title:Finding A Company To Consolidate Debt author:Carrie Reeder source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/business_and_finance/article_5333.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:07 category:business_and_finance article:

A debt management company can consolidate your debt and lower your interest rates by negotiating with your creditors. Debt management companies can also help you pay off your loans sooner. But before you sign up with a company, make sure your research their services, fees, and practices.
Research Companies
It is important to research debt management companies to make sure you aren?t scammed out of thousands in fees. Legitimate companies offer a valuable service, charge reasonable fees, and are willing to disclose their terms.
Many debt management companies operate online and provide information through their website and over the phone. In a few hours, you can research dozens of companies to find the best one for you.
Ask About Services
The first question you should ask is what services the company offers. You want a company that specializes in handling accounts. Ask how soon the company begins making payments on your loans. Some companies wait several months before making payments, raking up late charges for you.
Some companies also offer certified credit counselors to help you develop a financial plan. This can be a valuable service if you want to consider other options for handling your debt.
Be wary of companies that offer bankruptcy or debt negotiation. These types of companies tend to focus on collecting fees rather than getting your debts paid off.
Compare Fees
All debt management companies charge fees. Reasonable fees consist of monthly payments for each account handled. Companies who charge large upfront fees expect you will drop out of the program before they provide you full service. By comparing fees of several companies, you will quickly be able to tell what is reasonable.
Request Free Information
Request a written quote of when accounts will be paid off. Each account will have a different pay off date since balances and rates will vary. A debt management company will be able to give you an exact date because lower rates are predetermined by creditors.
You should also ask for a written copy of the contract before signing. Be sure to review all items. Watch out for delayed payments or high fees for unnecessary services.

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