If you are tired of your unwanted debts and have chosen to pay them off, settling your debts could be the best solution for you. However, many people are unaware of this service.
I have compiled this complete guide with all the information you might need in order to be well informed about a debt settlement.
Read the instructions carefully before you approach a debt settlement offer.
Can debt settling affect my credit rating?
A debt settlement offer itself will not affect your credit rating in most cases. However, if you have decided to go with a settlement company, they could ask you to miss some of your payments to the accounts. This will happen until the final arrangement has been made.
This could possibly have a severe negative impact on your credit score. Moreover, this will be stored in your credit file for a couple of years.
Can a debt settlement help pay off my loan early?
Yes, you could be able to pay your loans off early.
Write to your creditors informing them about your decision to pay them off early. Inform them about how much money you will pay to clear the loan in full. This could also be referred to an early settlement figure.
Your lender will inform you if they agree with your payment and how much interest you need to pay. This could depend on the amount of payments and interest you have already paid.
An estimated time of 28 days could be given to you to pay your creditors back.
However, if you change your mind, you could inform your lenders and go back to your previous monthly payment schedule.
How does a final settlement work?
A full and final settlement is based on how money you have. It is possible to pay all your money back in one go and become debt free.
However, if the amount of lump sum is less than the amount you owe to your creditors, you could set up a full and final settlement.
This basically means you are returning in full payment to your creditors. The remaining debt will be written off.
Is it possible to remove settled debts from my credit report?
Yes, it could be possible to remove settled debts from your credit report.
This is if you agree to make full and final payment to your creditors. Your debts will be marked as partially settled on your credit file.
In case your creditors view your report in the future they will be able to understand that the debt was cleared less than the full amount. They might agree to lend you credit in the future.
Moreover, the account will be removed from your credit file for approximately 6 years.
What percentage of debt should I include in my full and final settlement?
The percentage of debt you could include in your settlement depends on how much you could afford. However, it is important to understand that equal amounts should be offered to each creditor.
This means if you have a total lump sum of 70% then all creditors should be offered 70%.
How can I make a settlement for my debt?
You should be able to make settlements for all your debts. The lump sum is shared amongst all the creditors.
The process begins with understanding how much payment you could make to your creditors. You could do this by writing to them and informing them about your offer.
If your creditor agrees, you could send them the money. However, it is important to keep a written and signed copy as evidence. This could help you in case any problems occur in the
Talk to all your creditors to see if they agree. This is because it is possible that not all creditors will agree to a full and final payment.
In case your offers are accepted, make sure you keep proof of the payments made. Send the payment by the date they give you.
I would further advise that you keep all letters that have been exchanged between you and your creditors as evidence. This is because you might need to refer to them in the future.
What should I do if my debt settlement offer is rejected?
It is possible for your debt settlement offer to get rejected.
You might want to use the acquired money to apply for an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). This would help you if you are a resident in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland.
However, if you live in Scotland, you could apply for a trust deed.
A one – off payment could be used to pay off your creditors instead of monthly payments. However, this is only possible if your creditor agrees.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Will I benefit from settling my debts?
You could be at advantage if you choose to settle your debts. This is because it will help you:
- Lower your debt amount that needs to be paid to your creditors
- Avoid bankruptcy
- Get your creditors to stop harassing you to make payments.
What type of debts are included in a debt consolidation offer?
There are two types of debts that are included in a debt consolidation offer.
- Secured debt – this is the amount of loan you have borrowed and secured against an asset. For example: your home. This means, if you fail to make payments, you could lose your home.
- Unsecured debt – these types of debts are not secured through assets.
Do I have to make the same settlement for all my creditors?
Yes, it is preferred you make the same amount of settlement for all your creditors. This will help you keep track and keep your creditors satisfied.
You could upset your creditors if you pay one less and the other more.
A debt settlement could help you pay off your debts earlier. However, it is important to understand how a debt settlement works.
Read this guide carefully in order to be well informed about your rights in a debt settlement.
I would advise you to speak to a settlement agency in order to be well informed about any legal information you might need.
If you feel we have missed out on anything, feel free to contact us.