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How Can I Get Financial Assistance in PA?

Hannah Locklear | November 04, 2022

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Summary: Pennsylvania financial assistance programs can help you find debt relief and financial freedom. If you’re struggling with your finances, or debt, you might consider working with a debt settlement company or credit counselor—but beware that these services come at a cost. If you’re being sued for a debt in Pennsylvania, use SoloSuit to respond to the case and increase your chances of winning.

If you live in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania and are struggling to keep up with credit card payments, student loan payments, car payments, etc. now is the time for action. Do not wallow in despair. Be proactive and explore how to get financial assistance in Pennsylvania.

Use one of these Pennsylvania financial assistance programs

If you are a resident of Pennsylvania, there are numerous programs offering financial assistance and benefits to help pay bills and service their debt. Some of the programs include:

  • Better Choice – This program offers short-term grants and loans with low interest rates to residents who meet specific income guidelines (and other requirements).
  • Lifeline 135 - This program provides a discount of up to $14 on monthly telephone bills. The Link Up program helps pay for the installation of a phone or purchase of cellular phone. The UTAP program pays phone bills to prevent a disconnection.
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) – This program offers financial assistance in the form of cash grants that are accessible to low-income residents who have dependent children and their relatives, and for pregnant women.
  • – A state-run website that provides guidance to Pennsylvania residents to help locate low-cost prescription drugs in their area.
  • Child Care Works – Offers assistance in covering childcare expenses.

Assess your finances

Before you sign up for a debt relief program or hire a debt settlement company, you should make a personal assessment of your finances to figure out your financial standing.

Along with programs and resources available exclusively to Pennsylvania residents, you may be considering the pros and cons of hiring a debt settlement company or participating in a debt management program. Prior to signing up for any of these debt relief programs, it is important to do sufficient research and ensure the program will address your unique needs. For example, a debt settlement program is generally only a good idea if you have the funds available to negotiate a lump-sum payment with your creditors. This means if you are having difficulty making ends meet, then a debt settlement program probably is not the best option for you.

Similarly, if you are current on all of your revolving accounts, you would probably be better off participating in a debt management plan. Why? Because most debt settlement programs require you to be at least three months behind on your payments. This is due to the fact that most creditors will not accept a settlement offer for someone who is up-to-date on their account.

When assessing whether it makes sense to work with a debt settlement company, consider these factors. If you check the proverbial boxes below, then retaining a debt settlement company may make sense to help you manage your debt:

  • You are at least three months behind on your debt payments.
  • Your debt is primarily unsecured in nature (e.g., credit card debt).
  • You have income available after you’ve paid your monthly expenses that can be used for a settlement offer to a creditor, or creditors.
  • You have property you can sell to increase the amount of settlement income you have at your disposal.
  • You are confident and comfortable enough to effectively negotiate with your creditors.

Working with a debt settlement company comes with a cost

Another important step in assessing whether it makes sense to retain the services of a debt settlement company is to understand the costs of choosing this option as a way to achieve debt relief. Those costs include:

  • Significant fees charged by the debt settlement company
  • Bank fees associated with a third party account (If a debt settlement company requires you to deposit your monthly payments into a third party account, you may be charged for using this account)
  • Damage to your credit score that may not fully recover for years

Regarding the fees charged by a debt settlement company, please understand that most debt settlement companies will either charge you a percentage based on the total debt you owed or by charging a percentage based on the total amount you saved.

Also, before agreeing to retain a particular debt settlement company, take the time to research the company and their track record with customers. For example, take the time to see if there are any negative reviews or open investigations with the Better Business Bureau, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Trade Commission, and your state’s attorney general. If the company you are considering has multiple negative reviews from customers, then it may make sense to explore other options.

Learn some tips on how to negotiate your own debt settlement in the video below:

Consider working with a credit counselor

If you decide hiring a debt settlement company is not the right option for you, do not give up hope. There are other options for learning how to get debt relief in Pennsylvania. For example, you can work with a respected and reputable credit counseling company.

Many nonprofit credit counselors offer assistance to people by teaching you about different debt paydown strategies and guidance on how to create a monthly budget tailored to your income and expenses. They will also provide advice on how to be disciplined and follow that monthly budget. Most importantly, they can show you ways to avoid overspending each month.

When you meet with a credit counselor, they will typically conduct an initial examination of your monthly income, fixed expenses, fluid expenses and debt owed. The credit counselor will then help you develop a customized short-term and long-term financial plan with realistic goals.

Overview of how to get financial assistance in Pennsylvania

If you reside in Pennsylvania and are struggling with a significant amount of debt (whether that be credit card debt, student loan debt, medical debt, etc.), do not throw your hands up in despair and embrace a life where you are perpetually dragged down by debt service payments. There are options available for you to get financial assistance in Pennsylvania. Those options include:

  • Utilize Pennsylvania financial assistance programs.
  • Work with a nonprofit credit counselor.
  • Negotiate a settlement of your debts with the assistance of a debt settlement company.
  • Participate in a debt management program.
  • Apply for one of the programs available exclusively to residents of Pennsylvania.

No matter the option you choose, SoloSuit is here to help. Check out these informational resources to provide additional insight on the best ways to get debt relief:

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