Personal Information Security
Personal financial information security is absolutely paramount when researching which debt consolidation company to use.
It is important to check that they have security in place to protect your privacy and respect confidentiality.
It can be humiliating to have personal financial information disclosed. A worst-case scenario is that you could have your identity stolen and then somebody else uses your details to obtain credit and then clock-up more debts against your name!
An organisation to head towards is the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS), which offers advice, plus an anonymous online debt counselling tool, which is easy to use and available for everyone. Or look for an organisation that has a good reputation and which makes sure your information is kept confidential.
If you use the CCCS, then they will only ask for your personal details after you agree to receive personal debt advice or if you take part in a debt consolidation programme, be it formal or informal.
Generally, you approach the debt consolidation company for what you need, based on your own research and there shouldn’t be the need to have your information, until you decide on one of it’s products or services.
All debt consolidation companies should be licensed by the office of fair trading, under the Consumer Credit Act. They are able to take action against any debt management companies who fail consumers.
In order to get a debt consolidation loan, you have to provide the basic personal details and all your background on income and expenses.
If accounts or balances for credit get into the wrong hands, then this could be used to buy something for somebody else.
A lead-generating firm shouldn’t mislead their content to persuade people to give personal details. This is considered, under the office of fair trading’s guidelines, as deceptive. Debt consolidation companies must ensure that your information is kept confidential.
It’s important to research if the company is Debt Managers Standard Association (DEMSA) affiliated. This was created to look after the interests of you and the lenders.
There is a list of members on the DEMSA website, which may help you in your research.