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What can debtors do to settle their credit card debts?

Credit cards have changed the spending habits of millions of people in the United States, including many in Tennessee. Unfortunately, with the flexibility offered by credit cards come credit card debt problems. Unfortunately, far too many individuals fall victim to the vicious debt cycle often imposed by credit cards. They use the cards to bridge an income gap, only to find themselves unable to pay interest, resulting in even more debt. Eventually, it becomes overwhelming. When this happens, you need help. So what are the relief options available to you?

First, you could try talking to your credit card company. Sometimes the best approach is to request a meeting with a creditor. Be polite but persistent and explain your financial situation. The goal is to establish a payment plan with reasonable terms. Creditors are often willing to compromise because anything not paid is declared a loss and does not benefit the creditor.

Second, you could use a credit counselor. Credit counselors can speak with creditors on your behalf, and they can also give advice to help you develop better budgeting skills and manage debts. Workshops are available as well. However, be sure to get a reputable credit counselor. Check with the U.S. Trustee Program, the agency keeps a list of government-approved credit counselors. Bear in mind that some credit counselors charge a fee.

Third, you could file for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy has a poor reputation, but it is a valid and legal way to pay off credit card debts in order to stay financially afloat. You can either file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, depending on your financial situation. A previous post shows the merits of filing for bankruptcy as well as other options for surviving the financial challenges of credit card debts.

Source: Consumer.ftc.gov, "Settling Credit Card Debt," accessed on Aug. 11, 2014

Source: Consumer.ftc.gov, "Settling Credit Card Debt," accessed on Aug. 11, 2014

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Kenneth C. Rannick, P.C.
4416 Brainerd Road
Chattanooga, TN 37411

Phone: 423-954-7180
Phone: 423-624-4002
Fax: 423-624-0509
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