Debt is a menace that can quickly become a bad habit if you get too used to it. It is advised tostrictly control the loans you take out so that you don’t have to face the consequences when the debt becomes so big that you can’t even keep track of it. If by any chance you find yourself in a situation where your debt has gotten out of hand, it is time for you to start looking for a debt relief programthat’ll help you get rid of thedebtand put your mind at ease again.
It’s not easy to find a legitimate debt relief program since there are thousands of scams everywhere. It is thus better to first research and then sign up with a relief program. You need to start finding the names of reputable companies or the programs they offer. Once that is done, get in touch with the A.G’s office to know whether there is any complaint filed against the program or the people who are hosting it. If there are any complains you shouldn’t just back off, instead invest some time into looking into the type of those complaints.
Next, you should check for any complaint against the concerned in the Consumer Protection Agency. Again, don’t just back off with only knowledge of a complaint but stick around till you know its nature. Check for the registration of the program at some national level so that you can claim if something goes wrong. No matter what they say to try to convince you, don’t settle for any unregistered program. Lastly, it would help if you asked around in the program about the creditors and details of how the workers are paid. A good plan will not pay their workers from the money they get from you.
Being in debt isn’t necessarily a sign of bad financial management, many Americans have loans for their education, homes or cars. However, debt can be a slippery slope and before you know it you can be in a sticky situation.
Before reaching out to expert financial or legal providers, there are a number of associations providing free financial management advice for Americans crippled by debt.
First, how does debt management work?
Managing debt starts with facing the reality of your financial situation. Besides curbing unnecessary expenses and borrowing, it also involves revising your budget so you can meet your financial obligations.
From personal finance counseling to dispute resolution and setting up realistic repayment plans, getting the help you need doesn’t have to cost a thing.
Freeing yourself from debt – for free
Good advice for dealing with debt doesn’t have to be expensive; it could be free when you ask the right people. Here are a few resources that offer free assistance:
- National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC)
The nonprofit foundation founded in 1951 offers several different services for debt relief and you can take advantage of a handful of tools for free:
- NFCC offers a free first-time free consultation to educate you on how to get your finances back under control.
- Learn about money management when it comes to credit or buying a house in its 101 videos.
- Use the online budget planner combined with one of the budget calculators to craft and track a realistic budget.
If you’re interested in getting help, schedule an appointment with NFCC on its website or call and speak to a representative at 1-800-388-2227.
Credit.org, a nonprofit website, has been educating Americans on debt management since 1974. They offer online education as well as personal finance coaching. It can offer:
- Credit counseling over the phone or in person is free.
- A handful of content that can give you the knowledge to get your finances back on track.
- Free webinars and classes
Credit.org stresses the importance of taking that critical first step to eliminating debt. Call at 1-800-431-8157 to speak to representative or head over to the website.
Debt-free for a fee
While you can get good advice for free, certain companies offer similar — but more comprehensive — services for a fee. You could even benefit from a free consultation to get a better idea of how to start managing your debt with a reputable debt relief company.
Here are two top debt solution specialists that offer free consultations for Americans struggling with debt:
National Debt Relief. This accredited company offers debt settlement services with direct negotiations. It typically charges between 18% and 25% of your enrolled debt, but you could stand to save more if you’re consolidating a large amount. You must have at least $7,500 in debt to qualify.