Christian Debt Services and Debt Consolidation

June 30, 2009 by  Filed under: Debt 

Christian debt services are, as the name implies, are debt services by and/or for Christians.  The best services are frequently offered by Christian ministries or referred by them. One advantage of using Christian debt services is that some are funded by local charities and do not charge much for their service. Free services usually teach you how to deal with and overcome debt. Christian companies that charge for their services, also offer debt settlement, negotiation or consolidation. If you use a free or discounted service, expect to do most of the work yourself. Be aware that some organizations only claim to be Christian Organization but are actually brokerage or consolidation companies.

The first thing Christian debt service companies will offer is an initial consultation to discuss the particulars of your debt and your monthly finances.  Good debt services will also teach you how to make and keep a budget (if you need it) and how to use a debt snowball to accelerate the rate at which you pay off debt. These organization will help you look at what you owe versus what you make and spend each month, so as to figure out exactly how much needs to be paid off and how much you can afford to put toward a debt payment.

If the Christian organization also negotiates and consolidates debt, they make ask you to review and sign paperwork.  The Christian debt consolidation service needs your signature in order to obtain “power of attorney” which is the permission to act on your behalf.  They’ll also want you to agree to some payment terms.  They may want one lump sum up front, or they may prefer to charge you monthly.  In some cases, they may want you to agree to a “back end” fee, which means that they will try to negotiate down your debts, but then still charge you the same amount you owed and keep the difference.  The benefit is that you get consolidation help without additional fees, the downside is that any debt reduction benefits them directly rather than you.

When choosing a Christian service, there are a few things you should do.  First obviously, read everything very carefully, whether you are dealing with a Christian debt services company or not.  Make sure you know exactly what you are going to be charged and when.  Second, steer clear of allowing the service access to your bank account to automatically withdraw their fee.  It is a good idea to talk with other people who have used the service or read reviews written by others.  

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