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South Carolina residents aren’t all struggling financially, but many of them do. The average income in the state is only $47,238 per year compared to the national average of only $55,775. The per capita income in South Carolina is more than $4,000 less per year than it is in the rest of the country, which makes it a state with some financial difficulty. Beaufort and Charleston counties are the wealthiest in the state as ranked by per capita income, whereas Lee and Williamsburg are the poorest. Lexington county has a higher median family income than Charleston to rank it just below Beaufort, but the median household and per capita income are both much lower.

With the average credit card debt per household hovering around $16,000, many South Carolina residents can’t afford to pay their bills every month. This leads them to suffer in terms of their financial life week to week as well as their credit score. If you’re a South Carolina resident with ample debt, you might consider whether debt settlement is the answer for you. It can work, but you should understand how it affects your finances and whether you’re the best candidate.

Debt Settlement Benefits in South Carolina

If you’ve been experiencing trouble making your credit card payments, debt settlement can be highly beneficial. Before you learn just how beneficial it might be to your financial situation, you should learn whether you are a good candidate for this type of consolidation loan. Not everyone can or wants to apply for debt settlement and consolidation with a debt settlement company. The best candidates are those who have already missed more than one payment to their creditors. Those who show the most exceptional financial need are the best candidates, because creditors aren’t willing to work with consumers who make their credit card payments on time.

Creditors want the money they’re owed. If a consumer who has been making on-time payments every month for years calls in to request a settlement for far less than what they owe, the creditor is going to deny that request. If a consumer has been missing payments regularly for months, they’re going to worry they won’t get any of their money. Since many consumers file for bankruptcy to erase debts they cannot afford, creditors are more likely to settle with those who can’t afford to even make a payment than they are someone who is making payments. In a situation such as this, any money is better than no money.

The benefits of debt settlement for the best candidates include:

  • Ridding yourself of numerous interest rates
  • No more debt incurs
  • No more late payments or missed payments are being reported to credit bureaus
  • You will pay far less than you owe to resolve debts
  • Financial relief with one payment and one interest rate

When debts are settled, your creditors agree to stop reporting late or missing payments to the credit bureaus. Those payments made a negative impact on your credit score, and now they’ll stop. This isn’t going to improve your credit score. Those negative accounts will stick around for approximately 7 years, but it gives you a chance to start improving your score or at least prevent it from becoming worse.

Debt Settlement Laws in South Carolina

No good thing comes without numerous state laws in effect. Debt settlement comes with several important laws consumers should consider before committing to this kind of debt repayment plan.

  • There is a minimum amount of debt required
  • You must already miss payments
  • You cannot settle certain debts
  • Debt collectors and/or creditors are not required to agree to any settlement terms

No one can apply for debt settlement without at least $7,500 in credit card debt to their name. If your debt does not exceed this amount, you don’t qualify for settlement. You also can’t apply for settlement if you haven’t missed any payments. State law mandates only unsecured debts can be settled. Unsecure means the debt has no collateral associated with it. An unsecured debt includes the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Credit cards
  • Personal loans

Other debts are secured by tangible property such as a house or a car. These debts cannot be consolidated under South Carolina law, but the same law applies in every state. When it’s time to settle debts, don’t be surprised if some creditors refuse your offer. They are not legally obligated to accept any settlement offers, and there is no legal action to dispute this.

Before you sign up for debt settlement, do your research to find out which companies are the highest rated, the best, and the ones with the best reputation. Your finances aren’t something you want to risk at this point.