If you're struggling to meet your monthly bill payments and need to reduce your debt amount so as to pay less than what you owe, debt reduction is what you should choose.
What is a debt reduction program?
A debt reduction program is offered by debt settlement companies that work with creditors and collection agencies in order to trim down your debt balance. Debt reduction is similar to a debt settlement program (or debt negotiation).
Prior to offering debt reduction services, the settlement company will arrange for a free debt counseling session with you. The purpose is to find out whether debt reduction is the right choice for you or if you need to choose some other debt relief option.
What are the steps in a debt reduction program?
A Debt reduction program includes the steps given below:
- Analysis of your situation: The settlement company analyzes your financial situation and finds out how much you can pay towards your debt.
- Stop payment to creditors: The company then asks you to stop paying your creditors/collection agencies.
- Start saving monthly: The settlement company will create a trust account for you to save a certain amount monthly for your debt payment.
- Company handles creditor calls: While your funds grow in the trust account, the company handles all communication with your creditors and collection agencies.
For a detailed explanation, you may refer to the 6 steps in a debt negotiation program.
Debt reduction strategies - Can I do it on my own?
There are 2 debt reduction strategies which you can try out for yourself. These are explained below.
Snowball methodThis is where you pay off debt starting right from the lowest outstanding balance to the highest.
Here's how it works.
- Create a list of debt accounts from lowest to highest balance.
- Pay the minimum on all your debts.
- Make extra payment towards the lowest debt balance.
Once you pay off the smallest bill, start paying extra towards the next higher balance and repeat the same for all your bills.
Debt AvalancheThis is a reduction plan in which you start paying off high interest debts first and then move on to the ones having low interest rate.
Here's a step-by-step approach.
- List your debts in order from the highest to lowest rate.
- Pay the minimum towards each account.
- Make extra payment towards the highest interest account.
Once the highest interest debt is paid off, start paying extra towards the account with the next higher rate and repeat the same for other accounts.
Credit card debt reduction strategies - Are they different?
Both Snowball and Avalanche methods are helpful ways to get out of credit card debt. However, giving priority to high interest debts by way of the Avalanche method is surely a better option when it comes to credit card debt reduction.
What are the credit card debt reduction tips?
There are 5 credit card reduction tips to watch out for.
Pay more than the minimum
Split minimum payment if you can't pay more
Make extra payment on your bills
Credit card balance transfer may help
4 keys to getting out of debt
Can I negotiate credit card debt reduction?
Yes, you can negotiate to reduce your credit card debt. Just follow the steps on how to settle your debts yourself. To find out how much you can settle the debt for and what you'll save, use the Debt Reduction Calculator.
Debt reduction services are all about helping you to settle debts for less than what you owe. However, you can reduce the overall payable amount by choosing a debt consolidation program. This can be done by negotiating with creditors for lower interest rates on your bills. When your rates are lowered, you pay much less in interest and hence your outstanding debt balance is reduced.