HOW TO REBUILD YOUR CREDIT
If you’re about to go broke
The debate is pretty much moot if you’re facing the possibility of going broke, of course. If you might be affected by the new law, consider the following steps:
Tally up your debts and try to figure out a realistic repayment plan. If you’re current on your bills and could repay what you owe in three years or less, bankruptcy is probably not a good option for you. The damage to your credit report can last up to 10 years, making it difficult and expensive for you to borrow in the future.
Negotiate with your creditors. They may be willing to lower your interest rates or forgive a portion of your debt, since sending your account to a collection agency would cost them up to 50 cents on the dollar, anyway.
Consult both a bankruptcy attorney and a credit counseling service. The credit counselors will try to help you avoid bankruptcy; the attorney is more likely to push for it. Getting both sides will help you make a more informed decision.
If bankruptcy appears inevitable, file now. Sometimes bankruptcy is the best of several bad options. While no one should take it lightly, delaying the inevitable will cost you more in the long run, and you may not be able to qualify for the relief you could get by filing before the reform law takes effect.
Other Credit Rebuilding
What do NFCC & its member agencies do?
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) is a national nonprofit network of approximately 1,300 locations. This network of agencies offers a range of services to help you become debt free and in control of your financial future.
Specific services include a customized Money Action PlanT, money management education, confidential budget, credit and debt counseling, Debt Management Plan (DMP), mortgage delinquency counseling, and home buyer education. These services are administered by Certified Consumer Credit Counselors who must meet high quality standards, and pass third party counselor certification exams.
What are the benefits of working with Certified Consumer Credit Counselors?
Certified Consumer Credit Counselors are experts who tailor confidential programs to meet your specific needs. They will help you understand your situation so you can get on the road to financial freedom.
How is counseling available?
What happens when I contact an agency?
When you contact an agency, you will be advised of any information you need for your counseling session. You will be able to gather your finances together and receive caring and professional help in-person, by phone, mail or online.
How are agencies funded?
The majority of our funding comes from voluntary contributions from creditors who participate in our Debt Management Plans (DMP).
This program helps clients repay their debt and helps creditors receive the money owed to them. These contributions are usually calculated as a percentage of payments made through the DMP. Accounts with creditors are always credited with 100% of the amount paid through our members.
What do NFCC Members charge for counseling services?
It varies depending on the support for each member and state laws, but the majority of these services are provided at no or low cost to clients. Will credit counseling stop legal action and creditor phone calls? In most cases, we are able to work with creditors to stop any legal action and develop a solution that will satisfy everyone.
If you maintain your payment arrangements with us, the majority of phone calls will stop.
Do most creditors contribute to the agency?
Yes, most creditors support the agency services. However, if for some reason they do not, we will still work with them to reduce your payments.
Bankruptcy What happens if I file bankruptcy?
There are two types of bankruptcy available to most people. If you file Chapter 13, you may keep a mortgaged house or car. Rather than surrender property, you may pay off your debts over three to five years. Filing bankruptcy under Chapter 7 requires you to surrender all assets that are not exempt in your state. Exempt property may include items such as basic household furnishings and work-related tools. Both types of bankruptcy may get rid of debts where creditors have no specific rights to property and stop foreclosures, repossessions, garnishments, utility shut-offs, and debt collection activities.
Bankruptcy usually does not wipe out child support, alimony, fines, taxes, and some student loan obligations.
The court will administer the plan and all interest will be stopped. You may also have difficulty obtaining credit in the future.
How long does a bankruptcy stay on my credit report and how does it affect my credit?
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act – a federal law – a bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for up to 10 years and won’t clean up a bad credit record.
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