It’s not fun to be stuck deep in debt. But this is an unfortunate reality for many people. If you’re in this situation, you might be wondering if you can get out of debt without paying.
Can You Get Out of Debt Without Paying?
There’s a saying that goes “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Essentially, this means there’s always going to be a price to pay, even if something appears to be no-strings-attached free. Paying off your debt is no different.
While there have been some calls for federal relief for certain kinds of debt like student loans, these are theoretical, and still wouldn’t really be “free.” Even if the government does forgive some of your student loans, something that would undoubtedly help many people, it will be paid for by taxes and inflation.
The above example is about as close as you’re going to get to a truly free lunch. Any person or service who tells you they can help you get out of debt for free is probably trying to take advantage of you somehow. Think about it: There’s no benefit on their end. If something seems too good to be true, there’s a good chance it’s in fact not true.
What Happens if You Don’t Pay Your Debts?
Now that you know getting out of debt for free isn’t a real option, it’s worth think about your other potential courses of action. The only other way you’re going to not pay anything on your debt is if you, well, just don’t pay it. As you already know, there’s no such thing as a free lunch; so what exactly happens if you choose to not pay your debts? It’s not good. Here are a couple outcomes you can expect:
- Calls from debt collectors – Anyone who has dealt with collections agencies knows it’s not a fun time. When you don’t pay or debt for long enough, the company you owe money will sell your debt to a collection group for a discount. The collectors will then use whatever means are at their disposal to try to get the money. It’s important to know your rights and what debt collectors can and can’t do if you find yourself in this position.
- Damaged credit report – Your credit report and score aren’t important most of the time. But in certain situations, such as getting a loan, they’re critical. Your credit history tells lenders how likely you are to pay back a loan. This then allows them to assess the risk of writing the loan, and determine your interest rate if they do decide to extend you credit. People with poor credit scores are going to get less favorable loan terms, which will make repaying the loan more difficult. This is done by the lender to adjust for their perceived risk of writing a loan to someone with poor credit.
- Repossession – If you don’t repay secured debts, it’s possible your car or home will be repossessed. This can turn an already bad situation into a nightmare. Some individuals who find themselves in this situation might have to go through bankruptcy, which often leads to the liquidation of certain assets.
Clearly, not paying your debts isn’t going to really solve anything. Fortunately there are some other options for those who need a way to escape their debt.
What Are Alternative Ways to Get Out of Debt?
Individuals who want to seek other methods to get out of debt have a few options at their disposal. The type and amount of debt you hold is going to make a difference in your ultimate decision. However, debt consolidation is one general method that can help people beat their debt.
Essentially, consolidating your debt allows you to roll several loans into a single new one. This can be a great option for individuals who think they’ll be able to repay what they owe, but are having trouble due to high interest rates on certain accounts, or being overwhelmed by so many separate lines of credit.
There are many organizations out there advertising debt consolidation, so it’s important to go with one that has a strong track record of actually helping people. Speaking with a credit counselor is always a great first step toward your debt-free life.
While everyone wants to get out of debt for free, this sadly isn’t a real possibility. Thankfully, there are other options out there for people who need assistance getting out of debt.