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How to choose a Debt Consolidation Company

Living paycheck to paycheck? Worried about debt collectors? Can’t seem to develop a workable budget, let alone save money for retirement? If this sounds familiar, you may want to consider the services of a Debt Consolidation Company.

Debt Consolidation may offer educational materials and workshops, or help you develop a budget. Many offer services nationwide through local offices or the Internet. Look under "debt consolidation" or "credit counseling" in your telephone directory or your Internet search engine.

Debt Repayment Plans

If your financial difficulties arise from too much debt or an inability to repay your debts, they may work out a Debt Repayment Plan for you. In these plans, you deposit money each month with the company. Your deposits are used to pay your creditors according to a payment schedule the counselor develops with you.

As part of the repayment plan, you may have to agree not to apply for — or use — any additional credit while you’re participating in the program. A successful repayment plan requires you to make regular, timely payments, and could take 48 months or longer to complete. Most companies charge a monthly fee that could add up to a significant charge over time.

A debt repayment plan does not erase your credit history. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, accurate information about your accounts can stay on your credit report for up to seven years. A bankruptcy can stay on your report for ten years. In addition, your creditors will continue to report information about accounts that are handled through a debt repayment plan. For example, creditors may report that an account is in financial counseling, that payments have been missed, or that there are write-offs or other concessions. But a demonstrated pattern of timely payments should help you get credit in the future.

 


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