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Hello! I stumbled upon this site a couple days ago. After lurking for a bit I thought it might be good to come out of hiding and see what can be done in our situation.

After suffering an unexpected job change and a significant paycut, hubby and I fell into old habits and managed to stack up about $12,000 in debt. Now that my job situation is stable again and my salary is back up, we're ready to face the debt and fix it. We filed for bankruptcy 4 years ago and I'm ashamed to see how easy it was for us to fall into that negative lifestyle again. I'm proud and excited that we now have a budget and a plan to move forward. Gosh, I almost feel like we're finally growing up! :P

Due to being late with Capital One, the late payment fee turned into an over the limit fee and now they are stacking upon each other to the point that I'm not able to get it under control. I've called on two occasions and from what I could understand of the person I was speaking to, they were unable to help me. They would not/could not lower my interest rate nor could they drop any of my fees. Other than that one card, the rest of the accounts are in decent standing.

So, my first question: Is a debt consolidation program and a debt management program the same thing? If not, what is the difference between the two?

Is one of these programs the best option for us? I do not want to do a debt settlement.

What does an initial meeting look like? Are they real sticklers about looking at our budget and having us cut expenses? For example, we have a $50 gym membership that helps w/ stress relief. Will they require we cut that and our cell phones in order to cut costs?

We live in the corner of the state, bordering two other states. Can you use a program in another state, or should you remain in your own state?

And lastly, one of our cards is in my husband's business name. We are selling the business and closing everything involved with it. Would we be able to include this card in a program if it isn't technically in mine or his name, but we're responsible for it?

Oh...one more. Sorry! College loans. I just called and got them in forebearance for now while I sort this stuff out. They are pretty big, $28,000 and $10,000. Are there advantages to including these in a program or are they best left out of the picture altogether??

Thanks so much for any insight. I think this site is so valuable.




Quote:
So, my first question: Is a debt consolidation program and a debt management program the same thing? If not, what is the difference between the two?
Yes

Quote:

Is one of these programs the best option for us? I do not want to do a debt settlement.
I would suggest looking into a Debt Management Plan if you can afford the payment. If you can`t afford the payment for a dmp than maybe consider settlement.

Quote:
What does an initial meeting look like? Are they real sticklers about looking at our budget and having us cut expenses? For example, we have a $50 gym membership that helps w/ stress relief. Will they require we cut that and our cell phones in order to cut costs?
You can keep your gym membership. They will just do a budget to make sure you can afford the program payment.

Quote:
We live in the corner of the state, bordering two other states. Can you use a program in another state, or should you remain in your own state?
The credit counseling company doesn't have to necessarily be located in your state as long as they are licensed to do business in your state.

Quote:
Would we be able to include this card in a program if it isn't technically in mine or his name, but we're responsible for it?

Sometimes , just depends on the type of business card and what bank it is with.

Quote:
Oh...one more. Sorry! College loans. I just called and got them in forebearance for now while I sort this stuff out. They are pretty big, $28,000 and $10,000. Are there advantages to including these in a program or are they best left out of the picture altogether??
Student loans can`t be added to a DMP sorry :(

Sub: #1 posted on Wed, 08/06/2008 - 00:58

mobile0311 mobile0311
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(Posts: 1817 | Credits: 104.57)

Oh thank you! Once I hit "submit" and saw how long my post was I was worried it would be overwhelming. You separated it perfectly and answered all my questions.

It gives me something to take home and discuss with the hubby. Thanks again!

Sub: #2 posted on Wed, 08/06/2008 - 01:10

wymama74 wymama74

(Posts: 4 | Credits: 1.1)

Sorry. Thought of another question. I checked out the Ranking Chart for Wyoming and haven't heard of most of the places listed on there. We have a consumer credit counseling Service here but they aren't on there. Are they not as reputable as they once were?

Sub: #3 posted on Wed, 08/06/2008 - 02:12

wymama74 wymama74

(Posts: 4 | Credits: 1.1)

Try looking up the company you are considering on the BBB.

Sub: #4 posted on Wed, 08/06/2008 - 02:21

mobile0311 mobile0311
Moderators
(Posts: 1817 | Credits: 104.57)

Go even further, make sure to check with your states banking division and make sure the company you choose to work with is licensed to do business in your state.

Sub: #5 posted on Wed, 08/06/2008 - 02:32

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Also make sure the counseling agency has a 501(c) 3 Non profit business license and is ISO certified. In order for a credit counseling company to receive benefits such as reduced interest rates, waiving late fees, etc from the creditors, the agency must those two criteria . Typically if a company does not have this license, they are unable to receive the benefits for their clients.

Sub: #6 posted on Wed, 08/06/2008 - 02:38

mobile0311 mobile0311
Moderators
(Posts: 1817 | Credits: 104.57)

i am in too much debt about 50,000.00 with credit cards,my payments are all on time but i recently got my hours cut,can debt consolidation work for me.

Sub: #7 posted on Wed, 08/06/2008 - 19:42

Unregistered


Cassie, the biggest thing to consider is making sure that you can make the monthly payments of a dmp with your paycut. Maybe meet with a debt management counselor and see what that monthly payment would be. I know that when I tried this years ago, they couldn't get my payments down and were really honest with me and told me that bankruptcy might be the best in my particular case.

Good luck! We'll make it through this together.

Sub: #8 posted on Wed, 08/06/2008 - 19:48

Unregistered


Cassie , If you can afford the monthly payment of a Debt Management Plan which would be some where around $1,500 - $2,000 a month I would do it because it will get you one monthly payment at much lower aprs and doesn`t hurt your FICO score. However if you are now overextended due to the hours being cut back you may want to consider a debt settlement program because it will get you one monthly payment around half of what you were paying and will get you out of debt in about 3 years or less.

Sub: #9 posted on Wed, 08/06/2008 - 19:48

mobile0311 mobile0311
Moderators
(Posts: 1817 | Credits: 104.57)

I'm very confused between:

- debt consolidation
- Debt Mgmt
- debt settlement

& their DURATION of time and positive/negative effects on your credit score.

Thanks!

Sub: #10 posted on Thu, 08/07/2008 - 01:19

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