Would you like to be completely debt free in three months? Or would you settle for being out of debt in 6 to 12 months? Whichever of these options you chose, I have bad news. If you’re deeply in debt – where you owe $15,000, $20,000 or even more – there’s no way you can get out of debt in 12 months or fewer. It probably took you years to get that far into debt and it’s going to take more than a year to get out.
Many families have used a strategy called debt consolidation to get out of debt. However, debt consolidation can’t really get you out of debt short-term. It’s just a way to “consolidate” or combine all of your various debts into one larger debt. For example, you might be able to get a debt consolidation loan from your bank, credit union or from an online lender that would be large enough to pay off all of your debts. There are some advantages to a debt consolidation loan, the biggest being the fact that you will have a lower monthly payment than the sum of the minimum monthly payments you’re now making. This is because a debt consolidation loan should have a lower interest rate than what you are paying on your credit cards. It will also “stretch out” your debt in that you will probably have seven years or longer to pay off the loan.
Debt consolidation companies
Debt consolidation companies work like a debt consolidation loan. They will loan you money to pay off all of your creditors where you have unsecured debts. These are debts that did not require you to pledge something as collateral such as your house or an automobile. Medical bills, personal loans and credit card debt are almost always unsecured loans. And this is where a debt consolidation company can help.
How a debt consolidation company is different
A good debt consolidation company will do more than just pay off your creditors. It will negotiate with them to lower your interest rates and to waive any extra fees or late charges that you’ve been making. It will pay a larger portion of the total amount to the credit card that has the highest interest rate or the highest balance first. The money it had been paying on this card will then be split among the other debts until all of your debts have been paid.
How to choose a good debt consolidation company
There are several ways to find the best debt consolidation companies. First, you can go online and read reviews of these companies. The best debt consolidation companies will have many more positive reviews than negative ones. Be aware that even the best of these companies may have a few bad reviews due to the nature of the business. Anytime you’re working with people’s finances and debts, there are bound to be some unsatisfied customers. It’s a fact that you just can’t please all of the people all of the time.
Second, good debt consolidation companies will belong to associations such as the US Chamber of Commerce and the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators. They will also adhere to the code of the American Fair Credit Council. Most important, they will not charge any upfront fees. In fact, if you contact a debt consolidation company and it requires you to make a substantial payment upfront, run do not walk, away.
Ask for a recommendation
This may seem a bit awkward but you could also friends and relatives for recommendations. If they worked with a debt consolidation company, they will be able to tell you how well the process worked and how happy they were with the outcome. You should also contact the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. It can provide you with some valuable information about debt consolidation and also has a listing of reputable debt consolidation companies.
Check its track record
Before you choose a debt consolidation company, you should contact the Better Business Bureau, which will be able to tell you if any complaints have been filed regarding its performance. You can also contact your state’s Attorney General to see if the company has had complaints filed with it.
Get a no obligation quote
We believe that National Debt Relief satisfies all of these criteria. We belong to the US Chamber of Commerce and adhere to the code be AFCC. Our debt counselors have years of experience working with credit card companies to get your debts reduced as much as possible and to provide you with a payment plan you’ll be happy with. We also have a track record for being able to help people get out of their unsecured debts in 24 to 48 months