Government Debt Relief or Grants?
Consumers are deep-in-debt, with many hoping the Federal Government will come to the rescue, helping provide "bailouts" as they did for business, banking and industry.
The fact is, however, there is no government bailout program for consumers and no government grants to help payoff debts or credit card debt pay off program or government debt consolidation for those searching for debt relief from credit cards and other types of unsecured credit. The billions of dollars spent to help corporate America is staying in corporate America. There will be no direct assistance from Uncle Sam to consumers in the form of grants, aids or loans - to help pay off, reduce or eliminate credit card debt.
However, consumers in North Carolina need to be aware that debt relief options are available to consumers and the help or relief is coming from the credit card companies themselves - in the form of reduced interest rates, elimination of penalties and late fees - and in some cases - debt settlement, as companies may agree to accept less than the full amount owed from consumers who have fallen behind or are deep in debt.
So debt relief is indeed available. With no situations alike, it's advisable to make sure you not only understand each debt option, but how each debt option can or cannot be applied to work in your circumstance. To explore your debt relief options, begin by answering a few simple questions online to request your free debt analysis and savings quote here.
Government Debt Help
While the Federal Government will not bail out the consumers suffering the ravages of run-away unsecured debt obligations, the government is taking constructive and proactive measures to help consumers from falling victim to the debt trap in the first place. This should help to protect citizens against certain free market abuses. Legislation is on the books which assists and protects consumer rights.
Here's a summary of what's being done right now by the government to help consumers better manage and control their debt.
Credit Card Act of 2009
There is no shortage of blame to go around on the part of credit card companies; the very same companies whose aggressive, unrelenting marketing practices, along with easy credit approval helped create record-high levels of consumer debt. Granted, consumers should take responsibility for the debt incurred. Never forget, however, that credit card companies have contributed to the credit and debt crisis that exists.
The government's response to curb future market abuses was to draft and pass The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009. It was signed into law by President Obama in May of 2009, taking effect February of 2010.
While the new law does not put restrictions on fundamental things like prices, fees, or interest rate ceilings that credit card companies can establish or charge consumers, it does create higher levels of consumer protection and provisions, providing a front-line defense against unfair practices perpetuated by companies who were certainly a major contributor to the problem.
Leading-up to the new legislation, many consumers and their Congressional representatives believed the credit card revolving debt machine had gone too far and was "out of hand". Rate increases became arbitrary with lack of significant notice, compounded by difficult-to-read and hard to comprehend disclosures - the so called fine-print - and the highly criticized unpopular Universal Default. All these factors contributed in significant ways to the debt epidemic and the Federal response to change certain unbridled market forces.
The Credit Card Act of 2009 mandates that credit card companies give card holders a 45 day advance notice of a rate increase. It goes further, stating that should a consumer desire to cancel a card being affected by a rate increase, the consumer shall be allowed to pay off the existing balance at the older rate and not at the new higher rate. Furthermore, credit card companies are now prohibited from increasing rates on balances retroactively, for consumers who've maintained credit card accounts and payments in good standing. Prior to the new legislation, credit card companies using the Universal Default provision (the "fine print") could hike interest rates on their customers for any change in the customer's credit profile. For example, a consumer could have been paying a 9% interest rate on a certain credit card, maintaining a perfect payment record, but should something change in that consumer's credit profile, say for example an application for an auto loan, or even a late payment on another unrelated card, the company could raise your rate on the card which is up-to-date and on time. Sometimes, companies would hike rates from the 10% range up to 29%. These predatory practices forced consumers to deeper levels of debt and beyond.
To clarify, while the Federal government does not provide credit card relief grants, debt management, special programs or even debt consolidation to bailout the everyday consumer, the recent legislation, The Credit Card Act of 2009, is a step in the right direction for consumer protection and consumer fairness.
Mortgage Debt Relief
The government is also working in other areas which benefit consumers, most noteworthy for consumers hit hard by the sub-prime credit meltdown. A program called FHASecure, headed up by HUD (Dept. of Housing and Urban Development). This program provides aid to consumers facing possible foreclosure or who need to refinance a subprime credit mortgage. To find out more about the FHASecure loan assistance program, visit: Here
Federal Student Loan Consolidation
Other government efforts are in effect and helping consumers and the marketplace as well. One area of debt relief involves the consolidation of federal student loans. If you have more than one federal student home loan you may benefit by consolidating all loan payments into one, lower single monthly payment. This program does not to privately funded loans, only to those holding federally-funded student loans.
State Economic Assistance
Various consumer and resident programs are available to North Carolinians including "Better Choice", a program created by the North Carolina Treasury Dept. Better Choice helps consumers locate legitimate payday lenders with short-term grants and loans from fair and honest financial services in North Carolina. Other financial relief programs deal, such as TANF - Temporary Assistance For Needy Families. TANF is aimed at helping low-income individuals and families find independence by providing money and grants for dependent children, relatives and parents with whom they live, and for pregnant women.
For North Carolinians seeking debt relief from credit cards and other types of unsecured debt problems and debt management issues, you can find out how much you may save with a free savings quote along with your free debt analysis by answering a few online questions.