I am about $40k-$50k in debt and I can pay about $330 dollars a month, what can I do to consolidate?

I am about $40k-$50k in debt and I can pay about $330 dollars a month, what can I do to consolidate?
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#1

I am 38 years old and make about $30,000-$35,000 a year as an English teacher living overseas.
I have about $40,000-$50,000 in credit card debt. Where can I get a loan to consolidate my debt?


#2

Good for you, trying to get on top of a very large credit card debt burden! Unfortunately, it is going to be extremely difficult to get an unsecured consolidation loan for that amount with your current income, and impossible to get one with a payment of only $330 per month. At $330 per month, it would take you nearly 13 years to pay off a principal amount of $50,000, and that isn’t even considering interest. There just aren’t lenders out there willing to give such a large unsecured loan with such low payments and such a long repayment period.
Other options you could consider include selling assets (if any) to pay off the debt or getting a secured loan if you have any collateral (property you own). Of course the latter is very risky, because payments are still likely to be much higher than the $330 you show here, and if you can’t keep up with the payments you could lose the collateral.
A much more workable option would be to consider a Debt Management Plan with a nonprofit credit counseling agency. In such a plan, the agency works with your creditors to get you more reasonable terms (lowered interest, reduced payments, stopping fees, etc.) so that you can make progress on the debt and pay it off within 5 years. Once set up, you make a single payment to the agency each month for the total of all the individual creditor payments that were set up, and the agency disburses those payments for you to each creditor.
However, even this sort of plan will probably require sacrifices in your budget or additional income – the monthly payment, depending on your mix of creditors, is likely to be at least $900 - $1000 per month. If that is just not doable for you, you may even have to consider bankruptcy. But good credit counselors are trained and certified to help you look at all possible alternatives to try to avoid that. You can find one in the US at www.nfcc.org – many can provide counseling online or via telephone – or if your debt is in a foreign country, you may want to investigate similar options there.
Best wishes for your financial future!
~ Natalie Lohrenz, Certified Consumer Credit and Housing Counselor


#3

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