Debt Consolidation Guide
Debt Consolidation is the process of taking multiple high-interest debts and consolidating them into a single, lower-interest payment. Consumers can typically take credit cards, gas cards, medical bills and store cards among other debt and consolidate them.
Companies also typically offer debt settlement services which is the process of negotiating with your creditors to reduce the amount of money that you owe to them. These companies typically take a percentage of the reduction that they negotiate as a fee in exchange for their services.
Some of the largest companies in the debt consolidation space include Freedom Financial, National Debt Relief, Curadebt, Guardian Debt Relief and Pacific Debt.
What Are The Pros and Cons of Debt Consolidation?
There are several considerations to make before deciding to proceed with a debt consolidation company. As with any large decision, it’s helpful to have an understanding of the pros and cons associated. Some of them include:
- You can typically consolidate multiple high-interest debts into a single lower-interest payment.
- The company that you partner with will typically help you to negotiate to repay less than you owe.
- Average reduction after fees may save you up to 30% from what you owe to your creditors.
- Almost all companies have no monthly fees associated with their service.
- Reviews for almost all companies in the industry tout excellent customer service throughout the process.
- Fees associated with the process can vary between companies. Ensure that you negotiate a competitive rate and shop around.
- Not all companies are licensed in all states. Ensure that the company that you’re researching is licensed in your state.
- Your short-term credit may be severely impacted.
What is the Process of Debt Consolidation?
The process of starting debt consolidation is pretty straightforward and typically entails the following steps:
- Research and identify companies that may be right for you. Fill out an online form or give them a call to start the process.
- Discuss what options may be available to you; what you may qualify for; what your payments and schedule may look like; what can be negotiated.
- Work with a company to create a program that is custom tailored to your needs. Ensure that you approve each aspect and work with your customer service representative to ensure that the program works for you.
- Stick with the payment schedule and aim to reduce or eliminate most of your debt within 24-48 months.
- Enjoy your new financial freedom of reducing or eliminating your debt. Ensure that you read up on financial tips on reducing spend and increasing your savings as a best practice.
How We Rate Debt Consolidation Companies
We independently identify debt consolidation companies. From there our editors review them in a myriad of ways from impartially secret shopping to checking consumer reviews to validating fees, types of products offered, and consumer reviews other criteria. Our goal is to present objective representations of companies to give consumers informed information to make a decision. Disclosure: We do receive advertising compensation from some partners. For additional details please click here.