There are a variety of qualities to compare, ranging from the industry reputation of the companies you are considering to the specific characteristics of the consolidation program to the rate and fees charged for services. Careful consideration will help you to avoid potential pitfalls and to move towards achieving your financial goals.
Know Your Company
This is one of the most important factors of choosing your debt consolidation company. This is an industry that has experienced exponential growth. Furthermore, it services people who are often vulnerable, due to a lack of in-depth financial knowledge and experience. Thus, there are a lot of predators among those that are truly dedicated to helping you find your way out of debt.
There are debt consolidation companies that are run for profit and those that are non-profit. It is important to note that just because a debt consolidation company claims non-profit status does not make it trustworthy. In fact, some of these companies request higher fees than those run for profit. You’ll have to research any company you consider.
The Better Business Bureau is a good place to start. However, predatory companies often change names quickly and try to stay under the radar. Thus, a good rating via the Better Business Bureau is not always a sure predictor. Use the Internet to run a search on the company name and the individuals heading the company.
Understand Services Offered
The most obvious qualities to compare concerning the services offered by various debt consolidation companies are fees, rates and terms. There are other important qualities to compare as well.
You’ll want to compare the amount of time each company is prepared to spend with you working out a plan to fit your needs. The best companies are willing to spend time preparing an individualized plan for you that not only is geared towards helping you out of your current financial situation, but also towards helping you to develop the money management skills to avoid being in the situation again. Those that just hurry you through – promising fast and easy solutions, just sign here – are most likely just interested in adding another set of fees to their profit margin.
In order to compare, you’ll need a clear understanding of how the offered arrangements will work, including a projected date at which you will have everything paid in full. You’ll want to make sure that the debt consolidation company keeps meticulous records of negotiation with and payments to creditors, and that you will have easy access to necessary documents for your records.
When it comes time to choose a debt consolidation company, making a list of qualities to compare can help you to choose a company that can help you to bring you financial life under control. Time spent in asking questions and doing research will go a long way towards protecting you from predatory companies and let the company you do choose know that you are serious about your money and your goals.