Ads for debt consolidation companies dot the Internet. These companies promise to help you reduce your debt load by consolidating all your debts into one monthly payment that you can afford. As long as you make that payment on time, you won’t be harassed by collection agencies. However, there are some downsides to working with a debt consolidation program: Your credit score will drop. And the fees and interest rates can often be high. That’s why it’s so important for consumers to research any debt consolidation company with which they are considering working. This holds true, even for those companies advertising Christian debt consolidation. Just because companies say they’re Christian, doesn’t mean that they aren’t out to rip you off.
The Debt Consolidation Hope
Debt consolidation counseling can be a way for consumers to eliminate the stress that comes with overwhelming levels of debt. But when consumers work for a disreputable debt consolidation program, it can just make your financial situation worse. That’s why consumers need to ask the big questions before signing up for any debt consolidation counseling. Consumers should ask companies to put in writing exactly how much they charge in fees and interest rates. They should also ask how long it will take them to pay off their debt. Any debt consolidation firms that don’t provide clear answers to these questions should be avoided.
Christian Debt Consolidation
A growing number of companies promising Christian debt consolidation are also popping up on the Web. These firms say that they work with consumers in a compassionate, Christian-based way to help them reduce their debt burden. Many of these companies also say that they are non-profit. But all unsecured debt consolidation, even when it’s advertised as Christian, requires consumers to shell out a significant amount of money to reduce their debt. Eliminating debt doesn’t come cheap. Even Christian debt consolidation services can overcharge for debt consolidation counseling. Consumers, then, must do their homework before working with any company, even when they tag themselves with the “Christian” category.
Alternatives to Debt Consolidation
Even when Christian and other debt consolidation companies treat their customers fairly, this economic strategy isn’t always the best solution for struggling individuals. It’s not so much the fees that are a problem, but the damage that debt consolidation can do to consumers’ credit scores. That’s why it’s usually in consumers’ best interests to look for alternatives when possible. A home equity loan might allow consumers to pay off their debts without hurting their credit scores. Then there are family members who might be willing to provide a short-term low-interest-rate loan.