How to Get Free Non-Profit Debt Consolidation Analysis From the Experts

 
If you’re dealing with a lot of debt, you might have considered debt consolidation. But, you have probably hesitated after not having all the information about debt consolidation and how it will work for you. 

 


A lot of people incorrectly assume that debt consolidation involves taking out a new debt consolidation loan and using it to pay off the debts. Of course, if you have bad credit, a loan probably isn’t possible. So, you’d probably discount debt consolidation as a solution for you. 

 

Video: Credit Counseling Agencies


The truth is that debt consolidation doesn’t always mean taking out a loan for your debt. In many cases, debt consolidation simply involves combining all your debts into a single monthly payment. This works because the debt counselor receives your payments and disseminates them to your creditors. All your accounts are still separate, but to you, the payments have been consolidated. There are no loans, credit checks, or interest rates to worry about. 

 

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Benefits of Debt Consolidation 


One of the primary benefits of debt consolidation is that you can actively work toward paying off your debt. It’s much easier to work with a debt counselor to pay off your debts than if you tried to pay them off on your own. Many people who stick with a debt consolidation plan, are able be completely debt free within three to five years. 


If you’re having trouble managing debt payments, debt consolidation makes life a lot easier. Because you only have one payment and one due date, you’re less likely to miss payments. Your financial life as a whole is easier to manage. 


How to Choose a Debt Counselor 


You should take time when you’re choosing a debt counselor since it is the person who’s going be helping you pay off you debts. As you talk to different debt counselors, these are some questions you should consider asking: 


Are you non-profit? 


Look for a debt counselor who operates under a non-profit business. These counselors usually have lower fees than their for-profit counterparts. Make sure the counselor you choose isn’t simply using a non-profit status as a marketing tool. 

 

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What is your fee? 


Stay away from debt counselors that have high fees. Typically, a monthly fee under $50 is reasonable. Anything more than that is a red flag. Make sure you understand what your fee will be used for. 


How long have you been in business? 


Watch out for fly-by-night debt counselors that have only been in business for a couple of years. The longer a debt counselor has been working in the debt consolidation industry, the more likely they are to be able to provide genuine assistance. 

 

Video: How Credit Counseling Helps


Are you certified? 


Look for a debt counselor that’s certified through one of these agencies: Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling (AICCC), the National Foundation for Credit Counselors (NFCC), or the National Association of Certified Credit Counselors (NACCC). 


Will I receive a written plan? 


When your debt counselor comes up with a payment plan, make sure you receive it in writing before accepting the terms. Often debt counselors can only negotiate your payments down to a certain level, but if you demonstrate financial hardship, you may be able to have some, or all, of your monthly fee waived. 

 

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Finishing the Debt Consolidation Plan 


Once you’ve been enrolled in the debt consolidation plan, it’s important to make your payments on time. Your creditors continue reporting your payment history to the credit bureaus, so late payments will hurt you. Additionally, you should check to make sure your debt counselor is also sending your payments on time.