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    honeybee2933's Avatar
    honeybee2933 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Dec 4, 2008, 08:20 AM
    To use or not to use a debt consolidation company?
    I am about a year and a half out of college and, unfortunately, made some bad financial choices while in school and just after school. Luckily, I do not have any student loans, but my total debt is approximately $11,300.00 (I know, I know... ). I moved from NC to Chicago where, obviously, the cost of living is much higher. I have been with my company for two and a half years, a good salary for having just graduated, and a secure job in this turbulent economy. Currently, I am able to make the minimum payments, but my credit is poor due to past payment history. Besides, paying the minimum, as we all know, does not budge the debt needle. It is also understood that paying off the smallest amount first is the route o go, but the two cards have about an equal amount. I have been looking into using a debt consolidation company, but am terrified by testimonials I've heard. Is there any such thing as a "good and honest" debt consolidation company or should I just suck it up and try to do this by myself?
    tickle's Avatar
    tickle Posts: 23,800, Reputation: 2674
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    #2

    Dec 4, 2008, 09:36 AM

    You cold look into a low interest credit line, mine is 5%. So it isn't hard to pay down principle this way.
    kayebird's Avatar
    kayebird Posts: 25, Reputation: 2
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    #3

    Dec 4, 2008, 07:07 PM

    If you decide on using a debt consolidation company, make sure it is designated "non-profit" or a community debt counseling service - the ones who are not non-profit are the ones you hear most complaints about. Some keep more of your money and pay very little on the principal and you are in worse shape than when you started. There are community debt assistance agencies available almost everywhere. Do a little research first, especially the better business bureau and other consumer sources.
    goldie_9256's Avatar
    goldie_9256 Posts: 24, Reputation: 1
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    #4

    Dec 6, 2008, 07:30 PM

    Check out debt MANAGEMENT. I agree with kayebird.. make sure it is not profit. I have heard of CLEARPOINT financial. They helped a couple of friends of mine and were great.
    ZoeMarie's Avatar
    ZoeMarie Posts: 2,049, Reputation: 468
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    #5

    Dec 6, 2008, 07:39 PM

    I can tell you that when I started to use a debt management program they started paying my bills late which made it even harder for me to pay them down. I finally said "screw it" and called the companies myself and asked them if they could lower the interest rates for me so I could pay them down faster. And I didn't have more than 2000 but I did get it all paid off a lot faster that way. So calling your creditors first is my suggestion. They might work with you if you ask them.

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