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Selecting A Credit Counselor; Asking The Right Questions.
When you find yourself thinking about using a credit counseling service, you need to be verycareful. You need someone who will help you, not just some pushy sales associate who wantsonly to sign you up for their service.
You are about to place your financial life in someone else's hands. Make sure you have theanswers to some questions before you do. Then make sure you like the answers to your questions.Here are some for starters:
Which of my creditors have you worked with in the past?
You have a list of your creditors. You want to compare it to the creditors they have worked
with in the past. Have they been successful working with your creditors in reducing payments,
lowering interest, and eliminating fees?
You need to know not all creditors will work with credit counselors. If all, or most, of your
creditors have, or will, you should investigate these services further. If not, credit counseling won't do you much good. To protect yourself, ask for a list (in writing) of any of your creditors they have worked with in the past.
Will my creditors be paid on time each month?
Two things come into play here. What are the due dates of each creditor and when during the month do you get paid? Nothing defeats the purpose faster than paying a creditor late, after you have set up a new payment schedule.
Some credit counseling services use a set date each month to make payments from the money you have given them. If they don't have your creditors change the due date you could be socked with late fees each month. Find a service that adjusts the due dates of your bills to work around the days you get paid.
How do I pay you each month?
The credit counselor can't pay your creditors until you pay them each month. Will they
remove money, each month, from your account with an electronic transfer or are you
required to send them a guaranteed check or money order? You want to make it as easy as
possible for this plan to work. Look for a service that will withdraw funds from your
account automatically each month.
When and how often will I get statements of my accounts?
Just because you have turned over a portion of your financial life to someone else to run, does not mean you don't need to keep track of what is going on. Your statements should break down your payments so you can see where the money is going. How much is going to interest, how much to the principal balances, and how much is being paid to the credit counseling service.
Who can I call?
When you have a problem or question can you speak with someone on the phone? Are you able to speak to the same counselor each time? If not, how long do you take to returns phone calls?
Do this up front. Make sure you can live with the answers you receive. Then test the service to see if they live up to what they have said. Check their service out before you sign on the bottom line. If you find that you can't get questions answered or telephone calls returned look for another service. Going through credit counseling is stressful enough without any added problems.
These questions will give you a good idea what kind of service you have found. There are otherquestions you may ask. If you think of any do not hesitate to ask and don't stop asking until youget the answers you need. It is your money.
David Wilding works with both individuals and groups to help them rid their lives of debt. For the past ten years he has attempted to change attitudes toward and acceptance of personal debt. Visit his website http://www.debtattack.com for more ideas, tools, and strategies to become debt free.
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Reduce Your Debt With These 5 Tips
It's never pleasant to realize that you're in financial hot water, but pretending the situation doesn't exist is NEVER the way to deal with the problem. If you're having trouble meeting monthly payments, find yourself borrowing or using credit cards to meet daily expenses, or have one or more of your credit accounts turned over to a collection agency, it's time for you to get proactive and bring your debts back under control.
How to Protect Yourself: Debt Collections
So you are getting collection calls? You're desk is full of unpaid bills. You dread answering the phone.
Debt Consolidation Versus Debt Negotiation
Debt consolidation versus debt negotiation are two options that are available to you if you need debt assistance. When your monthly bills become too much for you to handle, it makes sense to use debt consolidation or debt negotiation for solving debt and credit problems.
Bankruptcy: What the New Law Means to You
On April 20 of this year, President Bush signed a bankruptcy reform law. When this law goes into effect in October of this year, it will be much more difficult for Americans to use Chapter 7 bankruptcy to get a fresh start on their financial lives.
Life on a Debt Management Program
Signing up for a debt management program is easy; it's a matter of finding a company you feel comfortable with that is difficult. There should be no pressure added from the company you speak with, joining a DMP is your decision and you should feel like you are in a partnership with the company, meaning you both have control over your financial situation.
Pay Off Your Student Loans and Reduce Your Debts
Financing a college education is one of the more expensive debts you may incur. Student loans can take years or even decades to pay off.
Free Quick and Easy Money Saving Tips - Part 1
With the high cost of gasoline and the amount of money needed to lead a comfortable life slowly increasing many consumers may be worried about how to make ends meet. Fortunately there are lots of ways to save money in a variety of areas.
Turning Bad Debts into Good Debts through Investing Fundamentals
If you've ever earned enough money to put some aside, like most people you've probably invested it with an eye toward security - since, perhaps, you can't imagine yourself ever getting rich."Most people dream of becoming rich, but it isn't their first choice," Rich Dad said.
Christian Debt Consolidation - Feel Comfortable About Managing Your Debt
Many Christians feel uncomfortable with the notion of being in debt, and even more so when the debt has gotten out of control. Some say that it is not acceptable for Christians to owe any money, even for such necessities as a home.
Two Ways To Debt Relief
There are many debt relief programs out there both off line and online. Sometimes it can be difficult to chose one from the other.
Establish Money Saving Goals For Added Success
Having something tangible to strive towards can work wonders for your money-saving efforts. To those of you that have already been actively implementing money-saving tips in order to lower your monthly bills, for added inspiration, establish a meaningful goal along with a specific dollar amount.
What is Bankruptcy?
Personal bankruptcy is a legal way to give people with overwhelming debt a fresh financial start. However, it is important to realize that certain forms of debt, such as student loans, are not forgiven through the bankruptcy process.
Out of Credit Card Debt - Without Filing Bankruptcy
To be out of credit card debt is your dream and you're tired of the redundant advice to live within your means. Look no further.
Bankruptcy, Is It A Way Out
Negotiations with creditors have failed. Repossession is imminent and foreclosure proceedings have begun.
Debt Problems? You Can Negotiate With Your Creditors
It is always possible to negotiate with creditors - even if they have already taken you to court to get a judgment or to garnish your wages.Getting a creditor to reduce your monthly payment helps and does provide short-term relief.
If you're reading this article right now I'm sure that you are looking for a debt elimination system that will help you get out from under you personal mountain of debt. Hopefully you're not looking for the magic pill that will suddenly dissolve your debt problem.
Ten Ways to Get Out of Debt
1) Use your AssetsIf you have assets with some significant equity, such as a home or a car you may be able to use these to get control of your debt. For example, you could get a loan on your home sufficient to pay off your debts.
Five Hot Tips To Get Out Of Debt Forever
The financial and psychological burden of being in debt causes us and our families continuous emotional stress. That stress eats away at the quality of our lives and leaves us feeling powerless, angry, depressed and helpless.
Bankruptcy - The New Scarlet Letter
Nathaniel Hawthorne's book The Scarlet Letter states in Chapter 2, "On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread, appeared the letter A." The letter A stood for the word adulterer and represented one of the worst insults in society.
What Does A Bankruptcy Trustee Do?
Once you file bankruptcy a court appointed bankruptcy trustee will oversee your case. The new law also requires that the bankruptcy petitioner to take a debtor education course and receive credit counseling from a U.
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