Most likely you are reading this article because you typed “free debt consolidation” in your browser window. You certainly had a lot of hits on that one and this is just one article of many. One of the things you will have noticed if you start reading articles that seem to be about this concept that there is really a lot of differing information in them. One main reason for this is the fact that there is a lot of ambiguity surrounding the term “free”. You may find an article that talks about free debt consolidation and they really mean there is no fee for the service. You may find another where the concept of free really only refers to the free material you can receive to learn more about debt consolidation.
So here we will discuss both of these concepts.
Free debt consolidation would appear to mean that you can have your debt consolidated into one single loan and you will not have to pay anything for this service. If you are someone who believes there is no such thing as a free lunch, you will probably be skeptical about this and assume there must be hidden fees involved, or they are just lying. Well, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. There are companies, which are true non profit companies that will help you to look at all of your debt and plan the best way to pay down the debt and also advise you on a budget and keeping within it. This is not the same as a debt consolidation company that will take your current bills and pay them down and you pay that company back at a slower rate; these non profit firms are not able to do this and this is not a service that usually comes for free, I’m sorry to report.
If however, you are talking about obtaining a free consultation from a debt consolidation company, you certainly can obtain this service for free. Debt consolidation companies want your business, otherwise they wouldn’t be in business. So they will be happy to have a representative sit down with you or speak to you over the phone about your questions regarding debt consolidation. You can always read about information regarding debt consolidation on the internet, but you may still be confused. As you are looking at the internet, you should make a list of questions to cover every topic that confuses you about debt consolidation. The representative will be happy to spend time with you to answer these questions if there is a chance they are going to get your business. While you are searching on the internet for information about debt consolidation, be sure to visit those sites that give consumer advice about unreputable debt consolidation companies, and also about how to get out of a debt consolidation contract if you do get stuck with one of them. There are even sites that will try to dissuade you from doing a debt consolidation loan. Read about that as well, since you want to know about all sides of the issue. These articles usually discuss companies that use practices that are at best, unethical, and at worst, illegal.
Whether you are online looking for information about “free” debt consolidation or about “free” information about debt consolidation, make sure you know what you are doing before you commit any funds to any organization. Even information that really is free may be totally valueless if the information is wrong. Debt consolidation that purports to be free may not be, and as you originally suspected, has hidden fees that may make your financial situation worse.
That is a reason that many debt counselors advise against using so called free debt consolidation services. You may be better off in the long run working with a company that has clearly stated written fees for their services. You know upfront what you are paying for, and you won’t get stuck with hidden fees that add even further to your debt. When the charges are listed clearly, you can calculate them and know for sure that consolidating your debt is going to cost “x” %. With hidden charges that free debt consolidation companies tack on, you may be paying a much higher rate in the long run and not even know it.
Jack K. Blacksmith