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Tuesday, May 17th
At first glance, you might look at the Debt Consolidation Care website and wonder if they're still in operation. The site looks outdated and has a copyright date from several years ago. But yes, you can still use this service to get help with your finances.
Not the smoothest website
It's still a little clunky, though. You start by filling out their contact form: just name, email, phone number, and the total debt amount you want to consolidate. From there a Debt Consolidation Care financial coach will get in contact with you via phone, to go over your current financial situation and decide on a debt repayment plan. You'll be assigned a dedicated Client Relationship Manager who will negotiate with creditors on your behalf, reduce your total debt/interest, and decide how much you'll pay each month towards your debts.
Used by a half-million members... or not?
How does it really work, though? It's a little slippery trying to figure that out. On the one hand, the site proudly says that it offers free debt counseling and assistance through "internet's first get-out-of-debt community" (the weird grammar is theirs, not ours) and that they've helped over 470,000 community members to get out of debt. And yet, out of nearly half a million members, there are only 12 testimonials on the site?
Free... or fee-based?
It gets even stranger. Looking at the background of Debt Consolidation Care, we learned about how its founder went to law school "in order to make himself aware of the US Federal and State laws" . That's nice, but it doesn't make him an expert on debt consolidation. Their expertise seems to come through a partnership with an actual firm, Oak View Law Group. They're referenced as Debt Consolidation Care's affiliate when you call the toll-free number and they're mentioned by at least one of DCC's clients in the testimonials. That service clearly states that clients will pay fees when OVLG successfully reduces/consolidates their debts: so while DCC is free to use, it looks like they eventually pass you off to a service that is not.
Still manages an "A+" from the BBB
The Better Business Bureau gives Debt Consolidation Care their highest accolades: an "A+" rating and accreditation. Given what we learned about DCC, it came as little surprise that the company is listed as an "internet marketing service" rather than having anything to do with financial services or debt consolidation. There were zero complaints registered with the BBB - and no customer reviews either.
No reason to choose this company first
At the end of the day, you can use the community-based resources offered by this site without paying a fee, and we encourage you to check out Debt Consolidation Care's social media channels if you'd like to get a feel for the kinds of articles and advice they provide before signing up. But, there are much more straightforward debt consolidation companies out there, and we're pretty sure you'll have a smoother time with a higher-ranked service.
Maybe you've gotten overwhelmed by credit card payments and overdue bills, and now you're wondering if there's any light at the end of the tunnel. Or, perhaps you're a financially-savvy consumer who wants to take advantage of lower interest rates, in order to pay off your mounting credit cards bills. Debt consolidation can be a smart strategy either way.
What, exactly, is debt consolidation? It's important to understand that companies offering it may mean different things. For some, debt consolidation is offered as a personal loan: you borrow funds that you use to pay off all of your outstanding debts. Your interest rate should be much lower than your credit cards, and now you've got a simplified, single payment to make each month. This can be a great way to boost your credit score by reducing the likelihood of making late payments (or none at all) and get on your feet again financially. On the other hand, you're in charge of using your loan money responsibly - and not to buy things you don't need!
Other providers of debt consolidation take a more hands-on approach, giving you credit counseling and even going to bat for you with your creditors. The services they provide may include negotiating a lower debt amount or getting your debt forgiven altogether! You might pay a monthly fee for this kind of debt consolidation, or it might be a flat fee based on how much money they saved you overall.
Either route you choose, there are a lot of options out there. How can you decide which one is right for you? Keep these points in mind as you weigh out the possibilities:
TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the best debt consolidation options available today. We're confident that this information will help you choose a strategy to pay down your debts and get your finances in order!
Select any 2 Debt Consolidation Companies to compare them head to head
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