The early 21st century has found an increase in the debt of individuals in developed, First World countries mostly as a direct result of the American economic recession around 2008. Personal debt rose from $2.71 trillion in 2008 to $3.76 trillion in 2017. Therefore, if you’re one of the many that have some form of personal debt, know that there are means to get help.
There are a lot of different versions of debt depending on who you are and what you owe. In this context, we’re referring to an individual’s debt. The early 21st century has found an increase in the debt of individuals in developed, First World countries mostly as a direct result of the American economic recession around 2008.
Managing debt is where most people have to start. This all comes down to working out a budget plan. Unfortunately, this plan only works best on unsecured debt, like credit cards, personal loans and overdraft fees. The credit counseling and debt management companies can negotiate with the unsecured debt lenders to reduce the total owed or monthly payments, which can be a massive help if you’re living paycheck to paycheck.
There are a lot of different ways to look at debt management, because it basically includes all of the other strategies in one package. Managing the debt begins at the source, with you, and on how you plan to spend your money while making ends meet. Creating a budget plan as early as possible will help you get started with handling debt.
Debt consolidation is one of the first and smartest avenues to seeking out debt relief. If you’re in debt from a few different bills with high interest rates, like multiple loans or a few credit cards, it’s possible to consolidate all of the bills into one lower-interest loan. This option both reduces your overall debt and makes it faster to pay off.
Consolidation isn’t a magic cure-all and won’t work if you’re unwilling to stick to a budget. If the debt is less than 50 percent of your income, your credit isn’t enough to qualify for a zero percent credit card or you’re unable to consistently cover payments, consolidation may not be the best option. Of course, speaking with banks, credit unions, or other loaners may give you a better idea of how to reach consolidation with your personal situation.
Debt settlement is risky business. While this means that you can pay less than the original amount owed without fear, this option is still basically a last resort. Debt settlements can ruin your credit and be extremely expensive to reach, not to mention taking years to even establish.
The only way you can be eligible for a settlement is if you’re unable to pay any amount on your debt. Collectors will be willing to take some amount of money rather than nothing but at a strong cost to you. This is only applicable with some types of debt, as houses can be foreclosed and cars repossessed, but debt like student loans can be settled. Options like income-based repayment plans should be considered before deciding on debt settlements.
Tax Debt Relief
Tax debt is a bit different from your average debt. This is money owed to the IRS and can be serious stressor, especially if you have debt accruing from previous years. Every month tax debt is unpaid adds a 0.5 percent interest penalty, so things can add up fast. The IRS even has the power to put a lien or levy on your property, meaning they can take the proceeds if you sell or just take the property and sell it themselves.
There are a lot of companies out there and a lot of scams who say they’ll help you get out of tax debt. One of the best steps that can be made is to speak to a worker at the IRS directly to set up a payment plan. There will be penalties and interest to come with the plan but these are better than not paying at all. You can also seek out an office in compromise or OIC, which is similar to a debt settlement as it’s a way to reduce your payment if you can’t repay at all. As with the settlement option, the IRS suggests you try all payment plan options before considering the OIC.
Getting out of Debt
The idea of debt has been around since ancient historical times, even mentioned in the Book of Leviticus. So long as economy and debt has been around, so has debt forgiveness. Anyone can reach debt relief, but the stress coming with the trouble is a different problem.