Are you ready to be free of the stress and anxiety debt causes you?
You have many options when working towards paying off debts and we are here to help you find the best debt management system for you!
You can get started with free debt counseling today by calling (800) 642-2227 to speak with our Financial Advocates or work them online!
How can I pay off my debt?
Wondering how to get started on becoming debt free? Our Financial Advocates help you identify the best debt management strategy for your situation and put you on the road to financial freedom.
Self-Managed Debt Pay Off Options
Debt Snowball: Sort your debts smallest to largest and pay them off in that order.
Debt Avalanche: Pay off your debts based on interest rates from the highest to lowest.
In both methods, you continue to pay the minimum payments on all debts, regardless of where they fall in your plan. During a counseling session, our Financial Advocates can help you budget to pay off your debts and help you choose the payoff plan that works best for you!
Debt Management Plan (DMP)
If one of your goals is to become debt-free in the shortest time frame possible, the Debt Management Program (DMP) might be for you! The DMP provides a way for your creditors to reduce your interest rates and allows more of your monthly debt payment to go towards the outstanding balance, therefore accelerating the rate of repayment of your debt. The savings offered through a DMP can equate to thousands of dollars over the life of the program. Learn more about CCCSMD’s Debt Management Plan.
Bankruptcy: We can help you understand the complicated rules surrounding bankruptcy, what it will mean for your credit score and your employment and explain your options. Learn more about CCCSMD’s Bankruptcy Counseling services.
Other Debt Relief Options
You may hear about other debt management options but they may come with extra costs or negative impacts on your credit score.
Debt Consolidation: Taking out one loan to pay off others and can take many forms, such as obtaining a loan from a financial institution to payoff other creditors, transferring credit card balances to a zero or low-interest card, accessing funds through a 401K, or using a home equity product.
Debt Settlement: Offered by for-profit companies where you might be able to pay off your unsecured debt (credit card debt; utility bills; medical debt) for less than what you owe.
Do I have too much debt?
If you never have enough money left at the end of the month or you buy things on credit without paying off your full balance each month, these are signs you may be in financial trouble. Most of us can tell when we’re struggling financially; the harder part is knowing how to deal with that situation. If you suspect you’ve taken on too much debt, take action now. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get back on track. You may also end up owing a lot more to creditors.
Here are some things you can do yourself: If you don’t already live on a budget, set one up. Also look for ways to spend less. For example, downsize your phone package or begin taking your lunch instead of eating out at work. If you’ve already begun to miss or make late payments, call your creditors and explain your situation. They may be willing to work with you.
If you need outside help, CCCSMD provides free, confidential budget and financial advice. Click here or call 1-800-571-2227 to learn how or request a financial counseling appointment. The sooner you seek help, the better chance you’ll have to take control of your finances.
How does debt affect my credit score?
These debt-related practices are likely to damage your credit score:
- Missing or making late payments on bills because you’re financially overextended. Why does this hurt your credit score? Because 35% of your score is based on your bill payment history.
- Charging your credit cards at or near their credit limit. Why does this hurt your credit score? Because 30% of your score is determined by your current credit status.
- Not paying your credit card balances in full each month. Why does this hurt your credit score? Because 15% of your score is determined by your credit history.
Are you considering enrolling in CCCMD’s Debt Management Program (DMP)? How this affects your credit score will depend on the credit reporting policies of the individual creditors in your program. The financial skills you learn during the program will help you develop habits to improve your credit score.
How can a credit Financial Advocate help me?
Your Financial Advocate will help you assess where you stand financially and work with you to develop a realistic monthly spending plan based on your monthly net income, living expenses, and debts. You’ll also learn about options to help you resolve your financial situation and receive resources to help you deal with related issues. Financial counseling is available by phone or face-to-face at CCCSMD’s offices in Maryland and Delaware. The personal information you provide is kept confidential.
What credentials do credit Financial Advocates have?
CCCSMD is an accredited, non-profit credit counseling agency that has been a trusted member of the community since 1966. CCCSMD does not lend money and is not a collection agency. Annually, we help more than 30,000 people gain the knowledge and skills they need to improve their finances. Our Financial Advocates are all professionally trained and certified. When clients come to us, they do not judge. Instead, they listen and provide personalized advice to meet each client’s needs.
What do I need to do to repay my debt and be financially stable?
Throughout your DMP, CCCSMD maintains regular contact to ensure you are able to reach your goals. If you have questions, our Financial Advocates offer ongoing advice and support. We also provide a host of free educational resources, including a quarterly client newsletter, monthly financial e-bulletins, and online personal finance and housing courses and podcasts.