Do you know what is the most cited cause of psychological troubles, health problems and strained relationships? It’s financial problems, which usually are debt problems. If you’re having a problem with debt I don’t have to tell you how cruel a master it can be.
One of the biggest troubles with debt is the psychological problems it can cause. People who are struggling with debt often find it difficult to sleep at night, to concentrate on their jobs, to be able to relax at all or to think about anything other than their debts. If you fall into this category, you may also be feeling depressed or despondent over your problems.
The physical strain
Trying to cope with a mountain of debt can cause stress that then leads to physical problems. These can be manifested in the form of ulcers, insomnia, chest pain, high blood pressure, headaches, drug or alcohol abuse, fatigue or a drop in sex drive.
The burden on relationships
Debt problems can also take their toll on relationships. The stress of trying to deal with debts can actually drive couples to divorce. Or it may force then to file for bankruptcy, which can also cause a strain on marriages when the couple learns it’s practically impossible for them to borrow money to buy a new car or a new home.
Face the facts
If you’re deeply in debt, the worst thing you can do is try to ignore it. Debt is like taxes in that it never goes away. Fortunately, there are ways you can deal with your debts and relieve the stress in your life.
No fast debt relief
This may come as unwelcome news but there is no way to achieve debt relief in a matter of weeks or even a few months. There are ways to get debt under control but short of filing for bankruptcy, there is no quick way to get rid of them.
Five years or longer
Two ways to get debt under control is through consumer credit counseling or a debt consolidation loan. Unfortunately, the debt management plan you will get through credit counseling could take you at least five years to complete. Even worse, a debt consolidation loan might take seven years or longer to pay off.
A quicker solution
It’s possible to become debt-free in 24 to 48 months instead of the five years or longer required by a debt management plan. It is through debt settlement.
If you’re not familiar with debt settlement, this is where you choose a company to negotiate with your creditors to settle your unsecured debts – usually for much less than what you owe. While these settlement negotiations are underway, you pay the settlement company instead of your creditors. This money will be deposited into an FDIC-insured trust account and eventually used to pay the settlements.
Watch out for the scam artists
Debt settlement can be an excellent way to handle debts. However, the industry has had problems due to scam artists who have made big promises about settling debts but then failed to deliver on them. You can usually spot one of these unscrupulous operators because they will demand big fees upfront. In comparison an honest debt settlement company charges no upfront fees. In fact, you pay nothing until the company has settled all your unsecured debts and presented you with a payment plan you approve.
Check its credentials
You can also identify an honest and trustworthy debt settlement company by the company it keeps – or the associations to which it belongs. For example, we belong to the US Chamber of Commerce and are an accredited business by the Better Business Bureau where we have a rating of A-. All our debt counselors are members of the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators. We are also a member of the American Fair Credit Council and are audited to make sure we are in compliance with its best practices standards.