Melissa Lyken | July 21, 2022
Summary: Worried that you'll never be able to pay off your debt? It might be time to negotiate with your creditors and set up a payment plan. ClearPoint Debt Management might be able to help. Find out if it sounds like a good way to eliminate your debt.
Debt management can be an absolute nightmare for debtors wrought with high debt amounts and interest rates. It's particularly nerve-wracking when you are cash-strapped and have to deal with debt collectors. Enlisting the help of a debt management company or agency offers some relief as these experts help develop a strategy to help you repay your unsecured debts.
One such debt management agency is ClearPoint. Here's how this company helps debtors manage debt and our final rating of their services.
This Atlanta-based non-profit helps debtors manage their debt, credit, budgets, and more. Their primary focus is to improve financial intelligence by teaching how to manage money while providing practical solutions. ClearPoint's counselors are certified with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, or NFCC, enabling debtors to work with professionals who can identify the causes of their financial distress and develop plans to address them. Debtors can talk to these counselors via phone, face-to-face, and online platforms.
The counselors set up a personalized debt management program to help you pay off the debt to multiple creditors using a single monthly payment. Clearpoint borrows a few tactics from the debt consolidation approach that rolls various debts into a single payment.
Debt consolidation is an effective debt management plan if the debtor can get a low-interest rate that reduces the total debt. Clearpoint counselors use this approach to reorganize debt, helping debtors pay it off faster.
There are two ways of consolidating debt, both of which lump your debt into one monthly bill. The first involves getting a 0% interest, balance-transfer credit card. In this case, the debt management agency transfers your debts to the card and requires you to pay the balance in full during the promotional period. This method is only effective for debtors with good credit scores- 690 or higher.
The second method involves obtaining a fixed-rate consolidation loan. The debtor uses the money from the new loan to pay off the other debts, then pays back the new loan in manageable installments over a set term. This approach is suitable for debtors with a poor credit score though they're likely to get a loan with a high-interest rate. Other ways of consolidating debt involve taking money out of a 401(k) or home equity loan, but these options pose a risk to your retirement or home if you do not have a strategic plan to do so.
ClearPoint's debt management program is closely related to the first approach, the main difference being that ClearPoint doesn't consolidate your debts. Instead, the debtor is required to make monthly deposits to pay off creditors. Here's a step by step guide:
First, the debtor consults with one of ClearPoint's certified counselors in a free counseling session via phone, online, or in-person. The counselor reviews your financial situation, credit report, income, and expenses while taking inventory of your outstanding debts and creditors. They'll explain how the debt management program works for your situation, including how your monthly payments and interest rates may change. You'll want to have a few resources in hand:
After signing up for the program, the counselor negotiates with your creditors for better terms. ClearPoint has established relationships with thousands of creditors over the 50+ years of advising consumers; hence they are likely to negotiate better terms for you. The counselors also leverage such relationships to tailor the payment plans to your requirements.
Once you open an account with ClearPoint, you'll be required to make monthly payments that will be used to distribute funds to creditors on your behalf. The monthly payments are fixed, and the debtor pays a lower interest rate. Be sure to talk to the counselors in case you have difficulties making your monthly payments. Also, you should follow the company's guidelines to the letter to ensure your program is successful. This means you need to:
Debtors who plan to start a debt management program with ClearPoint will pay a flat rate of $50 or the amount permitted by that state's law (whichever is less). Since the fee varies by state, debtors living in some states are charged a startup fee to cover initial costs associated with working with their creditors. The fee hardly exceeds $75.
ClearPoint's relationships with creditors allow them to offer many benefits to debtors, including waived fees and low-interest rates. Here's a list of some of the pros and cons of working with them
Unlike other debt management agencies, ClearPoint is a non-profit organization whose objective is to advise debtors. ClearPoint primarily focuses on teaching debtors how to manage money while providing debt management solutions. Also, the company's counselors are NFCC-certified. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling is the longest-serving credit counseling network in the country. This means the counselors have:
ClearPoint debt management provides debtors a stress-free way of paying off debt. You no longer need to deal with debt collectors directly, and you can improve your credit score without signing up for a new loan. Many customers have great things to say about ClearPoint's free counseling sessions. And, with their years of experience, ClearPoint is deemed a credible and reliable debt management agency. Overall, we give ClearPoint a rating of 4 out of 5.
SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.
How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.
"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James
Here's a list of guides for other states.
Being sued by a different debt collector? We're making guides on how to beat each one.
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Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.
Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.