Finding the right Consumer Credit Counselor
A lot of different debt consolidation agencies who purport to be non-profit agencies really do stand to make a profit at the expense of people in need of debt counselling, according to a recent report. Although these companies claim to bne non-profit, thus benefitting the people in need of their service over the business as a whole, many have been found to charge high fess to most of their customers. In addition, the consumer debt sounceling that some offer have been found lacking insofar as legitimate advice. Some of these companies have been caught redhanded giving advice that is not correct or a downright lie as well as charging high fees. What this amounts to is the abuse of their non-profit status in order to lure desperately hopeful people in. There are estimates that suggest that American debt is grwoing, and that with over nine million people contacting a debt counselling service each year the industry is becoming a big business.
Many companies have an agressive attitude towrds reeling in clients and maximizing on their business despite the fact that they are supposed to be non-profit. These businesses are really only using the non-profit status as a pretense, and are in fact offering their clients less access to real help when it comes to debt relief options. INstead of laying out all the alternatives to their clients, these companies tend to push the idea of a consolidation loan to individuals. This, of course, means that debtors will end up owing the company money as opposed to their former creditors. Although there are consumer watchdogs put in place at both the state and federal levels of government to regulate these practices, many of the companies are simply good at hiding the fact that they are indulging in questionable practices.
ALthough there are a high number of shady businesses out there, it is important to remember that not all non profit debt consolidation agencies are detrimental options for their clients. Many of the legitimate companies have paved new roads as far as meeting the needs of their clients by introducing new measures of debt reduction and making the process more convenient, such as extended hours, easy access via the Internet or by phone, and electronic bill payment options.
Despite the number of legitimately practicing companies out there, the number of complaints by consumers against non profit debt agencies continues a sharp climb. The main issue among complainants seems to be that the bad companies frequently indulge in practices that are misleading and deceptive. One major deception is companies who claim that fees are voluntary, or purposefully neglecting to mention the fees to potential clients. Another practice is to forget to make the payments to the debtor's creditors.
Another major thing to watch out for from less than reputable non-profit debt consolidation businesses is excessive costs. The original idea behind debt consolidation companies was to make the payments lower and thus more affordable for the consumer. However, some companies today are charging fees that may be as much as one full month's payments for their services in beginning an account.
ONe of the reasons that non-profit status is so desirable is that agencies operating under this label have tax exemption status on many levels. This means that there is even more potential to havea windfll of profits, as the companies indulge in telltale signs of profit making such as expensive advertisement campaigns, selling debt management programs, and salaries for exectuvies which far exceed the average salaries of most non-profits.
If you are thinking about using the services a non-profit debt consolidation company offers, make sure to check and see if there are any signs that the company you are researching is in fact interested in making profit after all. If you are not careful, you could end up in a tighter bind than when you first walked in their door. Look for references and wathc out for simple solutions!
About the Author: Eric Slarkowski is publishing essentially for http://www.creditenio.com , an online publication on the topic of business debt , credit repair and other topics.You might discover his writings on finding a good consumer counselor over at http://www.creditenio.com/consumer.html and different sources for debt counselling knowledge.