Many people who are drowning in debt feel there is nothing they can do to get out of the bad financial situation. They see ads on TV promising debt relief and debt help. They receive messages in their email box encouraging them to call and resolve their debt issues. For anyone in this stressful and hopeless situation, these ads and emails seem like an answer to their prayers. Anyone who is in debt should be very careful about seeking help for their financial problems. Many people who say they will help you end up charging exceptionally high fees and do little to help resolve your debt problems.

There are many credit counseling organizations. When you decide that you need help in resolving your debt and credit issues, you should research any potential companies before signing up for their program. Credit counselors will help you with a variety of tasks including helping you to determine a monthly budget which includes the amount you can pay toward debt, and negotiating with your creditors on a monthly payment amount. The fees you pay to these counselors should be minimal. Many credit counseling agencies are supported by credit companies who want to find a mutually agreeable solution.

Although working with a credit counselor can help you meet ends meet and pay off your debt, many credit counselors do not provide the most beneficial services. If you are seeking this type of assistance, you should look for warning signs that the agency you are considering may not be the most reputable. The first warning sign is that they charge excessive fees up front before they have provided you with any service. Reputable credit counseling services charge no more than $20 a month for the service once they have worked with you and reviewed your personal situation. Another sign that an agency may not be legitimate is that they pressure you into additional donations or to sign the paperwork before you have a full understanding of the services they will provide. They may even refuse to send you information, return your calls or provide you with sufficient information.

Some agencies also try to encourage you to negotiate your debt by not paying your bills for several months. After that period, they tell you they will negotiate an amount to be paid that is less than what you actually owe. This practice can be very damaging to your long term credit rating. Companies that do this type of negotiation for you often ask you to deposit money into an account that they will manage and when the negotiation is complete, they will pay your debt. If you decide that negotiating with your creditors is a good option for you, you can negotiate the debt payment on your own and do not need to pay excessive fees for this service. You will need to contact your credit card companies and explain your situation. In most cases they will be more than willing to work with you and work out a plan that is mutually agreeable.