Still, taking the solo route may not be viable for many people.
Lack of time, lack of education, or simply lack of interest may spur some folks on to going out and getting professional help.
But is a professional debt counselor or credit repair specialist right for you? That’s a good question to ask if you have exhausted all your student loan payment options—or other debts—and still feel like you’re not getting anywhere.
Of course, there are pros and cons to getting good debt counseling help, too. Yes, having a reputable, smart professional who understands debt on your side can be a big plus in your debt management campaign.
On the other hand, there are plenty of fly-bynight, fraudulent debt counselors out there, lurking on the fringes
of the financial services industry. Many of them thrive on the Internet, preying on desperate and vulnerable individuals who don’t realize that they’re placing themselves in deeper financial peril by doing business with debt management con artists.
And even the ethical credit counseling companies will go only so far with you. There’s an old story about the tax attorney who told his client on the way to the IRS office, “I did say that as your tax attorney I would accompany you to the IRS in the event of an audit. But I never said that I’d go inside.” Similarly, if you ever go to court, you probably won’t have your trusty credit service advisor alongside of you. Everyone has their limits.
Chances are, the debt management help you’ll be seeking will come from a credit counseling or credit repair service. These are agencies designed especially to help people get out of their debt problems and get on with their lives.
Usually that help comes within the framework of debt management advice or direct intervention on your behalf with your creditors. The idea is to help people manage their debts responsibly and eliminate any debt in the most economically feasible way
possible (to you, that is). Credit counselors stand by your side and give you an educated voice. They can play the equalizer role you’ll need, given the fact that the creditor will be well armed, too.
You have to be cautious about the type of credit management service you choose. While many are virtuous and ethical, some are not. They may overcharge and under deliver or offer bad advice.
Check with your local consumer protection agency before you hire a credit manager.