There may be pros to debt management programs – especially if it is your last option before declaring bankruptcy – but you should understand what is involved and know what to expect from the process.
For more information on debt and credit management options, have a look at our articles on debt settlement.
Many debt relief agencies offer assistance with medical debt relief, tax debt relief, student loan debt relief, credit debt relief and payday loan debt relief, some debt settlement companies even offer Christian debt relief services.
However, these debt relief companies are not perfect, overnight fixes.
With a debt management plan, you make one payment to the credit counseling agency, which distributes the money to your creditors until they are paid in full.
Even if they are members of such organizations, though, be picky. So while the agencies and employees vary, the plans are all structured the same way: Your counselor determines how much it will take to pay your creditors in full in three to five years.
When a counselor is knowledgeable and compassionate, these sessions can be enlightening and motivating. If he or she acts bored, judgmental or pushy, request a different counselor. First, the bulk of your balances should be in unsecured debts, such as credit and charge cards, personal loans and, sometimes, collection accounts.
Most negatively affect your credit, and with most programs, you still pay off the majority of your debt.
What these debt solution services can do for you is negotiate with your creditors in an attempt to lower some of your debt, or you may be able to consolidate your debt down to a single, monthly payment, preferably one with a lower interest rate than what you are paying with each individual creditor.
This debt consolidation calculator is designed to help determine if debt consolidation is right for you.
Fill in the loan amounts, credit card balances and other outstanding debt.
The top performers in our review are National Debt Relief, the Gold Award winner; New Era Debt Solutions, the Silver Award winner; and Accredited Debt Relief, the Bronze Award winner.