Sarah Edwards | October 19, 2022
Summary: If you're struggling with debt in Maryland, SoloSuit can help you find the relief you need.
Maryland, situated just above Washington, D.C., and bordered by Delaware, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, is known for its blue crabs, Old Bay Seasoning, and lively cities. A large population of the state lives in the city of Baltimore, which is within a 45-minute drive of the nation's capital.
Despite its many offerings, Marylanders can find the cost of living to be quite high. Cities situated just outside of D.C., such as Gaithersburg and Bethesda, have a cost of living index as much as 56% higher than the national average.
Rising costs of housing that are prevalent around the country have also affected Maryland, with 32% of Maryland households suffering under the rising cost burdens.
Not to preach doom and gloom, but these costs can be a tremendous burden to the average Maryland worker seeking to meet the costs of basic needs. For those with young children, daycare can be another huge cost. One news report found that the average cost of infant care in Maryland is over $15,000 per year.
If you are a Maryland resident struggling with debt, this article may help you. We will outline several debt relief options available to Marylanders.
Let's jump right in.
Unfortunately, there isn't a quick solution to obtaining debt relief. The best way to get out of debt is to pay it off, but it will take willpower and resolution to do so. This approach is the self-help model. The self-help model involves taking a clear look at your finances and setting up a reasonable budget to pay off your debt.
To make a budget, you'll need to list all of the income that you have for the month and itemize your expenses. You should examine all of your banking statements to determine how much you're spending and where.
Itemize these expenses according to their importance. For example, housing, transportation, and food are must-haves, while entertainment may not be as necessary.
Once you've figured out where your money goes, look for things in your budget that you can change so that you have more left over each month. You can use this money to pay down your debt.
The next step you need to take is outlining all of the debts that you owe. You'll need to list the debt, the creditor, interest rate, and minimum payments.
Finally, you'll decide on a method to use to pay off debts. The two most common ways of paying off debts are the high-interest model and the snowball method. Under the high-interest model, you pay off debts with high interest rates first, while the snowball method involves paying off smaller debts, then working up to your largest debt.
The method you choose should be based on your personal preferences. If you're more likely to stick with the program if you see debts paid quickly, the snowball method may be for you. However, if you want to minimize your interest expense, you'll use the high interest model.
Maryland has a number of financial services to help its residents that have fallen on hard times. If you live in Maryland and feel like you are drowning in debt, check out these Maryland debt relief programs to see if you qualify:
A debt consolidation loan can be helpful for those who have savings to pay off their debt quickly while minimizing interest expenses. Under a debt consolidation loan, you'll borrow enough money to pay off all of your debts. Once paid, you'll owe a single monthly payment to the debt consolidation lender.
You'll have to have a decent credit score to qualify for a debt consolidation loan, and you may also have to agree to certain requirements, like using the loan specifically to pay off the older debts and not for some other purpose.
Frequently, debt consolidation loans will come with low introductory interest rates for a period of time. Taking advantage of this rate is where having some money in savings comes in — if you're able to fully repay the debt consolidation loan within the window, you'll save lots of money in interest expenses.
This option is called debt settlement. There are various debt settlement programs available to people who want to settle their debt, and they're often able to do so.
These programs involve giving the debt settlement agency a list of your unsecured debts and authorizing the agency to negotiate with your creditors to pay a negotiated portion of the debts.
A good debt settlement program will ask that you make regular monthly payments to them at a predetermined amount. They'll save this money to use towards settling your accounts. You'll also agree to pay them a fee for their services. This fee is usually a percentage of your overall debt and may be as high as 25%.
Understand that using a debt settlement program doesn't guarantee that your creditors will agree to settle the debt.
You may also choose to try to obtain debt settlement on your own. If you have the time and are willing to do some research, this may be an option for you. You'll eliminate the middleman and potentially save significant amounts of money.
Only consider bankruptcy as a very last resort and if you're truly drowning in debt. If you're considering this as an option, realize that bankruptcy stays on your credit report for ten years.
You'll be unlikely to be able to obtain credit during this time, and you may find other things — such as renting a home or purchasing a vehicle — to be quite difficult.
There are two types of bankruptcy for individuals. These are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to eliminate almost all debts and start with a fresh financial plate. You'll need to meet certain income requirements to qualify for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is essentially a debt reorganization plan. Some of your debts will be forgiven, while others will need to be repaid.
As a web app designed especially to help individuals who are being sued for debts, SoloSuit provides people with a free means to respond to debt lawsuits simply by answering a few questions. SoloSuit also provides a wealth of free information on our blog for those who are seeking help with their debt.
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
You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now or are just looking for support, we're here for you.
Here's a list of guides for other states.
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Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.