Debt Settlement Counseling

Written by Jill Morrison
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Debt settlement counseling is a rapidly growing service. The number of consumers enrolled in debt management programs increased from 400,000 in 1995 to over one million in 2001. It is wise to consider counseling before debt gets completely out of control. Individuals or families can meet with certified credit counselors who will help them restructure their debt to avoid major problems such as bankruptcy.

Locating Debt Settlement Counseling

Internet settlement companies offer counseling services that are convenient and reputable. In many cases, consumers may chat online with counselors to get answers to their questions and concerns. Consumer credit counseling service is available free of charge to individuals who qualify under financial hardship guidelines. Minimum unsecured debt must be at least $2,500. Consumers should check for customer complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the attorney general's office. They should ask to speak with satisfied customers or view testimonials.

Deciding when debt counseling may be needed is difficult. Factors to consider are having trouble making monthly payments, having multiple credit cards with balances for extended periods of time, and having difficulty establishing a budget and following it. Debt counseling is highly regarded as an option to help resolve debt problems before they escalate. It has become one of the most highly recommended debt solutions.

Counselors work closely with consumers to develop workable personalized plans. Next, they negotiate with creditors to reduce interest rates and late fees. Often, the fees will be completely eliminated. Eventually, they help creditors and consumers arrive at monthly payment amounts that are workable for both parties. Once monthly obligations are being met, it is easy to start rebuilding good credit records, despite the initial drop in credit ratings that these services sometimes require.

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