CALL FOR A FREE
INITIAL CONSULTATION
813.254.5696

Things to Consider before Arranging an Installment Agreement to Pay Off Debt

If you are carrying a heavy debt load, either with one or multiple creditors, installment payments might be tempting. Many debts that are not in collections are paid through installments. You pay a portion of the debt at a time, usually one time per month, in exchange for paying more overall as interest is applied to the balance. Once a debt is in collections, installments might still be an option but there are a few things you should consider before committing to an installment agreement.

How do you know paying a past due debt in installments is a good idea?

You Can Afford the Installments

First and foremost, you need to consider if you can afford the amount of the installment payments. When a large debt is past due, you might receive a settlement agreement that offers the payment broken into multiple installments or you will be given the option of paying the debt in full in installments.

Sometimes, the collector does nothing more than divide the large debt into two, three, or six equal payments. This might seem appealing, but the installments are still large and might not be something you can afford. It is essential you make sure you can afford the installment payments before committing to the plan. You might have the option of negotiating a longer installment plan, but if not, you are better off not committing to the payment plan at all.

For assistance calculating a monthly budget and determining whether you can afford a payment, use the Home Budget Calculator from Bankrate.com.

You are Not Paying Interest

Most installment payment plans in collections will divide the amount of your debt equally and there will be no interest applied, even though you are extending the length of time you have to pay it. You need to be sure there is no interest applied to the total you owe as a result of your installment plan.

You Have the Agreement in Writing

Finally, you need to be sure whatever installment payment plan you are offered has been defined in writing. Ideally, you will receive a payment agreement that is signed by both you and the debt collector. It should include the total amount of the debt, the amount of each installment, the date each payment is due (usually a specific day of each month), and the date by which the total debt is expected to be paid. This locks both you and the debt collector into the agreement, providing protection for both of you and ensuring the agreement will be honored as long as you make payments on time.

Installment payment plans can help you pay off large debts once they are in collections, but they are not right for every situation. Sometimes they are not an option at all. If you are facing a large debt load and you are unsure what to do next, we can help. Contact the Tampa Law Offices of Robert M. Geller at 813.254.5696 to discuss your situation.

Tampa Bankruptcy Law Blog

Who Files for Bankruptcy?

Should I File for Bankruptcy? If you’re considering bankruptcy and you feel as if you’re the only person in the...
Read More

3 Reasons Your Student Loan Debt is Ruining Your Financial Future and How Bankruptcy Might Help

Student Loan Debt Taking out a loan or multiple loans to attend college is nothing new. Students have been using...
Read More

What Happens If You Miss Your 341 Meeting?

341 Meetings are One of the Most Important Obligations in Bankruptcy There are several requirements you must meet when you...
Read More

3 Things to Help You with Post Bankruptcy Credit Repair

Bankruptcy Credit Repair One of the biggest challenges you’ll have post-bankruptcy is getting credit extended to you. But for most...
Read More

What is the Real Reason People are Filing for Bankruptcy?

Can filing for bankruptcy help you with unpaid medical bills? One of the most common misconceptions about bankruptcy is that...
Read More

What You Need to Know about Bankruptcy Court

Bankruptcy Court Bankruptcy is a process that many people find intimidating. In part, this is because they must turn their...
Read More

What to Expect from Bankruptcy Counseling

Bankruptcy Counseling Filing for bankruptcy is not an easy decision. For many, it’s their only option for getting the debt...
Read More

Why Hiring a Bankruptcy Attorney is Worth the $ [Infographic]

Everyone who files for bankruptcy must complete a bankruptcy petition. It can be up to 40 pages and filled with...
Read More

What Really Happens When You Declare Bankruptcy?

How to Declare Bankruptcy Bankruptcy is a last resort for many who file. After attempting to clean up a messy...
Read More

What You Need to Know Before Filing for “Medical” Bankruptcy

Medical Bankruptcy Healthcare costs are one of the biggest expenses modern-day Americans face. It leads many people to wonder if...
Read More

Contact Us

Search Website

Archive

Request a FREE Consultation

For The Next 5 Days Get A Free Book About Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Book

We are A Debt Relief Agency.
We help people file for
bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code

Pay OnlineBankruptcy Courses

National Association Of Consumer Advocates Logocomodoavvo1avvo2avvo3LEA
BBB LogoRG Seal

Tampa Office

$Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
807 West Azeele Street
Tampa, FL 33606
T: (813) 254-5696
T: (800) 853-7549
F: (813) 253-3405


Tampa Bankruptcy Lawyers Map

St. Petersburg Office

$Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A.
125 5th Street South
(Wells Fargo Financial Center)
2nd Floor, Suite G

St. Petersburg, FL 33701
T: (727) 532-3939


Map and Directions

Pasco Office

23526 State Road 54
Lutz, FL 33559
T: (813) 336-2320





Maps & Directions

At the Tampa Bay law firm, the Law Offices of Robert M. Geller, P.A., we help people with consumer bankruptcy matters in the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg,  Florida communities such as Clearwater,     St. Petersburg, Tampa, Thonotosassa, Riverview, Lutz, Plant City, Brandon, Carrollwood, Wesley Chapel, St. Petersburg Beach, Lakeland, Mulberry, Dade City, Pinellas Park, Largo, Seminole, Odessa, Oldsmar and Lithia, and counties such as Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County and Manatee County.