Debt Champion: Conquering Collections and Creditors
Whether it feels like it or not, you’re on the path to financial freedom. Whether you’ve already negotiated an agreement to get your payments back on track or you’re preparing to make those calls, you’ve taken that critical first step.
Facing your debt (and collectors) head on can be the most difficult step toward regaining financial stability. You have the courage many people lack, and that puts you in control of your financial future!
Of course, the path isn’t always smooth. We know you’re prepared to hit a few bumps and stay the course, but we want to make it as easy as possible for you. The tips and resources below will help arm you for your journey.
If You Haven’t Talked to Creditors Yet…
Every debt collector will want the maximum payment possible, but you’re looking for a solution to all of your financial problems, not just one. That means creating a plan before you ever make the first call.
- Calculate how much money you have available each month to put toward those past-due bills, and at what point in the month those funds will be available.
- Write down all of the debts you’re attempting to resolve, with full balances and past-due balances.
- As you talk to creditors and debt collectors, remember to deduct whatever you promise to one from your available funds before starting the next conversation.
- Keep detailed records of your calls, including the agreement reached, the person you talked to, the date and time, due dates, and any other pertinent information.
- Follow through on your plan! If you run into a snag and can’t make a payment, contact the creditor or collector right away to keep your agreement on track.
If You Already Have an Agreement…
Congratulations! You’ve passed a big hurdle. Now, you just have to stay the course—assuming the collector honors your agreement.
Sometimes, collection agencies and debt buyers break the rules and play dirty. If that happens, here are a few resources to help you understand your rights and decide what to do next:
If You Haven’t Reviewed Your Credit Report…
It’s always wise to review your credit report for errors and misrepresentations. The three major credit bureaus often have differing information, so it’s important to check all of your reports.
Fortunately, you can get a copy of each free of charge once a year. You can order all three reports through www.annualcreditreport.com, or you can contact each credit reporting agency individually.
Be careful! Many websites will use free credit report phrasing, but will try to trick you into signing up for a paid program. This may even happen on the major credit bureau sites! You are entitled to a free copy of each credit report every year, without purchasing anything.
Here are some resources to help you obtain, analyze, and correct problems with your credit report:
If You Need Help…
That’s what we’re here for. You can always reach out to Barshay Sanders PLLC to review your credit report or advise you on your next steps.