5 Things To Look For In A Debt Relief Company
Not sure how to go about choosing a debt relief service? Here is what to look for:
While looking for a debt relief company, your first thought is to look at their pricing. After all, you are looking to reduce your debt without adding any more expenses. Unfortunately, many companies in the debt consolidation and settlement industry do not provide a whole lot of transparency on their website in regards to their pricing and terms, something which we believe should be easy to find.
While many websites do have a debt calculator that gives you an estimate, the following debt relief services go above and beyond when it comes to transparency regarding prices, terms, and frequently asked questions.
Freedom Debt Relief: Freedom Debt Relief prominently displays a complete step-by-step explanation of how their customizable program is designed to resolve your debt for significantly less than you currently owe (and as quickly as possible). Freedom Debt Relief even directly compares their program to 5 other debt strategies (like bankruptcy and debt consolidation) and clearly maps out the pros and cons of each, so you can fully understand why debt settlement may be the best option for you.
Accredited Debt Relief: As its name suggests, this highly accredited debt relief service not only works with bankruptcy, debt consolidation, debt management, and debt settlement, but they also have a page of detailed FAQs regarding program time, taxes on forgiven debt, how to work with creditors, and more.
Pricing And Fees
"What is the cost to reduce my debts?" This is probably high on the list of requirements when you are searching for a debt relief company.
Debt consolidation and settlement companies should never charge upfront fees and should only bill a customer after they negotiate, settle, reduce, or change the terms of one of the debt accounts. In the case of settlement, some companies may charge a monthly "maintenance" fee for a separate savings account used to eventually pay off your debts, which is legal but a fact that many consumers and experts believe is unethical.
Fees for debt consolidation and debt relief generally range from 15-25% of enrolled debt. For a 100% free quote and to speak with a certified debt consultant, we recommend contacting Freedom Debt Relief, our top rated pick for debt settlement.
One way to ensure that you are working with a credible debt relief service is to look at the accreditations. The majority of reputable services are FTC compliant and hold accreditations from the IAPDA (International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators), AFCC American Fair Credit Council), and the BBB (Better Business Bureau).
Debt relief services that are accredited by the BBB, AFCC, and IAPDA include Freedom Debt Relief, Accredited Debt Relief, National Debt Relief, and DebtAway Relief.
Time In Business
Debt relief is not a simple process, so a company with extended industry experience and a track record of success proves that it is a reputable service you can trust with your money.
Some companies with over 10 years in the business include:
Customer Service and Reviews
When choosing a debt relief service, it is always a good idea to check customer service and reviews to determine how a company really treats their clients. You can check the BBB (Better Business Bureau), Yelp, Google, or Trustpilot to see if actual clients rated the business positively or negatively. Some important questions to ask are:
- Are they easy to contact and do they respond quickly to any questions or concerns I have?
- Furthermore, do I have an account manager or someone I can contact 24/7 by phone, email, or live chat?
- Do they inform me of any changes during the debt relief process?
- Do they have an online portal or mobile app that allows me to check any progress?
- Do they have additional tools like educational blogs and resources to assist me in the future?
- Are the financial experts qualified and how many years of experience do they have?
- Do they have ethical practices? Avoid companies that ask you to pay up front, since that practice is banned by the FTC.
Here are a few debt relief companies that have many rave reviews and satisfy all of the above criteria: Freedom Debt Relief, Accredited Debt Relief, and National Debt Relief.
These guidelines can help you pick the right debt relief company to set you on the best path to a debt-free life. A new financial future is right around the corner.