10 Key Questions to Ask During a Free Consultation Session
Many people use debt as an incredible tool, but for others, it can be a huge burden. It does not take long for debts to accumulate and overwhelm an individual. This can come about from negligence, but it could also be from a major life change, such as the loss of a job. When debt starts to feel overwhelming, people may need help to properly dig themselves out. This is where a free legal consultation about credit can be very beneficial, but some people may not know exactly what to ask during these consultations.
Be Prepared for Your Free Consultation
The most important step before your free consultation is to prepare. Do not go in blind without any idea of what to ask or talk about. This can lead you to work with the wrong organization or miss out on important information. Here are 10 key questions that you should ask during a free legal credit consultation:
1. Is the organization accredited?
Accreditation shows that a credit counseling company has met a certain standard of education and training. This displays that it is qualified to help you. Most credit counseling organizations are non-profits that have achieved accreditation through either the National Foundation of Credit Counseling or BSI Group.
2. What is the cost of the debt counseling service?
The initial credit consultation should be free, but there may be a fee to actually use the service. There will often be an enrollment fee, which should not be above $75. There will also be a monthly fee for using the service and this will be lumped into your overall monthly payment. This is generally no more than $50.
3. How will this service impact my credit?
If the company claims that there will be no impact to your credit, then it is likely not a good organization. Typically, your credit will be impacted while you are part of the program, but it will likely improve after you have completed the program.
4. Who will I be paying once in the program?
The counselor should clearly explain that you will still owe everyone you originally owed, but the payment will now go through the debt management company to be distributed.
5. How many payments will my program take?
Your debt counselor should be able to tell you exactly how long your program will take to free you of debt. Typically, most plans will be 36-60 payments to complete or fewer than five years.
6. How will I make my payments?
Make sure to ask the counselor about the details of your monthly payment. Generally, you will set up a monthly debit directly out of your checking account on a decided date.
7. Can I have an emergency credit card?
Some debt management companies will let you leave one credit card out of your program for emergencies. This varies between companies though, so if it is something you want, make sure to ask about it.
8. What about my other types of debt?
Many credit counseling companies focus on credit card debt, as major creditors will work with these companies. It never hurts to see if you can include other debts, such as medical bills, payday loans, and more.
9. Could I consolidate my own debt?
Consolidation is a simple way to say that all debts will be combined into a single monthly payment. A debt management program is not the only way to do this. You may be able to use personal loans or a balance transfer credit card if these options are better for you.
10. Debt Management Program or Bankruptcy?
It is important to consider all of your options, including bankruptcy. Talk to your counselor about whether consolidation is truly the best option for you or if bankruptcy may be a better path forward.
If you are looking for a free lawyer consultation for bankruptcy, contact Bartifay Law Offices.