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What To Look Out For In Debt Reduction Agencies

Aug 18, 2007
Before we go into the details of how to pick your debt reduction agency, it would be right to introduce to the uninitiated on what a debt reduction agency actually is. To put it simply, a debt reduction agency works for you as a negotiator with your creditors. They try to bring down the interest rates so that you are in a better position to pay your debts.

When you are looking for your debt reduction agency there are a few factors that you need to keep in mind and evaluate the agencies according to how they measure up against each of those factors.

When you join a debt reduction agency it is customary that you will have to pay a startup fee. Some agencies will actually ask you to deposit the first month's payment as security which they will claim will be refundable once you are through with the program. What actually they are banking on is that you will leave the program midway so that they can keep the money. In fact 75% of people who enroll with debt reduction agencies don't finish the program. If an agency stands to gain more if you don't finish your program, then it would be wise to stay away from such an agency. Some would not give back your deposit even if you pay all your debts off but don't stick to their terms and conditions which can even include paying more of your monthly dues than what you were supposed to. Such agencies are a strict no-no. Generally startup fees shouldn't be higher than $200.

Some agencies charge a monthly fee which you have to pay along with your monthly dues. But you will be surprised to know that most of the states don't require you to pay your agency any monthly fee. But that an agency will only clarify if you ask. So make sure what are the rules n your state. Also if you indeed need to pay, it should never cross $30.

The debt reduction agency is not just there to negotiate with your creditor and collect money from you. An integral part of their duty is to counsel you on how to manage your money and your debt and what are the best avenues open to you to deal with the problem of debt. Be sure that your agency offers such services.

The debt-reduction agencies do personal counseling for you - in most cases, free of cost, and they show you the way for how to reduce the heavy burden of your debts. They first review your current debt and other financial situation, and then keeping in view your future financial goals, they give you some valuable piece of advice and help you make a debt management plan. After discussing various financial issues with you, they will even plan your budget in order to avoid being caught in such an unpleasant scenario again in future. The debt consolidation department of these agencies will even try to negotiate with your lenders in order to get the interest rate and the monthly payment reduced. Most of the time, the debt consolidation brings for you an easy repayment term and a low interest consolidated singly monthly payment.

The debt consolidation loan provided by these debt reduction agencies follows a very simple procedure. All you have to do is to make the consolidated low interest single monthly payment to these agencies, and they will take the charge after that. They will divide that amount among your lenders as per the new terms. Obviously, they charge a reasonable fee for this service, but it is worth paying that much in comparison to the freedom you get from all the hassles of dealing with your creditors.

Overall, debt reduction agencies provide some excellent debt consolidation services that can help you reduce the unbearable burden of debts easily.
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