This following is a guest post from one of our readers.
It goes without saying that we could all use a bit of help with our debt. It also goes without saying, that if you’re looking for quality, it comes at a price. There’s a world of difference between merely browsing the web for some trivial information and getting truly professional debt advice. In fact, it could make that decisive difference between eventually having to file for bankruptcy and being able to get back into the black again.
If the costs involved with debt advice may scare you off, you’re not alone. And yet, when working with the right company, debt advice may even end up saving you money in the end. What you need to understand is that debt advice is a task that requires your active participation. If you follow these four steps rather than sitting by idly, you are sure to reap the full benefits of debt advice
1. Be prepared
Before you even call a debt management agency for the first time, you should be able to have at least a basic knowledge of the topics and terminology surrounding debt. There are some good introductory articles to be found on the web and your local library should at least have a few books on the subject as well. Make sure to perform a thorough check on your financial status: How much do you have in cash across all of your accounts? Are there any notable assets to speak of? Do you have debts with just one or multiple creditors? By researching these questions, you will quickly discover your knowledge deficits and weak spots.
2. Start reducing your debt – right now
No one is keeping you from reducing your debt today. So why don’t you just go ahead and do it? Check all of your current expenses for their necessity. Evaluate your income situation and how to improve it. See if you can sell off some items to inject cash into your account. There are always several opportunities to free money to pay off your debts – and you should grab them.
3. Find the right debt advice company
After you’ve taken all of these steps, it is now time to start speaking to an expert. Debt management companies will be able to use all of the information you’ve gathered to suggest ideas you haven’t come up with yet or to show you options you didn’t know existed. Most of all, they’ll be able to address your situation personally and without bias. Choosing the right agency is vital in this regard. Before speaking to anyone, take a look at the company’s website: Are they making any unrealistic promises, such as ‘getting you debt-free in no time’? Has the company been awarded for its service level in the past? Are they part of organisations promoting fairness and openness in the industry? These are points to consider before you start talking to them.
4. Ask questions
A debt advice session with the right company is almost certain to benefit you. But it will be even more useful if you don’t just listen to what your specialist is telling you, but if you ask her or him questions. This will, on the one hand, provide you with a clearer picture of whether the company is really out to help you. The more personal and helpful the answer, the better. On the other, it will allow you to arrive at your own conclusions and take decisions as an equitable partner. Debt advice is not just about providing information, it is about empowering you to live your life just the way you want again.