If It Sounds Too Good... Watch Out
for Promises They Can't Keep.
Stay away from firms that promise "easy"
debt consolidation programs or that offer to "repair" your credit report for a
fee. If you face serious credit problems, there are no "easy" answers. Look for
these answers instead.
NOTE: Sources used to create this list
1 - Will you send me information about your agency
and programs? A credit or financial counseling agency should send you information
without requiring anything from you-such as your account numbers and balances.
2 - Is there a minimum amount of debt required in order to work with you?
The answer should always be "no."
3 - Is there a mandatory up-front fee?
Beware of paying exorbitant fees to participate in a debt repayment program.
- What kind of training do your employees have? A home study course or a few hours
of classes is NOT sufficient training for credit counselors.
5 - What kind
of security measures do you have to protect my information? Will information you
disclose be protected, such as your social security number, account numbers, account
6 - What educational programs and services do you provide?
An agency should provide education and services that will help you change your
spending behavior and prepare you to buy a home.
7 - How often do you pay
my creditors? Make sure that the agency you work with disburses payments at least
weekly. A repayment plan won't help you if your payment sits at the agency for
Make sure you ask these questions and you should avoid choosing
the WRONG credit counseling agency.
take a look at some pitfalls to watch out for.
8 of 10