Life on a Debt Management Program (DMP)

By: Nathan Dawson


The thought that ponders in peopleís heads that have financial troubles is whether or not they should get professional help. Another question many deliberate is whether one should call a credit counselor, sign up for a debt management program, apply for debt consolidation, declare bankruptcy or try managing their finances on their own. Many also wonder what each one entails. One that many are hesitant to try is a debt management program because they donít know what to expect when on one, however a debt management program is one of the ways to get out of debt as quickly as possible if you have the determination to stick with it. If you join a debt management program you should be able to get back on your own two feet in no time without feeling locked down by the program.

Signing up for a debt management program is easy; itís a matter of finding a company you feel comfortable with that is difficult. There should be no pressure added from the company you speak with, joining a DMP is your decision and you should feel like you are in a partnership with the company, meaning you both have control over your financial situation. Below you will find information on debt management programs and what they offer.

First off, once you decide on a DMP your partnership will begin as soon as the company receives a client agreement. The counselor you speak with will become your personal counselor and they will send proposals to each of your creditors outlining your new repayment plan. However, not all creditors will process proposals immediately. It may take several weeks before the creditor notifies the counselor that the proposal has been accepted. Some creditors might request a higher payment than what was proposed, which in that case the counselor will notify you immediately.

Itís the first few months that are crucial to ensure success on a Debt Management Program. You will find that some companyís offer counseling throughout the first steps of the process to make certain that the proposals are accepted and that you are receiving creditor benefits. A great aspect about having a personal counselor is that you should be able to:

ē Change your payment method
ē Notify them of creditors phone calls
ē Report any errors on your statements
ē Answers to all of your questions

If you want to earn special benefits like lower interest rates and waived late fees youíll first need to be consistent with making your payments on time. Most creditors will start granting benefits upon acceptance of your proposals. However, some other creditors may take up to three consecutive payments before offering full benefits. Thatís why it is important for you to carefully review your monthly creditor statements such as when benefits are granted to make sure they appear that month. You should also check each month to make sure that you are receiving credit for your payments made through the debt management company you chose to sign up with.

As most companies promise, the collection calls will stop. Yet, it may take up to three consecutive payments from the credit counseling company, before the calls stop completely. If a creditor happens to call, you should inform them that you are working with a credit counseling company to eliminate our debt. If they call again, notify your counselor and they will contact that creditor for you.

One thing that is crucial is to not make any additional charges on your credit cards once you have enrolled in a program. With most companies, if you do incur new charges, you are at risk of jeopardizing your acceptance into the program. Any additional charges could affect your payment schedule and your monthly payment amount because it affects your balance owed.

Usually credit-counseling companies will allow for you to pay several different ways. Some forms of payment are E-pay systems, which offer a convenient and secure way to make your payments. The payment is automatically deducted from your checking or savings account on the scheduled due date. This will ensure that your payment is received on time, every time. Another option available is if you choose to send your payment by cashierís check or money order. However it is important to send your payments in early enough to allow enough time to get there.

If you decide to sign up for a dept management program you should receive an estimate of the length of time it will take to complete your program. You should also get a breakdown of all the debts you owe, the amount owed to each creditor, the proposed payment to each creditor, and the anticipated number of months needed to pay off the debt. As your program continues, you should be able to contact a counselor to get an updated version of your repayment schedule. This will provide you with goals to shoot for each month as you see your debts decreasing.

So thatís the process of a DMP, but one may still wonder, what life is like on a DMP. Well, your money isnít locked up, and you arenít under house arrest where you canít go out and have fun still. Itís up to you to decide how much money you need to set aside each month making sure you have enough to cover your costs, as well as cover any other costs you may have. To relieve stress, you should get out and do something you enjoy whether itís simply going for a hike or hanging out with friends. There is plenty to do while being on a debt management program, which no one will know about unless you choose to tell them so because all your information is kept strictly confidential.

For more information relating to debt management programs and other financial assistance please visit http://www.inchargeorg.org.

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Nathan Dawson writes for www.inchargeorg.org a great online source for finance information in dealing with bad credit, debt management, as well as bankruptcy.

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