Highlights of this post include:
- An explanation of the subtle differences of debt relief for seniors compared to normal debt relief.
- A discussion of government financial assistance for seniors and other effective debt relief programs.
- A ‘get started’ guide to debt relief for the elderly.
More Americans than ever before are up to their ears in debt. Much of this debt comes in the form of much-dreaded credit card debt. In fact, credit card debt is one of the most common types of debt in the entire United States.
A specific group of people that are often in debt are seniors. Much of the time the plight of the elderly is just brushed over when it comes to debt relief. But seniors have their own particular debt problems and these problems have their own slightly specific solutions.
If you are a senior that is struggling with debt, then you are fully aware of just how big of a problem it is. Or maybe you are a friend or family member of a senior who is routinely hounded by credit card companies or creditors that are in pursuit of their money.
Luckily, senior debt relief is possible and is surprisingly abundant and easy to utilize. If you want to clear up some of the confusion for yourself, the information discussed below will be a big help.
What Is Debt Relief for Seniors?
Debt relief for seniors is much the same as it is for people that are not seniors. Many of the same programs are offered as solutions to the same problems.
The biggest difference is that many seniors do not have a steady income or any income at all. They are not shielded from medical problems, money problems, and accessibility issues. This puts them at odds with credit card companies and makes their situations uniquely different than those of most other people with debt.
Even if some seniors wanted to earn more money to pay off their debts, it might just not be possible. Age and health are both leading reasons for this.
What Government Assistance Exists?
Fortunately for seniors, the government offers a fair share of financial assistance in the form of debt relief programs, specifically aimed at helping the elderly and disabled. While these programs don’t eradicate the problem completely, they do serve to offer much help.
The help is generally available in the form of financial grants. While these financial grants are technically a form of debt relief for seniors, they are not reserved solely for paying off debts, credit card or otherwise. Rather, they are aimed at helping people in their advanced years or those who are struggling against a disability get by on a day to day basis. They are designed to help seniors live normally and comfortably in their old age.
For this reason, it is up to seniors to use this money from financial grants to the best of their abilities. As you might suspect, this is oftentimes a great challenge.
What Are Your Other Options?
Seniors have a variety of other options for debt relief other than relying on financial grants. Many of these debt programs are similar to those that are used by others when searching for relief.
A debt settlement firm or a debt relief company can be a huge aid to seniors – or anyone – looking to take care of their debt problems. Working with one of these organizations is a great idea because they explain all of your options to you. They then work directly with your creditors in negotiating or lowering your total debt.
The only real problem here is that many credit card companies continue to hound their debtors. They’d rather do this to collect their full payment (plus late penalties) than settle a debt, even if the strategy seems unlikely to work.
However, the government has a few solid laws set up in place that help protect seniors from creditors that are using these unruly tactics.
Debt Relief Laws for Seniors
It can be very helpful for any senior struggling with debt to have an understanding of the debt relief laws that relate to them.
When a creditor wins a court case against someone in debt, they are still required to give an order of collection. Most commonly this is done by wage garnishing. Basically, wage garnishing is when a creditor legally gets an agreed upon percentage of the debtor’s monthly wages until the entire debt is paid in full.
Obviously, there are some problems when wage garnishment is applied to senior debtors. Because seniors do not usually have an income, they have no wages to garnish. And, in addition to this, any checks or financial assistance that a senior receives, including social security and tax rebates, cannot be touched by creditors. This law helps protects seniors from unscrupulous collectors.
Get Started With Senior Debt Relief
Your best bet if you are a senior struggling with debt is to get started on relief as soon as possible. Even just reading this article is a great start. Soak up as much information as possible and share it with someone you can trust.
It is also wise to strongly consider the help of a debt relief company, especially if your particular problem is spiraling (or has already spiraled) out of control. The reviews section of our website offers up numerous thoughtful reviews of the best debt relief companies around. More are being added all the time.
All in all, debt relief for seniors is much the same as it is for anyone else. Your best bet in tackling it is, as always, not to fall into debt in the first place. And if/when you do, it is wise to jump on the problem as soon as possible. Don’t wait for it to become worse than it already is.
Doing these things and understanding your rights will get you a long way. The same goes for connecting with a debt settlement organization. As stressful as debt undoubtedly is, with a little patience and some hard work you’ll figure it out soon enough.