DO NOT Begin any Debt Management Program,
UNLESS the Company You Choose Meets these Six Criteria:
In fact, if these six criteria are not met, don’t even get your hopes up…
- The company has been in business for over one year.
If 9 out of 10 new businesses fail within one year, why would you want your financial future dependent upon the success of a brand-new business?
There’s been an explosion of debt management, debt settlement, debt negotiation and credit counseling companies in the past 1-2 years. Check to see when the company you’re looking at began operations. BEWARE of brand new companies that will ask for your business today, yet will be out of business by this time next year.
- The company’s Reliability Report with the Better Business Bureau is both listed and free of unresolved complaints.
Check here and watch out for companies with a long list of complaints:Look at how long the company has been in business and contrast that against the number of complaints the company has had. It’s very rare for a company to be in business for very long without getting any complaints, although some have done it. Pay close attention, however, and RUN from any company who’s only been in business for a short time yet has a list of complaints with the BBB.
If a company does have complaints, be sure they are resolved. Ask the company about the complaint and trust your gut when you hear their response. Is it genuine and understandable or do they sound defensive like they are covering something up?
- The company requires complete information from current statements BEFORE ever giving you a quote.
The Debt Consultant / Counselor / Specialist requires you to provide all current statements for your debt accounts before quoting you a monthly payment amount, length of program or estimate of how much you can reduce your debt.
Beware of anyone who gives you a quote without thoroughly researching your account statuses, creditor names, balance transfer, cash advance and large purchase activities, minimum payment amounts and interest rates FIRST. This is the surest sign of a company who is only out for your initial fees and either has no intention or ability to service your accounts after you sign up.
- The company is working for you, not your creditors.
In whose best interest is the company looking out for? Better make sure you know! If you ask a bankruptcy attorney what your best option is, what do you think you’ll hear? Of course: bankruptcy. But is it really best for you, or best for the attorney who gets paid a healthy fee and never suffers the consequences of the bankruptcy filings that you must live with for the rest of your life?
What about the Mortgage Banker or the Credit Counselor? Think they work for you? Think again…
- The company is focused on helping you find the right solution for your situation, not forcing you into the only solution they provide.
Is it possible for a company who only provides a single solution to provide you with unbiased guidance in making such an important financial decision? Maybe. But is it likely? No way. There’s a trend in financial services that a few companies are finally catching on to, and that is focusing on a client’s needs and meeting those needs, instead of trying to “put a square block into a round hole”.
Many companies specialize in a single solution and they are indeed the best at providing such a service, but how do you know that’s the solution that’s best for you? Who do you go to for guidance in deciding what’s best for your situation? Look for a company who can provide any solution you may need. Find a company whose focus is finding your best solution, instead of fitting “their solution” onto you.
- The company has real results, a solid, proven track record and plenty of actual clients who are raving fans recommending their services.
Take some time to read testimonials, if they are offered at all. Ask yourself if they are genuine. Listen if you can. Look for a company who can show you examples of what they do, proof of the results they claim and plenty of people to refer to who have experienced the company’s services.