When you visit the Government of Canada website, this is the first thing they say about using debt consolidation companies:
“Consumer alert: Some companies offering help to pay off debt or repair credit are misleading consumers.”
Unfortunately, there are many companies out there claiming to help those who are financially struggling, only to scam and mislead their clients.
However, there are companies out there who are genuinely there to help you consolidate your debt in the most cost-effective way. It may take some time, but in the end, doing that research will save you more money in the long run. When looking for the right debt consolidation company to help you with your debt, there are a few key things you need to look for.
Look for a company that represents the debtor
The biggest problem with most consolidation companies is that they can’t solely represent a debtor. Their statutory duties do not allow it as it is in conflict with their duties to the creditors. In addition, the larger the settlement, the more they get paid. There is a lack of companies out there that are truly looking out for your best interests.
When looking for the right company to consolidate your debt with, work with a company that is a part of the Canadian Debtors Association. The CDA firmly believes that debtors should have and deserve their own advocate that solely works for them. Any company that is in association with the CDA shares those same beliefs and values. They want to represent their clients and ONLY their clients. No fine print, no secretly representing big banks and other creditors, just debtor representation.
Review client testimonials
When was the last time you made a financial decision without turning to Google to look at a company’s reviews? When choosing the right debt consolidation company, it’s best to look at testimonials to see what others have said about their experience. Anything less than an overwhelming number of 5-star reviews should be avoided. If you want real results, read the stories in the client testimonials. Are they genuine accounts of what people have experienced, or are they all generic responses? It’s always good to see what others are saying before making a final decision.
Ask the right questions
If you want to learn more about a debt consolidation company or you want to compare services, reach out to the company, and ask questions such as:
- How long have you been in business?
- What is your approach to debt consolidation?
- Can you guarantee that lenders will stop calling me?
- What can I expect my financial situation to look like 1 year from now? 5 years? 10 years?
It is important to ask these questions to find out how knowledgeable a company’s debt-relief specialists are. If they are able to provide you with real information and helpful answers to your questions, that’s a very good sign. If a company can’t provide you with an answer or an honest response to these questions, you should continue your search.
See what the company is promising and ask yourself if it is realistic
Watch out for companies claiming or promising any outrageous or unrealistic results. If anyone claims they can eliminate your debt in weeks or anything along those lines, those companies should be avoided.
Everyone’s financial situation is different. There is no way a company can promise that all your debt will be gone in a certain time frame. For some, their debt can be paid off in a few days, for others it can take months or years to pay off. When looking for the right debt consolidation company, work with someone who states they will help you create a plan to eliminate your debt. Someone who will provide you with real advice to help you relieve your debt and get you on the right track to debt freedom, not someone who will do it all for you.
Consider the fees
For the services they provide, most consolidation companies will charge a fee, everyone has to earn a living, let’s be honest. But how do they earn their living, that’s the question? With some companies, as mentioned above, the more you pay – the more they earn. If a company says they don’t charge a fee, that usually means they have built the fee into your repayment plan. Most credit counsellors charge a 15% processing fee based on the amount of your debt. Again, it’s good to call a few different companies and compare prices alongside the services they offer.
Choose a company that makes you comfortable and doesn’t pressure you
When you call different consolidation companies, the biggest thing to consider is who makes you the most comfortable. Your finances are not something you want to take chances on. So, make sure you work with someone who is knowledgeable and can provide you with more than enough information to help you eliminate your debt. You should never feel pressured or pushed into making a decision.
Work with us at 4 Pillars today
If you have been searching for the right debt consolidation company to help relieve your debt, you’ve come to the right place. At 4 Pillars, we are proud members of the CDA, and every day our debt relief specialists fight for debtor rights. Our staff has helped thousands of Canadians pay off and eliminate their debt in the most cost-effective ways possible. With our help, we will recommend the right consolidation process for your situation, personalize it to your needs, and you can complete the plans we create for you to help pay off your debts for good.
To get started, book your free consultation with us today. We have three offices across Northern Ontario. You can reach our Muskoka & Parry Sound office at 705-640-0187, our North Bay office at 705-980-0158, or our Sudbury office at 705-806-1252. While there are many debt consolidation businesses out there, feel confident in knowing your finances are in good hands with our team at 4 Pillars. A debt-free life is possible. Ask us any of the questions above and more. We’re always thorough and we’re always looking out for your best interests.