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How to Get Debt Relief in Idaho

Dena Standley | July 21, 2022

Find the debt relief you need

Summary: If you're struggling with debt in Idaho, SoloSuit can help you find the relief you need.

Navient recently settled with Idaho to forgive close to $4 million in debt. What a relief for the over 170 borrowers who will benefit from this arrangement after court approval! For most consumers, debt forgiveness is a fairy tale.

Struggling with debt isn't new to many American consumers, especially with the rise in the cost of living. In recent years, Idaho has seen a surge in housing costs (although that is stabilizing). The added expenses have resulted in an overreliance on credit cards. And these debts quickly add up and become unmanageable.

As of May 2022, the average cardholder in Idaho has a $5,213 credit card debt. It would take years to clear that amount by making minimum repayments. If you have overwhelming unsecured debt, you may still have a way out. Some of these options are DIY, while some require hiring debt relief professionals.

What DIY debt relief options do you have?

Finding debt relief on your own may not be easy, but it's worth a shot. You lose nothing by trying, and you save money you would have spent if you hired someone else.

You can try:

  • Consolidating your debt into one credit card
  • Settling with your creditor
  • Work out a repayment plan/debt management plan

Find out which one can work for you.

Consolidate several debts into one account

Debt consolidation simplifies your finances. It's more convenient to deal with one due date and one fixed repayment than to keep up with nine different accounts.

Let's consider an example.

Jane owns three credit cards with a total debt of $25,000. She contacts her local credit union and discovers she can get a personal loan for an interest rate lower than that on any of the cards. She takes the personal loan, pays off the credit cards, and pays the loan back in one monthly payment that is smaller than her previous minimum credit card payments. When the personal loan is paid back, Jane will have saved thousands of dollars compared to continuing to make the minimum monthly payments on her cards.

The debt has not gone away, but Jane can better keep up without defaulting because she got a loan with a lower monthly payment. It was a smart financial move for Jane, as long as she doesn't grow her debt by continuing to use the credit cards while paying off the consolidation loan.

The table below lists the pros and cons of loan consolidation.

Debt Consolidation Pros and Cons

Pros

Cons

You may get lower interested rates

You may need someone to cosign if you don't have a great credit scroe

Lower monthly repayments

Loan stretched over a longer period

May save your credit score

You can get deeper into debt if you don't keep up with the repayments

The temptations to use the freed up available credit on your credit cards



To ensure that a debt consolidation loan is right for you, take your time to verify that you qualify for a low-interest loan. The loan isn't expensive in the long run, and the risk of default is minimal.

Settle the debt with your creditors

If, after assessing your finances, you honestly feel that you can't pay the total debt, speak with your creditor. Explain your situation and request that you settle the debt for a percentage. You may be surprised how many of your creditors will accept your offer, especially if they think they may end up with nothing.

Always get the settlement communication in writing for future reference. See the video below for how debt settlement affects your credit score.

Work out a debt management plan

The first step in creating a manageable debt repayment plan is to sift through your finances to see your income, ongoing expenses, and debts.

With this information, you may find that you can keep up with your repayments if you tighten your budget or get a part-time job. Or you may be able to clear your debts one at a time using the avalanche or snowball method.

If a tighter budget or a second job is not your answer, then you may have to talk with your creditor to see if you can work out lower monthly payments. Working with manageable repayments ensures you don't default and, therefore, you don't risk ruining your credit. The downside would be that lower monthly payments keep you in debt for longer.

How debt relief companies can help you

With the problem of too much debt affecting many consumers, debt relief companies have sprung up across the country. Some promise to help you clear your debts in months or just a few years. So, how effective are debt relief agencies?

You can use a debt relief company to settle with your creditor

Some consumers prefer to hire professionals to negotiate a debt settlement. This option can work if you have some money to spare, but it may not be viable if money is the main concern at hand. Let's explain.

When you hire a debt relief agency, you must open a dedicated account to deposit money monthly (usually lower than what you would be paying for debts). As you build up your account, the company can approach your creditors to make an offer.

For it to work, debt relief companies delay making payments on all your accounts until they are delinquent because you can't offer to settle an account that is not late. So, in hopes of settling, you delay payments which also affects your credit.

Check out the benefits and risks of hiring a debt relief company before you decide:


Debt Company Benefits and Risks

Benefits

Risks

You save time a paperwork

Debt relief services are not free

You may get out of debt sooner

The results are not guaranteed

You get a sense of hope

Very few consumers finish the program

The waiting period ruins your credit score



Utilize these debt relief programs in Idaho

  • Temporary Assistance for Families in Idaho (TAFI): Temporary Assistance for Families in Idaho (TAFI) provides temporary cash benefits for eligible low-income families and households to help pay for food, clothing, shelter, and other essentials.
  • Housing Choice Voucher: IHFA administers the HUD Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program in 34 of the 44 counties in Idaho. To be eligible, applicants must meet HUD income guidelines and participants pay approximately 30 percent of adjusted gross monthly income for rent. With HCV, participants are able to select their own housing, provided the housing meets program requirements.
  • Heating Assistance: The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps Idaho families pay utility bills and weatherize their homes, and provides energy conservation education. LIHEAP is provided by Community Action Agencies, serving every county in Idaho. There are two types of heating assistance available: seasonal and crisis.
  • Water Assistance: The Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) helps low-income families in Idaho pay their water and wastewater bills. This program can help you restore services if you have been disconnected, prevent getting disconnected if you are having trouble paying your water bills, and reduce rates to make water and wastewater services more affordable.
  • Aid to the Aged, Blind, and Disabled (AABD): Provides cash assistance provides cash assistance for individuals who are 65 or older, blind, or disabled. Eligible individuals will receive a small payment each month to help with everyday living expenses.

Additional help

If your debt situation is challenging, consider seeking free debt counseling. Money Fit Credit Counseling, for example, claims to offer free credit counseling to Idahoans. Check them and other non-profit agencies out to see if they have any resources.

There is a reason filing for bankruptcy is listed last on ways to find debt relief. It is the last option. The risk of losing your property in a chapter 7 bankruptcy is so real that some prefer not to think about it. But filing for bankruptcy may be your only way out of debt. If you have to, don't be too scared to start over. It helps if you learn about the laws governing bankruptcy in Idaho.

Having to seek debt relief is not a good place to be, but it's just one of life's hurdles you can overcome with good planning and a little work. You can work your way up from a distressing financial situation on your own or with the help of a debt relief company.

What is SoloSuit?

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.

Respond with SoloSuit

"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


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