When it comes to getting out of debt, many people feel they can do it alone. Although this may be true for some people, others have a complex financial situation that may require more attention and planning.
Finding the right debt relief solution can be a daunting task. With so many options available and companies that offer an array of services, how do you know which is right for you?
Making A Match
There are plenty of debt relief companies that are operating fraudulently or engage in abusive business practices, but many more are legitimate. The problem is that debt relief companies may operate as “settlement” agencies, “negotiation” specialists or debt “management” services. The truth is: legitimate debt relief is only handled through a handful of ways, and any company that tells you otherwise should be a warning sign.
When looking for a reputable company to help you manage your debts, the company should meet the following criteria:
Offers a variety of services. Legitimate debt negotiation companies will offer consumers free resources to help them develop their own debt relief strategy, educational courses about debt management and credit counseling, as well as negotiation services with your credit. Walk away from any company that only wants to sell you one service or is pushing a negotiation deal.
Provides proof of their legitimacy. With so many debt relief scams in operation, companies that are legitimate will be registered with the Better Business Bureau or be recommended by the United States Department of Trustees. Companies that are accredited by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies are also acceptable.
Open lines of communication. A major indicator of a scam is any company that tries to negotiate with a creditor on your behalf without your presence or participation. Debt settlement arrangements can only be approved by your creditor and you should be actively involved in the process. Always confirm any arrangements with your creditor directly and obtain a copy of any negotiated deal.