Debt consolidation tips can be the help you need to get out of debt or totally send you down the wrong path. How can you tell which it's going to be? The bad news is that you really can't.

Debt consolidation help that would work great in my situation isn't always going to work in yours. Fortunately, there are a few tips on debt consolidation that are tried and true, which we'll look at in this article.

Keep in mind that debt consolidation isn't for everyone. If you still have a good credit score and a shot at paying your debt back on your own, you'll be much better off that way. Debt consolidation use will remain on your credit report for years to come, and may hurt your score if it's fairly high in the first place.

So, I'm assuming that this isn't your case, and your credit score sucks as bad as mine did before I used debt consolidation. If so, read on!

Debt Consolidation Options

The most important debt consolidation tip that you can find is to not sign up with the first consolidation company that you talk to. Signing up right away will almost guarantee that you won't get as good of terms as you could if you'd have shopped around. It's a lot like buying a car. If the one you really want is at a dealer near you, Murphy's law says that the same car is on the lot of the other dealership on the other side of town for thousands of dollars less. Don't let this happen to you!

In order to shop around for your debt consolidation, don't hesitate to call them up and seek advice. This is exactly what I did. I called 12 or so consolidation companies just to chat about my situation and see what kind of options they had for me. They didn't pull up my credit report or look in depth into my situation, it was only a conversation. This allowed me to gauge what kind of company they were and if I wanted to be with them for the next seven years. The company that I chose actually gave me enough information that I probably could have done the entire debt consolidation on my own, but I chose to use them because of their sincere helpfulness and customer service. They didn't have the best rates out of all the ones I talked to, but I was able to trust them with my situation.

Another good debt consolidation tip is go with a company that has been around for a while. The longer they've been around, the more likely it is that they have a strong relationship with the companies that you owe money to. If they've been working together for years, odds are they will be able to give you a better offer on your debt than a new company would. Usually, I'm all about helping the little guy, except when it came to getting me out of debt!

Debt Management Options

A good and reputable debt consolidation company will help with more than just getting you out of debt. They'll also teach what to do when you get your next credit card, how to stick to a budget, and how to manage the debt that you'll create in the future. You should be able to judge whether or not your debt consolidation company will do this during your initial conversations.

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