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Factors to Consider before Signing a Debt Agreement

A debt agreement is a contract that is legally binding between you and the parties concerned – the creditor, debt collection company or third persons involved. Consequently, each party can legally enforce the terms of the agreement against you if you don’t comply with your contract. Learn about the things to keep in mind before signing a contract that can make or break your finances. Always take serious consideration before signing a debt agreement.

The debt agreement process

When entering into a debt settlement, you have to understand that the creditor expects you to be ready to pay your debts. So, prepare to negotiate a certain sum of money or asset to pay for a percentage of your combined debt. Make sure that you can afford to pay it over a limited period of time. In debt settlement, you don’t pay your creditors directly. Instead, you make repayments to the administrator of your debt agreement.

Negotiation takes a little bit of patience and persistence because creditors also know that once they agree to a particular amount, they cannot recover the full amount of debt anymore. Knowing that they cannot get back the full amount you owe, they may give you a hard time during the negotiation process.

Legalities of your debt agreement

A valid contract is an agreement where all the parties agree to it. Meaning, there is mutual consent between you and your creditor. It must state the object of the contract—or the consideration which is typically a sum of money, or asset paid by the debtor to the creditor. The agreement must not allow you to do something illegal in return of debt forgiveness or reduction of penalties. It is also important to be mentally capacitated to enter into an agreement. You must be mentally sound and at least 18 years old to ensure that you are competent enough to enter into a binding agreement.

negotiations

It is important to note that the object of the contract or the “consideration” must be something to be negotiated upon. An agreement is impartial. It gives you the perfect opportunity to discuss and compromise on the terms of the debt agreement before reaching a final contract that is acceptable to you and your creditor. But, take note that there are non-negotiable contracts, but you can still look for ways to ensure that the terms will be satisfactory not only to your creditor, but to you as well.

The agreement must not contain provisions that disagree with the contract laws in your state. You can talk to an attorney to verify the terms of your contract before signing it. Or, you can educate yourself and check whether there are illegal terms in the contract that will jeopardize not only your finances but your reputation as well.

Negotiation points

Write down your objectives for entering into an agreement. What is your desired outcome? Do you want to pay your debts in full while paying for it at a lower rate? Or, do you intend to let go of your assets to finally eliminate your debt? Before you negotiate a contract, have a specific outcome in mind. For example, if you want to extend the loan term, then you should know exactly how long you would like the loan extension to be.

Before beginning negotiations, you should know where you stand. Are you financially capacitated to respect the terms of the contract? Take note of your financial standing and the surrounding circumstances that may prevent you from abiding by your agreement. It is also important to determine your bottom line. Know the highest repayment amount you can make and the lowest one that you think the creditor can accept.

check-options

Check other options

Do you think it’s time to give up and take up bankruptcy instead? If you have no income, and you’re not in any way capable of making even the minimum repayments because of unemployment, and you can’t meet your daily needs, maybe bankruptcy is a better idea. But, it will definitely ruin your credit score, take away your assets—and probably leave you on the streets. The only upside is that your debts will be eliminated.

If you think you can still get a job, improve your business or get any additional source of money to keep up with a minimum payment each month, debt agreement is a better idea.

It is important to note that debt agreement does not refer to debt consolidation. When you consolidate loans you simply roll your existing debts to a new loan; with lesser monthly repayment, lower interest rates and fees and in one easy payment method each month. While debt consolidation companies sometimes negotiate with creditors to lower the repayment each month, there are companies that simply pay off all the loans and charges a new rate to their customers.

Is debt agreement the right solution to your financial situation right now? Talk to us today!

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Debt Management

The Wrong Ways to Pay Off Your Debt

Being in debt can be stressful, no one denies that. And the pressure can place you in a range of challenging positions, forcing you to cave in and make the wrong financial decisions. Embracing the right ways to pay off your debt is more than mandatory.

But how do you know which are those? Well, you must get acquainted with the practices that should be avoided, and this is what we’re going to discuss in today’s article. Keep on reading to discover the wrong ways to pay off your debt.

Consolidate with a high-interest loan

Debt consolidation makes sense when the financing solution provided by the lender is actually favourable. If the loan terms are convenient for your financial situation, you should go for it. Nonetheless, choosing debt consolidation for the wrong reason and failing to analyse the implications of the term will do you more harm than good.

In the case in which the only loan you can obtain has an interest rate that is higher than your credit card debt, you should leave it aside.

At first, you may believe that your monthly repayments appear lower with debt settlement. Nonetheless, that is only because the loan has an extended timeframe. If you were to calculate the interest you’d end up paying during the life span of the loan, you might come to realise that such a solution is not the best. So, this is definitely one of the wrong ways to pay off your debt.

Misusing your home equity loan

The second on our list of one of the worst ways to pay off your debt: choosing a home equity loan. Even though you may assume that this could be the answer to all your problems, this is not always the case. Of course, there are many situations in which this option actually works. As always, everything depends on each person’s financial conditions.

However, if you’re struggling with high-interest credit card debt, you should pinpoint the root of the problem. For example, your debt situation might be a result of reckless spending and poor money management skills. If you don’t aim at solving the problem from its root, you are prone to end up in this exact scenario in a year or two. So, it goes without saying that a home equity loan won’t work as long as you don’t fix the underlying issue. In the case in which the loan ends up being unaffordable, you might lose your home as well.

Choosing the support of a debt settlement company

Accepting the guidance of a debt settlement company is, without a doubt, one of the most unfavourable ways to pay off your debt. As it is expected, these kinds of businesses advertise as being the solution to everybody’s money related problems. Nonetheless, after you manage to settle your debts, by paying significantly less than you owed, your credit rating is terrible, and you’re back where you started. Not to mention that we’re talking about a lengthy process. Even if your attempt is successful, you’ll have to work on rebuilding your credit score for years.

So, try to stay away from the methods mentioned above. There are other ways to pay off your debt without affecting your credit score in the process. Speak with a financial expert like Australian Lending Centre who offers free consultations on paying off debts and managing people’s finances.Save

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Debt Management

The Importance of Avoiding Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is that particular legal status of a person, a company or other entity that can no longer repay his or its debts to creditors. Even though some people may affirm that bankruptcy also has a few advantages, the list of disadvantages is definitely much longer. For this reason, you should think of bankruptcy only as an ultimate last resort, after you have used any other alternatives. Learn the importance of avoiding bankruptcy below.

Main Disadvantages of Bankruptcy

No matter if it belongs to a person or business, this status triggers a wide range of disadvantages, which will have a major negative impact on someone’s reputations. Furthermore, there are also practical drawbacks that will be experienced for sure by the person in this situation. Some of them are immediate while others will come around later.

First of all, you should be aware of the fact that you will lose most of your proprieties that are valuable. You will be allowed to keep only the assets you need for a basic standard of living. Anything you own and have a high value will be sold in order to pay the money to your creditors.

Another aspect you should consider before declaring bankruptcy is that you will encounter plenty of difficulties when trying to access credit. There is a specific limit of the credit you are able to obtain, but your chances are significantly lowered by your status, as there are only a few banks which take the risk to borrow money to a bankrupt individual. You may think that soon after getting rid of the bankruptcy, this problem will end. In fact, this issue will haunt you for seven years as the bankruptcy record has to be added to your credit report and remain there throughout this period. Also, according to the policy of some banks or finance companies, your access to your credit cards can be banned.

Moreover, there is a permanent record regarding this aspect that may be accessed by anyone who pays a small fee. They will be provided with an electronic index of these records, also referred to as the National Personal Insolvency Index.

When it comes to reasons why you should be avoiding bankruptcy, another important aspect is that this status will lower your chances of getting employed. In fact, even if you would convince an employer, there are particular industries with strict rules regarding this aspect, and they need to obey them and not hire you.

Less Extreme Alternatives to Bankruptcy

A convenient alternative is a debt agreement. This option is available for those who have not filed a bankruptcy form and consists of a debt settlement arrangement between you and your creditors. This will allow you to settle affordable debts, for example by freezing the interest rate.

Another less extreme alternative is a consolidation loan, which will help you manage your current debts much easier.