Are you in debt up to your ears?
- June 28, 2019
- By Admin: lbsnyl5_wp
- Comments: 00
Debt counseling could help… but watch out for scams
With the average American family carrying credit card debt of more than $8,000 and paying up to 21 percent interest on balances, it’s easy to see how more and more families are facing financial difficulties. This situation has forced many consumers to consider various options for climbing out of debt; one of these is consulting with debt or credit counseling agencies. While many agencies provide good service and fair rates, others may take advantage of debt-ridden and often desperate consumers.
A quick look through the telephone directory yellow pages of al- most any U.S. city turns up listings for dozens of debt counseling agencies–a11 claiming to help consumers with their debt or credit problems. One of the most important things consumers need to keep in mind is that many–but not all–of these agencies are “for-profit” businesses.
Being a for-profit business does not necessarily mean that such a company provides low-quality service, but consumers need to be aware that these are not social service agencies or charitable organizations. Some credit or debt counseling agencies are listed as “non-profit,” but this status does not guarantee better service at a lower cost.
Carefully consider all options when choosing a debt counseling agency or service. Take time to research an agency to see if it is right for you. Without knowing all the facts and an agency’s history, you could run into scams or quick fixes that not only won’t get you out of debt but could also leave you with additional debt.
Even though E Orum Young Bankruptcy lawyers is one way to deal with financial problems and debt, it should be considered a final option. Bankruptcy stays on a credit report for 10 years and can cause problems when trying to get a job, establish credit, buy insurance or even get a place to live.
Debt counseling services can help, but be aware of fraudulent claims for services that look legitimate. Here are a few precautions to take when choosing a debt counseling agency:
□ Beware of high fees. Try to find an agency that doesn’t charge more than $50 to set up your account and $25 a month thereafter: Good help does not have to cost hundreds of dollars.
□ Look out for unreasonable guarantees.
□ Choose an agency that will take the time to carefully examine your financial background. Agencies that guarantee debt-management plans in 30 minutes or less probably have not spent enough time looking over your financial records.
□ Look for a well-established debt counseling agency and check its credentials. Ask questions and learn exactly how the agency will work with you to help reduce your debt.
□ Expect personalized and professional counseling. Your debt counselor should ask you to pro- vide the financial documents and records necessary to complete a thorough examination and formulate an appropriate plan.
□ Ask for recommendations from friends or family members who have used a debt counselor.
□ Check with your community’s or state’s consumer affairs office to see if it keeps records on debt and credit counseling agencies.