Debt Settlement – Your Best Defense From Credit Card Debt

Over the past decade the expanded use of credit and the accumulation of credit card debt have become increasingly prevalent in Canada. In fact, TransUnion estimates that in the fourth quarter of 2010, the average debt per consumer, excluding mortgages, expanded to over $25,000. In that same period the average Canadian consumer carried a balance of $3688 on their credit cards.

With many credit cards carrying interest rates in excess of 20% APR, it is no wonder that Canadian consumers are seeking options for debt relief. In fact, in the twelve month period ending in November 2010, over 93,000 Canadians opted to file for bankruptcy in order resolve their debt issues.

Traditionally, Canadian consumers have been faced with the following options when seeking credit consolidation: debt consolidation loan, credit counseling, bankruptcy and consumer proposal. While these options are still viable for many, others are discovering a new option for debt relief: debt settlement.

With debt settlement, a third party debt settlement company works with consumers to settle their debts for less than the principal balance. The company will conduct a counseling session to determine the consumer’s viability for the program and to set up one new monthly payment that is affordable. This type of program is generally geared towards consumers who are struggling financially, behind on their bills or close to it, and seeking a method to avoid bankruptcy.

Debt Settlement has several inherent advantages as a method of credit consolidation when compared to other more traditional methods. Debt settlement does not require that a consumer obtain a new loan, such as debt consolidation. Debt settlement generally offers a lower monthly payment to consumers than credit counseling. A debt settlement plan is generally more flexible than a consumer proposal in that not all debts must be included and consumers have the ability to adjust or skip payments occasionally. Finally, when it comes to bankruptcy debt settlement will not have the same long lasting negative impact on one’s credit rating.

Finding a good company that can represent your best interests and achieve a desirable outcome through debt settlement is ideal. With debt negotiation your credit card balances will be negotiated and you will only pay back a fraction of what you presently owe. Negotiating with credit card companies yourself may be possible but has many pitfalls since many credit card companies will not negotiate with you until you are months behind on payments. A financial professional will know ahead of time who will work with you and who won’t and this will save you a lot of time and money.

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