How Can You Narrow the Field of Debt Consolidation Companies?
When run-away debts seem to be pulling your financial life apart at the seams, debt consolidation can help you regain control. The challenge, especially for consumers already feeling stressed by mounting bills and unrelenting credit collectors, is that there are so many debt consolidation companies out there competing for your attention and your business. Fortunately there are some simple ways to narrow down the field of debt consolidation companies.
Narrowing the Field of Debt Consolidation Companies by Type of Service Offered
The first way to sort out debt consolidation companies is by the primary type of service that they offer. It’s best to think twice before doing business with:
- Companies touting some type of debt settlement solution. Debt settlement can have a profound negative impact on your credit; fees are typically high; some creditors may refuse to participate in the settlement; and you may be taxed on the difference between the lump sum you paid and the total amount you owed.
- Companies pushing loans for debt consolidation. When you borrow more money to pay off existing credit card debts, the interest rate on the loan is often steep; and you may start using your paid-off cards again and wind up in even more debt than you are now.
You’re better off steering toward debt consolidation companies that can consolidate your debt into one monthly payment without shorting your creditors, and without you doing any additional borrowing.
Narrowing the Field of Debt Consolidation Companies by Mission and Service Quality
To further narrow the field, pay attention to debt consolidation companies‘ primary mission and the level of customer service they deliver:
- It’s best to work with a non-profit credit counseling organization rather than a for-profit debt consolidation firm. A non-profit credit counseling agency’s sole mission is to help its customers, and non-profits’ fees are typically minimal.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for information on any debt management agencies that you’re considering working with. A high grade from the BBB means that you’re likely to receive good customer service from the agency.
ACCC – The Consumer’s Ally Among Debt Consolidation Companies
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit (501) (c)(3) organization offering free debt counseling and low-cost unsecured debt consolidation. Since 1991 our programs have been helping consumers turn around their financial lives. Our track record of outstanding customer service has earned us an A+ grade from the Better Business Bureau – the highest possible grade.