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Not All Debt Consolidation Companies are Equal – 5 Important Questions to Ask Before You Sign Up

Whether you are looking for help with debt consolidation, credit counseling or debt settlement, it is important to know that not all debt consolidation companies are created equal.

What separates one company from another? Here are 5 important questions to ask when evaluating a debt consolidation company:

  • How long have you been in business? Let’s face it, you don’t want to trust your money to an overnight start up and be some company’s Guinea pig.  At Pacific Debt, we have been helping consumers since 2002 and have settled thousands of debts representing hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • Is the company highly rated by the Better Business Bureau? Do you really want to trust a company with an F rating and loads of complaints? Companies that are Accredited Members of the BBB make a commitment to marketplace ethics and are required to resolve consumer complaints to maintain their memberships. Remember, all companies get complaints, it is how a company responds and addresses those that separates the good from the bad. We are proud to say that Pacific Debt is an Accredited Member of the BBB of San Diego with an A+ rating.
  • Is the Company a member of any Industry Trade Associations? Trade associations often set many of the standards in the industry and their members are required to meet minimum requirements to maintain membership. For instance, in the debt settlement space, the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC) requires that each Accredited Member company undergo an audit once per year to ensure that member companies are not charging upfront fees and are complying with all AFCC standards. At Pacific Debt, we are one of only 13 Accredited Members of the AFCC.
  • Will you receive personal service? Some companies treat you like a number and basically have huge call centers designed to answer your calls, but rarely offer you any personal dedicated service. At Pacific Debt, we created a system where all of our clients get a dedicated Personal Account Manager who is there to guide them through the process from the first settlement until completion. Our Account Managers get to know our clients on a personal level so that you don’t have to deal with the aggravation of explaining your situation over and over again to a different call center representative each time you call.
  • What are others saying? If you scour the Internet you can find all sorts of review sites and comments on social media. If clients have a good experience, or a bad one, they like to talk about it online. In fact, due largely to our great client reviews, Pacific Debt is the #1 Ranked Company on BestDebtCompanys.com .  Our average user score of 9.7 on the BestDebtCompanys site is a direct reflection of our commitment to customer service and delivering value to our clients.

The bottom line is that you have a lot of choices when it comes to selecting the right debt consolidation company and the reality is that not all debt relief companies are equal. However, by asking the right questions and doing your homework, you can find the right option and company for you.

PDI Employees Pitch in to help the San Diego Food Bank

During the month of June Pacific Debt Inc. employees pitched in to help the San Diego Food Bank. Employees brought in canned goods and other non perishable items to help those less fortunate. After nearly a month, the PDI team brought in over 4 barrels of food!

Each quarter PDI makes it a priority to participate in charitable giving. You can find out more about the San Diego Food Bank by clicking here.

Pacific Debt Inc. helping San Diego food bank
PDI Employees pitched in help the SD Food Bank

Feeling Financial Burnout from Debt Relief?

Watching your pennies and carefully keeping track of how you spend can be very rewarding. However, frugality in the name of debt relief can also lead to burnout. There are many reasons for budget burnout. Read through the steps below to get back on a positive course.

What’s Ailing You?

Try to think about why you feel so burned out. Perhaps you lost a job due to no fault of your own or suffered a medical setback? Or, maybe your financial problems aren’t your fault and you feel powerless over the fact that you need to worry so much about your financial situation? Whatever the reason, remember that you made the important first step by enrolling in our debt settlement program to get debt relief and look forward to achieving your long-term financial goals.

Talk About It. If possible, talk about your feelings with an understanding friend or relative. Any kind of personal fear or frustration can seem harder to deal with when it is internalized. If you don’t feel comfortable opening up to someone else about your situation, just being sociable with someone else and laughing out loud can be an amazing cure to whatever troubles you.

Go For It. Sometimes frugality makes us feel guilty for wanting to treat ourselves to simple, affordable pleasures. It’s perfectly acceptable and necessary to treat yourself to

small indulgences on a regular basis. Frugality isn’t about deprivation. Debt relief works best when you balance your individual wants and needs and work them into a budget that you can stick to. If a frequent stop for a caramel mocha latte is a special treat and fits into your budget, then cut back on or eliminate something else that isn’t as important.

Move forward. Try to reassess your life and find out what you need to do to improve your personal situation and outlook regarding your finances. For example, if you lost employment due to downsizing and haven’t found a new job yet, try to think of creative ways to bring in more income. If you took a look at your situation and discovered you have a spending problem, rather than an income issue, try to examine why you spend too much and get down to analyzing your wants and needs.

From our newsletter: Inspiring Thoughts

Financial concerns and debt solutions can be a stressful part of life. As you work toward your goal of being financially free, remembering these ideas can help you reduce stress.

Get Plenty Of Sleep.  Try to go to bed on time so that you can wake up on time feeling

fresh, unrushed and ready to tackle the day ahead. If you’re late in the morning and you

have to rush to work, you’re already stressed out and the day has barely begun!

Learn To Say “No.”

Don’t overburden yourself. Take projects one at a time. If a task seems too particularly overwhelming, set aside a special time to work on it.

Simplify And Un-Clutter Your Life.

Take care of small tasks that have been bothering you for a while. Boil everything down to just a few simple goals.

Pace Yourself.

Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don’t lump the difficult things all together. Taking baby steps can be enlightening.

Live Within Your Budget.

Debt solutions are not easy. Don’t use credit cards for ordinary purchases. Write Down Your Thoughts And Goals. You could keep a journal or just write when you feel the need to. You may be surprised by how clear your own thoughts become when you see them in black and white.

Delegate Tasks To Others.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you feel overwhelmed and need debt solutions.

Laugh Often!

Take your work seriously, but yourself not at all.  Don’t forget to find

humor in everyday situations and don’t take yourself too seriously.

“A crust eaten peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.”-Aesop Fables

Confessions of a novice couponer

Have you ever wondered if clipping coupons could pay off? Recently a colleague in my office volunteered to share her experience with me on using coupons. The busy manager, wife and mother said she didn’t have a lot of time to organize her shopping but wondered if she could make a dent in her monthly budget and get debt help just by using the coupons that came in her weekly newspaper.

Sally was inspired to try couponing after watching an episode of the TLC hit show ‘Extreme Couponing.’ “The people on that show are clearly extreme,” explained Sally. “Most of the people on the show make it a priority and are obsessed with saving and couponing.”

I told Sally that I would follow her story to see if she could be successful on a smaller scale. Sally resolved to set her first goal – dedicating time to consider her monthly grocery expenditures. She also knew that she buys a lot of the same things week after week.

“When I took a good look at my usual routine, I noticed a pattern in my buying,” said Sally. “I saw that most of what I purchased each week included necessities like diapers, paper towels, milk and cereal. This inspired me to set my next goal which was to clip coupons that pertained to necessities I already buy and use often. Sally, who is expecting another baby, also had a goal of creating a “mini-stock pile” for her family; she said this would help reduce her “emergency” runs to the grocery store.”

To start she made sure she paid attention to the newspaper circulars. She also considered in-store promotions, such as Buy-One-Get-One specials, and combined them with coupons when possible. “It has made a difference in my budget so far,” said Sally, a self-professed coupon novice. “With 10-15 minutes a day and a bit of planning before I shopped, I saved a little over $100 my first month.

“I was a little nervous that I would end up spending more than usual, which I did on some weeks, but I can already see how it will benefit me in the long run when I’m busy with a new baby. It’s a debt relief when my husband tells me we are out of something, and I can tell him to go to the basement “stockpile” to get more, instead of one of us jumping in the car.”

Sally revealed that other goals, such as planning meals ahead of time and focusing on the necessary ingredients, help her refrain from clipping coupons on things she may not need just for savings sake.

“Taking a small step to consider what I buy has changed the way I think about my finances,” she remarked. “I’ve also become more organized. Having a plan helps me feel more confident about my buying decisions and my budget.”

Sally’s next goal is to see if she can save even more for debt help by utilizing online coupons or by obtaining specific coupons for specialty products, such as organic foods.

A Fresh Start: Make this year a success

As the new year begins, you may make resolutions and consider ways to better your life.

Instead of tackling a long list of goals all at once you may want to consider setting smaller monthly goals. Taking small steps to improve your life and get debt relief, personally and financially, could help you achieve a greater amount of success. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

January – March

•  Organize your finances. Think about your spending habits. Are there any areas you can work on to achieve financial freedom sooner?

•  Now is a good time to rethink your financial goals. Visit MoneySavingGuide.com. Scroll down the page and go to the “Money Saving To-Do List” on the right. This list is an online tool that allows users to type individual goals and check them off when they are

completed.

•  Remember to take advantage of holiday clearance sales at the beginning of the year. This is a good time to stock up on holiday necessities.

•  Revisit your budget and consider any changes in income or required expenses.

April – June

•  Try to think about new ways to save money on your daily living expenses, this can offer some debt relief. For example, consider planting a garden. If you have the space for it, you could save cash and enjoy a new hobby!

•  Begin your spring cleaning by hosting a garage sale or selling items at a

flea market. You may also sell unwanted items on www.ebay.com or www.craigslist.

org for extra cash. Also consider Freecycle.org for items you want to give away.

•  As Earth Day approaches on April 22, it’s a great time to go “green”. Consider using homemade cleaning solutions. Visit the Eartheasy website and search ‘non toxic home cleaning care’ to read articles on making your own non-toxic cleaners. You can also

reduce your impact on the environment by purchasing used or secondhand items. Doing this can help prevent trash from filling up the landfills. You should be aware of your fuel consumption and look for ways to save if possible. Visit www.earth911.com for more tips.

July – September

•  Focus on saving energy. Small actions, like weather stripping the seams around your air conditioning unit to prevent air leaks, could help you save money. Go to www.energy.gov for more energy saving tips.

•  Think of inexpensive getaways that would be fun and interesting. Enjoy the outdoors. Find out if zoos offer family discount days. Consider a weekend road trip to a national park if it fits into your budget.  One great way to get debt relief is to get outdoors, which is often free and won’t hurt your finances.

October – December

•  It’s never too early to plan your holiday gift list. Consider putting together themed gift baskets or making special mementos for the people in your life.

Debt Consolidation in Texas

If credit card bills have piled up, collection agencies are calling frequently and you feel overwhelmed by the amount of debt you have accumulated, you may want to consult an organization that offers debt consolidation specifically for Texas residents to take advantage of. Debt consolidation has many advantages and a few disadvantages. Weighing your personal needs and your specific financial situation will assist you in determining whether you need to contact an organization that offers debt consolidation Texas residents can use. Pacific Debt is a reputable company with over fourteen years of experience in consumer related services, including debt settlement.

Benefits of Debt Consolidation for Texas Residents

First off, debt consolidation helps streamline your payments. Debt consolidation Texas involves putting all of your existing debts into one source, usually in the form of a loan. Instead of needing to remember when each credit card bill is due and what the minimum payment is, you can write one check to the debt consolidation company. You may be able to decrease your interest rate so more of your payment goes to the principal of the debt that you owe. This option also allows you to stay in good standing with each of your credit card companies. You do not have to cancel your accounts in order to qualify for debt consolidation, so your credit cards are available to use in case of an emergency.

Detriments of Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation often requires that you secure the debt with your home or another asset. If you get behind on your payments, the debt consolidation company can take your asset in order to satisfy the debt. If you do not secure your loan, you may actually wind up paying a larger interest interest rate than your credit cards offered. This will increase the total amount that you pay over the lifetime of the debt. Having zero balances on your credit cards may influence you to accumulate more debt on the credit cards. This will cause you to have a large consolidation loan payment, as well as multiple credit card payments that can place you in a precarious financial position.

Alternatives

If you do not want to tie up your assets by securing a consolidation loan, other alternatives are available. Debt settlement is an option for many consumers. Debt settlement allows consumers to have their debts discharged by their creditors at a reduced balance. Pacific Debt often negotiates rates for their clients that allow them to pay off their debt for significantly less than the total principal amount that is owed on the debt. This alternative allows consumers to have debt paid off, rather than continuing to make payments on the debt for several years. Credit counseling is also available as an alternative.

If you are looking for a company that provides consumer assistance with debt settlement, credit counseling or debt consolidation, Texas has many qualified companies that you can contact. Pacific Debt is willing to assist you with managing your finances and is licensed to provide debt settlement services.

Debt Consolidation San Diego

If you are looking for a company that can assist and advise you on debt consolidation San Diego has many qualified organizations. Debt consolidation can help you regain your financial footing and help you to improve your credit. Among the many organizations that provide debt consolidation San Diego based business Pacific Debt offers some of the most comprehensive services regarding debt settlement.

Pacific Debt Inc. has been in business for over 10 years. During this time period, Pacific Debt has become a very successful business with high customer service rating and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Pacific Debt provides a variety of services, including consumer credit education information and debt settlement assistance. The majority of the work that Pacific Debt completes is debt settlement. Debt settlement is a process in which a consumer gets his or her creditors to reduce the amount of money that they will require the consumer to pay in order to pay off the debt he owes. In 2010, Pacific Debt Inc. settled an average of $1.5 million a month in consumer debt. Debt settlement is only one of the options available to consumers struggling with credit card debt.

Another option for many consumers is debt consolidation. Debt consolidation requires taking out a new loan in order to pay off existing debt. This allows consumers to make only one payment a month, rather than countless payments to multiple creditors. Some consolidation loans are secured with collateral, such as a house, car or other piece of personal property that has value to it. Debt consolidation loans are ideal for some consumers, while other debt solutions are preferable to other consumers.

Debt consolidation is ideal for consumers who have good credit and want to maintain their credit rating. Debt consolidation loans pay off all of the existing accounts, so consumers stay in good standing with their credit card accounts. Closing out multiple accounts at one time can negatively impact a consumer’s FICO score. Since the loan is often secured, consumers may be able to receive a lower interest rate than they had on their credit card accounts. This difference in interest rates can make payments to the debt consolidation company be lower than the minimum monthly payments on the credit card accounts. Another option is for consumers to pay a higher amount than their required monthly payment to lower the principal of the amount owed and to pay the loan off faster. However, debt consolidation loans do come with a few drawbacks. Debt consolidation loans may require you submit property for collateral. This can tie up your assets and put them in jeopardy in case you get behind on your payments. You may also wind up running your credit cards up again and then you will have double the debt load.

If you are seeking assistance and want more information about debt consolidation San Diego has many qualified debt consolidation companies including Debt Pacific. Contact Debt Pacific for a confidential conversation regarding your credit situation and the remedies that are available to you.

Debt Consolidation Companies: How To Choose

Debt is a very serious issue indeed and so when choosing a debt consolidation companies to help you out, it is imperative that you are fully aware of exactly what it is you are looking for in a debt management company. You will need to be especially clear on the skills and expertise that you seek.

But even before you get there you will need to understand exactly what debt consolidation is and also what debt settlement is and which of the two is a better option for your particular case. To understand debt consolidation you will need to grasp the fact that debt consolidation loans are used for debt consolidation. In this particular case the client takes out a single new loan to pay off all their old debts. One of the advantages of this arrangement is that the pressure of having to pay off many different loans is reduced to one debt repayment amount that you need to come up with every month.

Now debt settlement is very different. This is where the client decides that instead of taking out a debt consolidation loan they will register with a debt consolidation company which will study their particular situation and offer possible solutions to the debt crisis. There are basically two different recommendations and one of the two will usually be suggested to you by experts at the debt company that you opt to work with. The two are debt settlement and debt management.

If they recommend debt management to you then what it means is that you will be set up with a single monthly payment which will be divided amongst the different creditors monthly. Debt companies usually negotiate with he client’s creditors so that the interest is reduced.

With debt settlement the idea is to reduce the principle sum owed as well as the interest. Usually this is the alternative that allows for the fastest debt repayment, faster than in debt management or with the aid of a debt consolidation loan. However it also has its’ disadvantages like the fact that it will do serious damage to your credit score and rating.

After you have familiarized yourself with the pros and cons of the various debt repayment programs, you will then need to start looking at the different debt consolidation companies. To ensure that you choose a genuine company you will have to do some work checking them out where you will need to ask key questions like how long they have been in business and what kind of expertise they have that will be useful to you as you seek to reduce your debt.

It is also important that you end up with debt consolidation companies that understand the fact that a crucial aspect of dealing with bed debt is to address the spending and money habits that landed the client into trouble in the first place. If this is not done then chances of any debt program being a success will be nil and it hardly matters how good and skilful the debt consolidation companies you are dealing with are.

Credit Counseling San Diego

If you are overwhelmed by calls from debt collectors and have amassed large amounts of debts to credit card companies, you may want to seek the help of a credit counseling firm in San Diego. Credit counseling can be an effective way to manage your finances, as well as a strategy to avoid bill collectors’ calls. If you are looking for credit counseling San Diego has many reputable companies that provide this service.

Pacific Debt is a well-established company that has over ten years of experience. Customer service is always at the forefront of Pacific Debt’s company mission. Credit counseling San Diego residents has resulted in positive experiences for the client and Pacific Debt, who has achieved an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Pacific Debt’s major focus is on debt settlement, NOT credit counseling, and the company has achieved enormous results for their clients. In 2010, clients pay an average of 39.2% of the current balance on the debt they owe. However, for clients who are not comfortable with a debt settlement plan, credit counselling offers an alternative method to manage one’s finances.

Credit counseling offers many benefits to consumers. A person’s credit score may be maintained and raised with the assistance of the right credit counseling service. With this type of program, a consumer negotiates a lower interest rate on each of her credit accounts. This strategy allows the consumer to have more of her payment apply to the principal so that she can off her debt more quickly. Rather than making several monthly payment, credit counseling often allows the consumer to make one payment to the credit counseling company that is then dispersed to the various creditors. The credit counselor acts as an intermediary, so any problems with the accounts are directed to the counselor. This allows consumers to finally be free from continuous phone calls from creditors.

Credit counseling San Diego residents also allows these residents to learn strategies to handle their personal finances in the future. A credit counselor can help a family create a new budget so that more funds can be directed to pay off the debt. Consumer education materials can also be provided to the consumer to help teach basic personal finance skills and provide information on how to improve FICO scores.

Credit counseling is not the best solution for every consumer. Credit counseling is ideal for consumers that have not gotten behind on their credit card payments that can make a monthly payment on their credit cards that is higher than the minimum monthly payments on their credit cards. However, credit counseling has some negative characteristics for other consumers. The monthly payment may be too high for the average consumer. The process may also take years to complete. Credit cards must often be canceled, potentially causing a decrease in a consumer’s FICO score.

Pacific Debt is happy to review your options and the positives and negatives associated with each. Debt settlement, debt consolidation loans and credit counseling are a few of these strategies. Contact Pacific Debt to explore your options.

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