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Best Financial Services
 Jun 08, 2004

Trying to resolve financial issues can be difficult and sometimes better solved with the help of financial services. Finding the best financial services for you can be frustrating. This article covers the things you need to consider and ask when choosing a financial service.

Right now, there is a lot of worry in the world about solving financial problems. Many people find that they need help formulating and sticking to a plan. A financial service company can help you with a number of issues. From planning your future to getting you out of debt to helping with credit report repair, the right financial service company can help you get -- and stay -- on the right track.

Considerations when choosing the right financial service

One of the most disturbing things about many financial service companies is the fact that some charge high fees. Others make extravagant promises that they can't really keep. Still others are actually scams that will take your personal information and your money and do their best to profit from it. It is important that you carefully consider you options and the choices when you choose a financial service. Here are some of the things you should consider as you make your choice:

  • Is the company reputable? The right financial service will be a reputable company. Make sure that you check with the Better Business Bureau before committing to a company. Another place to check is the state attorney's office. If complaints have been lodged against the financial service, it will be recorded. If there are quite a few complaints -- and especially if the state has taken action against the company -- that should be a red flag.
  • Will the company offer free information? Reputable financial service companies allow you free information without requiring that you give them personal details. If a company asks for private information, such as Social Security Number, or requires a fee to send information, you know that the people you are dealing with are not reputable. This is an indication that you should consider looking elsewhere.
  • Do you have an agreement in writing? Watch out for companies that say that verbal confirmation over the phone is good enough. You should ask for agreements in writing, before you sign. This is very important. You do not want the company changing the terms after the fact -- especially if they have your personal information and can enforce any changes immediately.
  • Do your own research. Make sure that you educate yourself. There are many resources that can help you get an idea of how much certain financial services should cost. Additionally, it is worth noting that most of the time a financial service cannot do anything that you couldn't do for yourself. This is especially true of credit repair. If you do enough of your homework, you won't need to pay someone else to take care of your financial problems.

Things to ask as you choose the right financial service

There are some questions you should ask before you commit to a financial service. Shop around. Ask the same questions to two or three or even four firms. The answers you get to the following questions should help you make a more informed decision:

  • What services are offered?
  • What, specifically, does the company plan to do to help your situation?
  • What fees are charged? The company should offer a clear and comprehensive fee schedule.
  • Who will you be working with? It is best if you can work with only one person -- someone who has become familiar with your situation and who knows the programs that will best work for you. A team can be effective if you have a variety of different issues and needs, but you want it to be a true team that collaborates and works with you.
  • Is there a regulator or licensor overseeing the company? Who is it? Make sure you investigate.
  • Are there additional materials or educational tools offered by the company?
  • Are there follow up services? When the first problem is solved, is there support to help keep you from getting into trouble again?
  • What is the privacy policy? You do not want the company selling your information to others; it's much better if you choose a financial service that does not share you personal information with third parties.
  • What kind of expertise does your agent have? You want someone who is knowledgeable about your particular problem.
  • Is there a physical address that you can visit? You want to be sure that if you have a question or concern, it is possible to actually see someone face to face.

If you are careful, and you do your homework, you should have now problem choosing the right financial service company for you. Just make sure to keep your wits about you and do your homework.

Related Article: Debt Counseling Agencies >>

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