Debt Settlements: Do They Hurt or Fix Credit Scores?

Settlements

In considering debt settlements as means to be debt free, people commonly ask if the debt relief solution can hurt or fix credit scores. On the web there are conflicting answers to this question. But, overall you will find that all debt relief services will affect your credit in some fashion. The question is “What are the best credit solutions for your financial situation. Let’s compare:

Bankruptcy

Credit-wise, bankruptcies are the worse credit solutions. Having the stigma of a deadbeat “bankruptcy filer” will blurt out of your credit reports for up to 10 years, warning future lenders that you have credit leprosy  토토.

Credit Counseling – Debt Management Plans

WARNING: The debt relief services offered by credit counseling do not aim to fix credit scores. Neither do their debt management plans hurt credit scores. But, they will smear a person’s good credit standing. Being in cahoots with banks, credit counselors happen to report to the credit bureaus that the consumer has “enrolled in a debt management hardship plan.” This red flag helps potential lenders see that you are “unfit to manage your own financial affairs.” And in turn, they’ll turn you down for credit.

Minimum Payments

The antithesis of living debt free is what perhaps you’re doing right now, helplessly living paycheck-to-paycheck. But, people that maintain this dangerous lifestyle usually perpetuate the depressing minimum payment cycle. Ultimately, it causes folks to endure a lifetime of bad credit.

Debt Settlements

The debt relief services that specialize in debt settlements can also hurt your credit. But, looking at any of the following scenarios, you will see that debt settlements are also credit solutions that can fix credit scores:

High debt-to-credit ratio: If you maxed out your credit lines, you seriously weakened your credit score due to a high debt-to-credit ratio (Later, you’ll learn how debt settlements actually improve this problem). The debt-to-credit ratio is a comparison of how much credit is available against your credit limits. Banks use this formula to determine if you can qualify for more credit. A positive debt-to-credit ratio is normally 30% or lower. Anything above 40% is a major warning sign. It is also the catalyst for bankers to recommend for a consumer to get assistance from credit counselors. And, if your debt-to-credit ratio is 50% or greater, which means that you ate up 50% or more of your credit limit, you’re in BIG TROUBLE: the debt-to-credit ratio makes up 1/3 of your credit score!

High debt-to-income ratio: If you damaged your debt-to-credit ratio, then it’s likely that you additionally ruined your debt-to-income ratio. Banks use the debt-to-income ratio to compare your monthly income against the combined monthly payments on your credit cards, signature loans and lines of credit, car and mortgage loans, and student loans. Essentially, the ratio determines your disposable income after monthly expenses. If your debt-to-income ratio is 50% or greater, it tells banks that “you owe more than you can reasonably afford to pay.” This will also hurt your chances to qualify for major loans like a mortgage loan.

The good thing is that debt settlements can resolve all of the above credit challenges and fix credit scores. But, first we’ll discuss how they actually hurt credit scores.

Most folks that practice debt settlements first ease their financial hardships by ending the crazy struggles in continuing the minimum payments. So, instead of endlessly throwing their money away, they save it to rapidly settle outstanding debts. Of course, the downside of becoming debt free through this approach is that you’ll get dings on your credit, such as “late payments.” But, you clearly can’t have your cake and eat it too. Or, as you’re about to find out, perhaps you can, if you’re patient enough…

On the upside, debt settlements can bring your debts to a “zero” balance, which can greatly improve both your debt-to-credit ratio and debt-to-income ratio. Thus ultimately, the debt free approach helps you become more creditworthy. But, for some people, it’s a tough pill to swallow; kind of like chemotherapy. In the initial phase of the treatment, you hair will fall off. But, once you’re cancer-free, voila, the hair grows back again.

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