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The Austin metropolitan area is one of the fastest growing regions in the country. Many people move to the “Live Music Capital of the World” to enjoy the incredible culture, nightlife and natural beauty of the surrounding Texas Hill Country. Others move to take advantage of the city’s exceptional job opportunities and laid-back ambiance. While Austin has much to offer to its residents, the reality is that debt is a serious issue that burdens many residents. If you are currently struggling to make ends meet or are falling behind on your monthly bills, you may understandably be searching for debt relief. Debt settlement is one option available for Austinites to consider, and you may find that this is an excellent solution for you.

Is Debt Relief Legal in Texas?

In Austin and throughout Texas, debt is a common problem shared by many, and the state has taken steps to help individuals like you with their finances. There are laws in place that allow residents to legally seek debt relief. Debt consolidation, credit counseling, debt settlement and bankruptcy are all options available for you to consider. Each have pros and cons to consider, and you can explore the options to make the right decision for you. For example, a debt consolidation loan can lower your monthly payments and help you to pay off debts more quickly, but you generally must still have a good credit score to qualify for a consolidation loan.

What Austinite’s Personal Finances Look Like

Everywhere you look in Austin, your fellow residents may be dining at restaurants, shopping at trendy stores, enjoying the nightlife and more. It may seem like you are the only one struggling with debt, but the reality is that many others share your concerns. The U.S. Census Bureau indicates that almost one in five area residents live in poverty. The average per capita income for Austinites is approximately $33,000 per year, so you can see that the many other local residents are living on a very limited income. However, the average mortgage payment that Austin homeowners pay is $1,738, and the typical renter pays more than $1,000 per month. You can see why may others share your financial concerns in Austin.

How Debt Settlement Can Help You

Before you decide to move forward with debt settlement in Austin, you may benefit by learning more about it. Generally, you will work with a debt negotiator who will reach out to each of your lenders and creditors for unsecured accounts. This will not work with secured accounts, such as a home mortgage or a car loan. The negotiator will ask your creditors to reduce the overall balance owed on your accounts. If they agree, the lower outstanding balance will generate lower monthly payments. You essentially will notice immediate relief in your budget from lower payments. Furthermore, because the outstanding balance is reduced, you may be able to pay the debts off more easily and quickly.

Who Are Prime Candidates for Debt Settlement?

Debt settlement may sound wonderful, but it is not available for everyone. The ideal prime candidate is an individual who has already fallen behind on payments for numerous accounts. This person’s credit rating may already be damaged as a result. Creditors are under no obligation to reduce debt balances. Typically, they will only consider this as an option if you have shown significant signs of your inability to pay the balance owed, such as if you have numerous late payments. They often would rather settle the debt to obtain some money back from you rather than risk not obtaining any. If you are currently making your payments on time, there is no benefit for them to negotiate the outstanding balance. It is important to note that settlement can damage your credit rating for several years or more. Because of this, individuals with a good credit score may consider using a consolidation loan rather than settling their debt.

Financial Resources Available in Austin

When you are struggling with debt in Austin, you have several resources that you can reach out to for help. Many will benefit from credit counseling. Through counseling, you may be able to obtain budgeting and debt management tips. The counselor may review your finances to help you determine if a consolidation loan or settlement is best for you. If you discover that consolidation loans and settlement will not work for you and if your debt situation is severe, there are numerous bankruptcy attorneys in Austin that can help you to explore bankruptcy as a financial solution.

Some debt can be beneficial. It can help you to build a great credit rating and to pay for large items that you otherwise would have to save for years to purchase, such as a house or a car. However, when debt gets out of hand, it can impair your ability to save for a rainy day, to prepare for retirement or even to live comfortably on a daily basis. If you are interested in improving your financial situation, you can reach out for the debt relief help you need as a first step.