A debt consolidation company can really be a great help when you are trying to get out debt. But only if you choose the right one. A survey revealed that 51% of their respondents will prioritize paying down their debts in the next 12 months. While a lot of people start with a lot of enthusiasm in their efforts to reach their goals, not everyone will succeed. It is not just pessimism. It is the reality that some people have to face. There are consumers who really struggle because they either do not have the time to focus on debt relief, or they have no idea how to go about it.
If you can identify with any of these, do not be disheartened. There are debt experts who can help you out. If you want to succeed, just ask for help. There is nothing wrong with that.
Of course, this will only be effective if you find a legitimate debt consolidation company.
Signs you found a legitimate debt consolidation company
Some people refuse to get debt help because they are scared of being scammed. While it is true that there are malicious minded people who want to get your money, there are sincere and legitimate companies out there. Why go for extreme measures to pay off your debts when you can just find the right professional that can make things easier?
The key is to know the signs that will tell you if a company is legit. Here are the important qualities that you should look for in a debt consolidation company.
They are affiliated with a reputable organization
One of the best ways to get to know someone is by looking at their friends. We naturally gravitate towards the people who have the same likes and dislikes as ours.
The same is true for debt relief companies. Or any company in general. If you want to know if a debt consolidation company is trustworthy, look at the organizations they are affiliated with. These organizations will not just add any company. They will make sure that their members meet their standards.
For instance, the company you are considering is affiliated with the AFCC or American Fair Credit Council. One way to get to know the company is by researching how the AFCC accepts its members. What is the application process? One thing that you can be assured of is that this organization will not accept illegitimate companies. So if you have no idea where to start, it is a good idea to look at these types of organizations. Find their list of members and go over it. Do your research until you find the debt consolidation company that you want to work with.
They have generally positive customer ratings
This does not mean you should only look for companies with 100% positive customer ratings. That is not possible. In fact, it is better to say that you should not trust a company with purely positive reviews. Even the best company has negative reviews. If the company is not ashamed to show their negative reviews, then that is a sign of their sincerity. Instead of judging them for the negative reviews, look at how they solved it. This will reveal a lot about the company.
Were they fast, efficient, and responsive? Or did they ignore it? This will be a glimpse of how they will treat you especially when something goes wrong.
Of course, you want to make sure that you are reading reviews from authority sites. This includes the Better Business Bureau, Trustpilot, etc. Some companies can easily manipulate customer reviews on their website. So go outside their website and find the reviews elsewhere.
They do not require upfront payments
The Federal Trade Commission strictly prohibits asking for upfront payments. So if the company asks you to pay up even before they have done anything for you, then you need to reevaluate. Do not sign anything without asking about their fees. They should be transparent about it. If they will not discuss the cost with you, do not sign up. You do not want to be surprised by hidden charges while you are in the middle of the debt relief program.
You will know if you are dealing with a legitimate and trustworthy debt consolidation company if they answer your questions, even those about the cost, without hesitation.
They do not promise the impossible
Finally, you need to check how they tell you about the results. Be wary if they are promising you the impossible. According to one report, a lot of people with student loans were scammed out of millions of dollars. They were lured with promises of a quick loan forgiveness program. But this is not true. Apart from bankruptcy, all debt relief options take time to complete. So if the company you are talking to promises a quick debt relief, be cautious and listen to what they are saying.
The truth is, a great debt consolidation company will try to move mountains to get you out of debt. But, they will not be cocky about it. They will be honest with you about what they can do based on previous clients. However, they will never make promises they cannot keep. They will always say that there is no guarantee, but they will do their best to get you results.
What can a debt consolidation company do for you
When you find the right debt consolidation company, you will benefit in so many ways. Do not think that the fees you will pay for their service will be wasted. As long as you find a great company to work with, it will be worth it. What they can really give you is very valuable and even priceless.
Here are three specific advantages of working with a debt consolidation company.
They can educate you
First of all, these people can educate you. They will tell you what you did wrong and how you can improve it. At least, the sincere debt consolidation companies will do this. They will sincerely give you the information that you need to ensure that you will never land in another debt situation again. That is how you separate the legitimate companies from the malicious ones. From budgeting to your debt-relief options, these will be revealed to you, sometimes even if you do not ask for it.
They increase the chances of debt relief success
You can also rely on the expertise of debt relief professionals. It is true that no one debt relief journey is the same. But the previous experience of a debt consolidation company will be quite beneficial. It will help the company give you the right direction and options. As you go through various phases in your journey towards debt freedom, you need to make certain choices that can affect your progress. If you make mistakes, that can cost you both time and money. But if you work with a debt consolidation expert, they can guide you and increase the chances of success.
They can make your life less stressful
Finally, the debt expert you are working with will help make your life less stressful. Usually, debt relief professionals will take over the communication with your creditors and lenders. It is part of the typical debt consolidation program. When that happens, it can help make your life easier. The debt expert will negotiate with creditors and lenders and will ensure that your payments will be on time. All you have to do and focus on is to earn the monthly payments.