Credit Card Help
The first step to solving credit card debt is admitting that you have a big problem on your hands that needs to be addressed -- and this step is surprisingly difficult, so if you’ve managed to accomplish it by now, then you’re doing pretty well. Let’s face it: acknowledging that you haven’t been able to manage your own money can be embarrassing, and it’s easier to pretend that it doesn’t exist at all.
It can be admirable to try to handle things by yourself, but it’s just as admirable to admit that you need some help, too. It’s important to remember that companies offering services that sound too good to be true -- i.e., magically making all of your debt disappear -- probably aren’t
trustworthy. But that doesn’t mean that you should be wary of every adviser who offers to help you, either. There are many experienced and knowledgeable financial advisers who want to help you out and have the resources to do so.
What To Look For
We don’t want to frighten anyone, but it’s important to know that certain companies specifically target people who are really
struggling with their debt. And these companies are bad news. Rather than accepting the first offer that presents itself, make sure to do some research on any company or organization that offers to to help you out.
Perusing the internet for company reviews is a great place to start. It’s important to make sure that you’re reading real reviews submitted by real people, and not sponsored reviews that have been commissioned by the company and which present biased feedback. There are quite a few respectable and trustworthy forums online where clients are free to offer their honest opinions about financial organizations, and these forums will probably give you the most accurate idea of what to expect.
You should want to find the best advisers possible, but remember, you probably won’t find an organization that receives absolutely no negative feedback. Everyone’s financial situation is different -- especially when it comes to debt -- and just because one person wasn’t pleased with a particular service, that doesn’t mean that you’ll be equally as displeased.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to check the organization’s website for accreditations and affiliations with other professional financial institutions. If a company has no connections to other professional organizations, that’s a big red flag.
What To Ask
Once you’ve decided on an organization for some help, remember that you have every right to ask as many questions as you need and want. Most financial advisers are willing to set up introductory consultations free of charge, and you’ll be able to have a discussion, in person, with the advisers who will be helping you through everything.
These advisers will want to know quite a few details about your financial history and information so that they can devise a custom plan for you -- but you should be ready to ask them just as many questions in return. For example,
- Does this organization have experience working with the creditors you’re currently dealing with?
- What additional services can the organization offer you? Many companies offer extra support services, like budgeting seminars and individual financial consultations.
- Ask about their fees -- does this company require a fee upfront, and if so, are you certain that you can afford to pay it?
- Request to see the company’s accreditation and licensing list, and ask if the company can provide you with a few trustworthy references.
A legitimate organization won’t try to hide details like their past success rates or reviews from previous clients, even if some of those reviews contain criticisms. You’re never going to find a company that produces stellar results every single time -- and that’s okay. It’s more important to find a company that you can trust, and one that will give you the best help available.