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3 Steps to Take Before Joining a Debt Management Plan

There are three steps you want to take before signing up for any debt management plan. Debt management is a strategy to get you out of debt, but you should be well informed about your situation and your options before participating in a debt management plan. The more prepared and informed you are, the better you will understand the process and options that are available to you even before discussing the situation with your credit counselor.

1 - Talk to your creditors yourself

Creditor are out to make money. This is why they lend you money and charge you interest. The fact is, they would rather you pay back your debt than pay back a lesser amount than what you owe or file for bankruptcy, in which case they may get nothing. Many of the negotiations that are done by a credit counselor can be done by you. You can be successful at getting your interest rates lowered and maybe even lower than they would be in a debt management plan. My own negotiations were so good when I was having debt problems that my interest rates were much lower than they would have been on a debt management plan. Give it a try. You might be surprised at the results.

3 - Work out a budget

If you're having debt problems, working out a budget is the first and most necessary step to solving your debt problem. Sometimes the problem can solve itself by taking a good hard look at just how much money you have coming in, how much is going out, how much of your spending is necessary and how much isn't. If you're spending $10 a day on lattes, that's $300 a month that could be spent paying down debt. This step may take a while and takes diligence, but by looking at your pay stubs and your receipts, you may discover a major source of your debt problem.

2 - Find a reputable credit-counseling agency

You need to do some research before finding the right debt management plan for you. Debt problems are not rare these days. Ask around and find someone you know who may have had experience with debt management plans and reputable credit counseling agency. If you think you've found the right debt management plan, check with the Better Business Bureau to see if the credit counseling agency is reputable. Some credit counseling agencies are not and can do more harm than good when you're trying to get out of debt. You also want to talk with your creditors to make sure they work with that particular credit counseling agency.

These steps can save you a lot of time and hassle. If you work through steps one and two, you may discover that you don't need a debt management plan after all. However, if necessary, make sure you thoroughly research any debt management plan and credit counseling agency you choose.

For more ways on how to save money and manage your debt, go to Credit Managment 101

The author runs Credit Management 101 - a website dedicated to issues concerning debt and credit management

Source: www.articlealley.com