There are times that we are unable to meet our financial targets and this can cause more problems by not being able to pay debts on time. During this time, one is desperate to seek solutions to debt crisis by seeking debt consolidation. One is usually very vulnerable at this stage and they can easily fall prey to scammers who seek to take advantage of your situation. Consumer credit counseling can help you clear your debts by offering possible solution tactics you can follow. However, you need to ensure that you sign up with the right agency so that you don’t get to become a victim to scammers. These are signs you need to be on the lookout for before signing up with an agency.
The range of financial services offered
Check to see what kind of financial services are offered by the agency. Usually, an agency will offer more than one financial service. They can offer budget counseling for those heading towards debt problems and housing counseling for people facing foreclosure on their homes. These are just a few. These counseling sessions can be one on one or over the phone or even over the internet depending on what works for you. A small maintenance fee is required and you should have your payment records well kept on your side. This applies even to the nonprofit agencies.
Don’t be pressured into signing debt management plans
Be wary of agencies that pressure you to sign up for any sort of debt management plan. It usually takes a credit counselor one hour to evaluate your income, expenses and debt before they can come up with a solution. If a credit counselor is rushing through this process, then they may not be legit. You should never be asked to pay any fee upfront before getting some counseling evaluation on your issue. Note that no agency has the power to erase information on a credit report and the only way to do so is by planning to make payments over time. A good agency will help you plan how to achieve that.
Ability to help resolve debt problems
A genuine debt consolidation agency will have a good reputation of helping its clients get out of debt successfully. You can research first on an agency before signing up by asking for references from family and friends. You can also check the reviews on their website from people who have been there before. To check if the agency has a good standing, check with the Better Business Bureau to check out of any complaints made against them. In this case, it is best to be realistic that there will be always someone who has something to complain about. What is important is to check how the case was handled and how the customer service was.
Is it a non-profit?
Just because a debt consolidation agency advertises that they are a non-profit does not mean that they are legit. You can check an agency out from a third party accredited organization to inquire about the legitimacy of this agency.