What Sets Faithworks Apart From Other Christian Debt Relief Companies
At FaithWorks Financial, we do more than say we are a Christian company. We live it.
Claiming to be a Christian organization comes with a heavy responsibility that requires more than words to fulfill. It requires action. We’d like to show you how FaithWorks Financial lives its promise to operate our company with Biblical principles at the core of all we do.
Key Ways To Spot A Debt Relief Scam
The two most obvious signs of a potential debt relief scam are:
1. They Contact You First
If you receive an unsolicited call or contact from someone offering to help you eliminate your debt, be extra cautious. There’s a good chance they’re a scammer.
2. They Ask for Fees Upfront
This is the most obvious sign of a debt relief scam. If the person/company offers to help get rid of your debt but first you have to pay them a fee, they’re probably lying to you. Cut off contact and file a complaint with us.
Financial Help For Women And Families
Single parenting can add to the challenges of a low-income household. Financial help for single parents is available through:
- WIC Provides supplemental food and more to low-income pregnant women and mothers, as well as children up to age 5
- CHIP The Childrens Health Insurance Program provides low-cost health coverage to children in families that earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid.
- TANF Temporary Assistance for Needy Families provides immediate help for necessities like housing and food.
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Debt Settlement Vs Bankruptcy
When the process works as intended, debt settlement can benefit everyone involved. Consumers get out of debt and save money, debt settlement firms earn money for providing a valuable service, and creditors receive more than they would if the consumer stopped paying altogether or entered chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves liquidating the debtors non-exempt assets and using the proceeds to repay creditors. Exempt assets vary by state but often include household and personal possessions, a certain amount of home equity, retirement accounts, and a vehicle.
Compared to debt settlement, Detweiler says, if a consumer is eligible for chapter 7 bankruptcy, it may be a faster option. It is a legal process that can stop collection calls and lawsuits. Debt settlement doesn’t offer those guarantees. Still, he adds, there may be a variety of reasons why chapter 7 may not be a good option. A consumer may have to surrender property they may feel they need to keep. Or they may not want their financial troubles to be a matter of public record. Consumers could also find their employment options limited if they declare bankruptcy, as some professions evaluate workers credit histories.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be over and done after three to six months, versus years for debt settlement. It can be less stressful and may allow your credit score to recover faster, though bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for 10 years.
Whats A Credit Counseling Agency
A reputable credit counseling agency can give you advice on managing your money and debts, help you develop a budget, offer you free educational materials and workshops, and help you make a plan to repay your debt. Its counselors are certified and trained in credit issues, money and debt management, and budgeting.
Good credit counselors spend time discussing your entire financial situation with you before coming up with a personalized plan to solve your money problems. Your first counseling session will typically last an hour, with an offer of follow-up sessions. Good counselors wont promise to fix all your problems or ask you to pay a lot of money before doing anything.
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Getting Help With Debt Relief
When youre looking for help with debt, you have a lot of options to consider. From working with your lenders, to applying for special programs or taking legal action, theres no shortage of avenues to pursue.
But before taking any action, the best starting place is to carefully weigh your choices. Take a look at our list of pros and cons to determine the best two or three options based on your financial situation.
Of course, you dont have to figure it out alone. A professional counselor can offer you tailored advice, answer your specific questions and even enroll you in a debt management plan. And the best part is that their is free.
About The Author
Debt.org wants to help those in debt understand their finances and equip themselves with the tools to manage debt. Our information is available for free, however the services that appear on this site are provided by companies who may pay us a marketing fee when you click or sign up. These companies may impact how and where the services appear on the page, but do not affect our editorial decisions, recommendations, or advice. Here is a list of our service providers.
How To Find A Good Advisor
The decision to hire a financial advisor isn’t one to take lightly. Make sure that the person is indeed certified to give financial advice. The best bet is looking for a Certified Financial Planner . A Chartered Financial Consultant has less education, but they are also well-versed in personal finance and insurance.
Finding an advisor who has an active membership in the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors is a good practice as well. It indicates that they are a fee-only advisor, meaning that there are no kickbacks of any sort that could bias their advice.
Your financial advisor should also be a fiduciary. That means they are obligated to act in your best interest at every turn. A person can be a financial professional and know everything about money, but if they aren’t a fiduciary, you’ll have fewer protections on the advice you’re getting.
It may seem like a minor detail, but it could be the difference between being advised to pay down a 25% interest credit card or starting a brokerage account at $200 per month. The latter may technically not be an unsuitable product and thus not wrong, but a fiduciary would in all likelihood recommend paying down high-interest debt before making any new investments.
Narrow down your list of local advisors by asking around for referrals. Start by talking to friends and family who have received help tackling debt in the past. A tax preparer is certain to know several financial advisors, too.
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Consolidation Loans For Teachers With Bad Credit
As an educator, your professional association/union or teacher-specific credit union might have your back here. The National Education Association touts its loan program that can cover a wide variety of expenses, from consolidating your holiday debt to covering home repairs, weddings, baby costs and more.
Check the fine print, however. Even though the NEA is on your side, the banks underwriters take a dim view of risky loans. Rates range from modest to knee-melting, depending on the applicant. But its nice to know theres a place to start.
Even if youve suffered some credit dings, if you are tenured, lenders will look favorably on your application. They know youre a good risk to have a steady, reliable income.
Bad credit and no tenure? You might find the rate on a signature loan that is, a loan guaranteed by nothing but your promise to repay is either difficult to close, or painful to pay.
Teachers with bad credit committed to a personal loan should take the steps anyone else with troubled credit should do: Contact creditors about negotiating the removal of bad reports pay down outstanding balances and investigate zero-interest credit cards that offer cash advances .
Your absolute last-ditch option should be a payday loan, or cash advance. Because they get you on the fees especially if you roll over your loan such advances can get cripplingly expensive fast. Use one only in absolute emergencies, and only if you are cut off from all other areas of relief.
No Guarantee Of Settlement
The most obvious risk involved is that there is no guarantee that National Debt Relief or any other debt relief company will be able to settle your debt.
People are typically advised to stop making payments to creditors once they start working with a debt relief company. A lack of a final settlement will lead to higher interest rates and late fees. This could leave you with more debt than you started with. Lack of settlement also leaves you vulnerable to potential lawsuits from creditors.
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Debt Relief: Understand Your Options And The Consequences
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list ofour partnersandhere’s how we make money.
Find that you’re just not making progress on your debt, no matter how hard you try? If that’s the case, you might be facing overwhelming debt.
To break free of this financial burden, look into your debt relief options. These tools can change the terms or amount of your debt so you can get back on your feet more quickly.
But debt-relief programs are not the right solution for everyone, and its important to understand what the consequences might be.
Debt relief could involve wiping the debt out altogether in bankruptcy getting changes in your interest rate or payment schedule to lower your payments or persuading creditors to agree to accept less than the full amount owed.
A Few Debt Relief Options You Want To Avoid
The three options outlined above are not the only options that consumers can use. There are other ways to find debt relief we just dont recommend them. At Consolidated Credit, we promote a do no harm strategy when it comes to debt relief. In other words, your debt solution should not put you in a worse position than when you started.
Each of the solutions above when used correctly can eliminate your debt without causing credit damage or making your financial situation worse. Other solutions can decrease your credit score or negatively impact your long-term financial plan.
For instance, you can:
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What Do I Need To Do Before I File For Bankruptcy
You have to get credit counseling from a government-approved organization up to six months before you file for any bankruptcy relief. You can find a state-by-state list of government-approved agencies at the U.S. Trustee Program, the organization within the U.S. Department of Justice that supervises bankruptcy cases and trustees.
Also, before you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, you must satisfy a means test where you confirm that your income does not exceed a certain amount. The amount varies by state and is publicized by the U.S. Trustee Program.
Is A Debt Management Plan A Good Idea
Whether a debt management plan is a good idea depends on your situation. They dont help everyone. A good credit counselor will spend time reviewing your specific financial situation and then offer customized advice to help you manage your money. If a credit counselor says a debt management plan is your only option without doing these things first, find a different counselor.
If you and your counselor decide a debt management plan is best for your situation, its a good idea to check with all your creditors to be sure they offer what the credit counselor describes to you.
A successful debt management plan requires you to make regular, timely payments, and can take 48 months or more to complete. You might have to agree not to apply for or use any more credit until the plan is finished.
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National Debt Relief Customer Reviews
National Debt Relief has an average of 4.31 out of 5 stars from customer reviews posted with the BBB. The company has also had 254 complaints filed with the BBB in the last three years.
Comparatively, New Era Debt Solutions, one of National Debt Reliefs top competitors, has an average 4.85/5 stars from BBB customer reviews. New Era Debt Solutions also has a very low complaint rate, with just 3 complaints in the last three years. Freedom Debt Relief, another top competitor, has an average 4.35 out of 5 stars from BBB customer reviews. They have had 395 customer complaints in the past three years.
Overall, National Debt Relief is a highly rated and accredited debt relief company whose scores and customer reviews are on par with their top competitors.
Waived 401 Penalties Modified
The federal government, as part of the March 2020 CARES Act, waived the 10% early-withdrawal penalty for people under 59½ who took money from a 401 retirement fund, up to $100,000, if their finances were affected by COVID-19. That has expired and the only waiver for those under 59½ is for those who are affected by a disaster, as declared by the federal government.
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What Not To Do
Sometimes overwhelming debt comes with devastating swiftness a health crisis, unemployment or a natural disaster. Or maybe it came a little at a time, and now creditors and collection agencies are pressing you to pay, and you just cant.
If youre feeling overwhelmed by debt, here are some things not to do:
Dont pay a secured debt late in order to pay an unsecured one . You could lose the collateral that secures that debt .
Dont borrow against the equity in your home. Youre putting your home at risk of foreclosure and you may be turning unsecured debt that could be wiped out in bankruptcy into secured debt that cant.
A Dedicated Christian Advisor
Facing financial difficulties is no small matter. It can be overwhelming, stressful, discouraging, and sometimes embarrassing. We know it can be hard to open up to anyone about financial difficulties. That’s why we believe that you deserve one dedicated point of contact through the entire process. The person you speak to when you first connect with FaithWorks Financial is the person that will walk you through the process as long as you are with us. This allows us to get to know each other.
We believe that building this relationship allows for a more successful process, as our team is truly vested in your success. Fighting debt isn’t easy, but you don’t have to do it alone. We’re with you!
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Loans And Credit Card Relief For Covid
In 2022, more than two years after the COVID-19 pandemic began, federal COVID-19 relief efforts have turned to testing, vaccinations and global aid. While there are still options for Americans having trouble paying their bills because of the pandemic, many federal programs have been phased out.
Many consumers relied on credit cards, and are still relying on them, to pay bills or for basic household needs, like groceries. A Forbes study found that 75% of credit card holders said they have missed a payment or have been late on payments during the pandemic. While credit card use slowed the first year of the pandemic, it picked back up in 2021. Lenders, whod pulled back on issuing credit cards and loans to sub-prime borrowers began loosening standards as people went back to work.
The federal foreclosure moratorium that protected homeowners during COVID-19 is also over, ending July 31, 2021, and the eviction moratorium that protected renters ended in September 2021.
Those who have lost their housing because of COVID-19 related issues may still be eligible for emergency housing assistance, temporary rental assistance and more through their state or local governments. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a webpage that lists resources for preventing evictions and foreclosure defense.
Whats The Difference Between Chapter 13 And Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 13 lets people with a steady income keep property, like a mortgaged house or a car, that they might otherwise lose through the bankruptcy process. In Chapter 13, the court approves a repayment plan that allows you to pay off your debts in three to five years, rather than give up any property. After you make all the payments under the plan, you receive a discharge of your debts.
Chapter 7 is known as straight bankruptcy. It involves liquidating all your assets that are not exempt. Exempt assets might include cars, work-related tools, and basic household furnishings. Some of your property may be sold by a court-appointed official, called a trustee, or turned over to your creditors.
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Health And Human Services Funding
More than 5.8 million Americans without health insurance signed up for it through the Affordable Care Act in 2021 as the American Recover Plan made qualifying for $0 marketplace coverage easier for low-income Americans and cut premiums for others by as much as 50%. The ARP also spent $120 billion on vaccines, supplies, and disaster recovery, and another $20 billion on community health centers, public health workers, and mental health and substance abuse programs, making health care more accessible to more Americans. Those with financial challenges seeking health care should contact their local community health care agency, which may have expanded programs related to the ARP, and also can help navigate the ACA marketplace.