Debt consolidation can help you bring order into your financial chaos. Unless of course you land in the hands of unscrupulous debt settlement or debt management companies who eat away into your credit, score and push you further into the quicksand of high interest rates and long-term commitments.

If you are struggling with debt management and multiple payments, you are a soft target for multiple debt consolidation companies who will try to exploit your vulnerabilities.

According to Forbes, Americans love their credit. An average American household has credits of over $132,000 most of which comes from mortgages, credit card debt and a myriad of other sources. However, there are still quite a few debt settlement companies and debt consolidation companies that are out there to help homeowners and business owners alike.

Identifying the right company for your business can be a challenge. Thankfully, there are quite a few techniques to identify reputable and trustworthy debt consolidation companies –

a. Good companies are in business for longer than just a couple of months. There are debt consolidation companies in the US that have been helping people out since the 1960s.

b. You can easily locate customer reviews and testimonials on their website. These companies need to treat their websites as their online business cards. So all necessary information that you will need to verify their credentials can be found online.

c. You should also look for national accreditations. Most reputable companies have been accredited by American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

d. While choosing a debt consolidation service for your business try to look for non-profit organizations. Non-profit organizations usually stick to minimum interest rates and you won’t end up paying more than you owe.

What does debt consolidation actually mean?

When you are paying multiple instalments for different loans at different interest rates, it is likely that you will feel flustered. Debt consolidation is an attempt to take out one big loan to pay off all your creditors at once. Then you can pay off the consolidation loan party at a lower rate.

Debt settlement is not synonymous to debt consolidation. However, debt settlement is likely the primary approach towards debt consolidation. Most companies that you approach will first try to negotiate with your creditors for a lower interest rate or a smaller instalment. And then proceed to sanction the loan amount to pay off your outstanding debts.

5 of the best debt consolidation companies today

There are uncountable number of debt consolidation companies that you can find today. However, only a few of them are trustworthy and reputable.

Although we have already mentioned the key points you need to remember to find the best consolidation companies for your business, here’s a list of 5 top companies most contemporary entrepreneurs trust.

1. this is an online portal that can help you connect to reputable debt consolidation companies in all the 50 states. This is way more than just one company; this is the window of opportunity that most businessmen are looking for.

PersonalLoans can help you out with a variety of debt and loans including bank loans, peer to peer lending and instalment loans. Their website is complete with information required to verify their services and credentials. All the processing fees are pre-declared and it fund up to $35,000 depending upon credit score.

2. National Debt Relief: this is one company that most businessmen credit for the rebirth of their business. Ever since the dawn of financial struggles in the US, National Debt Relief has been helping entrepreneurs in keeping their dreams alive.

This is undoubtedly one of the largest and most reputed business debt settlement and debt consolidation companies in the US. It also offers complementary credit counseling and debt education to its clients and customers.

3. Freedom Debt Relief: this is a stellar company that was founded by a group of Stanford Business School graduates back in 2002. Since then it has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs realize their dreams.

Freedom Debt Relief has worked with over 80,000 customers from business and non-business backgrounds. It has two main offices only. You can meet their execs in Phoenix and San Mateo.

4. CountryWide Debt Relief: this is one of the oldest and most reputed debt consolidation companies in the US. They have been helping businessmen and homemakers alike for the last 30 years.

You can qualify for their debt relief and debt consolidation services irrespective of your credit score. They have been reviews by close to 100,000 customers over the years and the numbers keep on increasing as you read on!

5. Accredited Debt Relief: this company has been A+ accredited by the BBB and the American Fair Credit Council (AFCC). Time and again, Accredited Debt Relief has emerged on the top of the best debt consolidation companies’ lists in the US.

They support St. Jude’s Children’s Hospitals, The Salvation Army, Wounded Warrior Project and the Susan G Komen Foundation. Multiple entrepreneurs have turned to Accredited Debt Relief for immediate financial relief over the last 20 years.

Wrapping it up with a word of caution 

Not all debt consolidation companies are here to help you. Most will try to lure you in with apparently lower payments at lower monthly rates, but in reality will rope you in for a longer-term period. This will automatically mean that you end up paying more to the debt consolidation company that you would to your creditors.

Be very careful while choosing a debt relief or a debt consolidation company for your business. Always read the fine print before signing on the dotted line.

Isabella Rossellini is a debt counselor and finance expert who has been working with the best debt consolidation companies all across the country. She specializes in debt analysis and debt settlement of SMBs and startups.