What does it mean to default on debt?
Defaulting on debt means that the payments required on debt have not been made.
You may have heard of debt default in the context of federal government shutdowns when Congress must decide whether to raise the debt ceiling or choose how to handle the national debt.
Everyday American consumers also have to manage their individual debt. Most of us have some debt, whether it’s unsecured debt (like credit cards, personal loans, or student loans) or a type of secured loan (like your mortgage loan and auto loans). You may need to default if you can’t pay your debt and make monthly payments.
Different types of creditors look at defaulting differently. Some lenders consider your debt in default after only one missed payment, while others wait until after you’ve missed multiple payments before sending a debt default notice.
A loan default hurts your credit score, with the missed payments and default typically reported to the credit bureaus. Some collection agencies may harass you with their aggressive debt collection process. You may also be forced to pay higher interest rates on any new loans you take out in the future due to a lower credit score.
However, there is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. We understand that sometimes you can’t meet all your financial obligations — and we are here to help.
Seeking legal help with a debt attorney may help debt holders find assistance and make a plan to manage their defaulted debt. A qualified debt lawyer can help you decide which loan services and credit card companies to pay first if you can’t afford to repay all your debt.
We will also explain how defaulting on secured and unsecured debt impacts your credit score and household wealth and what period it will take to recover financially.
A defaulted loan or loan doesn’t have to hold you back forever. You can get back on your feet — even after what feels like the worst-case scenario. It might take a considerable time, but no matter how many types of debt you have, there is always a way out.