Debt Consolidation Assistance - Who Should You Turn To?

If you're in a financial crisis you're probably seeking debt consolidation assistance. There are many avenues to take, so how do you know if you are choosing the right one? Seeking the help of a professional takes much of the stress off of your shoulders and lets them do all of the negotiating for you. Another advantage of hiring professional debt consolidation assistance is the accountability that they hold you to. You have to pay them every month, and usually they take the money directly from your account.

On the other hand, there isn't anything that a pro does that you couldn't do on your own. You can learn how to negotiate with banks and creditors. You can pay them directly. But from my own experience, the problems that put me into debt also plague me when I'm trying to resolve it. If you are more disciplined with money than I am (you probably are) than this method will work great for you.

Let's take a closer look at professional debt consolidation assistance and what it takes to do it yourself.

Image courtesy of Andres Rueda via Flickr.
Image courtesy of Andres Rueda via Flickr.

Professional Debt Consolidation Assistance

In a nutshell, a debt consolidation assistance company will negotiate with banks and creditors to lower the amount of money that you owe and turn it in to one, easy to manage, monthly payment that you make to the company. The consolidation company will look at your current credit report to see what debts you currently have, and will make an action plan that will get rid of your debt and get your credit score back up.

The biggest benefit of using a debt consolidation assistance company is that they do the work for you. All you have to do is make the monthly payment and you're well on your way to eliminating your debt. The creditors will stop calling, the stress will be relieved, and your monthly payment will be significantly lower.

These companies will build their fee into your monthly payment. If they're lowering the total amount you owe by a huge percentage you probably won't even notice the fee.  Learning to resolve debt and finally taking care of this will wash away any hesitation you have about their fees.

DIY Debt Consolidation

Like I stated above, if you have the discipline to manage your finances well enough you can take care of your debt consolidation yourself. Not needing debt consolidation assistance will save you a few buck a month. In my experience, the people who take this route find it empowering to be in total control of everything and enjoy the process of learning to deal with banks and creditors.

It will take a chunk of your time to dedicate yourself to doing this. You must first research what your options are for going to bat against the banks. Strong negotiations skills are a must. Most banks want to get your debt taken care of and are willing to negotiate to get it done, but you have to know what you can and can't get away with to make sure that you are getting the best deal.

You will still have to cut a check to each individual creditor since you're working on your own. This is a pain, but the rewards of not needing debt consolidation assistance will outweigh the extra work.

Which Method of Debt Consolidation Assistance to Choose?

In order to decide which method of debt consolidation assistance is right for you, you must weigh how much time and effort you want to devote to this, and if you have the financial discipline to actually take care of it.  If it makes more sense to let a debt consolidation assistance company take care of it, do it.

The best thing to do right now is do some research on what consolidation companies actually do.  The more you know, the easier this entire process will be.

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