Do-It-Yourself Debt Repayment Planning

Thought for today:

Debt consolidation companies have been known to charge up to an extra 60% of a person’s total debt, on top of an interest rate sometimes 7 percentage points or more above prime.  How are they able to charge such exorbitant fees?

Fear of talking with creditors is the main reason these businesses exist.  People want to avoid conflict, but creditors are schooled in it.  Another reason is habit: “I always use an agency to resolve debt” says one repeat customer.

Thousands of dollars that could go to repaying principle are instead spent on a third-party whose only job is to talk with creditors and simplify your repayment plan – things we can do for ourselves!

Of course it’s not fun talking with creditors, especially in the beginning.  But by doing so we practice our negotiation skills, and get help from friends who have been through it.  We can begin to feel more prosperous and free than ever.

A member shares:

“Creditors terrified me, and when they started to come on strong all at once, toward the end of my active debting, I hid from them.  I wouldn’t answer mail or phone calls.  Then the court summonses began, and they garnished my paycheck.  I know then I had a problem.

DA had a simple solution:  take a repayment moratorium for a month.  During that month, I was to track my spending and income to the penny, and then meet with a Pressure Relief Group to discuss my finances and come up with an Action Plan.

“I worked out payment arrangements while taking care of my needs first.  It wasn’t easy, and the creditors were not all happy with it, but I had documentation from my numbers showing what I was able to pay.  No judge was going to rule against me with that kind of proof, and the creditors began to realize that it was in their best interest to work with me.

“I felt like had a real chance to work things out.  It took time, and my credit report was hurt for a while, but that was the last of my problems.  The most important thing was that I was taking care of my needs first, and making an honest attempt to pay what I could.

“I did this all on my own, with the help of DA members.  I didn’t need to pay someone else to do this for me.  And my self-esteem improved when I was doing my part in creating a Spending Plan and sticking with it.”

Working with creditors:

We can negotiate our own repayment plans with creditors, without a debt consolidation company’s help.  We can make the phone calls ourselves, and put more money toward paying down the debt principle.  We are in a stronger position than we think, because we have proof in our numbers that we are working the program of recovery.

Many of us had to work through the fear of talking with an authority figure – our creditor – and dealt with them honestly, armed with facts about our debts.  But the results brought us more clarity and helped us meet our goals faster.


Am I willing to negotiate terms I can live with, with the help of my DA friends?

Meditation for today:

It’s ok to stand apart from others when our instinct tells us that it is the right things to do.  We have a right to question something we don’t understand.

Affirmation for today:

“I will work toward amicable compromises today.  I am not greedy.  I will not rush to a conclusion.

“I will take my time to consider terms, ask questions and do research if necessary.”

How to Recover in Debtors Anonymous (Whether You’re in that Program or Not): A Primer

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