Is your debt more than you can handle? Do you constantly forget to pay bills because you have too many come in? If so, you’re putting yourself in a difficult financial situation, and it is time to find a way out. Debt consolidation might be just the answer you are looking for. Continue reading and learn about this smart financial decision.
One sign that a debt consolidation company is reputable is whether or not they are a member of an organization, like the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Even if the company verbally confirms to you that they are a member, make sure you still research it to make sure what they are saying is true. A member of an organization like the NFCC has to follow certain rules, like only employing certified credit counselors.
Understand the difference between debt consolidation and a home equity loan. Many companies will guise a home equity loan (where you put your home on the line for the debt) as true debt consolidation. That’s not always the wisest move to make, especially if you have a family involved. Know the differences and the risks before making that decision.
You must make sure the loan counselors at a company are certified and qualified. Do the counselor have any certification? Are they backed by places that are reputable so they can be trusted and are strongly backed? This is the best way to determine whether or not you should deal with a company.
Figure out how your interest rate will be formulated for your debt consolidation. Your best selection is an option with a fixed rate. This will allow you to know exactly what’s going to have to be paid during the loan’s life cycle. Watch for debt consolidation that has adjustable interest. They end up getting higher and higher, leaving you unable to pay.
Before you decide which debt consolidation loan is right for you, analyze your current debt carefully. Only include the debt for which you are paying high interest on and calculate your savings with a low interest loan. It’s okay to keep some of your debt out of the consolidation loan, so long as the interest is low enough.
When considering debt consolidation, start with your local lending institution. They will be familiar with your credit history, work history and financial standing. This information can help to streamline your application process, making it easier for you to get accepted into a low interest debt consolidation plan as quickly as possible.
Make sure you know how much a debt consolidation company is going to cost you. Have a discussion about their fees. Make sure you know your rights as well. The company cannot charge you any money until they actually do some work first. Discuss the payment schedule with them and move on if you hear anything you do not like from them.
Understand the company’s rates and fees and know what type of rates are reasonable. A set-up fee in excess of a $100 should be cause for concern, for example. Similarly, a monthly fee higher than $50 is unreasonable. Call around to several different companies before settling on any one in particular.
When speaking with a debt consolidation counselor, ask what training they have in the debt consolidation field. The best debt consolidation companies are certified by outside organizations, such as the NFCC. By ensuring your credit counselor is certified, you can rest assured that they are well versed on your local and federal laws.
Do not get involved with a debt counselor that works for a company that pays by commission. This is a red flag as it’s going to alter your situation according to the best interests of the debt counselor and not your best interests. Instead, look for a reputable company that pays their counselors accordingly.
Learn about the privacy and security practices at any debt consolidation company you consider. It’s important that you know that there is a policy in place, even if it’s not something you think about all the time. You are going to be giving them very personal information, so make sure that the information is protected.
If your debts aren’t truly putting you on the bring of bankruptcy, debt management might be a better solution for you. A company will work on your behalf to talk to your creditors and ask them for lower interest rates or payment plans you can handle. This can be a better solution than consolidation in many cases, so try it first.
If you are drowning in bills and having a difficult time managing them all, debt consolidation can provide the answer you’re seeking. Taking the time to understand how it works and what option you have will help you to make the best consolidation decisions, leading to a healthier financial life. Read this article again, and apply the principals listed here to your unique situation in order to find some relief.