Nonprofit debt management programs can be a big help when are you working toward freedom from debt. You’ll rely on your debt management program (DMP) to handle sensitive personal information and to distribute your payments to creditors, so it’s important to choose one that’s trustworthy. Some research is necessary to determine if a program is reputable and appropriate for you.
A good first step is to contact your state’s nonprofit registry to verify that the organization does, in fact, hold nonprofit status. Next, look at the organization’s Better Business Bureau record to make sure there aren’t unresolved complaints from consumers in its debt management program. Once you’ve checked that the program is in good standing with your state and the Better Business Bureau, it’s time to delve into specifics. The following are some things you should expect a reputable organization to do.
Give You Information on Its Services
Reputable nonprofit debt management programs provide free brochures and other resources to teach consumers about their services; they don’t ask you to pay just to learn about what they offer. A program shouldn’t require you to reveal lots of personal details about yourself while you’re still researching your options. Although you will have to pay fees and share information about your finances in order to join the program, the organization should not pressure you to give money or information before you decide to enroll.
Provide a Written Contract
A verbal promise from a program representative is not enough; the program needs to give you a written contract to sign. This contract should state which of your debts will be included in the program and what your obligations will be when you participate. In particular, the contract should state the program’s set-up fee, monthly fees, and annual fees if applicable.
Charge Low Fees
Nonprofit debt management organizations need to charge fees to cover the expenses of administering their programs. You can expect to pay a small fee to enter the program as well as monthly fees, which may vary depending on how many creditors you have. A reputable nonprofit debt management program will not demand a large sum of money up front or impose burdensome fees that you can’t afford.
Offer Financial Assistance if You Need Help Paying Its Fees
Good nonprofit debt management programs offer reduced fees to some participants who qualify. If you need help covering the fees, ask if you’re eligible for a reduction. If you can’t afford a program’s fees and it doesn’t offer financial assistance, look for a different program.
Good nonprofit debt management programs have people who want to help you get out of debt. When you choose the right program, your counselors will work with you to help you get yourself out of debt and on the road to financial freedom.
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Consumer Education Services, Inc. empowers people to overcome their financial challenges and lead financially-healthy lives.
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