I have a Secret Clearance and am considering doing a Debt Settlement Program. This means I will stop paying on the accounts and pay my debt settlement company instead. Then in approximately 90 days they will begin the process of paying off my accounts. They saidonce I start the process they will advise all companies that I am in a debt settlement program.
I am curious if this will get my clearnace revoked. Total debt is $13k.
No. Please no. Lost several employees to these fly by night places. They were collecting money and not paying. You can accomplish the same thing yourself. Write letters, emails, ask forgiveness, reduced payment, maybe accept less than owed to fight it off. Use a spread sheet to use any of a few techniques: list lowest interest rate on top, highest on bottom. Apply all the money you have been paying on highest interest rate card on bottom, making minimum payments on all other, roll up from there. As you pay off cards, roll up to next line. Keep in constant contact with card companies showing them you are making efforts and want to pay what you owe. Keep all correspondence to show investigator if asked for it. You can do this on your own and not pay ridiculous fees. They all get paid first, then apply money to the debts.
Are you behind now? If so engage each company with email. Save responses, write letter. Showing you are engaged, communicating, working it out…extremely in your favor. Personal loan from credit union can help. One bill, one interest rate, one payment. Easier to track, maintain.
But do engage each creditor. Talk to them. See what you can negotiate individually. Keep in mind if they write it off, it needs be reported
I am not behind. I took your advice and made an excel spreadsheet with balances, minimum payments, interest rates and starting to put extra towards highest interest rate first. I also worked a side gig (Shipt) and can start that again to put more money to pay it off.
I can pay for everything i just got the bad end of the deal with my Divorce and want to be able to move on with my life sooner rather than later. Patience is a virtue I suppose.
Debt Settlement works AND is a option. Just make sure you go with a place that is legit. You want to show you WANT to and are TRYING to pay your bills. Thats all.
I have a friend who used a company Freedom Debt Relief. Over the course of a year he got a bunch of his credit cards paid off.
Now in saying that they do have fees, so if you can work out settlements on your own then you will be better off.
Never recommend debt settlement to anyone, especially for such a small amount. Anyone who holds any type of clearance should have the wherewithal to figure out how to pay this amount off. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt would be a different story. I’ve seen people with good paying jobs claim bankruptcy for less than 5 grand. It’s sad. They probably paid the lawyer who filed for them 2 grand.
I Feel you on bad end of divorce. Totally explainable. I took all my ex wife’s debt in 2008 just before market crash. Figured I had 100k equity in house I was keeping. Well, year later, upside down on house…oof. I just kept pounding away. Leave credit cards open, don’t close as debt to available credit ratio scores high. Keep track and bring spreadsheet to a clearance interview. It shows you are knocking it out. Another great technique is dropping each to minimum required payment, concentrate all dollars on smallest balance, then roll up to next one, next one…and so on. Does it ever feel good wiping out a card! Small victories build confidence and momentum. It sux. But I can tell you it really does get better.
You really should be able to manage that amount without “paying” someone to pay for you. I found more than one Subject when an investigator that was scammed, or for another reason tossed good money after bad and it did not improve their situation at all. I always advised the Subject to contact each and every creditor and work with them. Pay them off small to large, learn something in the process and put yourself in charge. It was you that created the debt most likely.
Debt Settlement is way better than Bankruptcy and in some cases, people MUST go through it just to retain their security clearance. For example, I had a client who was a high ranking official with the Boarder Patrol. Had an emergency situation and ended up accumulating more debt than could be paid off on his own. Due to his position he was exposed to bribery from the Mexican Drug Cartel. His Commanding Officer required him to go through a Debt Settlement Program as a condition to maintaining he Security Clearance. You can try to negotiate the settlements on your own but as with anything in life, if you don’t know what you’re doing your chances of success will be much better if you go through a reputable company that has a successful track record. The cost of the program is covered by the money you save, so essentially, your creditors are the one’s who pay for the program, (not you), and most creditors voluntarily participate in exchange for Tax Credits. If you haven’t already, you should definitely try to find an experienced and reputable Debt Specialist who can help explain the program to you in more detail. Good Luck!!!
It works. Trust me. For each, try to negotiate it yourself first. This will save you a fee for that settlement (which usually is a % of the total amount owed or of what they saved you). But if you can’t use a debt settlement company (do your research). I know someone who used a debt settlement program and stayed in the program for 10 months; it saved him a ton of money from debt that was already delinquent.