Most of us are aware of debt consolidation plans and credit counseling services, but there’s a different company that’s offering newer solutions for consumers with overwhelming debt.
While it follows the model of other debt counseling services, in that it doesn’t offer debt consolidation loans, it does provide a more complete alternative than traditional programs.
The Hard Truth
The numbers tell the tale – and we’ve written these words time and again in our column – the economy remains weak, unemployment is absolutely unpredictable – but still high and fears over taxes and other government decisions are weighing heavily on consumers minds as they ponder whether to buy that new refrigerator or even have another baby. The sense that nothing is definitive is adding to the financial stress for millions. Further complicating matters is the fact that most of our debt is unsecured, meaning it’s mostly credit card debt and student loan debt. For too many, they become overwhelmed and realize their finances are simply out of control – even though they’re not overspending. Many turn to bankruptcy while others consider debt consolidation.
National Debt Relief is a Better Business Bureau accredited debt and credit counseling company with headquarters in New York. We were made aware of it due to its new and highly publicized smartphone app. It also differentiates between the many – and often confusing – definitions associated with debt relief. It offers debt settlement, debt negotiation, debt consolidation and debt management – but it helps consumers understand the differences before deciding.
Credit Card Debt
While it considers all types of debt, the focus is credit card debt. With debt reduction plans that have been cited as some of the most thorough in the industry, its team members work to lower balances and ideally, lower interest rates in the process. The sooner the credit card debt is paid, the better the finances look for the consumer.
One reason it’s turning heads in the financial sector is the absence of making assumptions. For instance, many companies, after reviewing a client’s finances, will recommend bankruptcy. Understanding that sometimes it’ necessary, National Debt Relief seems to prefer another route; one that will allow clients to rebuild their credit not from bankruptcy, but from a combination of renegotiating debts, lowering payments and changes in payment plans that ensure they’re easy for the consumer to maintain.
Pay Off Credit Card Debt App
As we mentioned, the announcement of its new app is what drew us to this financial services company. The app, named the “Pay Off Credit Card Debt App,” goes much further in its range of financial advice. During our review, we discovered versatile budgeting tips that are both realistic and achievable. This, of course, is just a small part of what it offers, but often, if the tips offered in any program aren’t ones you would use or are unsustainable, odds are, the program itself isn’t going to be the right one for consumers’ needs.
There also exists within the app specifics on money and finances. What really caught our eye was the attention paid not only in the new smartphone app, but the program as a whole, to thoroughly defining various financial terms and noting the differences in each. If the app developers have their way, consumers will “come away with a better handle on your debt problems and a clear view of their potential solutions”. It’s an assertive goal, but a realistic one. There are even reminders of what that impulse buy might mean next month when your credit card statements begin to arrive. Often, the knowledge that sooner or later, we’re going to have to pay for those splurges is enough to keep our credit cards in our wallets.
Other things we discovered included an easy to understand differentiation between chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy filings, calculators to determine how long it will take to pay off your MasterCard making the minimum payment or other dollar amounts and reminds users of the many benefits of being debt free. It considers the pitfalls of the misuse of credit cards and other unsecured debt products, teaches you how to keep DTI (debt to income) ratios in mind and when you shouldn’t use your credit cards. It’s like a mini pep talk every time you look to it for inspiration – or information.
Our Lives, Our Smartphones
The statistics and research tell the tale – more and more of aspects of our lives are being found on our smartphones. Think that’s not possible? Consider the fact that a decade ago most of us with our bulky and oversized cells never would have dreamed that we could import our contacts from our Rolodex. Also, the idea of having Facebook pictures pop up when our friends called seemed incredible – not to mention unrealistic. In fact, most of us would have asked, “What is Facebook?” And, of course, we were excited when the spiffy ring tones were introduced – each one costing five or six dollars until they told us we could add not only custom ring tones, but libraries of hundreds or more songs right onto our phones. Next thing you know, we’re downloading apps, setting up payment reminders, storing our passwords and even paying for dinner out not with the plastic Visa we’ve come to know and love, but those remarkable little inventions known as smartphones. It’s evolved. This app understands that and from what we’ve been able to discern, it’s designed to evolve right along with the consumers using it.
If nothing else, it’s something to explore online to see if it might be a solution for your specific needs. The app can be found on the Google Play page. Ultimately, it’s something you’ll need to decide whether it’s worth the space on your smartphone, but even if you’re not considering debt consolidation or any other similar financial services, we like the versatility of it and we like the ease in which it can be used. For a small app, this powerhouse is loaded with information, tips and resources that can benefit any consumer.