So you’ve finally decided on using a Debt Counselling program to help you reduce your monthly debt repayment and work on paying off all of your debt. Great! Now how do you go about enrolling?
Well that is what we are going to discuss in this blog post.
*A quick recap for those unaware: Debt Review and Debt Counselling are one and the same process. You go for Debt Counselling and thereby proceed to go through the Debt Review process.*
Avoid scammers & flyby nights
So be careful about picking a Debt Counselling company, you really don’t want to end up dealing with those bad apples. If you have any doubts about a Debt Counselling firm you’ve heard about, recommended by someone, or found online, it’s best to do a research first before making a decision to sign an application form.
Look into the background of your potential DC choice, do your friends know of them? What’s their online foot print like? Do they seem knowledgeable enough?
Choose a reputable company with years of experience
Scammers often get in and get out of industries; unfamiliar names that suddenly pop up with new websites are common red flags.
So beware of unrealistic promises like: “installment reduced by 60% and up!”, “we can reduce your interest to 0%”.
Life-saving tip: Only scams offer guarantees, so beware as there are many out there.
Stay safe with your choice of DC by avoiding names that have just been around and don’t have any real history yet. These I term as the “Mother Teresa’s of Debt Counselling”, their attentions may be well deserving and sincere, but the execution of their duties can leave much to be desired.
You need someone that is knowledgeable can get the job done, not smile and hold your hand with no idea on how to cure your debt disease.
These types often get out of the industry as fast as they got in, leaving a deluge of destruction in their wake of “trying to do the right thing”.
In addition, avoid Debt Counselling programs that ask for upfront payment for a service even if they have not yet done anything at all. Likewise, avoid Debt Counselling companies that pressurize you into making a decision to sign up right away.
Getting into Debt Counselling should be taken as a medium-term commitment to rectify your finances. Therefore, a responsible Debt Counsellor should be prepared to give you time enough to think and decide it over after fully explaining the Debt Review process to you.
Otherwise, it would seem an impulsive decision that you might just regret later on.
Visit a brick-and-stone office
One of the effective ways to avoid a scam is to actually visit a Debt Counselling company’s brick-and-stone office and talk to the real people operating it. If they are not flyby nights they won’t be hiding their identities online. Ask the questions you’ve wanted to ask over a chat, and get a feel of your experience with them. Are they a good fit for you and if you like what you hear.
See if you could trust this person and that their not just telling you what they think you want to hear.
Are they polite to their clients? Do they attend to you professionally? Do they answer your questions directly and not dodge them instead? Do they explain the process to you in a manner that makes sense?
Likewise, if you are not comfortable dealing with a Debt Counselling company purely via online chat, telephone, or email, going to a brick-and-stone office near you will give you more peace of mind.
If you have a problem or complaint, you can easily drop by rather than wait for days on end for an online response or a call from a consultant that’s half way across the country.
I’ve always explained it is like this: You don’t call a doctor in Johannesburg for a medical diagnosis when you live in East London do you? Do you think the doctor hearing about your ailments over the phone can seriously diagnosis you properly? What if they prescribe the wrong treatment?
So why would you do the same when it comes to Debt Counselling?
This isn’t the case for majority of our clients at Oyisa United Debt Specialists. They want a Debt Counselling firm that’s within driving distance from them, so they can come and visit our office if need be.
We’re available to our clients, we sit with our clients, and we’re physically present in their lives when they need us the most.
This is what separates a good Debt Counsellor, from a Great Debt Counsellor.
Enrolling in a Debt Review program
Enrolling in the Debt Review process is just a breeze. If you are visiting an actual office, you can fill out the application forms there and then on the spot and forthright, the process will begin immediately.
“BUT” only if you have given it some thought prior to your consultation, and fully aware of how the process works. We at OUDS support responsible Debt Counselling, and hence we always advise that you give it some thought first before charging ahead.
Of course, there will be an meeting with your Debt Counsellor and requirements such as a proof of identification, creditor statements, copy of your payslip or bank statement that are applicable to the Debt Review process will need to be provided.
Put it to you this way, the same documentation you’d provide a credit provider with…except this time that which got you into this mess, is going to get you out.
Once your application is completed and all your documents provided to the Debt Counsellor, the process begins. You can also submit these via email/online.
Lastly make sure that you have read all the terms and conditions and asked any questions you may have had. Though, your Debt Counsellor should have explained the entire Debt Review process to you prior to you signing anything and provided you documentation thereof.