There may come a point when you realize you’ve taken on more credit card debt than you can handle. At that point, you should assess your situation with an eye toward taking immediate action.
While settling credit card debt is a possibility, you don’t want to move down this path until you know exactly what it entails. For most consumers, this means separating fact from fiction.
Here are five myths about settling credit card debt:
1. You Don’t Need a Reason
If you want to settle credit card debt, you need a good reason if you’re going to have any success.
Debt settlement is for consumers with a hardship, such as a serious illness, divorce, or job loss.
If you can prove that you’re facing a hardship, your chance of settling with your credit card company is much better. Conversely, if you simply don’t want to pay your bill, you can’t expect your credit card company to comply with your request.
2. It Takes a Professional
It’s a common myth that you have to hire a debt settlement company to tackle this process.
Rather than go down this path, which will cost you more money, take the do-it-yourself approach. By doing so, you’re able to control the process from beginning to end, always knowing exactly where things stand and what to do next.
3. It Doesn’t Hurt Your Credit Score
It’s important to carefully consider the potential implications of every financial move you make. For example, many people believe that debt settlement won’t hurt their credit score, but nothing could be further from the truth.
If you agree to a settlement, it will impact your credit score as soon as it’s reported to the credit bureaus.
4. It’s a Fast Process
Even if you have a very good reason for wanting to settle your debt, you shouldn’t expect to finish off the process in short order. Instead, it can take several weeks or months to provide the necessary information and negotiate with your credit card company.
While you’re moving through the process, do your best to pay at least the minimum amount due each month.
5. There’s No Other Option
Although you may be most interested in debt settlement, don’t assume this is your only option.
There are many other strategies to consider, such as slowly paying down the debt, requesting a modification to your terms and conditions (such as a lower interest rate), or bankruptcy.
You may come to find that settling credit card debt is the right decision, but you’ll never know for sure until you consider all your options.
Now that you understand some of the most common myths associated with settling credit card debt, you can make a final decision as to whether this is the right strategy for you.