title:Debt Consolidation ? Don’t Hire an Agency; Do It Yourself author:Charles Essmeier source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/business_and_finance/article_6165.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:07 category:business_and_finance article:

The average American household now has more than $9000 in credit card debt and the savings rate in this country is lower than at any time during the Great Depression. And a quick glance at all of the debt consolidation commercials on late night television will tell you the obvious ? debt is a tremendous problem in our country today.
Listening to these ads makes it seem as though only the advertisers can help you get out of debt, as though they have some financial secrets that will allow your debts to magically disappear. Is that true? If you have a debt problem, do you need to hire one of these debt consolidation services? Is there another solution?
The short answer is “no.” You do not have to hire a company to get you out of debt. In all likelihood, the company you would hire cannot do anything that you cannot do yourself. No one can make your debts disappear; the only way to make them go away is to either pay them off or file for bankruptcy.
So what do you do? For starters, pick up the phone and call your creditors. Explain your situation and tell them that you simply cannot make ends meet. You would be surprised at how often creditors are willing to work out some sort of payment plan with their debtors, especially if the debtor is behind on his or her payments. Their motivation Is simple ? it is much easier to get some of their money back, under different terms, from a willing customer than it is to try to get payment by turning the debt over to a collection agency. It is also better than writing off the debt as a loss.
By working out an agreement with your creditors you can also avoid having some nasty notes put in your credit report. If you can fulfill your obligations, you can have your debt marked “paid as agreed”, which is much better than having it shown as delinquent.
Of course, you can always hire a debt consolidation company to do the above for you. They can call the creditor in order to work out a repayment play for you. The only difference is that you will not only have to pay your creditor but you will also have to pay the debt consolidation company. Just remember that when those debt consolidation firms run ads on television, they are hoping to make money from you. If you have a debt problem, you would be much better off using that money to pay down your debt.
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