Fountain Hills, AZ (PressExposure) April 28, 2009 -- The recession isn't slowing down and darker days may be ahead before there is any significant brightening on the horizon. Unfortunately many families won't be able to wait out the storm as a result of higher credit card debt, plummeting real estate values, and rising unemployment rates. Estimates put credit card debt at nearly $10,000 per household and the total consumer debt at $30,000 per household. Combined with a downward spiral in the value of investment or retirement portfolios it's no wonder the outlook is gloomy. Struggling to make monthly payments adds tremendously to the stress many people are under, and for many, there seems to be no solution in sight. Fortunately, those struggling to keep their head above water do have several options including debt consolidation.
"Many families in the United States are facing a credit crisis and in quite a few cases it's not their fault," says Joe Kenny, of Thistle Finance Group, tfgi.com. "We developed http://www.tfgi.com as a safe harbor, a place where debtors could learn about debt consolidation loans in a calm, straightforward manner."
Debt consolidation is simply when a new loan is obtained that is used to pay off unsecured debts. In most cases the new payment amount is significantly less than the individual payments to all the different creditors resulting in some breathing room. If the new debt consolidation loan is secured on real property, a home for example, the interest rate may be substantially less than credit card interest rates resulting in even more of a break in monthly payments.
"Many families think that bankruptcy is their only option to get out of debt," explains Kenny. "They don't realize that with the new more stringent bankruptcy laws they may not even qualify. And in any event the bankruptcy stays on their credit record for seven years."
Debt settlement, another option for getting out of debt, is negotiating with creditors to accept as payment in full a lesser amount than the principal amount owed. But this is not the ideal solution for most consumers, says Kenny: "The downside to debt settlement is twofold. Until the debt has actually been paid the debtor can still be pursued for payment and taken to court. In addition the fact that the debt hasn't been paid in full will be reported to the credit bureaus and can damage the debtor's credit score."
A debt consolidation program combined with closing the paid off credit card accounts and other consumer debts, reducing household spending and sticking to a realistic budget can put most debtors back on track. But it is important for those in financial difficulty to be proactive and not just wait and hope that the times will get better. Companies like Thistle Financial Group (tfgi.com) have considerable experience with the implementation of debt consolidation programs that can help consumers plug the leaks in their financial ship and set sail for a more prosperous future--and an end to financial related stress.