|September 12, 2018||409|
A lot of Australians deal with financial troubles during their lifetime, and this is generally considered a normal fluctuation in our finances. But what if you’re unable to resolve these challenges yourself, but at the same time, you don’t want to file for bankruptcy?
Debt consolidation loans are a standard option that relieves individuals of financial pressure by consolidating all their current debts into one easy to manage loan that’s payable monthly. On the contrary, debt agreements are another approach available to people in financial hardship, and this will be the focus of today’s article.
What is a debt agreement?
A debt agreement is ultimately a legal contract between you and your lenders which comprises Part IX of the Bankruptcy Act 1966. Under this agreement, your financial institutions allow you to repay a sum of money that you can manage, over an agreed period of time, to settle your debts.
It’s important to note, however, that entering a debt agreement is an ‘act of bankruptcy’ and has long-term financial consequences which may affect your capacity to secure credit down the track. As a result, it’s strongly encouraged that folks seek independent financial guidance before making this decision to make sure this is the best solution for their financial circumstances and they clearly grasp the implications of such agreements.
Before entering a debt agreement
There are several things one should take into consideration prior to entering into a debt agreement. Talking with your lenders about your financial circumstance is always the first step you should take to try to resolve your debts outside of a debt agreement. Have you spoken with your financial institutions and asked them for more time to settle your debt? Have you already tried to work out a repayment plan or a smaller payment to settle your debt?
What types of debts are included in debt agreements?
Debt agreements are designed to help low income earners who are unable to pay unsecured debts. Not all kinds of debt are covered in debt agreements, such as the following:
Are you entitled to enter a debt agreement?
To figure out if you are eligible, simply visit the Australian Financial Security Authority’s (AFSA) website (https://www.afsa.gov.au/insolvency/i-cant-pay-my-debts/am-i-eligible-debt-agreement).
If you decide that a debt agreement is the best approach for you, a debt agreement administrator will help you with your debt agreement proposals, based on what you can afford, and send this proposal to each of your financial institutions. If your lenders accept the terms of your agreement, then your debt agreement will commence, for instance, paying 85% of your debts to creditors over a 3-year time period.
Disadvantages of debt agreements
As mentioned earlier, debt agreements are an ‘act of bankruptcy’ and consequently there are significant repercussions one must take into account.
Choose your debt agreement administrator carefully.
Debt agreement administrators play a vital role in the success of your debt agreement, so always decide on an administrator that is registered with AFSA’s list of registered debt agreement administrators. Costs also vary widely between administrators, so always check the payment terms before making any decisions.
If you’re still unsure if a debt agreement is the right choice for you, talk to Fresh Start Solutions Gold Coast on 1300 818 575 who can give you the right advice, the first time. To find out more, visit https://freshstartsolutions.com.au/bankruptcy-goldcoast.