How to choose a debt consolidation firm? If you are reading this you’re probably in debt and struggling with your finances. You have a rising sense of panic that your finances could put you out of a home and employment, and may even be skipping meals to make ends meet. You or someone in your family may have had a medical or other crisis that put you in the position you’re in and that just doesn’t help your head. The feeling isn’t wonderful to put things mildly.
There are a lot of debt consolidation and debt management companies out there too. Given that this is the last stop before bankruptcy (and indeed stops most people from going bankrupt) there is a big market for people needing to get control of their finances. How do you choose the best credit card consolidation firm?
The Federal Trade Commission recently introduced the ‘New Rule’ for debt consolidation companies. This ensures that they have to tell their potential client exactly what to expect from them, a good estimate as to how long it will take, and how much the process will cost. While many companies tell the statutory minimum National Debt Relief, New Era Debt Solutions and Accredited Debt Relief are three firms that have been shown in research to go above and beyond the FTC’s rule and to hide nothing from their customers in terms of what to expect.
There is no such thing as a free lunch, and this applies to getting out of debt. While many debt consolidation plans can reduce your interest rates and perhaps even reduce the total debt burden you have, there will be fees to pay the company arranging it. Most agencies will charge a percentage of the original debt when you approached them for support, though Premier Debt Relief and Superior Debt Relief Services are notable in that they charge a proportion of the final debt after they have negotiated.
Minimum debt burdens
All debt relief companies have minimum debt burdens that they will negotiate. Generally this is around $7500, though some are higher and some are lower. Look at this before you call them as they may not be able to help at all due to the amount of debt that you view as a problem but may be too small for them.
Not all types of debt can be consolidated or negotiated. You will not be able to get debt relief on an IRS debt or a Federal student loan for example. Other exclusions may include secured debt such as an auto loan or a debt that you have signed collateral against. It is worth looking at what the company states it can or cannot do before making the call to them.
Best of luck!
Hopefully this article has set you on a journey toward resolving your debts. While the short term road ahead will be tough at times, in most cases people enjoy a bright future afterwards. We wish you luck in that journey.