As to the payments themselves, we fall into another grey area. So much of debt management depends upon a knowledge of the individual situation that it becomes increasingly hard to remotely advise borrowers as to what sort of plan or program would be to their best advantage. However, regardless of the household’s debt situation, some aspects are not relative. While the amount of monthly payments suggested by the debt management specialist that you are working with may, indeed, jump up or down by thousands of dollars when put into comparison to your income and debt load, the actual ratios remain stagnant. No matter what, there needs to be costs of living built into the structure of your debt repayment, and, even with a strict budgetary policy that forgoes previous liberties, some expenses are bound to be constant.
Your debt management professional must be able – and, more to the point, willing – to adapt the overall goals you must both be striving towards (to eliminate consumer debt as quickly as possibly so as to reduce the potential effects of compound interest) with the sad realities (day to day household costs plus some money set aside each month for savings). While you do not want to work with a debt management professional that blithely allows your debts to continue for longer than necessary to assure himself and his company of continued rewards, you also don’t want to be at the mercy of any debt specialist so obsessive about debt relief and so absent empathy about the actual plight of his clients that they suffer unnecessarily to save a few bucks over the course of the program.
Put plain, you need a debt management firm that understands you and your family’s current living conditions as well as your eventual long term goals and aspirations – presuming a debt-free existence to be paramount among them. Much as you should look twice at any debt management plan that features suspiciously low monthly payments, do not immediately trust another company simply because the payments are markedly higher no matter how quickly they promise you would be able to repay all current obligations. There’s far more to debt management, at the end of the day, than simply eliminating what debts you have this very moment, and budgets set by debt management professionals that clearly have no idea and less interest as to your actual expenses just won’t be feasible over the long haul.
There are so very many different debt management programs and debt counselors with which you may work when attempting to solve this problem that it would be foolish to fall for the first relatively decent offer and it would be something worse to allow yourself to be tempted by the budgetary elasticity of low payments OR the guild-ridden asceticism that too-high payments indulge. Ask around! Check out the competitors! As long as you have documented figures about your current credit accounts as well as your three FICO scores (or, better, if you have access, the actual credit reports), it is worth the time to talk to even a dozen debt management shops in order to make sure you’re getting the deal that’s best for your family’s finances. Debt management is a sparkling new industry, and you can’t simply hope to follow the path or your grandfather as you might for a home loan or mechanic. Research must be done and done seriously. This isn’t like cramming for a test or trying to brave your way through a DMV exam. Your selection of debt management specialists will impact your household’s next decade for better or, as too often happens, for worse.