Few will argue against the claim that consolidation is a highly effective solution to the problem of mounting debts. But for millions of people, the decision to hire debt consolidation companies to take care of matters turns out to be a disaster. It seems that finding a good company is hard to do.
The whole idea of securing the services of consolidation professionals is that the complicated aspects of any debt consolidation program can be dealt with confidently. Unfortunately some such professionals are better than others, and finding the good ones can be a challenge.
We have put together a shortlist of 4 steps that can help in finding the right company to provide the debt consolidation plan best suited to your needs.
Step1: Consult A Local Advisor
Never underestimate the value of local advisors, especially when it comes to credit counseling. A counselor should be able to steer a client towards debt consolidation companies with good reputations, thus removing some of the risk. They should provide a shortlist of 4 or 5 accredited companies and warn about companies with poor reputations.
If there is no local service, take to the Internet and search according to your zip code for the nearest service and their contact telephone number. From that point, the search for the right debt consolidation program can begin.
Step 2: Research Carefully and Thoroughly
Once a shortlist of trusted companies is provided, the next step is to sort out which one offers the best debt consolidation deal according to your specific needs and budget. This requires a bit of researching of your own.
It is not just a matter of using comparison sites to work out the best offers, but of establishing whether the recommended debt consolidation companies are as trustworthy as is claimed. This is best done by visiting the Better Business Bureau website and finding out what information is there.
It is also a good idea to contact local authorities, like consumer associations, business groups and even the Office of the Attorney General to see if any complaints have been registered against a given company.
Step 3: Sound Decisions Take Time
Once making contact with the best 2 or 3 companies, do not allow yourself to be rushed into making a decision. These companies are selling a product – the debt consolidation program – but being pushy about it is against financial services ethics regulations.
It also raises questions about how respectful they would be with your position when it comes to agreeing a debt consolidation plan. So, if they give a deadline for a decision, it is a bad sign – so reject their terms and find another company.
Because they offer a professional service, debt consolidation companies will charge a fee, but make sure they are not too expensive. Any consolidation agreement should provide genuine benefits, but a large fee will cancel out those benefits easily.
Step 4: Study Their Plan Carefully
The final step to take is to carefully examine the terms of the proposed debt consolidation program from each of the companies on the shortlist. This means not glancing over the terms for the key figures, but checking out every aspect.
The most important aspect is the terms of repayment. For example, whether the repayments are to be withdrawn directly from your bank account each month, or the responsibility rests on your shoulders. Also, the term of the debt consolidation loan, and of course, the amount saved each month compared to the original repayments.