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Choosing a Debt Consolidation Service

Dec 10, 2007
When developing a debt consolidation plan, it is important to look at the different organizations and companies that are offering debt consolidation services. There are a few things that you should be aware of in order to make use of the service in a way that works best for you and your attempt at consolidating your debt. There are a few questions to consider when looking at the debt consolidation services that you are considering to handle your financial issues.

Do they offer information about home equity loans as an alternative to a more conventional debt consolidation plan? There are some great loans that allow you to have a low interest rate just by having an important asset, such as your home, as collateral. Be aware, though, that just as you have various fees for appraisal, title insurance and processing fees for a loan, these home equity loans are similar in nature and will have some costs upfront. Also be very aware that you will have to be able to keep up repayments on this loan or you may lose your house.

Do they offer information about "cash out" refinancing? You can use your home equity to refinance your property for a greater amount than what is owed and request extra cash to help pay off some of the debt. This is another alternative that any decent debt consolidation service should at least be able to offer, even if it isn't a suitable choice for your own circumstances. Such refinancing may offer low interest rates but your payments can last between 15-30 years, and the interest paid over all those years can really end up being a large amount since you are paying over the long term.

Do they offer information about personal loans? If your credit is not too bad, many people may qualify for an unsecured loan that can offer lower interest rates than your current credit card or loan creditors. However, this may not be a possible option if your credit rating is too severely damaged.

Do they offer a service whereby they can negotiate better terms with your creditors? Often this is the jewel in the crown of the best debt consolidation services. While you can do this for yourself, they may be able to save you some time; and because they are a business well used to negotiating such things they will be taken as much more credible than an individual, especially an individual with a track record of at least some financial incompetence. If there is a cost involved for debt consolidation services, be aware that the cost may vary from service to service. In short, weigh up the costs with the benefits.

Do they tell you up front what the monthly payments will be and how much will go towards actual debt? A debt consolidation service is in business to make money. So, there will always be some proportion of the payments that will go to them for taking care of your calls to creditors and managing your payments.

Ask around to see what people in similar circumstances have to say; see if they recommend anyone who has helped them. In deciding on the best debt consolidation service for you, make an informed judgment based on the facts before you.
About the Author
Gordon Goodfellow runs consumer websites which add value. His debt consolidation service website offers a wide range of services and options to those with debt. His associate site offers a debt consolidation service in the United States.
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