Debt Management Programs ? A Legitimate Way To Secure Financial Freedom

Written by admin on April 27th, 2011

If you’re one of those unfortunate individuals inundated by debt counseling commercials each time you sit down to watch TV, you are probably apt to believe the hype that these agencies are there to assist you with your credit problems and create a useful debt management program to help you achieve financial freedom. Sadly enough, most consumers don’t look past those catchy tunes and slogans and well-dressed advocates fervently thanking the debt management company for its assistance. If you take them up on their offers, you might as well just resign yourself to paying more in interest and fees for their “assistance.”

To be fair, however, choosing to eliminate your debt and achieve financial freedom with a counseling agency involves a careful analysis of just how much you owe and whether or not you think you’ll be able to stick to your own meticulously devised debt management program and payment schedule. If you want to stay on track, you have to keep yourself going – will you be able to do that alone? The answer should be affirmative if you are serious about getting out of debt. The way that debt reduction counseling services operate is to take one monthly payment from you and then distribute this money among the creditors with whom you have an outstanding balance. The agency has succeeded in securing lower payments and interest for you; however, your credit is now worthless, and you might as well have filed for Chapter 13. If you want to keep your current credit from sinking even lower, don’t use a debt counseling agency to achieve the financial freedom you are seeking.

Achieve Financial Freedom on Your Own

The best way to eliminate your debts and achieve financial freedom is to sit down and devise your own debt management program. The best advice in this case is to make more than you spend, and while you’re thinking that’s quite an obvious statement to make, sometimes it takes a bit of bluntness to make this reality set in. Not only will meticulous planning save you time and, more importantly, money, but it will provide a degree of pleasure in having accomplished a number of your credit hurdles as well. The only truly effective way to get out of debt and achieve financial freedom is by making your own carefully constructed budget and debt management program, and as scary as that might sound, it’s easier than you think.

If Push Comes to Shove

In case of an extreme debt crisis, you may be forced to work with a debt counseling agency in order to achieve financial freedom. Here are some things you should consider:

The debt counselor and agency are there to make money. While they’re offering a handy service, remember that they’re not there just for you – so take advantage of the situation. Ask questions and use the counselor’s offers for credit assistance much as you would any resource.
Make sure you have a counselor you feel comfortable with and that you have one who will attempt to go the extra mile for you when necessary.
If offered a loan (loan consolidation) to pay off your existing debts, ensure that you can pay the monthly payment. Research the interest rates, fees, and terms of the loan, and don’t settle if you’re not happy.
Understand the particulars of your debt management program and how they approach paying off debts to your creditors. An ideal debt management program deals with all of your debts – picking and choosing who to pay is no longer an option.
Evaluate the cost of the debt management program thoroughly – is it really beneficial to pursue a service that helps you get out of debt and achieve financial freedom by charging you ridiculously high fees to do so?

Remember to think this approach through – aside from destroying your credit, you are responsible for more payments, making it harder to get out of debt and achieve financial freedom effectively.

Better Alternatives to Debt Reduction Counseling

With over 60% of credit-card holders carrying a balance (1), there are many others fighting the same battle against debt. Congratulations if you’ve decided to tackle the problem on your own. You are now in charge and are personally responsible for your own debt management program. There are a few ways to start on the path to achieve financial freedom:

Acquire a copy of your credit report to begin monitoring your current activity but also to catch up on what’s been happening with your credit thus far.
Stop using your credit cards immediately. Remove them from your wallet so you aren’t tempted to use them.
Create your own payment plan and debt management program by consulting your creditors one-on-one. They may be able to work something out with you in order to reduce your monthly payments.
Construct a monthly budget and outline who you will pay and how much you will pay each billing cycle.
Do not cancel your accounts – this is a harmful action and could negatively affect your credit score.
Resolve to be devoted to paying off your debts until they are all gone – start with smaller debts first and work your way up. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results. Cut frivolous spending in order to achieve the financial freedom you’ve been dreaming of, and you’ll see a change in your credit in due time.

Using your own knowledge and planning skills can help you eliminate your debts and achieve financial freedom. Change won’t happen overnight, but you must be dedicated to paying your creditors with a finely-tuned debt management program until the situation is resolved. It’s not an easy path, but it’s a necessary one for financial and personal responsibility.

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