Debt Consolidation Article
Clear up Your Financial Situation with Debt Consolidation/Credit Counseling Programs
When it comes to debt consolidation, it will do you no good to obtain that loan and payoff your debts if you donít learn how to better manage your money, to keep from going into debt again in the future. If your credit has been impacted already, and you donít have sufficient collateral to obtain a debt consolidation loan, then you may end up having to use a credit counseling company to help you manage your debt, and learn how to budget and handle money better.
When you call or email a credit counseling organization, such as Money Management International for one, you will likely first talk with a certified counselor. The counselor will talk with you about your current financial situation, the cause of the situation, and take a look at your income and debts, to help you decide the best route for you to take to clear everything up. In some instances, you may be so far in debt that there is nothing they can do for you, so they may suggest that you go ahead and start the bankruptcy process, but this is a rare occurrence. Typically, they will help set you up with a program, called a Debt Management Program that is designed to help you get out of debt, and learn about financial management in the process.
The counselor will take a close look at your credit report and your income, and will help come up with a budget and a payment amount that you can afford. They will then contact your creditors, and try to negotiate to get your payments lowered down as far as possible, the interest rates slashed, and the fees stopped, so that more of your money is used to payoff your bills. Once the creditors notify the counselor that they have accepted their terms, you will make one monthly payment to the counseling agency that will then be sent to your creditors each month.
There are many companies all over television and the Internet that claim to be certified credit counseling agencies, but you should really take the time to do your homework, as not all of them are legitimate. You may want to check with the Better Business Bureau, and other sources to verify the reputation and validity of a company before disclosing your personal information or sending any money to them.
Some people are concerned that enrolling in such a program will only further impact their credit rating, but that really is not the case. You should look at your report prior to starting the program, and then check it randomly afterwards, to make certain your payments are being credited properly, and that your accounts are no longer being reported in a negative way. You should know that with the new laws surrounding bankruptcy, you are required to be in a program such as this for at least six months, before you can file. The hope is that you will find that the Debt Management Plan will work so well for you that you will no longer feel the need to file bankruptcy, and that you will learn money management skills that will keep you from getting into a similar situation in the future!