Researching debt consolidation companies used to be a challenge. It required consumers to call dozens of companies that offered debt consolidation loans to quiz them about the interest rates and fees they charged. Today, though, the process has gotten far easier. You can thank the Internet for this. The Internet has changed the way people shop, get their news, entertain themselves and communicate with each other. It should be little surprise, then, that it has also changed the way in which people deal with their debt.
When consumers face overwhelming debt today, they can turn to their favorite search engines to start their research on which debt consolidation companies are right for them. They can start by researching companies’ own home pages. These pages often provide basic information about the services that debt consolidation companies offer, the rates they charge and how they determine their fees. But consumers shouldn’t stop there. They should enter debt companies’ names into Google News to see if any negative headlines pop up. They should scan online message boards to see if anyone’s complaining about bad service or unreasonable fees. And, of course, they should visit the online home of the Better Business Bureau to see how many complaints the debt consolidation companies that they are considering have racked up.
Don’t Stop With Online
Online research is helpful for consumers considering debt consolidation loans. However, this type of research should be just the beginning. Consumers also need to do their in-person or by-phone research before deciding to work with any particular debt consolidation firm. This means that consumers need to ask any debt consolidation company with which they are interested in working to provide them with their exact interest rates and fees in writing. They should also ask these companies how long it will take them to pay off their loan and what impact taking out a debt consolidation loan will have on their credit scores. Companies that won’t provide this information are companies that consumers should avoid.
Don’t Be Misled
There are some dangers to online debt consolidation research, too. Consumers, when they search for debt firms, may find several companies promising Christian debt consolidation, free debt consolidation or non-profit debt consolidation. It’s important for consumers to understand that the vast majority of debt consolidation companies are in business to make money. Few, if any, will provide you debt consolidation services for free. Even companies that promote themselves as Christian or non-profit might charge unreasonable rates and fees. Consumers researching online must make sure to keep their guard up for possible scams or exorbitant fees, even when they’re working with non-profit or Christian debt consolidation companies.