I’m sure the good folks at Oak View Law will agree - the most difficult aspect of the debt settlement process for consumers is accumulating enough funds to offer a lump sum to your creditors. After all, most consumers seeking debt settlement as an option are in a financial hardship and funds are limited. More often than not, savings have been depleted and clients can only afford so much because they have necessary expenses to meet each month.
The purpose of this article is to help consumers find the funds to settle their debts faster, which will be financially beneficial for a number of reasons, but especially it will allow you to start rebuilding your credit quicker.
The first obvious but most difficult step is cutting your monthly expenses if this is possible. Smarter money management techniques can help you cut out unnecessary spending and put money away toward paying off your debts.
Another good option is refinancing your mortgage and using your equity to fund your settlements. Of course, this too may not be an option for any number of reasons, including you may not have the equity, credit score, or even any property to do this. Just as importantly, one should only do this if they are certain that your new mortgage payment will be affordable and that the interest rate is reasonable (in today’s market 5% is average). After all, you don't want to settle one unsecured debt just to be buried under a secured one.
File your tax return early. If you manage your money well and do not pledge your return to other things, you can set aside a good bit of money to go towards an eventual debt settlement. It is unlikely that one tax return will do the trick, but it is a good start and lowers the amount of time you would be spending trying to come up with the money.
Try to increase your earnings by picking up a second part-time job or putting in overtime. This is definitely the quickest way to come up with some extra cash, but probably the most difficult from a psychological and physical standpoint. Not to mention jobs are hard to come by these days!
If you are really crunched for time, money and options, you can consider withdrawing from a tax-deferred account like an IRA or a 401(k) if you have one. This is the most costly option on the list because it may come with early withdrawal penalties and therefore, it should be considered wisely; consultation with a professional is the best way to begin with this option.
I hope this helps in your path to debt freedom! It may not be the easiest path, but you’ll get there!
Robert Zangrilli is the CEO of Franklin Debt Relief, a settlement company based in Chicago, Illinois but offering debt relief programs nationwide.