He or she also defends senior citizens who are victimized by financial scams. Online resources such as Avvo NOLO help you locate the best debt attorney near you fast.
Medicaid and Medicare are two federal government healthcare plans. These plans are available to help people with qualified disabilities, low income status or who have reached a minimum age avoid out-of-pocket medical expenses.
In the event you do not qualify for these plans and do not have your own private insurance, other options do exist.
Hospital financial assistance, also referred to as charity care, is a mandatory service created by the Affordable Care Act to help Americans with medical bills nationwide.
Dialing 2-1-1- on your phone also connects you to medical assistance programs, which provide varied types and levels of services in each U.S. state.