Debt Consolidation vs. Debt Settlement

by: Nancy Smith

When you realize that you have a debt issue going on, you have several options to choose from: do nothing, create a budget, seek credit counseling, get professional debt consolidation help, opt for debt negotiation & settlement help from a specialized company or file for bankruptcy; this last option should always be considered as the last alternative in mind because of the consequences brought upon as result of it.

However, if you are looking to release yourself from debt, you should define your plan towards the following goals: lowering the amount of your debt, getting on a fixed payment plan that is comfortable for you and making sure your credit rating improves as result of this process.

First, you should know the differences between:

- Debt consolidation & - Debt negotiation and debt settlement

Debt Consolidation and Debt settlement has its advantages and its disadvantages. Nevertheless, they both have one main objective in common, to free the consumer from debt.

Remember, it is very important to completely understand how every step of the process works in order to know which to apply to.

Debt Settlement

In debt settlement, negotiations take place with the creditors. A debt settlement companys main goal is to convince the creditors to give up a share of the money owed by the consumer.

Here is an example to further clarify this process: lets suppose that a friend of mine, James, borrowed $1600 from me. After a while, when I told him to pay me my money back, he said, "Nancy, I only have $700, would you settle for those $700 upfront and forget about the remaining $900. Occasionally, creditors take these type of offers into consideration because sometimes it is more expensive and time consuming to recover the rest of the money. So, its worth it to stick to what the consumer offers in order to settle the account.

Consequences of Debt Settlement

Although at first, this seems like the best of all opportunities, it also has negative consequences:

- It will appear on your credit report for as long as 7 years, as a negotiated and settled debt, so any future creditor will check for this info, and that, could avoid you from getting any future credit or loans

- All future creditors will understand this as a warning that you did not fully pay your past debt.

Debt Consolidation or Debt Settlement

So the question is, "When should you choose debt consolidation or debt settlement?"

- People that have pending balances with several creditors should choose debt consolidation

- However, if you are in a great amount of debt, do not see any possibility of repaying those accounts off, and taking bankruptcy into consideration, then you should opt for debt settlement.

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About The Author

Nancy Smith is a contributing writer to and is currently writing some special articles to guide business on how to manage debt and avoid bankruptcy. For Free Debt Settlement Information and Debt Help Consultation, call toll-free 1-877-850-3328.

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