The first step and perhaps the most difficult one in choosing the right debt management consultant is first admitting that you need help. Once you get over that hurdle and are willing to share past financial mistakes with a professional, you are on your way to successfully eliminating debt from your life. Perhaps the best way to find a debt management consultant is to recognize what not to do. Do not randomly choose a debt management consultant over the Internet or via the phone book. Instead, arrange face-to-face meetings or telephone calls, and rely heavily on a professional's track record and referrals from people in your life before making a decision.
Personal referrals are a strong way to find the best debt management consultant. As the exchange of sensitive and personal financial information will occur, it is important to hire a professional who is ethical and upstanding. If obtaining a personal referral is not possible, that is OK. Any reputable consultant will be willing to share past success stories with you or provide some glimpse into the history of the firm. Ask for a measure of past success tied to previous cases with clients who were or are in debt.
Arrange an in-house meeting with a debt management consultant whenever possible. Even if the search process begins on the Internet, it should not end there. A reputable consultant should be willing to meet with you for no charge to outline the debt management process, allowing you to interview several different firms before making your decision. Look for signs that the consultant will be willing to work at a pace that is comfortable for you because getting out of debt often requires time and patience. When it is not possible to physically meet with a consultant, arrange telephone interviews so that you get some assurance you are working with a professional.
Getting out of debt is an investment. A debt consultant is going to charge a fee, and the cheapest firm is not necessarily the best one. Fees should be incremental, and there should be progress toward debt elimination along the way.
There may also be success in paying off debt by hiring someone that you never meet. Financial professionals of celebrity status may host their own television shows and have products and materials to guide you through the debt reduction process. Read the testimonials on the website of a professional debt manager before subscribing, but there could be some essential money management techniques provided by these experts that cannot be obtained elsewhere.