If you have been struggling with financial problems for any length of time, you will be well aware of the stress they cause. Perhaps you have reached the end of your tether and decided to go for debt consolidation, but are not sure where to start. One possibility is to go online and look for a free debt consolidation quote.

The companies who will offer you such a free debt consolidation quote are really there for the benefit of people who are unwilling to take on the responsibility of sorting out their own debt relief. Before you go down this road, remember that there are other ways of arranging debt consolidation.

First of all, before looking for a free debt consolidation quote, did you know that there are free kits available at most libraries to help you find what you need? The staff will usually help you if you are in difficulties, and allow you to take copies of the forms and information.

Secondly, don’t forget that you can approach your creditors direct and negotiate with them. This way you could find that you are able to arrive at a settlement in which they accept a reduced balance outstanding or lower interest rates. In some situations the creditors could agree to write off the debt altogether, especially if they realize that the chances of repayment are minimal.

This may happen if the debtor is disabled or for some other reason is not working and only receiving social security payments. If you are not confident about approaching creditors yourself, you can often do it via the non-profit Consumer Credit counseling services in your locality.

Before seeking a free debt consolidation quote, you should investigate these possibilities, and also make sure you are aware of your legal rights in relation to your creditors.

If you do decide to seek a free debt consolidation quote, make sure you find out all you can about a company before getting the quote. Some of these companies are not genuine and are only out to get your money rather than to help you. However, they make their quotes so attractive and seductive that you could well be tempted.

Try the Better Business Bureau or the Consumer Credit counseling service in your local area. Alternatively, try going online and typing in the company name + “reviews” into a search engine. This will enable you to see what other people have said about it. Alternatively, you can also visit a forum related to debt consolidation online. Get involved, ask your questions. You’ll be surprised at how helpful people are.

You may well be in a panic when you are looking for a free debt consolidation quote. This could tempt you into rushing into a decision too hastily. Don’t do this under any circumstances. If you make the wrong decision, you could end up in a much worse situation than before.