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Overcoming the Intimidation of Debt Consolidation

How You Can Financially Empower Yourself with Debt Consolidation

"I am always receiving bills for which I can only pay the minimum amount due. I have one bill that has been turned over to a collection agency. They need their payment every month or they will take me to court, but I can't even afford their minimum due. I have had circumstances in my life that have not allowed me to pay my bills even though I try because I want to pay them off. No one seems to understand. They all want their money right now. I have regular monthly bills like rent, utilities, and groceries that are priority for me to keep earning a living. I feel like I will never get ahead. What can I do?" -Frustrated and In Debt

Sometimes when you add up the minimum amounts due for every bill that you have to pay, it is too much. Sometimes the circumstances in your life do cause your bills to be turned over to collection agencies. You are human; it doesn't mean that you are a bad person. You just need to learn a better way of handling your finances. Debt consolidation may be the answer that you are looking for.

What is debt consolidation?
It is when you take all of your bill statements as well as your earned income stubs and hand them over to a professional for help. They are more objective than you can be in the middle of your situation, so they make it less complicated to set up and follow a plan to help you get out of debt. They can help you find solutions, guide you to help that you would not otherwise have known about, and act as your ally in the situation. Debt consolidation is a possible solution to your financial troubles while they are still solvable. It can get you on the right track to cleaning up, and keeping up, your credit records. You can get your finances back on track. However, it is a process that takes time because you did not accumulate these bills overnight.

How do I find a debt consolidator?
One way might be to ask others who they use, like you would about a dentist or child care. It might not be very easy to do this considering how private finances are to everyone. The phone book and the Internet are good ways to find agencies to assist us. Beware of the possibility of becoming overwhelmed. There are many hundreds of companies to sort through. Don't worry, there is a way.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a valuable asset in your quest. It has local branches as well as a website that can reach almost any other branch nationally (www.bbb.org.) Locally, you can inquire about the businesses in the phone book. Nationally, you can inquire about the businesses online.

The BBB has members who follow the guidelines set forth by the BBB in proper business etiquette. It also keeps track of those who are not members against whom complaints have been filed. The reports will tell you if the company in question has a satisfactory or unsatisfactory status and why or why not. The easiest way to obtain the reports that you need about debt consolidation companies is to have the company's' phone numbers available. Finding the consolidator that's best for you will require some research, but it will be worth it.

Another way that debt consolidation companies differentiate themselves is with their profits. Some are for-profit companies; some are not-for-profit companies. What does this mean to you? Your debt consolidator will charge a fee. Depending on their profit status is what those fees will be used toward. A not-for-profit company will charge to cover expenses, and a for-profit company will charge above and beyond that. The key to using a debt consolidator is to get out of debt. You want the maximum amount of what you are paying the consolidator every month to go toward paying off your bills. You want professionals in the field who can negotiate the best assistance on your behalf.