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Debt Relief

Is there Such a Thing?

When asking if there is such a thing as debt relief, you will receive mixed responses, and in essence, the answer you get will depend on who you are talking to. Some people will tell you that there is such a thing while others will tell you that debt is a way of life and it never goes away. At any rate, debt relief is an ambiguous term that refers to refinancing or rescheduling debt, debt consolidation, restructuring, negotiated settlement, reducing or paying off bills, or finding other means that can cause the reduction of debt.

But debt relief, as it implies, may not exist in the sense that we are led to believe. It is not a total forgiveness of debt. What debt relief does do is give the means to work your way out of debt over a period of time. Debt relief is defined as “the partial or total forgiveness of debt, or the slowing or stopping of debt growth owed by consumers, corporations or nations.” It is a way to ease your debt burden but it will require sacrifice on your part.

For many people, the only real debt relief comes through the filing of bankruptcy, but even a bankruptcy may not provide total relief. There are different types of bankruptcy filings and you have to chose the right plan that will fit your needs. Under each plan, certain debts may be written off while others may still have to be paid. It will depend on the type of bankruptcy you decide to file under.

In reality, debt relief may not be something you will profit from. As most debts are concerned, while they may be reduced in some instances, they are rarely totally forgiven. Some creditors are more lenient to debtors than others. Some will offer the option to pay a portion of the total bill owing and then forgive the remainder, while other will find a way to make monthly payments more manageable for the individual in question but insist on full repayment of the debt.

It is always a good idea to look into credit counseling or to talk to a debt consolidation service if you fear that your financial problems are totally out of control and you don't see any way to reestablish control.

Never be afraid to let your creditors know that your financial picture has changed, such as the loss of a job, and that you can't continue to make contractual payments. They may offer you an option of lowering your payments until you can get back on a solid financial footing.

If you are having financial problems and feel the need to find a way to lessen your debt load, you may need to seek help from outside sources who can give you sound advice and point you in the right direction. But it will ultimately fall on you to make the right choices that will benefit you.

If you use a credit counselor or a debt consolidation company, make sure you understand what they are going to try to do for you. Make sure you know what the end results will be and that any supposedly forgiven debt won't come back to haunt you in the future. Also, be aware that even if a debt is forgiven, or partially forgiven, it will still affect your credit rating. You should beware that your credit history will probably be negatively affected for at least seven to ten years. 

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