You are in Debt, you are struggling, you can’t pay your bills. What do you do? Like most people, you turn to the Internet. After all, the Internet has all of the answers. It is true that you probably can find the answers you are looking for online. However, you are definitely going to also find all of the wrong answers, and no shortage of websites, sales people, and hucksters more than willing to sell you down the river to make a dollar.
Just type “Debt Help” into google and it will return hundreds of thousands of websites claiming to have the best program to get rid of your debt. What you need is a knowledgeable financial adviser and what you get from google is endless pages of generic websites making outlandish claims and asking you to fill out a form with all of your personal information and the amount of debt so some nameless sales person can call you back and sell you a program you probably don’t need.
When looking for Debt Help, here are some general rules you can use to avoid making a bad financial situation much worse.
1. Take your Time. Never work with anyone that is pressuring you to make a rash decision that you are not fully educated on or ready to make. This might well be one of the most important financial decisions that you will ever make and it will certainly affect you and your family for several years. You didn’t get into this mess overnight and you will not get out of it overnight. So taking an extra week or two to think things over, and discuss your options with loved ones is definitely a smart move.
That being said, there may be rare occasions where you do need to make a quick decision. If you were served with a lawsuit and need to file a response in a few days or something of that nature, then a quick decision is necessary, but things like that are much more the exception and not the rule. So make sure to take the extra time to confirm you are making the absolute best decision for you and your family given the circumstances that you are in.
2. Research the best solution or strategy for you and your specific situation. Make sure you look into all options available, understand the pros and cons of each and have a clear idea about why one strategy or a combination of a few strategies will be the best solution for you. Before moving forward with anything you should be educated on how the following strategies would affect you.
3. You should seek out knowledgeable financial advisers, not sales people, to review your overall situation. To tell the difference you need to pay attention to what is being said during the consultation. Is the majority of the time spent asking questions about you, your finances, your situation, what you would like to accomplish, what different options make the most sense to explore and why … etc?
Or is the majority of time spent telling you about all the great features and benefits of the specific program that they are selling? Any adviser worth his/her salt would never make any recommendations without a good understanding of your overall financial situation, your goals, and your attitude about debt. If someone is making recommendations without asking you these things, then politely hang up the phone because they are just wasting your time.
4. Once you have a pretty good idea about which strategy makes the most sense, you need to determine the best person or company to help you implement that strategy. You will want to know things like their track record, how long they have been in business, what is their fee structure, what are they going to specifically do for you as a client … etc. You should have a list of things that you are looking for and make sure the person or company has the qualities that are important to you.
5. Do not sign up with any program that you do not understand. When properly explained none of the financial concepts listed above are complicated or difficult to understand. If you do not understand what you are signing up into it is simply because the person signing you up either didn’t bother to educate you on it (Big Red Flag) or is just a sales person that doesn’t understand it either (Bigger Red Flag).
During my consultations I have spoken with 100’s of families that have been left in absolute financial ruin by taking financial advice from individuals that are nothing more than telemarketers with fancy titles. To avoid falling victim to an unscrupulous company and making a bad situation worse, remember these 5 points:
1. Take your time
2. Research all available options
3. Consult with a Knowledgeable Financial Adviser
4. Find the person or company to assist you that best meets your needs
5. Make sure you have a strong understanding before signing up into any program.
Sticking with those 5 points when looking for Debt Help will go a long way toward insuring that you are focusing on the right solution and working with the right partners to help you successfully get out of debt.