Debt management
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Debt Management. Surendra P. Singh Professor Agribusiness Tennessee State University Nashville, TN 37209 September 11, 2008. Debt. Debt: something owed, an obligation to pay or render something to another. Myth: debt is a tool and should be used to help create prosperity.

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Debt Management

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Debt management

Debt Management

Surendra P. Singh

Professor Agribusiness

Tennessee State University

Nashville, TN 37209

September 11, 2008


Debt management

Debt

  • Debt: something owed, an obligation to pay or render something to another.

  • Myth: debt is a tool and should be used to help create prosperity.

  • Truth: not as much as we are led to believe, because Americans are up to their eyeballs in debt, the debt management business has become one of the fastest- growing industries.


Debt management

Debt management companies can help you get better interest rates and lower payments, but at a price.

Traditional mortgages will consider your credit trashed.

Real debt help is found only in changing your behavior.

True debt management is about controlling your money.


Debt management

The solution is common sense and having a plan for your total money makeover.

With Determination, will, discipline, courage can be overcome.

78% baby boomers have mortgage debt

59% have credit cards

56% have car payments


Debt management plans a must to do list

Debt Management Plans: A Must To Do List

  • Counseling organizations employ counselors who are certified and trained in consumer credit, money and debt management and budgeting.

  • They arrange for consumers to pay debts through a Debt Management Plan (DMP)

  • In DMP, you deposit money each month with a credit counseling organization.


Debt managemnt plan

Debt Managemnt Plan

  • The organization uses these deposits to pay your credit card bills.

  • Creditors may agree to lower interest rates or waive certain fees if you are repaying through a DMP.

  • If you are paying through a DMP, contact your creditors and confirm that they have accepted the proposed plan before you send payments to the organization handling your DMP. Once the creditors have accepted the DMP, it is important to:

    • Make regular, timely payments.

    • Always read your monthly statements promptly to make sure your creditors are getting paid according to your plan.

    • Contact the organization responsible for your DMP if you will be unable to make a schedule payment, or if you discover that creditors are not being paid.


Debt management

You need to be aware that if payments to your DMP and creditors are not made on time, you could lose the progress you’ve made on paying your debt, or the benefits of being in a DMP, including lower interest rates and fee waivers.


Debt management

If you discover that the organization handling your DMP is going out of business you need to:

Contact your bank to stop payment if you are making your DMP payments through automatic withdrawal

Start paying your bills directly to your creditors


Continued

Continued

  • Notify your creditors that the organization handling your DMP is going out of business. Consider working out a payment plan with your creditors yourself. Ask if they will give you a reduction on your interest rate without a DMP.

  • Order a copy of your credit report. Check for late payments – or missed DMP payments- that may result from the company going out of business. If you see “late” notations you don’t expect, call the creditor immediately and ask that the notation be removed. Understand that they have no obligation to do it.


Important questions to ask when choosing a credit counselor

Important Questions to Ask When Choosing a Credit Counselor

  • What services do you offer?

  • Are you licensed to offer your services in my state?

  • Dou you offer free information?

  • Will I have a formal written agreement or contract with you?

  • What are the qualifications of your counselors? Are they accredited or certified by an outside organization? If so, which one? If not, how are they trained?


Important questions to ask when choosing a credit counselor1

Important Questions to Ask When Choosing a Credit Counselor

  • Have other consumers been satisfied with the service that they received?

  • What are your fees? Are there set-up and /or monthly fees?

  • How are your employees paid? Are the employees or the organization paid more if I sign up for certain services, pay a fee, or make a contribution to your organization?

  • What do you do to keep personal information about your clients (for example, name address phone number and financial information) confidential and secure?


For more information

For More Information

  • The FTC publishes a series of free publications on credit and financial issues, including Fiscal Fitness: Choosing a Credit Counselor and Knee Deep in Debt.


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