Debt Settlement vs. Debt Management --- need help to decide
Hi all ---
I just need some friendly advice. I have been mulling over whether to do debt settlement or management since March and, frankly, I can't keep dilly-dallying. So I was hoping to get some feedback to help me reach my decision. **Note: I know the difference between how both work, so I don't need advice on that aspect.
I am a married graduate student saddled with $23,000 in CC debt over several accounts (the largest is $6,500). We are getting nowhere with our debt and can barely afford the minimums. Also, in 2 years when I get out of school, I am going to have a boatload of student loan debt (~$60,000) on top of this.
When I first started looking into this, debt settlement looked viable - we could cut the debt in half and be CC debt-free by the time I graduate. But then it hit me - I will have six or seven collections accounts sitting on my credit report when I finish school. Even though they will say "paid in full," my credit score will be in the crapper and the hopes of getting a house in the not-too-distant future far, far away.
I went *this* close to signing with settlement - in fact, I was going to fax my signed documents tomorrow. However, upon reading the fine print, all the minuses hit me --- crappy FICO score, potentially sued, AND the fact that certain jobs may look at me badly and/or not hire me due to this delinquency.
As a result of this, I am thinking about switching to debt management. Lower interest rates and NO impact on FICO score. This seems to be the most sensible option.
So what am I looking for? If you have experience with either settlement or management, please chime in. I have looked for assistance before, but I find that a lot of advice comes from people who have never dealt with this. My questions are:
- Did you do settlement or management?
- How long did it take to finish (both)?
- Did you get sued? (settlement only)?
- How long did it take for your FICO score to go back up? (settlement only)
- How long did it take for the collections marks to get off your report (settlement only)?
- Did you have subsequent job, home-mortgage, or car insurance trouble due to settlement? (settlement only)