How have you accumulated your debt? Figure this out prior to consolidating your debts. After all, if you are not aware of why you have gotten in this much debt, you will just fall right back into this hole in the future. Find the problem, figure out how to fix, pay your debts and find financial freedom. If you have multiple credit cards, there is an action you can take before taking on a consolidation loan. Figure out which has the least APR and transfer your balances onto the card. This can save you a ton in interest and give you the ability to pay it off faster.
Ask your debt consolidation to list their services in writing. By requiring a legal contract stating what the debt consolidation company is to do, you can rest assured that all of your requirements are defined and completed. This legal contract can also protect you if you end up having to seek legal counsel against the debt consolidation company. If you have the ability to make a lump sum offer, ask for a paid in full or a pay for delete offer. With this offer, the creditor will either remove the debt from your credit report or report that they were paid in full. This is more beneficial to your credit score than a paid by settlement report.
If you are seeking debt counseling along with your consolidation loan, choose a non-profit company which doesn’t ask for money up front. They may ask for a donation monthly, whatever you can afford, but know that you don’t have to pay it if you don’t have the money to offer. When it comes to finances, many people lack the education they need to stay in control. Debt begins to pile up and people feel like they are drowning beneath it. Debt consolidation can step in to save the day, and the tips below will help you figure out if it is right for you.
Do not sign up for a debt consolidation program before reading their terms of service. These professionals have to give you a written version of their terms of service and explain everything in detail. Find a more reliable professional if the terms of service are not presented in a clear fashion.
Can their fees be explained properly and understood? If the debt consolidation company’s fees are complicated and not easily understood, then there is a reason for this. Do not fall prey to one of these companies, but instead find a service that is going to upfront and make things easier for you. Consolidating debt allows you to have one debt payment instead of many. You might choose to do this in 5 years, or choose a longer or shorter term. This will allow you to have a goal that you can work towards within a good amount of time.
Remember that your lenders want to be paid back, even if it’s not in full. The cost of using a collections agency or going to court ends up coming out of the money you owe, and they don’t want to go that far. Talk to them about dealing with the situation through reduced interest rates or payment plans before considering a consolidation loan. Know if you are merely getting an official budget. If you sign up with a debt consolidation plan, you might be set up with a budget, so you know how much you will have to pay each month towards all of your bills. If that’s what you’re expecting, proceed, but know that some other debt consolidation companies offer you a loan instead. Don’t get debt consolidation just because you think you’re going to get short term financial help. Debt is going to haunt you if you’re not careful about your spending in the future. Work with a debt consolidation service, and then spend some serious time considering how you can make sure that you remain in control from that point forward.
Beware of debt consolidation companies that ask for any sort of fees upfront. This is typically a tell-tale sign of a scam. If you are placed in this situation, leave the situation immediately. This is not the way a debt consolidation company should be doing business, and chances are that your finances are not in good hands.
Find out what type of educational materials or workshops the debt consolidation company has available. Are they offered at no cost to you? Are the materials found on the Internet or will they be shipped to your house? A debt management plan should not be your only option, and if a company claims it is, work with someone else.