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What To Look For in a Debt Consolidation Program

Dec 7, 2007
These days people are more and more prone to getting ourselves into debt, probably because money is being offered to us from all directions and a certain amount of personal debt is now regarded as normal. But for the people who are getting to the worried stage, how can they get out of the situation they are in? After having made the decision to get real help in the form of a debt consolidation program, and not just another loan, what should people look for?

Well, there are a number of things people should look for in a good debt consolidation programme. Not all of these will be suitable for everyone, but at least the option should be there, if needed by the particular customer, and any decent debt consolidation company should be able to offer all of them.

A good debt consolidation programme should stop your creditors from contacting you. Under the law they are not allowed to harass you or contact you in any way once you go for an IVA (individual voluntary arrangement). The day after your IVA is signed, you can sue them even if they phone you accidentally. A good consolidation program should make this easy and automatic. Debt collectors are known to be quite ruthless at times and they are very fond of giving the impression that they are able to do much more than the law actually allows them to do. Your counsellor should be able to make any debt collectors quite aware of the consequences they face if they try to contact you again.

Secondly, a good debt consolidation program should be able to reduce the amount of the debt from the start. This should take place immediately. The debt consultant - or insolvency practitioner, as they are sometimes known - should be a good negotiator above all else. They should be able to negotiate at least 60 percent of the debt away, perhaps as much as 70 percent. A good debt consolidation program should be run by an experienced negotiator who has a track record of being able to negotiate well with creditors. Imagine having 60 or 70 percent of your debt written off right at the beginning, before you even start making any payments!

Thirdly, a good debt consolidation program should be able to reduce the interest payments to 0. Or at least a very small figure. When you are paying off debts the last thing you need is an interest rate to battle against.

Fourthly, a good debt consolidation program should be able to draw up a proper set of accounts involving income and expenditure. Only after this has been done will you be able to calculate how much you will be comfortable paying off each month. If you cannot afford a reasonable figure then what's the point?

See to it that your chosen debt consolidation program can do all these things before you sign anything. You owe it to yourself and your future; and if you make the right decision you can look forward to being amazed by the results.
About the Author
Gordon Goodfellow runs consumer websites which add value. His debt consolidation programme site offers a wide range of services and options to those with debt. His associate sites offer debt consolidation programs in the United States.
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