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Debt consolidation programs can be a great option if you are in financial distress, but they are not all the same. In order to choose the right one, you need a basic understanding of what the programs can offer, what to watch out for and what terms are in your best financial interest. This article will provide you with much of that information. Continue reading to learn more.

If you’re trying to pay down your debt, try borrowing a bit from your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement account. Be careful with this, though. While you’re able to borrow from your retirement plan for low interest, failing to pay it back as you agreed, losing your job, or being unable to pay it all back, the loan will be considered dismemberment. Your taxes and penalties will then be assessed as for why funds were withdrawn early.

Be cautious about working with a company that has a lot of ads or that solicits through email campaigns. Good companies usually get referrals from other clients, which means they don’t have to resort to trying to drum up business through spam mail. Obviously, all companies will have some advertisements, but be wary of those that seem over the top.

Understand the difference between debt consolidation and a home equity loan. Many companies will guise a home equity loan (where you put your home on the line for the debt) as true debt consolidation. That’s not always the wisest move to make, especially if you have a family involved. Know the differences and the risks before making that decision.

To pay off your debt, try borrowing money from friends or family. This is a great way to save interest. That said, there may be several problems like possibly damaged relationships, expecting returned favors in the distant future despite paying it all back, and possible legal action from a family member or former good friend. Exercise caution when using this suggestion, and make sure to pay it all back in a timely fashion.

Before restructuring your financial situation with a debt consolidation loan, get a copy of your credit report. Analyze your habits and see where you stand with the major credit bureaus. Doing this will help you figure out what you have been doing wrong and what habits you need to change going forward.

Find out whether or not the counselors at a debt consolidation company work on commission. Those that do often have ulterior motives. You may be advised to get a certain type of service that is not necessarily in your best interest. Someone who is not working on a commission is more likely to look at the whole picture and figure out what is best for your needs.

If you’re checking out companies for debt consolidation, you’ll need to find out what the company’s reputation is. Solid information is crucial to making a good choice.

Always call your state’s consumer protection agency before signing anything with a debt consolidation agency. Make sure the agency is properly registered, has a valid license and no complaints filed. You should not work with a professional who is about to lose their license because of complaints filed by consumers.

Ensure that you’re working with a reputable debt consolidation firm and the counselors are certified. Check with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, or NFCC, for reputable counselors and companies. This will allow you to rest easy that the company you are using is trustworthy.

Prior to taking on debt consolidation, attempt to negotiate with creditors. For instance, ask for a break on interest rates if you stop using it altogether. You may be surprised at what you will be offered.

Ask your debt consolidation to list their services in writing. By requiring a legal contract stating what the debt consolidation company is to do, you can rest assured that all of your requirements are defined and completed. This legal contract can also protect you if you end up having to seek legal counsel against the debt consolidation company.

What is causing your debt? This is important to know before you consider loans. Just treating the symptoms will not cure the cause of your debt situation. Therefore, discover the cause(s) of why you are in debt, resolve it, and then pay off your outstanding debts.

Speak to an accountant before you get involved in a debt consolidation loan from a loved one. There are perks and problems associated with such a loan when it comes to income tax. The interest may be taxed, or they may receive tax deductions. Speaking to a pro will give you the scoop.

Remember that your lenders want to be paid back, even if it’s not in full. The cost of using a collections agency or going to court ends up coming out of the money you owe, and they don’t want to go that far. Talk to them about dealing with the situation through reduced interest rates or payment plans before considering a consolidation loan.

Make sure to pay your debt manager at least ten days before your payments are due to each creditor. This ensures that the money makes it to them in time and you don’t end up paying additional late fees. You can speak to your manager about scheduling your dates in this manner.

Learn how to have a good time without spending a lot of money. For example, going to the movies and purchasing snacks can cost as much as 50 dollars. Instead, ask your friends if they would like to come over to watch a movie and enjoy snacks at your home.

As has been stated, not all debt consolidation programs are right for everyone. To find the one that works for you, review the advice in this article once again. Consider it carefully when reviewing your options, and make sure to proceed with a high level of caution. By doing this, you will make a great financial decision that can help to get you out of debt.