If you are a senior struggling with debt management, it’s important to realize you are not alone. As of 2010, seniors carried 83 percent more debt than in 2001, totaling an average of $50,000. Whether it comes in the form of a second mortgage, multiple credit cards or medical bills, debt can cripple your vision for a stress-free retirement.
On a positive note, there are avenues you can explore that will empower you to take back control of your finances. Professional debt management services help senior clients consolidate their payments and reduce interest rates, to name just a few benefits. Here’s how you can tell if this option is right for you.
1. How Much Do You Owe?
Assess your monthly cash flow. If you pay more than 20 percent of your income towards non-housing related debt, you may benefit from expert debt management.
2. Have You Exhausted Your Savings Accounts?
Drawing heavily on savings accounts early in retirement to finance debt can have long-term negative repercussions. If your savings balance is dropping, you live month to month and have no opportunity to save money, turn to debt counseling before any more time goes by.
3. Do You Depend on Credit Cards for Daily Living Expenses?
If you cannot afford to maintain your lifestyle without using credit cards to pay for basic needs including food and utilities, your debt may have your budget in a stranglehold. One third of seniors depend on credit each month.
How Can Debt Remediation Help?
Contact a credit counseling service or debt management company and fill them in on the current state of your finances. They step into the gap and negotiate lower interest rates and monthly payments with your creditors. Instead of worrying about multiple bills every month, you pay the professional debt remediation company one manageable payment. While they may charge a monthly fee for this service, most consumers find the cost is outweighed by the monthly savings resulting from their negotiation with creditors.
Be sure to steer clear of for-profit debt management organizations that make false promises about debt settlement. Use the directory at the National Foundation for Credit Counseling as a resource for locating a reputable debt management company.
Healthcare costs continue to rise and may be the cause of increased debt. If your current insurance plan does not meet your physical and financial needs, talk to the specialists at My Senior Health Plan to review alternative options. Work with a team of professionals who have experience forming customized insurance plans designed to fit into a senior budget while catering to unique health concerns.