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What would you do if you were in this position? Try to settle yourself or with a company?

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Hello all!!


here is my situation. I have a little over 20k in CC debt alone. Across 11 cards which are mostly maxed. For years I paid on time every time and now I’m slipping. I been paying late on some cards ( never 30 days late) I get hit with late fees which make my payments higher and I honestly can no longer keep up. I’ve never been reported late. My utilization is too high and my scores are too low to get balance transfer cards. 
I called Amex and asked about their hardship program. They said they would suspend my card not close it. And I would make payments for a specified amount of time and then they’d open me back up again and my credit line would be lower. Other cards will close out if I claim hardship. My situation is due to illness then unemployment and now under employment. I used to make twice as much before I fell ill. I’ve been talking to a debt consolidation company and they said if they negotiate settlement amount for me they will close all accounts but they can’t touch my accounts with my credit union. I know I can bounce back from anything as I have done in the past. I’m just wondering what you would do?


i have 11 cards in total: 

a little over 20k

im willing to do the pay down work but I can’t afford my payments

i make about 2400 a month in bring home pay but I have bills of a person who makes three time as much. Any questions please reply. 

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Very few hardship programs are ever going to keep a card open for use while the consumer is IN the program.  Placement in the program often carries with it the closure of the card AND notations on the credit report that the consumer is in a hardship program of some type. 


Rather than wasting inquiries on cards offering a balance transfer (does not sound as though you are, but for the benefit of others in a similar situation), you should go and speak with a loan officer at the small local bank where you should be doing most of your regular banking.  The banker that KNOWS you is the one that is most apt to go out on a limb and approve a consolidation loan.  APR will suck (ie. expect 13-15%) but you should be able to structure it across 24 to 36 months, possibly with a half-point discount for an automatic withdrawal from your account.  Two payments per month could serve to reduce the amount of interest being paid by some nominal amount (same concept as bi-monthly payments on a mortgage). 


$20K across three years at a rate of ~13.5% gets you done inside of $700 per month.  The bank may want you to close accounts while others may simply want to see you agree to a cessation of their use. 

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