There are themes in personal finance that just won’t go away. Like collection agents that try to call after hours that they know they can’t call. 9pm is usually the threshold, and it unnerves people to find a debt collector is pretty relentless about getting the debt from you.
Debt is hard, and we’re not trying to say that it’s not. However, you have to make sure that you have the right type of perspective to get through your debt elimination plan, and that’s the topic that we wanted to talk about today.
You see, debt elimination methods really do take time. Even though bankruptcy is comparatively fast, the aftereffects of bankruptcy are still difficult to deal with. You don’t want to end up making the wrong choice and finding that you really can’t get anything done at all. You might be tempted by all of those ads online that say that they can wave a magic wand and give you the perfect credit score that you’ve always wanted. However, this really isn’t the case at all. You just need to make sure that you focus on the things that are going to raise your score over time.
Debt consolidation and settlement are two things that can really allow you to raise your credit score over time in a way that’s honest and straightforward. Basically, if you want to settle your debts you’re going to have to negotiate. In the past that meant trying to beat the credit card companies at a game that they’ve practically perfected. However, today is a new day, and that means that there are credit advocates out there that can help you navigate the water so credit in a way that means that you won’t have to worry too much about your own negotiation skills. Credit advocates have done the negotiation dance for a long, long time, which means that they have the expertise necessary to put the creditors and collection agencies back in their place.
We understand that companies have a legitimate right to collect payments that they are owed. However, it is the way those debts are collected that we often have problems with. There’s no reason for debt collectors to be as nasty as they end up being, and there’s also no reason for false information to be given out just to collect a debt. There’s a right way and a wrong way to get things done, and when people engage in shady methods to get things done, that’s a definite cause for concern. You don’t want to go through the painstaking process of getting your debts paid, only to see them on your credit report again — this has happened in the past.
That’s why you have to stay on top of things — a credit monitoring service is a smart idea, because it will give you access to your credit report every month. You will also be able to make sure that you have what you need in order to make smarter decisions down the road.
Of course, if you’re going to invest in a credit report monitoring service, there are a few things that you’re going to want to do. The first thing is that you’re going to want to ensure that you have the ability to get all three credit scores from your reports, and you will also want to make sure that you can set alerts. You want to be notified if the monitoring service picks up any suspicious activity, such as a random company putting a hard inquiry on your credit report. Believe it or not, those random inquiries can really hurt your score.
You might be worried about a service that basically pulls your credit score every month, since that would technically be an inquiry. However, the nature of credit is designed to actually cover you in case you want to see your score. It’s called a soft inquiry, and those don’t count against you. It’s the same thing when an employer wants to get a copy of your credit report for employment purposes. That’s a soft inquiry, and it’s not designed to hurt you at all.
What you do need to do from here is decide what debt elimination method you’re going to choose. As we stated before, there are alternatives to bankruptcy. Many non-profit organizations work with you to make sure that you have an understanding of not only what your options are, but the simple realization that you really do have options. We just can’t discount the heavy emotional toll that being in debt takes on you. It can be hard to actually deal with this, which is where other organizations can help. They can at least talk to you about what you’re going through, and even put you in support groups filled with people that have also walked a mile in your shoes — and emerged victorious from the same issues that you’re struggling with.
That touches on an important point here — you don’t have to go through this alone. You can indeed find people that see what you’re going through and that have other resources that they can share. The rise of the Internet has had a remarkably positive effect on the personal finance world. You don’t have to be in a city anymore just to get help with your finances. You can get good information that comes from firsthand experience online – there are plenty of forums that are devoted to the task as well.
Overall, the only person that can decide to clean up your credit…is you. If you’re not ready, you might want to think about what could be making you feel scared and afraid. However, it’s time for a new perspective — debt is costing you a lot more than you might realize at first. Once you realize that you have to change your life in order to get the things that you really want, you’ll find that you have what it takes to take the steps to create the life that you’ve always wanted!