Thousands of Californians grapple with the burden of insurmountable debt. Major contributing factors include the growing rate of unemployment in the state. While Californian’s growing debt remains on the surge, it being one of the most expensive states to live in certainly adds insult to the injury.
Here is what you need to know:
Credit counseling firms come in to help you develop a reasonable and affordable debt-management plan. They also serve as mediators to negotiate for lower interests or payments with creditors. A credit counselor enables you to identify viable debt management plans to reduce and clear your debt. They solely play the role of a financial advisor.
Consolidated debt repayment significantly saves on interest and numerous monthly bills. It works as an excellent financial tool as it helps you reorganize your total debt and potentially pay it off faster. Debt consolidation calculators also come in handy as they allow you to estimate monthly payments after consolidating various loans on your own. This strategy is recommended for people struggling with numerous credit card debts and other unsecured loans.
Debt settlement usually involves a third party- can be a lawyer or company- at a fee or percentage of your savings. The settlement concludes with a formal agreement between the creditor and the debtor. The former agrees to lower the payable amount while the latter has to make monthly payments, usually channeled via the settlement company, until the debt is cleared.
Several non-profit debt settlement agencies come to the rescue of debtors by handling the process at no extra cost. The catch is that it offers very little to no room for negotiation. Missed payments can result in the program’s cancellation. You can learn more from Freedom Debt Relief about this option.
Reorganize Your Budget and Lifestyle
You may need to cut down on certain luxuries here and there or give up on others to set aside more money for debt repayment. Reorganizing your budget may include selling a few assets to service loans.
Find Additional Sources of Income
When your income becomes insufficient, staying up to date on bills becomes Rocket Science. Taking on a few extra jobs or finding a side hustle could help you catch up on payments or even avoid debt altogether.
Filing for bankruptcy appears to be the sunshine in the rain; however, it should always be the last resort. Although it offers a second chance at reorganizing finances, its consequences on your financial profile are dire and daunting. Therefore, exploring better avenues such as debt relief programs is wiser.
Help for Californians
Navigating debt is certainly not a cup of tea. Fortunately, several debt relief programs-private and public- give citizens a chance to restructure and rebuild their finances. Some remarkable programs include:
Housing Assistance Programs
California being the most populous state in the U.S, faces numerous challenges when it comes to affordable housing. The local public housing authorities step in to offer financial relief and help residents apply for Section 8 Funding assistance. Section 8 housing assistance is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development initiative that helps low-income Californians access decent, affordable housing. Other resources include rental assistance and homelessness prevention programs.
Food Assistance Programs
California’s Emergency Food Assistance Program offers pregnant women and newborns relief food. Low-income Californians can also apply for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program(SNAP), which allows them to purchase food using cards.
Medical Debt Relief
Medical bills have led thousands of families into debt hence the importance of medical relief programs. The federal and state authorities of California offer Medi-Cal- a program that funds health care and health insurance services for low-income residents and those who lose their job, consequently losing their health insurance cover.
Debt Relief for Veterans
California has approximately 1.6 million veterans. Most of them face various challenges such as homelessness, poor mental health, unemployment, and other hardships due to physical handicaps. California assists them through two primary agencies (The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs and The California Department of Veterans Affairs). Other private agencies also offer a helping hand through debt relief programs for veterans by providing free credit counseling and helping them find jobs.