Are you wondering if you can do your own debt settlement? The answer is yes, you probably can. Will you achieve the desired results? Maybe. Will you encounter stress, frustration and difficulties along the way? Definitely, in our experience.
Here are some of the pros and cons of settling your own debt.
Pros of Do-It-Yourself Debt Settlement
- You do not have to share private information with a third party if you deal directly with creditors.
- You avoid having to pay someone fees to settle your debt.
- Some debt collectors have minimum debt amounts, so you may be able to settle a small amount on your own.
Cons of Do-It-Yourself Debt Settlement
- Certain creditors will not settle directly with consumers.
- Each creditor has different processes and procedures; understanding them can save you valuable time.
- Consumers may say or do the wrong thing, leading escalating their case to a legal situation or a much higher settlement rate.
- Consumers may negotiate a less advantageous settlement rate than debt settlement companies, which have experience and relationships with creditors.
- Settling debt on your own takes energy and time and can be an emotionally draining and difficult process.
- Some creditors become aggressive, requiring aggressive negotiations on behalf of the consumer.
- It may be hard for consumers to get through to decision makers.
- If an account does escalate into a legal matter, the consumer probably should pay to get an attorney involved.
- All correspondence, proposed settlements or agreements from creditors should be reviewed in detail.
Now you may say that we are biased, since we only came up with three “pros” and nine “cons”! These pros and cons have been our experience since 1963. Debt settlement is a service much like tax preparation, divorce, and bankruptcy. Many people are uncomfortable preparing their own taxes for fear of an IRS audit. Likewise, many people hire an attorney to file for divorce to protect assets and to ensure the best settlement possible within the law. A consumer can file their own bankruptcy case, but most don’t because they run the risk of not filing it properly and having their case dismissed or worse.
The same applies to debt settlement. While you can attempt to settle on your own, and you may even succeed, the results you get will likely never compare to that of a professional who has the specialized knowledge and years of experience working with creditors and settling accounts. By all means, try to settle your debt yourself. Just make sure that you have any settlement agreements reviewed very carefully to make sure all terms are those agreed upon.
Many people have a sour taste for debt settlement Companies and the simple reason for that is because they are famous for not working. Agencies and settlement attorneys will charge you a considerable fee when you are down at your lowest point, typically 15-25% of your credit card balance due.
E.g.: you owe $10k on credit card(1) and want to settle. Using a settlement company, attorneys or credit counseling they will typically take $2k, while the “do it yourself process costs you nothing just 180days of patience.” In addition, that $2k will stay saved in your bank account to negotiate other credit cards down the road.
That $2k saving will help to negotiate another $5k-$6k credit balance that is due on another card(2). Can you see now how bad these companies are and how they make all this money? You do not need those agencies or attorneys because you can do this simply, on your very own, with basic tools to protect yourself.
* Now, why doing it by yourself like we did vs. hiring a debt management program or settlementt attorneys is the best option!
• For one thing, these programs charges 20 to 25% of the original balance as a fee.
• They ask you to pay comfortable monthly payments for years and only settle accounts, most of the time for only 50% or more by the time you add their fees.
• Credit card companies have less patience dealing with these institutions. They would rather deal directly with their clients. So dealing with the expensive debt management program has a negative effect and could back fire on you, usually sending your account more quickly to collection agencies that will pursue the accounts in a more aggressive fashion than by doing it yourself.
*Do you want to avoid bankruptcy?
*Do you want to rebuild your credit between 24 to 30months from the settlement date at or before charge off vs. the 10years bankruptcy mark on your credit?
*Do you have more than $5k in credit card debt?
*Are you at the stress point financially? This is where my husband and I were before starting our relief journey into doing our own settlements.
*Do you want to finally find within 6-8months, a final closure to your debt by negotiating the final amount owed for only 50 to 20% of the original balance?
*Do you want to learn what needs to be done with the negotiation process, what to say and when? How to protect yourself with the right settlement letters and the right wording to look for?
If all the above is a yes then, Do It yourself Debt Settlement is definitely for you Vs. Settlement Attroney and Debt Settlement companies!
Although it is referred to as Credit card settlement or settle debt, which is true in the sense that you will eventually settle your debt BUT it is all about negotiation.
Negotiation is the skill that you are about to learn, not just to settle what you feed your credit card companies monthly but you are going to bring your whole debt total down by 50-80%, do it yourself debt settlement just like we did. YES! Your creditors are going to forgive the majority of your debt and you will be able to move on with your life within 6months.
It is Important to understand the big picture of do it yourself debt settlement and and the step by step credit card negotiation process below:
(1) Accumulate eg: $25,000 in unmanageable debt
(2) Decide that Credit card settlement and Do It yourself Debt settlement is the right option
(3) Stop making all monthly payments.
(4) Put money in a savings account or get a loan from family/friends w/ 0% interest, if possible
(5) Identify the “sweet spot” at around 180 days. Best negotiation is between 150-180 days.
(6) Settle for as much as 50 to 80% off the original balance depending on each creditor.
(7) Written proof via a settlement letter what to look in a proper debt settlement letter.
PLEASE don’t hire a third party to assist you with this because they want a percentage of YOUR DEBT as their commission! The do-it-yourself approach keeps most of the money in your pocket.
Why would your creditors take such lows amounts on credit card settlement and for a do it yourself debt settlement? Creditors get to the point where they know that you are not going to pay the balance off. They are further threatened by the fact that if pushed far enough you just might file for bankruptcy and then they won’t get anything in some cases. Yes, they could turn it over to a third party collection agency but then they are going to lose another chunk to them, as a matter of fact, they may sell your accounts that are past the charge off date to collection agencies for 5 or 10 cents on the dollar.