Picture a young man that is drowning in a pool of water, struggling to hold on to any available object that can keep him afloat. On finding a tree, he felt that he has found something that can help him out. But on grabbing the stem of the tree in an attempt to suspend himself, the tree pulled from the ground and went down the water together with him. What a miserable situation!
Just like that drowning young man who did not have the time to check whether the tree is firmly rooted or not before holding on to it, many people that are seeking relief from debts today jump into seemingly relieving debt consolidation programs without a thorough appraisal of such programs for genuineness and trustworthiness and they end up like that drowning young man.
It is true that a typical debt consolidation firm helps those in debt to reduce their monthly payments and manage their debts by consolidating all debts into one monthly bill. Unfortunately, there are many fraudulent consolidation firms out there. So before you cut a deal with anyone of them, take time to do a thorough research about them. Just follow these useful tips when doing your research. It will help you to find a trustworthy debt consolidation company that you can cut a deal with.
Useful Tips For Selecting A Trustworthy Debt Consolidation Firm.
1. LOOK FOR AFFILIATIONS: A trustworthy debt consolidation firm will seek to reach certain quality standards that qualify it for various professional affiliations, such as the International Association of Debt Arbitrators, the Association of Settlement Companies and the US Organizations for Bankruptcy Alternatives. Look for these memberships on the company's website, and make sure you verify whether the membership is legitimate by contacting the association or checking the listings with the Better Business Bureau.
2. DO YOUR RESEARCH: Visit the websites of the Better Business Bureau and your state Attorney General. Both sites will contain records of any consumer complaints filed against the company and will have resources to help you confirm any claims about affiliations and certifications made by the debt consolidator.
3. WATCH OUT FOR RED FLAGS: Some consolidation firms present signs that they may be less than trustworthy. Be leery of a company that asks for large upfront fees, posts an ambiguous fee structure or that can't be reached during normal business hours.
4. RECOGNIZE SIGNS OF A TRUSTWORTHY DEBT CONSOLIDATION FIRM: One promising sign of a trustworthy debt consolidation company is the offering of workshops or personalized services related to financial management. Financial advisors who are seeking to build their reputation as financial planners and consultants will have a clear motivation to serve their clients well. This also shows were a legitimate income stream may be coming from if the firm is promoting free debt consolidation services. In addition, a credible firm will spend time getting to know your individual financial situation. If the company attempts to rush you into making a commitment, take this as a red flag. Legitimate firms will also be able to offer you some free resources about financial management if they determine that consolidation may not benefit you.
So, if you are intending to employ the services of any debt consolidation firm, make sure that it has a pass for each of these checks mentioned above. And trust me, your lot will not be like that of the drowning man in our illustration above. Rather, it will be a rewarding and satisfying one.