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10 Tips For Online Debt Consolidation

[Mar 11, 2009.]

 

1. Begin The Debt Free Life By Consolidating Your Debt
If you're one of the many struggling to keep up with credit card debt, car loans, or other consumer debt, it may be best to consider the help of a debt consolidation company. Online debt consolidation companies have made the process even easier than before, and can help individuals secure simpler monthly payments along with lower interest rates on their debt. The goal of any debt consolidation company is to pay off consumer debts faster and help their clients live a debt-free life sooner.

2. Find The Right Online Debt Consolidation Company
While browsing companies online, look for debt consolidation companies that have a solid reputation, clear terms and conditions, as well as a friendly and secure internet interface. Like any other online transaction, individuals should be cautious before initiating any financial business transactions over the internet. Because clients are often troubled financially, unscrupulous companies can be more daring over the internet and prey on such vulnerable consumers.

3. Filtering Out the Good From the Bad with Professional Associations
Look specifically for any companies that are associated with well known brick and mortar companies that you are familiar with. These professional associations should be with traditional banks, credit unions, or other financial institutions--a professional association isn't the only concern, but it will help to validate the trustworthiness of a company to a certain extent.

4. Ignore The Flashy Advertisements And Dreamy Offers
Debt free in thirty days guaranteed? Interest rates as low as one percent? You'll likely encounter numerous advertisements and may be tempted by some of the many attractive offers. Just keep the old saying close to heart--if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

5. Check Their Online Track Record
The great thing about the Internet is that online reviews and past client experiences are all a mouse click away.  A quick search of any company can reveal helpful information detailing the company's success record, client testimonials, and even warning signs for you to stay away.

6. Keep An Eye Out For Debt Consolidation Scams
As mentioned, individuals that are troubled financially often appear needy and can become prime targets for unscrupulous lenders. Look out for any warning signs and avoid dealing with companies that are not upfront with their intentions. You may be making payments to these debt consolidation companies, so you'll want to be sure of what they'll do with your money.

7. Talk to the Right People
Friends and family are usually a good source for information free of any agenda or hidden motive. Ask if anyone has had previous experience with these online debt consolidation companies, or if they've heard anything about them. On the other hand, don't neglect the help from a trusted professional like a financial advisor or non-profit agency can also provide helpful information.

8. Read the Fine Print Agreement
Read over all the paperwork and ask questions if there is any confusion. In particular, find out information concerning any prepayment penalties, surcharges, minimum length terms, monthly payments, and interest rate changes.

9. Pay Attention to Your Interest Rates
Most debt consolidation companies will offer interest rates much more attractive than your typical consumer credit card company. However, ask if these rates are simply introductory rates or adjustable rates. Most financial advisors prefer fixed rates as they are more stable and prevent any payment shock in the future.

10. Discover Any Additional Services That Might Be Offered
In addition to consolidating debt, companies may also offer different services which can help you live debt free. Find out of if the company also offers other services such as credit counseling courses, money management, savings and budget planning, or debt negotiation.

 

About Author:

Renee Morgan has been a loan officer for over eighteen years. She is also a freelance writer and guest expert for radio and TV.

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