Climbing your way out of debt is hard for any average person, but if you are disabled the situation can seem even more hopeless. Lack of job prospects can make it very difficult to pay down your credit cards and get back on track. However, it may give you hope to know that there are laws in place to protect disabled people from creditors as well as opportunities to receive grants and take advantage of debt settlement programs.
When a person defaults on their credit, creditors have the option of taking the person to court and winning a settlement which may allow garnishment of the person’s wages. In the event that the person who defaulted is disabled, the creditor has fewer options to collect the full amount they are owed.
While creditors may still win the settlement and garnish your wages, they are not legally able to garnish deposits from Social Security, pensions, and/or disability benefits. If you receive most or all of your income from these programs, you can continue to receive a steady stream of income unhindered by collection agencies.
Investigate government grants to help pay off your debt. FederalGrantsWire.com (see reference below) has a listing of federal grants, any of which you can receive if you qualify. Simply browse FederalGrantsWire.com and click on the title of a grant that fits your particular situation. The link will explain if there are any prerequisites or conditions to apply. Also browse ADA.gov or the Americans with Disabilities Act (see reference below) to read more about grants for disabled persons and disabled persons’ rights.
It is not easy to qualify for federal grants, but you may apply for as many grants as you like simultaneously. While there are millions of dollars available in federal grants for disabled people, many disabled people do not bother to apply and so many grants go unused.
Even though your income may protected, you may still be required to participate in a debt settlement program. To begin the debt settlement process, stop paying money toward your debts. This puts the creditors in a situation where they will not receive any of what they are owed and must consider reducing interest rates or the debt balance itself.
While this decision will not help your credit score, it could keep you from bankruptcy and financial ruin. You may seek the aid of a debt consolidation company to negotiate directly with your creditors, although this can be expensive. Doing it alone requires research but it can be done.
Before you begin negotiating yourself, make a list of your debts, breaking out the principle and interest and calculating what you can actually afford to pay based on how much cash you can come up with right away. Call your creditors and begin the negotiation process. They will likely make an offer that will require you to pay in one lump sum. However, consider what you can afford and make a counter offer. Over time, the creditors will lower their offers so you are able to pay only what you can afford.
Kenny Soward writes for various online publications, covering topics from physical fitness to religion. He has also published several short stories. Soward holds a B.A. in communications.