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If you’re struggling with credit card debt, I’d like to suggest nonprofit credit counseling as a really good option. Just like sometimes it pays to call in a professional for home repairs, or medical care or a number of other specialized things, a nonprofit credit counselor can really help you on your debt payoff journey. I think this is especially impactful if you owe a lot on your credit cards – let’s say $5,000 or more – or if you have a lower credit score.
Yes, there are things that anybody can do by themselves to pay down their debt: raise your income, lower your expenses, sign up for a 0 percent balance transfer card or a low-rate personal loan or even just ask your card issuer for a break. The thing is, though, the DIY route is more difficult the more you owe and the lower your credit score is. And sometimes you really just need help from a trusted professional. Somebody who’s going to understand your situation, come up with a specific plan, negotiate lower rates on your behalf, consolidate your payments for convenience and really just help you out on every step of this journey.
A lot of people who work with nonprofit credit counselors (such as Money Management International and GreenPath) can get a 2-5 year payback cycle, maybe paying something like 6-10 percent interest. They’ll work with you, they’ll make it affordable within your budget … this is way, way better than burying your head in the sand and making minimum payments and stretching that debt out, potentially for decades, at a much higher rate.
Look into a nonprofit credit counselor if you need some help.
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