Debt settlement can help you to get relief from your debt situation by allowing you to pay only a small percentage of what you owe. Choosing debt settlement can have a negative impact on your credit score unless you are more than 90 days late on your credit card payment. If you are on time in making repayment every month right now, your credit score will drop significantly, as you will be asked to stop making repayment temporarily. The credit score will drop because the creditor has reported about the late repayment to the credit bureau.
Usually, the bank agrees to settle for a lower amount for those who haven’t been making repayment for some time because they believe that sending a debt collector will not help them to collect back any amount of money at all. If you are current on making repayment, there is no reason why the debt collector should believe they cannot collect the full amount from you. Therefore, it is unlikely that they will agree to settle for a smaller amount.
If you decide to join a credit card debt settlement company, you must make sure you have enough money. This is because you will be required to make a large payment to a designated savings account every month. The payment includes the amount set aside for the negotiated settled amount plus the enrollment fee. They will usually hold your payment for a period of 3 – 6 months. During this period of time, the money stays in the savings account until it reaches the target amount for them to negotiate with the creditor. You will continue to receive collection calls from people.
If the creditor agrees to settle for a lower amount, it will be recorded on your credit report. Your debt account will be marked as settled, but not paid in full. You may be confused on which debt settlement company to choose as there are so many of them. One thing to check is that the company must be accredited by a respectable organization such as The Association of Settlement Companies (TASC) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The company should be equipped with certified debt arbitrators and charge reasonable fees. They should carry the necessary license and be bonded in your state. In addition, they should provide a guarantee for their debt settlement service. Before joining, make sure you ask them to provide details about everything that is included in the program.