Could a simple, free debt consolidation review save you money and help you get on top of your debts? Are you considering seeking some type of debt help? Not sure if your financial situation warrants a debt management plan?
A good start is to ask yourself these 7 questions:
1. Are you only able to make the minimum payments on your credit cards each month? Or worse, are you not even able to meet the minimum payment amounts?
2. Are you struggling to keep all of your different debt payment dates straight, sometimes leading to missed payments?
3. Is paying your bills on time a problem?
4. Is the total amount of your monthly bills more than what you can pay? In other words, have your total bill/debt obligations outstripped your income, driving you further into debt each month?
5. Are your retirement savings suffering due to your debt payments? Are your debts keeping you from affording a house or a car?
6. Are bill collectors calling you on a regular basis?
7. Are you borrowing from Peter to pay Paul? ie. are you taking cash advances from one credit card to make the minimum payments on other credit cards?
If you answered yes to any of these debt related questions then you might just be a candidate for debt counseling and debt consolidation. So what's your next step?
One of the biggest roadblocks that people encounter when trying to eliminate debt is not knowing what their first step should be let alone what their long term debt reduction plan will look like. They become paralyzed by fear and uncertainty and, unfortunately, all too often end up doing nothing. This inaction however, can make matters a lot worse in the long run.
Does this describe what you are experiencing right now? If so, I recommend that you take that first step. Trust me, it's not as difficult as you might think. For most people that first step is getting a free debt analysis from a senior debt counselor who has extensive knowledge when it comes to situations just like yours.
A debt counselor can assess your situation, help you devise a plan of action, sets some debt reduction goals and even work on a budget with you. If you are fortunate, this will be enough to point you in the right direction and jolt you from your state of paralysis. Here is one that I recommend. They are free, and you can speak to them by phone today.
On the other hand, after speaking with you and go over your finances, the debt counselor may recommend that you speak to a debt consolidation/management company or even a debt settlement/bankruptcy attorney (if your situation is particularly dire). Either way, they will recommend a trusted resource that you can then follow up with further, knowing that you are pointed in the right direction.
This type of debt help is not just for those who are financially destitute, with no income and few resources. Consider this statistic...
In August 2008, the average
annual income of households in
the United States seeking debt counseling was $49,308
Source: CCCS of Greater Atlanta
The key to getting out of debt sometimes lies simply in balancing your outgoing financial obligations with your income. Debt counseling, combined with a solid "debt repayment road map" in the form of a debt management plan, can often be that "key".
And one last thing to keep in mind...
Debt consolidation programs themselves are not free once you enroll. Therefore I strongly urge you to comparison shop a few different debt consolidation services. Compare the different fees and services each one offers before you sign on.
Better yet, by speaking with an independent debt counselor (ie. one who does not offer a debt consolidation program themselves) you are less likely to be talked into enrolling in a program that is not suited for you, and instead end up with a reputable debt consolidation company. In all likelihood, an independent debt counselor will only recommend programs that they have vetted themselves and that their past clients have been happy with.