Freedom Blog

Articles About Debt Relief

Small Business Debt

Posted in: Debt Relief

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Opening up a small business always seems like a good idea: it helps the local economy, provides jobs and lets you, the owner, do something that you’re passionate about. In fact, Freedom Debt Relief started out as a small business with only five employees.

Now, while we are a mid-sized company, our passion for debt relief has only grown even stronger. This is not to say that we have not endured our share of tough times. Every small business goes through rough patches. To paraphrase the hook of a popular Kelly Clarkson song, what doesn’t kill you, or force you to file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, only makes you stronger!

Believe it or not, small businesses, like college graduates or middle-aged divorcees, can get in over their heads with credit card debt. One main difference between a business credit card and personal credit card are the consumer protections. The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 has helped to keep consumer interest rates at bay and has given some degree of solace to the masses in credit card debt. Small businesses though do not receive the same treatment and can be subject to finance charges and interest well above the rates for personal cards.

There are pros to using a company card: for everyday purchases like staplers, computers and going to happy hour on company time, a business credit card lets you build points and get rewards which can go far. Just like personal credit cards though, these rewards are relative. That happy hour beer won’t taste nearly as refreshing if it’s paired with a 30% APR no matter how many points you get. In fact, it will likely leave you bloated and with a headache that will only get worse when your monthly statement comes in the mail.

At Freedom Debt Relief, we know the effort that owners put into their small businesses. If you’ve fallen onto hard times as a business owner and you have bankruptcy knocking on your front door, before opening it, give us a call to see if your situation could be helped with our Freedom Fresh Start program.  Trust us, you’ll be amazed at how much more enjoyable happy hour is without a bloated wallet.

Manage Medical Debt

Posted in: Debt Relief

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People get into debt for a variety of reasons, one of them being the inability to pay for their medical bills. These bills may come from regular check-ups to emergency room visits, and the costs can quickly add up. It’s a problem that devastates many households each year and according to a 2013 study, it’s also the number one cause of bankruptcy.

Medical bills already have a reputation for being complicated, but if you suspect there is an error on a charge, make sure to discuss it with your service provider. Another option to resolve your medical debt may be to work with a consumer advocate company that won’t charge any upfront fees, meaning you won’t pay them anything unless they are able to resolve your bill.

If you are one of the millions of people who are struggling to pay your medical bills, take the necessary steps to reduce or manage medical debt.

1) Find out if you qualify for Medicaid.
Medicaid is a form of health insurance for low-income individuals who aren’t able to afford their medical expenses. Since the criteria varies by state, check with your local Medicaid office to see if you qualify. If you do, Medicaid may be able to help pay for some of your medical bills (within a specific time frame), so make sure to apply as soon as possible.

2) Apply for financial aid.
Reach out to local churches, social groups, and community-based organizations like the Salvation Army and United Way that may offer help. They may be able to provide you with the financial assistance you need.

3) Make payment arrangements.
Medical debt is an unsecured debt, except in this case, you owe money to your medical creditors. Just like any other type of unsecured consumer debt, unpaid medical debt has the potential to hurt your credit. The last thing you want to do is ignore it. If you haven’t been able to pay your bills in full, contact your doctor’s office and insurance company (if applicable) to try to work out a payment plan. That way, they know you are trying to be proactive about the situation.

4) Get professional help.
If you can’t make any progress with the service providers on your own, you may want to consider working with a reputable debt relief company that may be able to negotiate on your behalf and help you resolve the debt for less than what you owe. Freedom Debt Relief has a team of caring professionals who are experienced with negotiating with your creditors. Again, make sure to choose a company that doesn’t charge upfront fees, because you shouldn’t have to pay a dime unless they are able to get you results!

5) File for bankruptcy.
In the absence of another solution, bankruptcy is an option some people are forced to take. It’s a reasonable solution when facing overwhelming medical debt.

Medical debt is unique because it is often a product of an unforeseen illness or accident. It can add up quickly and unexpectedly, all while intensifying the medical problems that caused it in the first place.

If you need personalized assistance with resolving your debt or would simply like more information, Freedom Debt Relief is here to help you find a solution for dealing with your debt. Give us a call today at 1(800) 544-7211.

Until Next Time,
The Freedom Family

Credit, Debt, and Relief

Posted in: Debt Relief

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Do you ever look at the word debt and wonder where it came from? It’s a pretty ugly word and the placement of that silent ‘b’ is misleading at best, but that’s the way debt rolls: subtly. And credit cards most certainly operate under the same MO, with hidden fees operating under the guise of low APRs and ‘rewards.’

The definition of ‘credit’ on Merriam-Webster.com is: “money that a bank or business will allow a person to use and then pay back in the future.” In theory this definition sounds appropriate but in practice, people who have credit card debt would probably want to tack on the phrase, “albeit with exorbitant amounts of interest.” And it’s true, besides borrowing money from your family, what business or bank is going to lend you credit without getting the principal plus interest in return?

Borrowing money from your family has both pros and cons. On the upside, you pay little to no interest, there’s no official paperwork and there’s no binding agreement. One con is that you then have to kiss that family member’s feet at every holiday party. Paying back interest or stroking your rich cousin’s bloated ego – which is the lesser evil?

The bottom line is when you are in debt from all the credit you’ve racked up, you have to resolve it. The definition of ‘debt’ is: “an amount of money that you owe to a person, bank, company, etc.”  Again, that part about repayment of interest is absent. Related words for debt include: delinquency, bankruptcy, default, embarrassment, and insolvency. While these power words can make you feel weak, feeble, and akin to the feeling you get when you weren’t chosen for your high school cheer squad even though your best friend was captain of the team, there is hope.

Here at Freedom Debt Relief, we embrace the battle of fighting debt. While your debt may be piling over your head, once you enroll in our Freedom’s Fresh Start Program, we immediately start cheering for you. Once you get on the road to resolving debt, all those feelings that held you back will melt away, and embarrassment, bankruptcy and insolvency will be replaced with confidence, stability and pride.

The definition of ‘relief’ is: “a pleasant and relaxed feeling that someone has when something unpleasant stops or does not happen.” Now that is a definition we can stand behind!

Characteristics of Debt-Free People

Posted in: Debt Relief

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It takes a lot of work to become debt-free and those lessons tend to stick with people who have struggled to find solid financial footing. But how come some people are able to gain control over their finances, while others continue to drown in past due bills and collections notices?

I can tell you one thing. It’s not income! Here’s an example:

Family 1 manages to pay off $20,000 in debt in two years on a $40,000 annual income.
Family 2 makes $100,000 a year but doesn’t make progress in reducing the same amount of debt.

Why is that?

Well, for one, Family 2 is obviously overspending! With a six figure income, they should be able to pay back their debt relatively quickly, but with so much money leaving the household, they are having trouble staying afloat. Their income is being eaten up by other things – maybe a high mortgage, credit cards, car payments, or just making poor choices like eating out all of the time. Whatever it is, it’s keeping them from making progress.

It’s a stressful way to live, but at some point, they’ll have to make some serious lifestyle changes if they want to get rid of debt. Debt-free people have it right, and there are 3 characteristics that many of them share.

  1. They get organized and follow a budget.
    Debt-free people pay close attention to their finances. They budget carefully, know how much money is coming in, and how much is going out. Because they are keeping a watchful eye on their money, they are also able to make better financial decisions and manage their spending.

  2. They have learned the art of patience.
    Debt-free people are willing to delay instant gratification. If they can’t afford something, they will forego it or wait until they have money to pay for it. Credit cards have made it so easy for people to buy things now and pay for it later. However, if you don’t use credit cards responsibly, it can lead to big trouble. To be debt-free, learn to wait, save up for what you want, and pay for it in its entirety.

  3. They are willing to change their lifestyle.
    Getting out of debt is not easy, but people who are debt-free likely achieved the status because they are proactive about improving their financial situation. Whether they reduced debt on their own or obtained help from a debt relief company, debt-free people are willing to work hard and make sacrifices to achieve their financial goals.

If you want to get out of debt and stay debt-free, IT IS POSSIBLE – no matter how much money you owe! Even if you don’t think you display these characteristics, you’ll be amazed by how your perception of wants and needs change once you get started with the debt reduction process.

Don’t let your circumstances or income ever be an excuse. Remember, everyone has the ability to change their ways and work towards a better financial future!

Debt Settlement (a.k.a. Debt Resolution)

Posted in: Debt Relief

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Debt Settlement – It’s what we do.

Throughout my time here at Freedom Debt Relief, I’ve come across clients who have struggled with debt and made the decision to enroll in Freedom’s Fresh Start Program. Many, after completing the program, are now thriving and have gone on to lead healthier financial lives. They’ve been kind enough to share their stories, their ups and downs, and things that have helped them achieve their goals. When it comes to tackling debt, our clients will agree on one thing – choosing the right “solution” for their situation was crucial to their success. For them, the right choice was debt settlement (a.k.a. debt resolution).

So, is it possible for people to resolve debt on their own? Yes, of course…but for many people who don’t have the time, resources, or know-how to negotiate with creditors, working with a reputable debt resolution company may be the difference between success and failure.

Freedom Debt Relief has been helping people with debt problems for years. As one of the leading debt relief providers, resolving more debt than any other company in the nation, we pride ourselves in getting REAL results for our clients. This is what the team here does day in and day out – it’s what we specialize in. It’s our passion, and if our track record is any indication, you can feel confident that we may be able to help you too.

In this post, I’ll tell you (in a nutshell) what debt resolution is, who it’s for, and what to look out for. Hopefully, for those of you who are contemplating debt resolution, this will help you figure out whether it’s an option to consider.

What is Debt Resolution?
In debt resolution, you work out an agreement with your creditor(s) to make a large one-time payment on your debt (less than what you actually owe) in exchange for forgiveness of your remaining debt. In return, the credit card company will forgive the rest of your debt and consider your account settled.  You should know that, depending on your financial condition, you may have to pay taxes on the amount the credit card company forgives.

But why would a credit card company ever agree to let you pay just a portion of the balance? Simple – something is better than nothing! The credit card company has to reduce their risk and protect their bottom line. Who knows if you will ever be able to pay back in full? However, keep in mind that creditors are not obligated to negotiate with you. In fact, some may flat-out refuse to. This is an instance when the expertise of a good debt settlement company may come in very handy.

 

Who is Debt Resolution for?
Debt Resolution is not for everyone, but for some people, it may be the right option. If you’re severely behind on your payments and heading toward bankruptcy, your lenders may be willing to negotiate with you, giving you a chance to settle your debts and get back on your feet. Debt resolution is something you may want to consider if you are looking to resolve your debts relatively quickly with a lower monthly program payment.


While debt resolution clearly has its advantages, it’s also important to note its potential disadvantages – like negatively impacting your credit score. Also, creditors and collectors are still allowed to contact you during the resolution period. We know the pitfalls that trip up many consumers when they are trying to resolve debt, but when you’re enrolled in Freedom’s Fresh Start Program, our caring and knowledgeable staff will give you the guidance and support you need to help you navigate through the process.

Whatever route you choose to take to resolve debt, the most important thing is to evaluate all of your options first. My suggestion – start by getting a free evaluation and consultation. Remember, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all-solution when it comes to debt relief!

Happy (Financial) Independence Day!

Posted in: Debt Relief

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Happy July 4th! Today, as we celebrate our nation’s independence, I’d also like to take a moment to congratulate all of our wonderful clients who have worked so hard to resolve their debt and successfully graduated from the Fresh Start Program. We admire your determination to improve your financial situation and your efforts to make that goal a reality. The Freedom Team couldn’t be happier for you, and we wish you continued success on your journey.

For our clients who are currently enrolled in the Fresh Start Program, thank you for entrusting in us the faith and partnership to help you through this tough time. We know that it isn’t easy, but with dedication and Freedom Debt Relief’s help, it is something that could be accomplished. As you work towards resolving your debt, you can start getting ready to celebrate your own financial independence!

This day is marked by patriotic displays, and while we reflect on what it means to be free, let’s remember that true freedom also comes from being in control of your finances. If you haven’t taken the first step towards resolving your debts, today is the day. Find out more about your options – we look forward to serving you.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Sincerely,
The Freedom Family

Introducing the Freedom Debt Relief Blog: Our 2 Cents!

Posted in: Debt Relief

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Welcome to the brand new Freedom Debt Relief Blog: Our 2 Cents!

We’ve gotten to know many of our wonderful clients throughout the years, most of whom were in serious financial trouble when we first met. During the journey, we’ve helped them address financial issues, come up with solutions, resolve debts, and get on track to a better financial future. It is one of our greatest joys knowing that we can help people through tough times, and put them on a sustainable path going forward.  It’s what motivates us to keep working to help others in similar situations.

So, why a blog? The main reason we’re blogging is because we want a less formal place to share knowledge and connect with you, our valued clients.  Here you’ll find tips and ideas, personal stories, comments on current financial events, and tools to help you achieve financial goals. We hope that it will provide some insights and ideas you find interesting and valuable and that it will allow you to get to know us – the Freedom Family – a bit better.

We know that debt and finance aren’t the most exciting topics to talk about, but we’ll do what we can to make this blog interesting, while also supporting you on your path to financial freedom.

We have tons of great posts lined up, so make sure to check back early and often!

Sincerely,
Andrew Housser
CEO of Freedom Debt Relief

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