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Debt Management

Debt Agreements FAQ

What are the basic facts about the debt agreement that every borrower need to know? A debt agreement is one of the ways for the creditor to recoup some of their losses when the debtor is not able to pay them back in full and when it is difficult to collect on the debtor’s outstanding loan. The creditor and the debtor put new payment terms in writing, to allow the debtors to at least make partial repayments. Read our debt agreements FAQ and learn more about debt agreements.

When do I have to enter into a debt settlement agreement?

It is applicable when you owe a lender an amount of money and you are not able to pay it back in full. You need to document the new terms of the loan whenever you and your creditor agree to settle the debt.

Why do creditors settle for debt agreement?

By entering into an agreement, the creditors no longer have to waste time chasing you down. Instead, both of you reach an agreement on how much you can pay them.

What are the contents of a debt settlement?

The agreement contains the following:

  • How you will make payment
  • A statement that in case you fail to make timely payment, the total amount you owe becomes due.
  • The date by which payment should be made
  • The new debt settlement amount you agree to pay
  • The original amount you owed
  • You can also add other terms such as liability clauses and other things both of you would like to include.

Why do banks frown upon applications from borrowers in debt agreements?

The major banks may not approve a loan from someone who is under a debt agreement because they are very cautious when lending money to someone who has a bad credit history. They don’t want to put the company at risk in approving a loan for a borrower who cannot make timely payments.

Can I refinance a loan when I am still bound by a debt agreement?

Specialist non bank lenders like Australian Lending Centre allow borrowers like you who are still in a debt agreement to refinance your current mortgage so you can pay your agreement in full. If you have been in agreement for a year, but you made updated repayments, you might be able to borrow up to 70-80% of the value of your property. However, it is important to arrange for a pre-qualifying assessment to ensure that you have a realistic calculation of your home equity.

What are the benefits of entering into a debt agreement/settlement?

If you have limited financial resources and your situation does not allow you to pay back your debts in full, you can enter into this agreement. By doing so, you can avoid going bankrupt—which would have a terrible impact on your credit rating. It also helps you overcome difficult financial situations, by giving you some extra money to settle your debts and to pay for your immediate needs.

Other benefits of debt agreements include freezing the interest accruing on your debt, and paying a single monthly repayment instead of dealing with multiple repayments.  If you have debt agreement administrator, he or she handles all the communication with your creditors, not you. That means lesser pressure on your part. Debt Agreements are appropriate for applicants who are at the verge of bankruptcy. It can help you avoid the major consequences like having a bad credit score that could result in countless rejections of credit applications. Bankruptcy must always be the last option. So, one of the effective alternatives a struggling borrower should consider is a debt agreement.

Is there an alternative to debt settlement?

If you don’t want your future creditors to know that you are struggling financially, to the extent that you entered into an agreement to repay your debts, try debt consolidation. It can help you negotiate payment arrangement with your creditors and it is definitely a practical alternative to bankruptcy.

Final thoughts

A debt agreement is a contract driven by the desire of both parties to settle the debts. The lender wants to get back the money while the debtor wants to pay it off.

Take a good look at the content of the debt agreement. It controls and directs the borrower on how to pay back the loan and how much to pay. But, if you don’t want to have a record of debt agreement on your credit file, you can simply take out a second mortgage or a personal loan, or any other affordable loan product to pay off the debts.

What is important is that you would satisfy the full amount of your loan, and at the same time enjoy an affordable and convenient repayment for the new loan.

When you have finally settled your debts, try to practice good financial habits. Pay your debts on time, spend less and try to grow your money either through investments or additional source of income. This way, you wouldn’t have to face the same dilemma of signing debt agreements anymore.

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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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News Debt Management

Many Australians Are Turning to Debt Agreements

Debt agreements are an alternative to declaring bankruptcy. Rather than be haunted by the irreversible effects that bankruptcy can have on your credit record, entering into a debt agreement can give you a debt-free fresh start. They’re becoming the popular choice for Australians in need of debt solutions. Debt agreements are overseen by the Australian Financial Security Authority (AFSA). As a government body, it’s AFSA’s job to regulate debt agreement administrators, in order to ensure they are resolving debt at the highest standard possible. The AFSA has been finding an increasing number of Australians are turning to debt agreements to solve their debt problems.

Why So Many Australians Are Turning to Debt Agreements

Although a debt agreement is technically an act of bankruptcy as it is under the Bankruptcy Act of 1966, it is considered another option to going bankrupt. There are also many differences between the two, making one look like a much better option to thousands of Australians. A formal debt agreement will appear on your credit file for five years and can prevent you from obtaining further finance during that time.

The AFSA has reported that there were 28, 288 personal insolvency cases reported across Australia during the 2014-15 financial year. Additionally, their June report found that there was an increase of 4.3% for people who entered into Debt Agreements compared with the March quarter. That figure rose from 2,568 to 2,678. Of the Australians who entered Debt Agreements, only 7.7% of them were for business-related reasons, which suggest that the rest were personal debts like credit card debt from overspending.

The amount of Australians entering into debt agreements for personal reasons shows that as a nation, we frequently get over our heads in arrears. Whether getting into uncontrollable debt is due to living beyond our means or just poor budgeting remains to be seen. Debt agreements are for unsecured debts; unpaid credit card, telephone and utility bills. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) puts the nation’s credit card debt at nearly $32 billion, which works out to approximately $4,300 per cardholder. That’s quite a lot of unsecured debt. It’s no wonder people are having difficulty making repayments.

Debt agreements are for people without a former bankruptcy on their credit record, who want to pay back their creditors. Going through a practitioner who specialises in agreements, your debt is negotiated with creditors and merged into a big sum that you pay back over time. If you have a debt agreement, the interest is frozen and anyone you owe is no longer able to contact you to request payment. It takes away the multiple burdens of debt collectors sending letters and making phone calls.

If you’re in need of a solution to your financial burdens, fill out our enquiry form and find out how we can help you.