Does debt settlement affect your credit?

Date Posted: March 20, 2023
By: Maggie Marques

Debt settlement can help relieve you by getting the creditors off your back. One good thing about it is that you pay your debt for less than what you owe them. But remember that settling debt will damage your credit report and credit score.

How does debt settlement affect your credit?

Debt can stay on your credit report for up to seven years when it is settled. Because it will be reflected as “settled,” it will lower your credit score. FICO says paying a debt can drop your credit score by over 100 points. T  is a significant drop that will hurt your credit score.

According to the article by Investopedia from the data put together by Freedom Debt Relief taken from the AFCC data, debt settlement is still one of the best options.

Infographic with information about the savings provided by debt settlement

The words “charged off” or “settled” will make getting approved for credit in the future challenging. Aside from that, you will not be given the best interest rates either. But there is hope.

How to bounce back after a settlement

There is no running away from the adverse effects of a debt settlement, but you can recover from it by doing the following:

  1. Keep paying your bills on time.
  2. Regular monitoring of your credit report.
  3. No new, or at least limited, credit applications

Another thing that you can consider is to go for credit counseling. This will significantly help you develop a debt repayment plan and improve your credit score. In two years, you’ll see the tides turn. Even if you’ve taken a critical hit on your credit score, every positive step you take will make a huge difference.

Improving your debt-to-income ratio will also help you improve your financial standing. It will not happen overnight, but if you keep paying your debts on time, your DTI will improve. These necessary steps will help you bounce back faster after your debt settlement.

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