Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Is It Safe To Consolidate Debt Online?

Many people are looking to consolidate debt online because they're short on time and money. However, it's important to proceed with caution. Take the time to explore what's available and decide upon the best course of action for you.

Some people are motivated to consolidate debt online because they know they can save a lot of money by taking advantage of low interest rates. Others are panicking to find a quick and easy solution to help them deal with a mountain of debt.

Whatever your motivations, a decision to consolidate debt online may be the solution but before you make your decision or offer detailed personal information to debt consolidation companies check to see what they have to offer.

Don't consolidate debt online with the first company that promises to get you out of debt or help reach your goals quickly. If their promises sound too good to be true, you can bet they are.

The Better Business Bureau has received tens of thousands of complaints from consumers that have fallen prey to false representation and unethical practices of some debt management companies.

Whether you want to consolidate online or deal with a debt management company face to face consider the following tips:

* Find out if the company you want to deal with has a good record with related consumer agencies such as the Better Business Bureau.

* Stay clear of companies that fail to offer you a free consultation or those that offer a free consultation which includes little more than a sales pitch that promises to solve your problems if you sign up with them. You want someone who will thoroughly discuss your financial situation, needs and options.

* Don't give your business to companies that charge large, up-front fees to set up or manage the financial option you choose. A modest processing, application or credit report fee may be required though.

* Get all your questions answered and find out what the terms are. Companies that offer high interest rate loans with harsh conditions and penalties built into the consolidation loan are often the same high pressure companies that promise you the moon.

* Find out if the staff that you are dealing with is trained and/or certified to help consumers deal with personal finance issues such as credit, debt, budgeting, bankruptcy and so on. You only want to deal with trained, courteous and accessible staff members.

* Never give out your personal information unless you are familiar with the company, know why they require it and can provide it via a secure server if you're communicating online.

* Be leery of and certainly don't pay anyone that promises to repair your credit without finding out how they can do it legally and how you can do it yourself for free.

So is it safe to consolidate debt online?

Yes, it can be. By all means surf around the net to discover the best place for you to consolidate debt online. Before you decide on a company, do a background check, get all your questions answered and follow the above tips to protect yourself as you work to achieve your financial goals.


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