If you have debt, you’re probably eager to get rid of it. But it’s not going to just go away on its own. Some people have found debt relief to be their best option for eliminating unsecured debt — like credit card balances and medical bills.

But are you a good candidate for debt relief? There are some things you should ask yourself when deciding if debt relief is right for you

How Large Is Your Debt?

The amount of debt you owe isn’t the only factor that determines whether or not you should pursue debt relief. But it can definitely make a difference in a few ways.

For one thing, some debt relief agencies will only work with consumers who meet a minimum debt threshold. Oftentimes, debt relief companies will only want to partner with someone who at least has several thousands of dollars in debt. 

If you only owe a couple hundred bucks, debt relief probably isn’t the right choice. If you owe a more significant amount, however, it can be beneficial. Debt relief can provide a road to freedom for people who otherwise don’t see any way out of their overwhelming debt. 

How Seriously Have You Taken Your Debt So Far?

Not everyone has put a ton of thought or effort into paying down their debt. Partnering with a debt relief agency is like an adrenaline shot for debt repayment. You’re going to be responsible for taking certain actions right away, like making monthly deposits into a special account to prepare for creditor negotiations. This is why working with debt relief programs like Freedom Debt Relief helps some consumers pay off balances in as little as 24 to 48 months.

While this is a fantastic option for people who need it, you don’t want to take that adrenaline shot if all you need is a cup of coffee. People who haven’t put a ton of thought and effort into debt repayment should try some things on their own before diving into debt relief. 

Creating a budget is one of the first places to start. By budgeting, you’re going to keep close tabs on your cash flow. Doing this can allow you to find ways to cut unnecessary things out of your spending plan, then use that money to pay down debt. It’s smart to try out a budgeting app, which can automate your budgeting and savings goals. 

Utilizing a debt repayment strategy is another important part of eliminating debt on your own. If you haven’t tried a debt repayment strategy yet, you should do that before seeking out debt relief. The snowball method is constantly cited as the most effective route. This is where consumers pay off their lowest debts first, while paying the minimum on all others — then move up the line. Taking this snowball approach gives a psychological boost that can lead to you beating all your debts in succession. 

Do You Think You Can Pay Off Your Debt on Your Own?

Be real with yourself. Can you realistically pay off your debt on your own? The answer to that question is probably the most important one in determining whether you should work with a debt relief company. 

If you can see a clear path to paying off your debts, you should pursue it. Even if it takes time and buckling down, you’ll be best off by taking care of things this way. 

However, the opposite is true if you answer “no” to this question. People who really don’t see a way out of debt on their own shouldn’t delay in seeking assistance. The longer you wait, the deeper you’ll find yourself in debt. 

Are You Considering Bankruptcy?

Anyone who is seriously thinking about bankruptcy should first consider the ramifications. Filing for bankruptcy isn’t like a get-out-of-debt-free card. There are some very real consequences that accompany bankruptcy. 

People who take the liquidation route will need to surrender qualifying assets, which can include their home or vehicle. The bankruptcy will also stay on your credit file for years, making it harder for you to get loans. Even though over 750,000 people file for bankruptcy each year in the U.S., you should try to avoid it if you can. Debt relief can give you a less damaging path for overcoming your debt. 

Debt relief can be—well, a relief. It’s an effective way for individuals to overcome large amounts of debt that would otherwise go unpaid. But it’s also not for everyone. Make sure debt relief is right for you before you sign up for a program.

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