1. Debt consolidation is not always a loan. Debt consolidation, by definition, means to lump all your debt into one manageable payment. Many people confuse a loan-based consolidation program with credit counseling. The former usually requires security or collateral (often in the form of a mortgage), while the latter does not. If you have equity in your home, then a home equity loan may be the type of loan you need to help your consolidate your bills. If you don't own property or don't qualify for a loan, credit counseling may be the right option for you.
2. Credit counseling is a process . Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is financial success. Credit counseling will help educate you in money management techniques and help your monthly cashflow by reducing your payments and rolling back interest rates. Never expect for all your financial problems to simply go away. Life can become much easier, but dedication on your end is imperative. An educated financial counselor can certainly help you along the way.
3. Set goals before inquiring about debt consolidation . Always have a plan in mind before you contact a credit counseling or debt consolidation agency. If you have a new family and are eager to buy a home, flag it and add it to the list. Use a checklist of important goals when discussing your situation with the financial counselor. It will make the credit counseling for you and your advisor much easier.
4. Always be asking . A good credit counseling company will educate you and provide resources to you in all areas of finance. Use their expertise and knowledge to your advantage. They are your financial coach and are there to answer all your questions.
5. Always be mindful. If something sounds a bit fishy, it probably is. No credit counseling firm can guarantee specific rates or even specific payments. Always be careful of statements that sound just a little too good.
6. Watch the lender fees for loans. If you're getting a debt consolidation loan, remember that lender fees can be very expensive. Although you may save money on your payment and interest rate, fees that exceed $1500 may leave you questioning your actions later.
Mark B. is the Senior Financial Supervisor at Forget-A-Debt, Inc. For information about Credit Counseling or Debt Consolidaton, please visit their website.