Steps for Vetting a Debt Settlement Company
Debt settlement companies offer a way for individuals to negotiate with creditors to pay off their debt for less than the full amount owed. While this can be a helpful option for those who are struggling to make their monthly payments, it’s important to be cautious when working with these companies. Not all debt settlement companies are created equal, and some may be more interested in making a profit than helping you get out of debt.
Here are some steps you can take to vet a debt settlement company before you sign on with them:
Check the company’s accreditation:
The first step in vetting a debt settlement company is to ensure that it is accredited by a reputable organization. The American Fair Credit Council (AFCC) and the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA) are two organizations that accredit debt settlement companies. Accreditation by one of these organizations is a good indication that the company adheres to industry standards and has a track record of helping consumers get out of debt.
Review the company’s track record:
Once you have confirmed that a debt settlement company is accredited, you should review its track record. Look for customer reviews and testimonials online, and ask the company to provide you with references. This will give you an idea of the level of service and success rate of the company. For example, you may be wondering: is freedom debt relief legitimate? Feel free to check Freedom Debt Relief out for yourself.
Understand the fees:
Debt settlement companies typically charge a fee for their services. Be sure to ask the company about the fees they charge and how they are paid. Some companies charge a flat fee, while others charge a percentage of the debt that is settled. You should also find out if the company charges any additional fees, such as for setting up a savings account or for making payments to creditors.
Get the details in writing:
Before you sign on with a debt settlement company, make sure you get all of the details of the agreement in writing. This should include the terms of the agreement, the fees, and the timeline for when your debts will be settled. This will ensure that there are no surprises down the line and that both you and the company are on the same page.
Ask about the company’s customer service:
Dealing with debt can be stressful and you’ll likely have a lot of questions. You want to work with a company that will be responsive to your needs and that has a customer service team that is easy to reach. Ask the company about its customer service hours, and whether they have a toll-free number or an online customer service portal.
Do your own research:
Finally, be sure to do your own research and consult with other experts. Debt settlement is a serious matter, and you don’t want to rush into anything. You can also check the company’s reputation in Better Business Bureau or other similar platforms.
While debt settlement can be a good option for some people, it’s important to be careful when choosing a company to work with. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of working with a legitimate and reputable company that will help you get out of debt in a way that is best for you.
It is also worth considering the options available for you to resolve your debt situation, whether that’s through debt settlement, credit counseling, or other methods. Each option has its pros and cons, so it’s important to carefully consider your options before making a decision.
Debt settlement can be a valuable option for some individuals looking to manage their debt, but it’s important to be cautious and to carefully vet any company you’re considering working with. Make sure to check accreditation, review the company’s track record, understand the fees, and get the details in writing before signing on with a debt settlement company. It’s also important to research and be aware of the potential risks and to ensure that the company is compliant with state laws.