The way this works is that you go to a credit-counseling agency that then negotiates with your lenders to waive any late fees, reduce your interest rates, and negotiate so your monthly payments will be more affordable. When all your creditors have approved your debt management plan (DMP), you will no longer be required to pay them. Instead, you will send one check a month to your DMP agency. It then distributes the money to your creditors.
The first secret
The first secret to a successful debt management plan is to be very careful in terms of which one you choose. It is sad but true that the debt management industry is full of companies just waiting to scam people who are already having problems with debt. If you don’t choose the right program, you could end up in more trouble than before. Also, be sure that you get real credit counseling before you sign up for any DMP.
An important secret – get everything in writing
Don’t agree to anything until you see your plan in writing. Read it carefully and make sure you completely understand it. If not, contact the credit counseling agency or debt management company and ask for explanations.
The third secret – be sure you can afford your monthly payment
Once you see what your monthly payment will be, you need to think carefully about whether or not you can afford it. If it seems more than you can handle, you will need to seek other options such as debt settlement or a debt consolidation loan.
Secret #4 – keep making your regular payments
It may take a while before all of your creditors accept your DMP. If possible you should continue to make payments to them until such time as they have all approved it. If this is not possible, at least call them and let them know that you’ve signed up for a debt management plan. Then try to make as much of your payments as you can. Most creditors will work with you. But it’s essential that you talk with them. Do not stop paying on any of your debts directly until you’re positive all of your lenders have approved your DMP.
The fifth secret
The fifth secret to a successful DMP is to ensure that all of your lenders have approved your plan before you make your first month’s payment to the credit counseling agency. While the agency may assure you that all of your lenders have approved your plan, don’t take its word for it. Call all of your creditors to make sure they’ve approved your DMP.
The sixth secret – be sure to make your payments every month
It’s incredibly important that you make your payments to the credit counseling agency or debt management company every month. And you must make them on time. If not, your plan could be canceled, leaving you in more trouble than when you signed up for it.
Secret #7 – keep copies of everything
Be sure to keep copies of all your loan statements and credit card statements to ensure that they reflect what you agreed to in your DMP. For example, if your DMP included waived fees or lower interest rates from your creditors, review your statements every month to ensure that they show those concessions have been made. If not, call both the credit counseling agency and your creditor to discuss the issue.