Georgia is a state that’s fairly friendly to the middle class and has quite a diverse demographic of workers. According to data taken from the US Census Bureau, the state has about 17% of its population living in poverty, one of the lowest rates in the nation, and the average household income found from 2011 to 2015 is around $49,620. It’s main industry hubs are Atlanta, Savannah, Augusta and Macon and each has a unique economy. While most people here do pretty well for themselves, there are many people who struggle with debt and need help to eliminate it. If you’re from Georgia and struggle with debt, it may be time to consolidate it.
What You Need To Do To Consolidate Debt
Debt consolidation involves organizing your debt in a manner that you can plan to pay all of it off. It could mean taking out a debt consolidation loan, or signing up for a debt management plan that helps you pay off the amount in monthly payments to your creditors. There is also debt settlement that could work if done right, but most advisors do not recommend this option unless your creditors are willing to go this route. Whether you take out a debt consolidation loan or not, it’s still advisable to consult a debt counseling agency before you do so. More so, they may be able to help you avoid considering filing for bankruptcy.
Advantages A Consolidation Loan Can Have
Whether you apply for a debt consolidation loan or choose a debt management plan, each can have its advantages. A debt consolidation loan allows you to immediately pay off your creditors and then focus on repaying the loan. If you choose the right consolidation loan and the right lender, you may be able to get lower interest rates than what your creditors were charging for all of your payments. And if you’ve got a plan in place to pay it off as soon as possible, you may even find that you can do so before the time that you had planned on doing so.
Disadvantages A Consolidation Loan Can Have
A consolidation loan is a loan, and if you don’t have a real plan to pay it off quickly, you could end up in worse debt than you were before. Getting a consolidation loan could involve giving up your credit cards, and could possibly have an effect on your credit score as a whole though usually not a major one. Also, if you don’t have a good credit score to begin with, you might have difficulty finding a consolidation loan with good interest rates.
Advantages Of Hiring A Debt Counseling And Consolidation Company
Not all debt and credit counseling services offer debt payment plans where they act as a middleman and help negotiate payments to your creditors, but there are some that do. If you’re having trouble with harassing creditor calls and making payments, a debt consolidation company that can represent you might be the way to go. You might find this kind of service at a law firm, or at a non-profit credit counseling organization. If your attorney can speak on your behalf to the creditor and negotiate lower payments at a more favorable monthly payment, this may be a more viable option for paying your debt down. You will not pay your debt completely off with a loan, but you may find help with planning and organizing payments to pay down your debts.
Disadvantages Of Hiring A Debt Counseling And Consolidation Company
While there are many non-profit debt counseling companies out there, some of them have hidden fees they charge and these could be expensive. They also might charge you fees for a debt management plan that may not work out for you. You’ll want to do your research on any debt consolidation company in Georgia to see if they’re accredited with the Better Business Bureau or have good reviews from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Hiring The Right Lawyer For Debt Consolidation
One issue that often comes up when hiring a debt consolidation lawyer is that some people mistakenly hire a debt settlement company. Some of these companies advertise themselves as law firms, but the attorneys present at this company usually only represent the debt settlement firm itself and will not represent you in court. Legitimate attorneys will represent you and will help you if all other options fail and you do need to file for bankruptcy. The best time to hire an attorney is if you suspect your creditors are violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act as laid out at the CFPB.