The cold hard truth is that you can’t count on the feds to bail you out of debt. It just doesn’t work that way. However, there are some programs that can help you in certain situations. Here’s some info about what government debt relief programs cover.
While the government does provide help in the form of grants and programs, it does not offer direct relief that will make your debts, particularly credit card balances, go poof! Would that that were the case.
Before Trouble Comes
Let’s start there. The government does provide tips for managing debt, which you can also use once you’re out of whatever situation that brought you to this article. Those include:
- Establishing a budget. You likely hear this all the time but it’s imperative to your financial well-being that you know where your money’s going. Set up a household budget today.
- Balancing your budget. If you aren’t bringing in enough cash to cover all your expenses, you can slash spending or try to work more hours. You also may want to consider selling unneeded household items or coming up with a “gig” that you’d enjoy.
- Being smart about debt. There are times when you may need to borrow. After all, the government takes out loans for infrastructure and other national efforts.
- Using your credit cards sparingly. Overuse of plastic can quickly get you into trouble. While there are no government debt relief programs for credit cards, the feds do offer certain protections from collectors. The government also offers bankruptcy, which you want to avoid but at least it’s an option. Consider trying debt settlement instead.
Government Debt Relief for Housing
Ever since the expiration of the popular federal Making Home Affordable program, lenders have been expected to offer their own modification programs to help those in trouble to renegotiate government-backed loans into manageable payments. Talk to your lender.
Government Debt Relief for Student Loans
This is a ginormous issue. As of the fourth quarter of last year, student loan debt exceeded $1.55 billion. And that’s a drain on the economy. For example, if you’re struggling mightily with such debt, you’ll likely put off buying a home – if you buy one at all. That hurts all of us (not as much as you, naturally, but you understand).
You can speak with your loan officer, or, if your woes are short term, you may want to check out a governmental forbearance or deferment plan. Options for those who are having problems making loan payments include loan consolidation or extension, or a plan that’s based on your income. In some cases, you can have your entire debt forgiven.
Government Debt Relief for Medical and Other Bills
There are some local governmental programs that can help those who are going through hardships, particularly those related to healthcare. Those costs can quickly eat up savings and drive you into debt. To offset those, there’s assistance available for things such utilities, food, prescription drug costs, and yes, even those medical bills.
Now you know what government debt relief programs cover. Perhaps you’ve learned about assistance you didn’t know existed. And even though you may not need some of what is offered now, who is to say you won’t need it in the future?
The best tack is to be smart about your spending and the kinds of debt you take on. But if you find yourself in trouble, yes, the government may be able to help you. If not, there are always solutions such as debt settlement or consolidation. Whatever you do, don’t sit pat. Get going on your situation today.