Once you have made the decision that you need help managing your debt, the question that arises is where to get this needed help. How do you get the help you need without being ripped off? The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of agencies out there who can charge outrageous fees just for managing your debts - and then you will find yourself having bigger problems than before you let them handle your debt!
Keeping this in mind you have to be very careful about which company to cooperate with in order to get rid of your debt. You have to research different companies in order to make the right choice. It pays to investigate the company history, the service background and most importantly the testimonials of former clients. These first hand experiences will tell you whether or not the company delivers the results they have promised, and if there are any catches to the services they offer.
Once you have reduced the number of companies based on your initial research, you can make an appointment with every company and see what they have to offer. If there still seem to be too many candidates, choose a sample (perhaps 5, say) who seem to be worth further investigation.
Before you attend the meeting, write down for yourself what you expect from the company and what you want to ask them. (This will help you to keep the important things in mind without being sidetracked by smooth talk.) You should get something in writing from them setting out the different kinds of programs they have to offer, and whether or not they charge you for it - and if so, how much for each program.
Once you have obtained all this information you can sit down and see which company best meets your needs. While you may not be able to compare apples with apples (ie not all companies will necessarily offer identical services), simply go with the one that has the best fit for your situation. It may be a program where you go completely back to basics, and everything is paid off within a short amount of time.
Or perhaps a program where you still have some extra’s and the pay off period takes a little longer. Different organizations may have their own “style” of debt management, and this is something that you can educate yourself about when meeting with their representative.
Another factor to take into account is whether or not the company takes it all out of your hands, negotiates with the creditors and executes the plan for you, or do they just balance it out and let you do the rest yourself, still leaving you a bit in the dark. You may rather pay a little fee for a company that really sticks its neck out for you and follows through on everything.
This may be an especially appealing option if you have experienced personal aggravation from creditors in relation to the debts. You may even find a company that can provide you with education around managing your money into the future, past execution of the plan, to ensure that you don’t find yourself in a similar situation again.
Debt management companies can be helpful in getting out from under the burden of debt. However, if you do decide to go down that path, it is wise to do your homework and find the debt reduction plan that is going to work for you. Trusted friends or family can be helpful in assisting you to choose from a range of companies and options for reducing your debt.