Anyone Ever Use A Debt Counseling Service
Q: I'll try to make this short. (If I'm in the wrong ng, let me know) I've recently had to quit my job because my husband & I moved out of state. We have 3 children and I now stay at home with them full time. I've tried to find a part time job 2 days a week (daylight hours) because that is the only time I have a free babysitter. (My mom) So far the places I've applied said I wasn't flexible enough. My husband works swing shift, so I can't count on him to watch the kids. Anyway, we are just getting by, like a lot of people, and I am really falling behind on bills. My parents bought us a house to live in. ( I just pay my parents the rent) They didn't want us to waste money on rent. Anyway, we have some extra bills now, like water, sewage, trash. Anyway, we've got way too much debt and minimum payments aren't making a dent. I've gotten some info of Debt Counselors of America. They can make a once a month payment plan for you and get creditors to knock off some interest and such. But the creditors can make a note on your bureau that you are using such a service. Has anyone been in this situation and does this work? I have not one blemish on my credit, and I want to keep it in good standing
A: You can do some of the negotiating yourself, by calling the cc companies and (speaking to a supervisor if necessary), suggesting that you are looking at "other offers" of lower rates/no annual fee (I did this, it works!) Often, they will lower the rate for you, particularly if you are paying 17-20%, to 12-14%. Pay as much as you can afford to each month. Do NOT use the cards except in the DIREST emergency (wanting a new pair of shoes is NOT an emergency, but you know that! a breakdown of your only transportation MIGHT be) If the kids need new clothing because they're growing like weeds, check tag sales and thrift shops before even thinking about retail. Learn to make do with what you have. Pack DH's lunch if he's eating "out. " (It'll be more nutritious AND cheaper!) Cook from scratch (if you aren't sure how, use the library to browse new cookbooks) and use up all leftovers. Try to cut your grocery bill by 5% (make it a game) and apply that to your debt. If you are seriously considering a Credit Assistance Service, make sure that you are getting one that is not-for-profit. Consumer Credit Counseling Service IS. I don't know about the particular one you mentioned. And ASK THEM what impact it will have on your credit rating. I doubt that the impact will be as negative as alternatives. .
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