3 questions to ask yourself before you sign up with a debt relief company
Published Tue, Jun 21, 2011 Updated Tue, Feb 16, 2021
The only thing worse than dealing with the stress of debt is trying to figure out which debt relief company to call. There are so many companies who advertise on TV and they all make such great promises. “Call us and we’ll help you get out of debt quickly and easily.” That’s what they all say. Then you watch the news and hear another horror story from some poor person who was ripped off by one of these companies.
You could ask well-off relatives to help you out – but if you don’t have any rich loved ones then you may need help from a debt relief company. So ask yourself the following questions and you will improve your chances of getting the help you need without having to worry:
1. Should I pay for help or can I do it better myself?
Sometimes it’s a good idea to ask for help and sometimes it’s a good idea to do it yourself – depending on your circumstances. When dealing with debt, its often a good idea to get help. Why? Because most people don’t have the discipline to set up their own debt repayment plan and to stick with it. Sure, you can do it yourself, and save a little money. But if you’ve got a lot of debt, or your interest rates are sky-high, then chances are that a professional debt relief program will often get you better results.
2. Am I really committed to getting out of debt?
This is the most important question of all. Some people will blame the debt relief companies – and some people will blame their job, or their boss, or their spouse. Notice the trend, that it is always someone else who is at fault? The only way to ensure that you will get out of debt is to make a serious commitment to doing whatever it takes to get out of debt!
3. Is this the right type of help for my situation?
There are big differences between the various options – debt management program; debt relief orders, IVAs, debt consolidation loan and credit counseling. All work, but not in all situations. Do a little research and find out which option is right for you.
Once you make the decision to get help, here are some tips to help you avoid getting ripped off:
Ask lots of questions
The time to ask questions is before you sign on the dotted line. Learn everything you can about the company, how they do business, and how they say they’ll help you. It’s worth reading up on previous customer reviews to see how helpful the company really is.
Get everything in writing…and read it
No matter what you hear on the phone, make sure you see it on paper before you make your decision. Most companies are honest and ethical. But you can never be too careful.
Go online and do a search for the name of the company. Contact previous customers if the company provides you with a list. The more you can learn about the company, the better.
If you are honest with yourself, and you take the time to learn about your options, getting out of debt does not have to be painful. You won’t get out of debt overnight, but you can change your life for the better and get started on the path to financial freedom!