A Straight Talk on Debt

A Straight Talk on Debt gives you the real deal on debt, straight from our employees and personal finance experts. Learn more about debt relief plans and how to be financially fit.

Success on a Debt Management Plan

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I recently spent some time reading about Dave Ramsey and have watched a few of his shows. I like his approach! You got in debt, now it’s up to you to get out. If you smoke, quit! If you eat out too often, quit! His strategy is to live like a pauper or paupette for a few years so you can retire like a prince or princess. This sounds easy enough, right? Of course! Everything sounds easy; the hard part is actually doing it!


Below are a few tips that our most successful Debt Management Plan enrollees have shared:


Pick a Payment Date that Works


Don’t just throw a dart at the calendar to pick your payment date. Instead, take into consideration when you get paid, how often and when your major bills like a mortgage, rent, or car payment are due.


Starting off on the right foot with your Plan is key to your success. Don’t start out by telling a creditor you are going to send them money and then call to push it back further. You have probably already done that before with them and they didn’t like it then either.


Live on a Budget


The majority of us know how much each paycheck is going to be each and every time and we know how much our fixed expenses are each month. Write it down, put it in a spreadsheet, or write it by hand.  It doesn’t matter, just write it down and follow it.


Call your Creditors


Many times when people first enroll they tell us they don’t want to contact their creditors. Why not? You called them to apply for the card, you called them to transfer balances, you called them to request a limit increase, and you called them for cash advances.


Call them; tell them you appreciate their patience while you are getting your financial life in order. Tell them you joined a credit counseling plan and when they can expect their first payment. Thank them, and hang up the phone.


Read your Mail and E-mail


Just because you signed up doesn’t mean you are no longer part of the team. Be involved because it is your plan! Read your statements so you can track your progress and be sure the creditors are applying the benefits. If a creditor declines a proposal, we send a letter and/or an email letting you know. Read them and call us to correct the problem ASAP.


Use Resources Available to You


There are so many free, online tools to help you budget and save money on every day expenses and support groups of folks who are in similar debt situations. 


You can start here on CareOne’s site where there is a ton of free tool like these blogs, the online Community, and the Tip Jar. 


Rob Taylor   

Rob Taylor is a contributing author for A Straight Talk on Debt. Rob tells it like it is when it comes to the latest debt industry news and shares his advice on personal finance.




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  • Do yourself a favor and READ THE DOCUMENTS AND ASK QUESTIONS numberous times before you reset your due dates with your creditors.  Many of them will allow only ONE reset!

    I was told by my initial counselor ( have his name and #) that the due date would be within a "few" days of when the money would be drawn from my account.  I was told to contact the creditors who due dates fell before the first CESI draw date and let them know to change their due dates.  I went ahead and contacted all the creditors and told them that I would be going to CESI.  It was a nightmare.  I kept meticulous notes, noted dates, contact information and called, called called.  I didn't realize that the "few" days could be as many as 10 days after the draw date depending on the number of business days.  This makes the due date for the creditors almost impossible to bullseye.  No wonder I looked like an idiot.  I had a perfect payment record before this program, no late pays, always paid more than the minimum.  But, I had a reduction in the number of clients and could see the storm clouds brewing on the horizon and decided to try to reduce the interest on my own.  So much for pre-emptive action!

    I have some major damage to repair to some of my accounts and credit due to this.  In fact, I had to file a complaint with the Federal agencies for some questionable interest charges through Chase (407.26%), but all I can say is when you set your due date, please allow at least 10 days after the draw date for CESI to get your payments to your creditors, and check with CESI to see if your creditors accept electronic payments or have to have snail mail (Dell will not take electronic payments).  

    Good luck, I am so-so on this program so far.  We shall see.

  • In a previous blog we discussed the top ten things to be successful on a Debt Management Plan. This blog focuses on the top ten things to be successful on a Debt Settlement Plan.

  • why was i not notified that my bank refused payment? Was the wrong bank charged? What happened ?  I checked bank account and money was therte!

  • I think that Careone should not make payment until the creditor has agreed to the progam, if they decline  this will cause your money to be tied up and your payment wil be short because they have made a partial payment for you and not the entire payment.

    So , you creditor think you are late with a payment. CareOne If you chose to do this and the credtor refuse, please redepoist the money into the customers account ASAP.

  • Isha09063, I agree with you! I think that CareOne should tell you the total amount that is needed in order to meet your monthly obligation, but only debit your account AFTER the creditor accepts the proposal. Right now, I'm having to pay the difference between the proposed amount and the actual monthly payment. I will have to continue to do this until the proposal is accepted.

  • This time I'd like to talk about things that I did each and every month to make sure that everything was on track and running smoothly.

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